Yesterday marked the 70th birthday of punk rock legend Iggy Pop and despite wishing him all the best over social media, we at Mojo20 decided it was only right that we take the time out to do as we often do and look back at our favourite works by a man so ahead of his time and revolutionary within the world of music, whilst still even now releasing provocative, excellent music as he maintains his genius and allows his inevitable maturing to make him even cooler than before. Happy Birthday Mr. Pop, here’s our favourite gifts you’ve ever given us…
Down On The Street (from Fun House) 1970
Along with The Stooges, I his original incarnation, this aggressive punk anthem still stands as one of my favourites. You’d be hard pressed to find a decent punk documentary that doesn’t feature this song on some sort of “gradual beginning montage”.
Little Know It All (from Skull Ring) 2003
With a permanent eye on what’s in style and an ability to stay on trend, the early 2000’s drove Iggy into a pop-punk sound and he enlisted the finest to help him along. ‘Skull Ring‘ is one of his most upbeat and fun albums and this track with Sum-41 is still an absolute banger.
The Passenger (from Lust For Life) 1977
It’s an obvious one and a bit of a standard but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be celebrated. One of the most instantly recognisable guitar riffs of all time laid next to Iggy’s vocals makes for the perfect combo and it’s certainly up there in the top 5 most iconic tracks of the 70’s.
Sunday (from Post Pop Depression) 2016
After joining forces with Josh Homme, Matt Helders & Dean Fertita to create the modern masterpiece Post Pop Depression, Iggy took on a whole new version of cool and the presentation of his brand and his stage shows, shone brighter than ever. Sunday is without a doubt one of my favourites from a consistently brilliant album, with it’s up beat tempo, rolling drums and slick guitar licks.
Punkrocker by Teddybears (from Soft Machine) 2006
Not an Iggy Pop release at all but in fact a track from Swedish electro rock outfit Teddybears, featuring the vocals of Iggy Pop. This awesome track at just over two and a half minutes showcases Iggy’s vocals in a similar style to which he delivered ‘The Passenger’ and the video shows him riding around the city in a car, stating “I’m a punk rocker, yes I am”. We know Iggy, we know you are…
Search & Destroy (from Raw Power) 1973
Another from The Stooges days and it’s one of the most iconic the band ever released. As the opener to the incredibly angry, punk rock spectacular ‘Raw Power’ it’s one of the greatest statements an opening track can ever make, often keeping you drawn to the repeat button before making it on to track two.
Private Hell (from Skull Ring) 2003
A second track from 2003’s pop punk extravaganza ‘Skull Ring’ and in a similar vein to the aforementioned ‘Little Know It All’, Greenday feature on this one and it’s always struck me as one of Greenday’s most definitive tracks, featuring guitar riffs that just scream GREENDAY. There’s no mistaking the backing band on this one and there’s no mistaking the vocalist and genius behind it.
Dum Dum Boys (from The Idiot) 1977
The over seven minute epic from Iggy’s debut solo record, Dum Dum Boys is a cool, calm and collected odyssey on an album produced by David Bowie and his effect has clearly rubbed off here. Gone is the screaming, anarchic punk of The Stooges and a more bluesy, experimental rock sound has taken its place. What an introduction to a solo career.
Lust For Life (from Lust For Life) 1977
How can we not mention this? After making a massive resurgence in the nineties with the release of the movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s dark novel Trainspotting, ‘Lust For Life’ was used as one of the lead themes on the soundtrack and it’d be easy to think the song was being released as new in 1996, with it’s ageless drum beat and socially observant lyrics.
Real Wild Child [Wild One] (from Blah-Blah-Blah) 1986
The eighties were a tough time for most legendary music figures, just look at Dylan, Cash, even The Rolling Stones. Iggy seemed to be no real exception to this as style and sound had changed so dramatically and gone was the punk aspect of life. But he did manage to release this almost biographical classic where he reintroduces the world to the crazy, out of control, wild pioneer of punk rock music, and you can either love it or hate, but whilst it’s not an Iggy original, the lyrics were made for Iggy Pop… musically it sounds just like Billy Idol, but that’s beside the point.
So thanks for all the good times Iggy and we’re all waiting for even more, as only this 70 year old can do. Also, a massive Happy birthday for yesterday, here’s Jarvis Cocker singing a very special birthday message to the man himself, enjoy.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)