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The Idiot
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The Idiot

29 Jun. 1992 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 29 Jun. 1992
  • Release Date: 29 Jun. 1992
  • Label: Virgin Records America
  • Copyright: (C) 1977 Virgin Records America, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 38:32
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001J74ISI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,978 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "----copshootcop----" on 26 Nov. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Completely different to any album Iggy attempted before or after, "The Idiot" is a testament to two fine rock musicians working together at the top of their of their game. Iggy expands on the darkly debauched crooning style of vocals which had cropped up before with The Stooges ("Dirt", "I Need Somebody") but here the material really suits it. The other Bowie/Pop "Berlin" albums, "Low", "Heroes", and "Lust For Life" are all to some extent influenced by their grim yet inspiring European setting, but none more so than "The Idiot" which reeks of Kraftwerk and Krautrock on the one hand, but also older Germnaic music like the songs of Brecht and Weil and the Weimar republic.
"Sister Midnight" opens the album with messed up funk and tripping guitars chiming in the background as Iggy recounts a Freudian nightmare similar in theme to The Doors' "The End".
"Nightclubbing" is lobotomised Kurt Weil drug pop, blank and vampiric as Iggy and Bowie leer out of the mists of Berlin on a night on the town.
"Funtime" is almost childish, but at the same time driving and desperate, implying that Iggy's having absolutely no fun at all. Creepy in many ways, with echoing syndrum beats and massively reverbed vocals.
"Baby" is more soft and romantic, but dark and continues the European theme of the album very nicely as Pop implores "Baby, please stay young..."
"China Girl" is probably the highpoint of side one, and is vastly superior to Bowie's later remake. Another desperate love song, but this time epic in its scope, featuring synths, massive guitar solos, the full deal. Anthemic and bleak.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan. 2000
Format: Audio CD
Early in 1976 David Bowie invited Iggy Pop to join his 'Station To Station' tour. Not as a performer, but as part of Bowie's small group of friends and advisers. Bowie was trying to kick cocaine, Iggy was trying to stay clear of heroin, and at the end of the tour they made a pact - to leave the USA for Europe, and to kick drugs for good. They first decamped to Paris where Bowie had booked studio time to record a single with Iggy. 'Sister Midnight' had been played on the 'Station..' tour. It was a funky, hard tune, but in Iggy's hands it became much more sinister. It soon became apparent that a whole album's worth of material was being recorded by the duo. In many cases Iggy would play drums, Bowie the guitar or keyboards - just the two of them. The resulting tracks were taken to Berlin to be mixed by Bowie's long time producer Tony Visconti, and became 'The Idiot'. Contained within the album are some of Iggy's best ever tracks. Most of the music was composed by Bowie, the lyrics mainly improvised by Pop. 'China Girl' will be a familiar title to most, by Bowie's 1983 remake is incredibly weedy compared with the original which has a grandeur and a power that is incomparable. 'Nightclubbing' contains an evocative description of the duo's new life, set to an almost Kraftwerkian beat. And 'Dum Dum Boys' lists what happened to the Stooges. 'What happened to James?' asks Iggy possibly refering to himself 'He's goin' straight..' is the sardonic reply. Interestingly Iggy has recently said that the beautiful ballad 'Tiny Girls' (with a breathtaking sax solo from Bowie) is one of his personal favourites. Oh, and the quote at the top - I think it was Brian Eno who described 'The Idiot' as like having your head encased in concrete - he was being complimentary, in his typically oblique way.Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "pavano" on 20 July 2004
Format: Audio CD
I recall first hearing this in a "listening booth" in a record shop in Bristol. I was stunned by it, and it became an oft-played record during my spead-freek youth.
I haven't bought the CD version, as I cannot decide if I want to re-visit those days, in memory form. I cannot decide if this is the all-time, most depressing album, or Lou Reed's "Berlin."
It's strongest elements are on what was originally side two.
"Mass Production" is a monumental song.
For many years, I thought that "Low" the record found on the late Ian Curtis's turntable; but,no,it was this one.
It is amusing that "China Girl" (co-written by Bowie) was totally ruined by him. Iggy Pop's is the definitive version. I recall some totally misguided person slating the song on Radio 4; disparaging Bowie's version as a piece of sexist exoticism. It's plainly about heroin! The fact that Osterburg released the almost-as-good "Lust For Life " within the same year is quite an impressive achievement. He never topped this, with perhaps "American Caesar" being a close contender. But "The Idiot" is his EUROPEAN album. 1977 was a year that saw many classics released. This one ; "Marquee Moon"; "Low "; "Talking Heads 77." This one is timeless.
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Motor Mekanik fusion of Detroit White Arctic Soul harnessed to German harmonic static petrified kulture. The result was another aesthetic revolution in the late 70's. Berlin and Germany were placed back on the sound map unleashing creativity. Sonic gold emerged with Bowie, Wire and Nick Cave soaking the anarchic grey ambience of walled 24 hour entrapment.

Iggy was rejuvenated by Bowie who continued to conjure his magic, spinning away from his infatuation with all things retro 20's post Weimar. Apart from creating his own music Bowie was particularly astute at germinating the genius, Lou Reed and Transformer, Iggy and The Idiot.

Bowie's roll of A list artistic genii friendships stretched across the golden arc of a rainbow; Lou Reed, Marc Bolan, Iggy Pop and Kraftwerk, the men who shaped the world.

Iggy recovering from emotional collapse and an episode in a psychiatric hospital rekindled, grapped hold of these tunes with an ice cold passion. The vocal range of a man-croak serenading the end of time. Now channelled into an austere bleak pre Joy Division penetration into a gasp at any belief. Relationships of mass production ensure the man is always looking for another pre model, detailed in Tiny Girl and then being stung by the young banshee who wants for this and wants for that. Mid life crisis before he became old.

China Girl is a pure homage to inter racial relationships at a time of deep segregation, belied Bowie's previous infatuation with culural separation. Cultural exoticism for those who are racially blinded, for the enlightened a homage to the beauty of women from all four corners of the world.

Sister Midnight a howl to connection with the dark exotique mistress of the twilight hour, another nod to post caucasian relationships.
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