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November 20, 2014

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Proto-Punk:

Iggy and the Stooges

Raw Power (Legacy Edition)

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Iggy and the Stooges, Raw Power (Legacy Edition)

When Iggy and the Stooges unleashed Raw Power in 1973, they cast the mold for a little something called punk rock. It would just take another five years, an assist from the Ramones and plenty of speed for some kids named John Lydon and Mick Jones to pick up the mantle.

The Details

Iggy and the Stooges
Raw Power (Legacy Edition)
Remastered:
Three stars
Rarities:
Five stars

The pieces were there: chunky power chords, ear-splitting guitar leads and a killer backbeat that melts stereos 37 years later. At its center: Iggy Pop, a Motor City badass poking a middle finger in the eye of Nixon’s America. Nobody had heard anything like it, including David Bowie, who was charged with mixing Raw Power into something less volatile. This edition remasters the original Bowie mix, with underwhelming results. Ron and Scott Asheton’s rhythm powerhouse remains in the basement while Iggy and guitarist James Williamson reach for the rafters. Some call the mix “dynamic.” I call it weak. Stick with Iggy’s 1997 remix, which pushes the limits of loud.

The real treat is “Georgia Peaches,” a show from Atlanta ’73 that captures the full-on Stooges circus. Iggy challenges a heckler to a fight, tells the audience to suck his ass and spits dirty poetry, while the band stretches “Gimme Danger” into an eight-minute jam and plays new favorites “Cock in My Pocket” and “Heavy Liquid.” It’s an important addition, if only to showcase the nuclear A-bomb Bowie managed to miss.

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