It is the back-bending, spine-tingling, disaster artist that rose from the ashes of near death and endless obscurity that makes Iggy Pop a necessary evil in the music world. The way that his wild, animalistic performance mixed in such a deliberate and charismatic sense made him a one-man wrecking machine of authentic, and intentional ability.
His 1977 release, Lust For Life was a deep collaboration with musical genius David Bowie; a man who also had a deeper fascination for Pop as he was able to display a more alpha-male, less pop focused side of the two. Lust For Life would become Pop’s most commercial record with the singles of “The Passenger”, “Lust For Life”, and even “Tonight” as staples on the album for just how catchy and approachable Iggy Pop could be in a direct setting. With an international tour now under his belt, an underground following that worked since his past in The Stooges, and quite possibly one of the best rock n’ roll records to date; all eyes were suddenly on Iggy Pop for his superhero team up and future in music.
As the pounding, iconic drum pattern lights up on the self-titled track “Lust For Life”, there is some magic that is pushed back into the lungs and chest of the listener. Coming off from New York nightclubs to the Berlin walls of sound; Pop was to be a sudden destructive force. Raging and having the grit that he established within his earliest work, Pop nearly growls “Here comes Johnny Yen again, with the liquor and drugs; and the flesh machine. He’s gonna do another striptease, hey man where’d you get that lotion?… I’m worth a million in prizes, with my torture film, drive a G.T.O. Wear a uniform, all on a government loan.” It is a developing piece that stems from Pop in a modern sound on a new horizon of incoming experimentalism.
The classification of Iggy Pop is an immense and difficult to handle task that features many overflowing emotions in Lust For Life. Somehow, the incoming track, “The Passenger” is an uplifting piece that is catchy and is a new view on the world that Pop would soon be discovering throughout his career. “Oh, the Passenger. He rides and he rides, he sees things from under glass. He looks through his window’s eye, he sees the things he knows are his. He sees the bright and hollow sky, he sees the city asleep at night. He sees the stars are out tonight, and all of it is yours and mine” Pop describes in a gaze of child-like wonder.
The power house that would become Bowie and Pop’s journey is something that neither audience or themselves could handle. In what become an almost overnight sensation, Pop was headlining tours around the world, performing some of the strongest and most personal pieces of his career in a span that would take Lust For Life to the height of Pop’s popularity. A personal hero to many, and an icon to even more; Iggy Pop was able to showcase a step into the spotlight that delivered more of an immediate and intimate Pop sound.