Iggy Pop
Lust For Life



by tom79 USER (86 Reviews)
September 27th, 2006 | 203 replies

Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Iggy Pop's second solo album as well as second collaberation with David Bowie is one of his best post-Stooges albums and contains some of his signature songs

1977 was not only a big year for punk rock, but was also a big year for Iggy Pop, one of it’s pioneers. After the demise of The Stooges in '74 he went on a bit of a hiatus. During Pop’s time with The Stooges, he had developed a serious drug addiction, which was one of the causes for bands downfall. Even after meeting David Bowie in 1971, who made an effort to revive his career, the drugs still prevailed. In 1975, Pop recorded some work with Stooges guitarist James Williamson, though nothing was released that year (but was released in late’ 77 as Kill City). During this time, Iggy was also instated in rehab/mental institution to try and clean up his act. By 1976, David Bowie, who by now was a good friend of Pop’s, took Iggy along tour with him in another attempt to revitalize the sinking career. This was Iggy’s first real exposure in popular music, seeing how The Stooges did not sell many records at the time and as Bowie was at the height of his popularity in his Ziggy Stardust era.

By now the two were located in Berlin, where Bowie would make this ‘Berlin Trilogy’ of albums and also help Iggy set off on a solo career. And although Pop was still on heroin, it wasn’t as bad as before was obviously able to carry on through the albums. The first album of Pop’s solo career was The Idiot, released in the spring of 1977 and was practically given equal credits between Pop and Bowie, with the former writing the lyrics and the latter writing the music. The album itself was raw, atmospheric, generally mid-tempo and somewhat darker than later releases from his, and has been cited has influences for many post-punk acts to follow. Lust For Life, the latter of the two released in 1977 (not counting ‘Kill City’) was released months later. Lust For Life has a much more rock and roll driven sound rather than the experimentations of The Idiot and is said to be a better reflection of Pop himself. The album, along with The Idiot, remains two of the most popular in the Iggy Pop catalogue.

Much like its predecessor, the lyrics are written by Pop while the music is for the most part written by Bowie with contributions from the other members of the band including Brothers Tony and Hunt Sales and guitarist Ricky Gardiner. Lyrics on the album sometimes reflect Pop’s current state of mind, as in most writers. He was still into heroin and these lyrics are portrayed in songs such as the seven minute Turn Blue and Tonight, both two of the gloomier songs found here. However, the title track and Success have much more positive and less abrasive messages. The Passenger has some of the best lyrics on album has Pop sings from a point of view of an outcast and was supposedly written while on a train in Germany.

The rock and roll vibe of the album, reminiscent of some Stooges material, is immediately felt with the familiar drumbeat leading into the title track. The song should be known to anyone, if not by Pop then by the numerous number of bands that have ‘slightly’ altered it in the future, mostly noticeably in the mainstream with Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl. The track is an obvious standout and extremely catchy and upbeat due to the keen drum work throughout. The song has since been covered by many groups including The Damned, Yo La Tengo and The Pretenders. But to contrast with the rather happy feeling title track is another one of Pop’s best known tracks of his career. The Passenger is a dreary, haunting and indeed memorable song and is key here. With such simple, yet highly effective guitar, Pop’s monotone vocals and the lingering ‘la la la’s’ in the chorus the song could have been placed and fit right in on The Idiot and is my pick for best on the album. These two tracks are two of the main reasons why the album is remembered and remain two of Pop’s best.

Other, lesser known songs showcase some of his best work and add to the albums overall consistency. Some Weird Sin is a solid rock song with that raw feel to that echoes through much of the album, highlighted by a catchy guitar riff and one of Iggy’s best vocal outings. Neighborhood Threat follows along similar lines to Some Weird Sin and was later re-recorded for Bowie’s 1984 album entitled ‘Tonight’, something that Bowie started with China Girl from ‘The Idiot’. The song Tonight is a lovely ballad with one of Gardiner’s best guitar playing on the album. The addition of bothers Hunt and Tony Sales for the album, who play drums and bass, respectively, was a great choice. Sales bass really shines though on tracks such as Some Weird Sin and The Passenger and Hunt’s aggressive style is best shown on the title track. Success, which was actually released as the single for the album, is one that stands out, but not necessarily for the better. Bowie contributes greatly to the song by playing piano and lending a good deal of backing vocals, however the song does drag even if it does add some diversity to the record. The album finale Fall In Love With Me is a six and a half minute song which almost comes off as a jam session seeing how the guitars don’t really fit with the vocals at all. The song is perhaps overly monotone and mid-tempo but nevertheless a fitting end to an excellent album.

Iggy Pop’s second solo effort Lust For Life is impressive and shows him and Bowie make a good team, which could be why this and his debut are often said to be Pop’s best post-Stooges albums. The album delivers some of Iggy’s best rock songs, but at the same time it is an early punk album in many ways. Dubbed the name ‘The Godfather of Punk’, Pop carries on the feel of his early work with The Stooges and a new sound that influenced countless punk acts after with his raw sound, gritty nihilistic attitude and outrageous stage performances. While not the most diverse or easiest album to get into, Lust For Life is an excellent and influential album good for fans of The Stooges, proto punk or simply some rock and roll.

Recent reviews by this author
Jonathan Richman I, JonathanSilver Jews Bright Flight
Karate Some BootsSilver Jews Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
The Tragically Hip SaskadelphiaBuilt to Spill Live
user ratings (643)
other reviews of this album
praise jimmy EMERITUS (5)
A lively effort equals perfection when it comes to the duo of Iggy Pop and David Bowie......

Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
September 27th 2006


Ahhhh, gotta love Iggy.

Stupendous review, m'man. Very well done. You've got my vote for ROTM :thumb:

September 27th 2006


awesome review. iggy is awesome. think this is good to start with?

September 28th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

^Yes, this would be a good place to start for an Iggy album, especially if you have heard The Stooges. This and The Idiot are often said to be his best, though he has other good albums. But yeah, you can start here. oh, and thanks about the review.This Message Edited On 09.27.06

September 28th 2006


Nice review Tommy. I can only tolerate so much Iggy at once but whenever I do listen to his music it's great.

September 28th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I liked The Idiot better. Cool review

September 28th 2006


Great review, I haven't heard as much of this as I would like though.

September 28th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I think this is his most essential after the stooges

December 20th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I love The Passenger. I'm watching a live performance of it as I type. His voice is low on it. I also love Lust For Life. This is definitely something I want.This Message Edited On 03.15.07

July 27th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Glad i finally bought this. I wish Iggy had of written more of the music because he wrote the best song on the album (Sixteen).

July 31st 2008


some good footage of iggy with the stooges from voodoo experience at http://www.thetenthritual.com/?content=video

May 10th 2009


I haven't given this album as a whole much time admittedly, though I have to say Lust For Life and The Passenger are two of my favourite tracks ever.

Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2009


title track owns

July 29th 2010


Just bought this album, Brilliant fun stuff.

December 11th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Iggy's last worthy studio album.

February 3rd 2013


this is unpretentiously great

April 23rd 2013


turn blue is so funny!

September 4th 2013


the passenger is the best song ever

September 4th 2013


best chord sequence ever agreed

September 4th 2013


so groovin

September 4th 2013


vocals are louche as fuck too, love it

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2022 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy