Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fossils: Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power (1973)

Iggy & the Stooges' Raw Power
[click to embiggen]
Iggy and the Stooges – Raw Power

The early 1970s was a tumultuous time for Iggy Pop and the (Psychedelic) Stooges. While the band had released a pair of critically-acclaimed albums in The Stooges (1969) and Fun House (1970) that would eventually become two of the most influential and iconic albums in rock music history. Both albums were deemed commercial busts, though, and the band couldn’t get arrested even in their Motor City hometown. As the various members drifted into hardcore substance abuse, Iggy tried to keep the band afloat by juggling the line-up and adding underrated guitarist James Williamson, but it looked as if the Stooges were about to become mere rock ‘n’ roll footnotes when an unexpected savior stepped in to put the band on the road to immortality.

A chance meeting in 1972 between Iggy Pop and David Bowie would lead to the British glam-rock star taking the wheel of the badly listing Stooges ship of state and, temporarily at least, setting the band on a straight course. Bowie’s manager took on the band, and the singer – who was at the height of his Ziggy Stardust era fame – took the band into the studio to record their important, groundbreaking third album. Released in 1973, Raw Power would ultimately provide a template for young punks around the world to follow just a couple years later, and songs like “Search and Destroy,” “Gimme Danger,” “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell,” and the high-octane title track would inspire a several subsequent generations of young, loud, and snotty rockers.

The Columbia Records ad for the album featured the iconic photo of a young Iggy Stooge strangling the microphone alongside influential quotes from Creem magazine’s Dave Marsh and Rolling Stone’s Lenny Kaye (future Patti Smith Band guitarist)…simple, but effective, conveying both the band’s sense of danger (now billed as “Iggy and the Stooges”) and the energetic nature of the music to be found in the grooves.

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