- Audio CD (19 Oct. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording remastered, Restored
- Label: Redeye (Cargo Stock)
- ASIN: B0040MGPGC
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,875 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Kill City Original recording remastered, Restored
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RESTORED,RE-MIXED & REMASTERED EDITION,approved for the first time by both IGGY POP and JAMES WILLIAMSON. DIGIPAK with 24 PAGE BOOKLET.Kill City is Iggy Pop and James Williamson's often overlooked,yet ultimately essential album. Originally recorded in 1975 and later released by Bomp! in '77,critics have long lauded the songs and performances but have also regarded the overall sound as sludgy.The sound quality of Kill City was compromised from the get-go,as it originally suffered from a bad pressing (on the infamous green vinyl),and over the years the quality of the record itself managed to get even worse. When the original distributor went out of business,the 2-track album production masters vanished and every subsequent pressing of the album - on record,cassette and CD - used a copy of that deficient green vinyl as its master.Now 33 years later,here is the long overdue restored,re-mixed and remastered version of this historically important record. Producer James Williamson remixed the album with engineer Ed Cherney at Capitol Records in Hollywood,and as the guitarist states,"He just made this record sound,well,like it should have sounded all along. It has finally reached its full potential."
Angst, alongside necessity, is typically the mother of invention, but in too many cases, those artists deemed to live on the edge were only suffering from a bad hangover. Iggy Pop, however, began recording these songs while on day release from the Neuropsychiatric Ward of UCLA.
It was Iggy’s decision at least. He may have been a depleted, suicidal heroin addict after the release of Raw Power in 1973, but he wasn’t insane. And what became Kill City (recorded in 1975, released in 1977) never resembled the work of a man seceding responsibility to his new medication. In fact, this is his most underrated album (true, partly because it’s never been on CD before). In its rough snapshot of personal disarray (he’d yet to work with David Bowie, though his would-be saviour did visit him in hospital) tied to a more R&B-raunchy trajectory than The Stooges’ garage-punk meltdown – in partnership with latter-day Stooges guitarist James Williamson – Kill City stands alone in his canon. Now that it’s been re-mastered and remixed, it should get its just reward.
The bristling title-track immediately sets the standard: "I live here in Kill City where the debris meets the sea / It’s the playground of the rich, but it’s a loaded gun to me," snarls Iggy, before the great pay-off, "But if I have to die here first / Then I’m gonna make some noise" while Williamson stabs out a swaggering riff. Classic punk resistance to the decadent LA lifestyle follows in Beyond the Law and I Got Nothin’, but the album showed signs of evolution. With crooned harmonies, woozy sax and a louche mood, Sell Your Love imbibes the black soul of Iggy’s home city of Detroit rather than its metal; it sounds more Stones than Stooges. On a similar tack, I Got Nothin’ (one of two Stooges leftovers) resembled the Stones aping Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door. The other oldie, Johanna, was smeared by Harden’s bleating sax, which showed distinct shades of David Sanborn circa Bowie’s Young Americans, being recorded on the other coast.
Kill City’s original side two is patchier, though the instrumental Master Charge has a strange, sad beauty, like Iggy’s lost and wandering New Orleans’ streets at 3am. The stunning, bruised ballad No Sense of Crime, however, beats the Stones at their own dissolute game. It’s this brew of bravado, vulnerability and crisis that lends Kill City a palpable edge and helped get Iggy back into the studio and real life, beyond those hospital walls.
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Top Customer Reviews
In 1975, following the break up of The Stooges the previous year, Iggy Pop and Stooges guitarist James Williamson, recorded some demos, but there was no record company interest. However, in 1977 following Iggy's success as a solo artist, Bomp records released the recordings having financed Williamson to oversee some overdubs. Subsequent CD issues were apparently mastered from the original green vinyl, so were hardly what you'd call a sonic listening experience. This has now been rectified to great effect. I don't usually approve of remixes, but this a rare exception, as the whole album has come to life, with Williamson's guitar parts now audible instead of being buried in the previous, muddy mix. Original raucous highlights such as the title track and 'I Got Nothin'' are an obvious appeal, but the real surprise is how slower-paced songs like 'Sell Your Love' and 'Johanna' have been revealed to be just as impressive, with the guitar and saxophone working well together. The restoration of this album still can't quite hide the fact that these recordings are essentially demos, but that's no bad thing as it gives them a raw edge that perhaps would have been missing if it had been recorded for a major label.
Although 'Kill City' doesn't have the same attitude as 'Raw Power' (it's not a Stooges record after all) if you own that classic, you really need this as well.
NB This review relates to the reissue on Alive Records (Oct 2010, with original 'cartoon' cover artwork) and NOT the Bomp version (Nov 2005, with black and white photo cover artwork). Amazon have put all reviews on both versions, which is confusing.
Since those earlier reviews sum up the album content, there is no need to review Kill City yet again here. Comments are restricted to: "Is this title worth buying again?" for the new mixes.
From what I've read, the old version was mastered from the original green vinyl release of this album, recorded in 1975 and released 2 years later. While the earlier version on BOMP Records did a decent job, the older version had its sonic shortcomings. Not so here: this new version sounds new, as if it were recorded yesterday and it becomes obvious once you push play... a very brilliant remastering and remix. Additionally, the remixed tracks are oft times far superior to the familiar versions, although in some cases, the differences are lateral... what sounds like change for the sake of it. That said, guitar work is lifted (including some riffs never heard before), and for the first time, the horns sound like a relevant part of the whole. Iggy Pop's vocal work benefits from these new mixes too. In some cases, "new" lyrics have been added from the original tapes, and those tracks are the better for it.
To answer the question raised above: YES! It is worth buying it again! However, for fans of Iggy Pop and James Williamson and of this album in general, this version does not replace the original, but rather, should sit next right next to it on your CD rack (although if you can only have one, make it this new version). Both versions are valid... both versions are quite good.
Raw,powerful,crazy at times and creepy and sleazy too.
Music made by a pair of desperate nutters with nothing to lose.
Iggy was basically on weekend release from a nut house when he laid down these tracks and Williamson was deep into drugs too.
Incredibly underrated album and essential companion music that sits alongside all the classics easily.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Man this is a brilliant release. Remastered and shiny. A fascinating piece of rock history.Published 4 months ago by TheFixer
I've had this album for years, one of those I rarely played, in all honesty it was about completing the Iggy catalogue. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Farhan Haq
I heard this on green vinyl when it came out and loved it then. It sounds great on this release so nothing lost in the remix. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mr B.
listened to the remastered version of this album i think they,ve taken that raw edge off that the original recording has,much sooner have this the original.Published on 3 Feb. 2014 by exeler
While this isn't Iggy's greatest album it's a pretty good one with several classic songs, some left over from the last days of the Raw Power era Stooges in 73-74, and the rather... Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2012 by freewheeling frankie
well just got this and its not a patch on the original,I love this album but this is a let down, it did not need a remix and its not what i expected.Published on 27 July 2011 by scobe
After spending years listening to the original of this on a hissy old tape, this new version comes as a real revelation. Read morePublished on 29 April 2011 by Arthur