When Iggy Pop comes to town my wife gets a strange gleam in her eye. To see him live is to love him. He is a man possessed, wriggling like an eel shot through with 2000 volts of naked electricity. The stage is his kingdom and he rocks like no one else. After all, with the Stooges he practically invented modern rock: a raw, honest and intelligent form of guitar fury that has been the model for any decent rock 'n' roll of the past thirty years. This live album captures the excitement of a prime Iggy performance.
It dates from 1988 and a gig originally broadcast by The King Biscuit Flower Hour, a US radio showcase for live concerts. The tour was supporting the album Instinct, which rocked a bit, but was saddled with surprisingly poor production from Bill Laswell. Live, songs like ''Instinct'', ''High On You'' and ''Power and Freedom'' have the oomph that their studio versions lack. Iggy's band rip their way enthusiastically through Stooges anthems ''1969'', ''Search And Destroy'' and ''Penetration'', and other gems like ''Johanna'' and ''Five Foot One'' (classic lyric: 'I wish life could be/Swedish magazines'). Iggy himself is in fine voice, and recording quality is excellent.
Iggy is the Johnny Cash of rock. He inspires a deep affection in his audience. We love him because he is what we would like to be: the wild child who lives his own way and tells it like it is. The way he tells it is sometimes brutal, but always honest, and usually pretty damn exciting.
If you are an Iggy Pop fan with some pennies to spare, this album is worth getting. It makes you want to go and see him again. And the good news is that Iggy has got back together with original Stooges Ron and Scott Ashton. They're playing summer festivals and have recorded tracks for Iggy's next album. Yes, there is a God... --Nick Reynolds
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