All Content © 1997-2000 Jared O'Connor and Michael Baker

Iggy Pop - Lust For Life - Virgin, 1977

March 16, 2000

The album announces itself like an air-raid siren in a monastery, all bright brash drums and cutting, swinging guitar licks calling the meek to decadence as Iggy’s hollow snarl (ill-concealing a sly grin) clears the room for Johnny: “With the liquor and drugs/And the flesh machine/He’s gonna do another striptease”, after which Iggy repeats “I’ve got a lust for life” like a mantra over what rivals early Chuck Berry for rock’s most invigoratingly energetic beat.

While nothing (no, really: NOTHING) could match The Stooges’ Fun House for sheer howling monolithic primitivism, Lust For Life strips away the heroin haze of Iggy’s former band for a clear-eyed, joyous celebration of debauchery which can be just as delicious, possibly even more dangerous because its welcoming is fully conscious. The predatory guitar arc which accompanies “Sweet sixteen in leather boots,” Iggy spitting out the last word like a man who has stopped trying to keep his dark desires in check, “Baby I know/That’s not normal” - if that’s not enough for any parent to hie their little girl to a nunnery, his claim that “I need some weird sin/Just to relax with” oughta do the trick. All this is presented as cheerfully sleazy, wildly swinging rock and roll, complete with handclaps, “la-la-la-la” choruses and the irresistibly simple syncopated rhythm guitar riffs of “The Passenger.” People always assume that The Dark Side is repulsive, forgetting that no one would be interested in the first place if hedonism like this weren’t so damn much fun.

- Jared O'Connor

Things get too straight/I can’t bear it

All Content © 1997-2000Jared O'Connor and Michael Baker