on 31 July 2004
'lust for life' is iggy pop's most famous solo album and probably his most famous work, period. It was recorded in 1977 in berlin with david bowie at the helm, along with the album 'the idiot', which preceded 'lfl' and was released in the same year.
i've heard theories that these two albums are supposed to musically and lyrically reflect iggy's state of mind at the time; 'the idiot' was the depressing descent into pills-and-booze despair; 'lust for life' was the optimistic, pick-yourself-up recovery. comparing the two albums, the differences are more than apparent. whilst 'the idiot' was murky, druggy teutonic art-rock that sounded not unlike kraftwerk et al, 'lfl' is a pure and jubilant rock album, through and through. ig even sounds happy on occasions!
the hunt brothers' rhythm section pounds and thunders through 9 fantastic tracks whilst the guitars crunch, twist and wail courtesy of the excellent carlos alomar and ricky gardiner. and iggy's never sounded so good since his stooges days, proving that he doesn't have to scream to be a great frontman (not that i'm complaining, i love the stooges). bowie also adds some subtly tinkling piano in places, although i think his touch is a bit less obvious here than it was on the previous album.
thankfully, iggy's not gone all nice on us; there's plenty of sleaze here. sixteen year-olds in leather boots, weird sins, OD's and neigbourhood threats, the iggy of old has not left us completely just yet (thank god)!
all in all, this is iggy's best and most accessible solo work, and if you only want the one iggy solo record in your collection, this is the one, without a doubt. sadly, the rest (apart from 'the idiot') are patchy. anyway, 'lfl' is a rock classic and should appeal to anyone with decent musical taste. five stars!!
PS: if you like this, try some stooges stuff (iggy's first band). i wouldn't really say it's in the same vein as 'lfl' (it's a lot rawer, dirtier, louder and a hell of a lot more unprofessional), but it's iggy in his prime and it's damn good music. all of their 3 albums are fantastic, but i think 'raw power' is possibly the best.
on 29 June 2012
In April 2001 Iggy Pop was asked by the San Francisco Chronicle if he felt that he was past it. His response was instructive. He said:
"Listen, dude. I've done this for thirty years. The first fifteen years were highly creative and featured a low discipline level. The second half has been a reverse. There was overall less striking creativity but more discipline".
I would agree with that honest appraisal. I would also suggest this quickly-created, nine song 1977 release - which was Iggy's second solo album - was the last truly compelling LP from that first half of his career. It begins with the sound of a massive drum beat that presages the high-energy rock-and-roll and nonsense poetry of the title track, 'Lust For Life'. The quality of the material barely falters thereafter. There are up-tempo songs - like the glorious 'Success' - which radiate joie de vivre. And there are also some downbeat mood pieces - such as 'Tonight' and 'Turn Blue' - which, with their haunted (heroin-related?) feel, provide faint echoes of the mid-tempo experimentalism that he favoured on his other album of that year, the incomparable The Idiot. The reasons for success across this 41 minute album are threefold. Firstly, the presence of the Sales brothers and Carlos Alomar on Lust For Life. These highly-proficient session musicians provide a powerful, if conventional hard rock accompaniment to Iggy's varied musings. Secondly, the [re]appearance of David Bowie as a collaborator. In his role as a singer, producer, and overseer, he helps coax a series of powerful performance from Pop. And finally, and most importantly, is the man himself. He appears to be a man at the height of his powers. He radiates confidence with his rictus grin on the sleeve. And you can hear that belief as well, for instance, in the self-assured way he leads the sing-along, 'la, la, la' chorus of the hypnotic road track, 'The Passenger'.
It's just such a shame things would never ever quite be the same again - subsequent releases like 1979's New Values, and 1980's Soldier, had neither the consistency or potency that can be found here.
on 12 May 2004
The second solo outing by Iggy, having left the Stooges behind, and getting a helping hand from David Bowie. This was recorded close on the heels of 'The Idiot', but is an entirely different animal. It has a very 'live' sound to it, courtesy of a band put together by David Bowie, and including Bowie on keyboards and backing vocals.
There are two standout tracks here that almost anyone who has ever heard of Iggy knows - the amazingly arranged 4 chord repetition of 'The Passenger', and the highlight of the 'Trainspotting', 'Lust for Life'.
In general the album is a lot of Iggy and a lot of Bowie, and most tracks show the input of both of them. Maybe some are a little on the long side, but it's a collection of great songs. 'Some Weird Sin' and 'Turn Blue' are a couple of favourites of mine, but I think most of the tracks on this are pretty strong.
on 26 November 2002
There is no overarching theme to this album, and it is not as aggresively driven as Iggy's work with The Stooges, or as murkily arty and compelling as his first solo album, "The Idiot", although like that album the majority of music here is also written by David Bowie. Luckily though, this is Bowie in his greatest period, and perhaps Iggy too, as this album is a classic.
The first five songs are near perfect sleaze driven slightly european sounding rock, all tight funky drums and twisting guitars, and fantastically langerous, crooning, shrieking desperate, sexual vocals from Iggy.
Side two of the album fares less well, as "Success" and "Turn Blue", despite definitely having their moments, are not really up to the quality of the rest of the album. The last two tracks finish the procceedings in a fine style however.
Its like the more upbeat side to the same dark world visited by Iggy and Bowie and friends on "The Idiot", but although there is desperation, drug overdoses, and gloom, the more driving edge of the material is strangely uplifting, and shows Iggy to be a total survivor. A short, concise album which just gets better the more you listen to it.
The Ig decamped to Berlin after living in bins, locked in wards he found Kraftwerk, Faust then Neu. A catalyst and impetus to reinvent himself, initially under the tutelage of David, he finally spreads his confidence on this platter. Ig is in a dash from detox, after doing 12 step AA, croons his self professed joys at being alive. Half sardonic, half wanting to believe the liquor and drugs has gone, he bellows his ode to a Wonderful World. He harneses teutonic beats to his inner vision. The cracked actor sings his satirical paen to success; Here comes my Chinese rug.
The wilted view of the Passenger caresses many a ride through a deep sense of unease. Nightmares emerge from eating garbage. The Ig's semi detached imagery seeps with a fine percentage of loathing. The world around him echoes this disgust.
This is also Bowie's vision smeared over Low and Heroes. The Ig had witnessed real poverty in his post Stooges days, echoes of the trashed lives in the Michigan trailer park.
Salvation explodes through lust, the young "woman", Sweet 16 in her leather boots, blasts into life. The Ig stretches to unleash the power of his larynx in describing his visionary ecstasy. Gradually returning to a subdued irony in "Fall in Love with Me." An ode to a flame capturing the cold winter frost of a bright Berlin day.
Drug use goes over, in turning blue, the track skips a beat as he hunts for life in the already dying. Some weird sin sees him trying to become Jim instead of the Ig, calming down, becoming straight but always the lure of the old life taps on his shoulder. The battle of the newly detoxed caught in the lyrical angst.
Marking the tension between the Ig of post Stooge psychosis, the new man trying to amend, then another version, the synthesis struggling to arise from the two. Neighbourhood Threat is derived from the last months on the street; pre and post hospitalistation before the Bowie rescue. The Ig's gap year as homeless, deadbeat and obliterated described in detail.
Not the straight rock and roll album. Ig bawls his liver out of his soul. He hurls his acidity at the anomie of those at the top. Searching for redemption and meaning throughout he shoots himself in his cultural left foot proclaiming Reagan in interviews whilst destroying wealth when alive.
Austere, stripped down, loud and heavy album without pushing any rock cliche buttons. Duran Duran copied "Success". The Ig stripped to the waste, a philosophic visionary pumping his bleak images of decay into the cultural mainline.
on 22 April 2014
I bought this album mainly for the iconic title track, and The Passenger, but thought the other tracks would be worth listening to as well.
However on the cd the 1st track Lust For Life, has a background noise that lasts for the whole track. Fortunatly the next track sounds ok, thank goodness Amazon included a free mp3 version of this album, on it- all sounds ok.
The rest of the tracks don't quite match up to the two killer tracks, but that often happens , consequently I give four stars.
on 20 February 2002
Well it really is! Along with The Clash's 'London Calling', and perhaps Blondie's 'Parallel Lines, THIS is my all-time favourite. It's just a very, very good rock record from one of music's maverick figures, and it's deeply touched by the genius of David Bowie, who by the time - 1977 - was creating masterpieces on a monthly basis.
Oh yeah, and 'The Passenger' is on it. That alone, people, makes it indispensable.
on 8 December 2013
A classic album, instantly recognisable in every way. Iggy was on the up here in regards to his personal life and everything about the album epitomises that. A great listen with Bowie adding his own touch of class to ensure its quality.
A must have.
on 2 February 2010
As a music fan whos got into Iggy Pop due to my musical influences (Joy Division,Sex Pistols,Clash,etc..even through Trainspotting)and not that insurance ad! Got to say that this album blends in well with each song.Favourite songs would be Lust for life which obiviously is well known,Sixteen,some weird sin,Passenger,Neighborhood threat and Fall in love with me.
The Iggy/Bowie collaboration has done the singer well I get the feeling that he was appreciated more in Britian than his home especially when you see of influences in Trainspotting(book/flim) and the Ian Curtis film Control.
I am yet to try The Idiot but I'd say this album would be good enough for his career.
The title to the album and the photograph on the cover in many respects says it all - this is a brilliant, vibrant album by a man who is clearly glad to be alive after escaping the excesses of LA and seeking refuge in the relative sanity of Berlin with Bowie.
Lust for Life is loaded with terrific songs, not least the title tracks and 'the Passenger' which has since cropped up on so many sound tracks.
This is a good place to start if you are new to Iggy - it really is a great album.