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This review is from: Lust For Life (Audio CD)
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.