Thursday, May 26, 2011

Iggy Pop - Roadkill Rising

First things first: what the fuck is up with the cover art.

I was originally going to encourage everyone to simply dismiss this album on general principal alone. Sure, William Stout’s cover art is a tasteless reminder of how lazy some poster art got during the 90’s, but it also screams at how lazy Pop has gotten during the past few decades too.

The thing is, the only time I’ve ever seen Iggy live is during a tour for the infinitely shitty Beat ‘Em Up tour, and you know what? It fucking ruled.

So if you look at the fine print to Roadkill Rising, you’ll set that it’s a box set collection of Iggy Pop bootlegs, live performances from ’77 to present day. And since Iggy live can turn a mediocre album into a transcendent event the moment he tucks that cock in his pocket, you may want to entertain the idea of checking this collection out.

Sure, you can hear the danger leak out over the years, but it’s nicely consistent given the dramatic downfall of his studio efforts and blatant cash-ins of Stooges reunions and obligatory festival dates.

The early material features tons of great audience interaction, when Iggy was still faced with challenges, boos, and verbal threats. After limping through “Nightclubbing,” in one early 80’s show, the crowd lets him know they don’t appreciate his half-assed attempt. “I don’t want to play anymore for ya….Kiss my ass!” he responds.

None of it does any good. At one point he stops a weak performance of “One For My Baby (And One For The Road)” to chastise the audience who keep barking for the “hits.”

Guess who wins?

It’s stuff like this that makes even the less-than-stellar moments from those early shows, well, stellar. This is the Iggy that help foster his reputation today and it’s wonderful that someone had the good sense to hit the “record” button, regardless of how shitty it sounds fidelity-wise.

Somehow, all of this made Iggy into a reputable performer to the point where you want people to start heckling at him while he’s jiving during the dismal Preliminaires at the end of this box set.

So skip the last disc if you must, the first three make up for it. Roadkill Rising is probably as good as a collection as you’re going to get from Mr. Pop, particularly after you’ve added Lust For Life and The Idiot to your collection. I’d argue to keep going to Soldier-but in a pinch, Roadkill Rising is a good place to remind yourself why we’re still talking about him even after a few decades of questionable releases.

For the asking price of thirty bucks on this box set, Roadkill Rising manages to be the most satisfying release from Iggy in quite some time and it proves that he's still worth a million in prizes the moment he heads out on stage.

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