on 28 August 2013
This set comprises the three albums that Iggy released on Arista between 1979 and 1981 and while there are some patchy moments as there is with all Iggy Pop product overall this box set is well worth the money. Side one of New Values has some tremendous tunes: I'm Bored, Tell Me A Story, Girls and The Endless Sea are great Iggy tracks, it fades a bit on side two but overall it's a strong album. The second album is Soldier which despite the critical mauling it received at the time has always been a favourite of mine, although I don't like the change of the running order as it doesn't flow as well as my vinyl copy. Finally we come to Party, probably Iggy's weakest album in his whole career. However, it still does have some charm and Bang Bang is a great 80's rock tune. Each cd comes with extra tracks but none are essential listening. Overall, though this is an excellent box set for those Iggy fans either updating their collection as I did or getting these three albums for the first time.
After Iggy made a successful return to the fray with the David Bowie produced 'The Idiot' and 'Lust For Life' albums, he ended up on Arista Records, then label to Lou Reed, The Kinks and Southern Rockers The Outlaws, amongst others (later the label would be home to Whitney Houston). Strange bedfellows indeed, and, well, Iggy has always been something of an uneasy fit, whichever label he's been signed to. Arista was ran by the American music business legend, Clive Davis, and he could hear a hit in a room full of static. However, how he could channel such an unusual and idiosyncratic a talent as Iggy chartwards was a task even beyond him. I've reviewed 'New Values' on it's own, and that's the pick of the three in this nifty little box set. 'Soldier' was never a great Iggy album, and although most fans reckon on 'Party' as being Iggy's worst album, in some ways it has worn very well - he gets to use his 'crooner' voice on the fifties hit 'Sea of Love', and 'Bang Bang', produced by Tommy Boyce, one of the songwriters for The Monkees, of all people, is a decent stab at making a Hit Record. Iggy's next album, 'Zombie Birdhouse', produced by Blondie's Chris Stein for his own, short-lived label, is pretty thin gruel, to me, but I am surprised to find that it's no longer available. This mini box set overall represents good value - whether it's old or 'New Values', and is too good to avoid, 'cause these sets don't tend to hang around too long