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Customer Review

on 21 February 2006
Nuggets culls numerous demos, studio sessions and blistering live tracks which were recorded over a twenty year period. They date from round about 1972 with the birth of the second incarnation of The Stooges up to the scathing punk-metal of 'Love Bone', recorded in Switzerland in 1991. Much of the recordings are of bootleg quality, but this shouldn't be an issue for Iggy fanatics who like their rock raw and untamed. Best of all the majority of the tracks did not appear on any of his studio albums, making this essential listening for any fanatic of the godfather of punk's music.
Stooges fans are no doubt familiar with 'I Got A Right' and 'Gimme Some Skin', outtakes from the Raw Power sessions, featuring some blistering guitar work courtesy of James Williamson. Arguably the highlights of a compilation full of highlights, age has not dimmed their ferocious primal power, and no serious proto-punk fan should be without them.
Also worth listening to are a couple of tracks recorded on the 1977 American tour in the aftermath of the release two of the Ig's critically lauded and successful solo albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life. 'Rock Action' rocks with a slow, pounding, menacing and sexually explicit groove, whilst in 'Modern Guy' he rails against the stupidity, shallowness and narcissism of seventies youth. Both tracks point to how Lust for Life might have sounded if Pop's lust for life had been replaced with cynical malevolence.
Iggy's hectic touring schedule towards the end of the 1970s and early 1980s is also well showcased, a time when diminishing sales and public indifference forced him to play in comparatively tiny clubs across the States and Europe. Despite this, the performances captured here are largely excellent, particularly the thrashing pop-punk of 'Puppet World' and 'Hassles', and a cover of 'One For My Baby', showcasing Iggy's Sinatra-like croon to a vocally abusive audience in Detroit! There are also some great covers, most notably The Kinks' 'You Really Got Me' (featuring The Damned's Brian James on lead guitar and Glen Matlock of the Pistols on bass) and a numbingly intense take on ? And The Mysterons' '96 Tears'.
There are a few duff tracks, though, but this is understandable given the extremely low quality of some of the recordings. 'Flesh and Blood', a rare, echoey electro-rock number that might have been recorded for The Idiot, sounds tinny and sloppy - it was recorded in 1980, a time when a coke and alcohol fuelled Pop was regularly hiring and firing musicians he worked with, and the band sound dreadful and unrehearsed. Likewise the early eighties demos recorded with Rik Ocasek and Steve Jones are nothing to shout about, although they do point to the more airbrushed, commercial sound that revitalised his career during that decade. Even these sessions contain the odd little gem, notably a cover of Sly Stone's 'Family Affair'.
All in all this is essential listening for Iggy Pop fanatics, as well as those who love great rock'n'roll stripped of fancy production values, sloppy, dangerous and from the heart. For the first time listener I would suggest the Fun House or Raw Power by the Stooges, or Iggy's two Berlin albums. If this collection was a bank vault, though, there are more than enough golden nuggets contained within to reward those who delve in for years to come. Enjoy!
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