Iggy Pop reflected on pushing the Stooges’ most acclaimed album to completion despite knowing the band was disintegrating at the time.
Raw Power, released in February 1973, became a landmark work of punk rock. In a new interview with Uncut, Pop marked its upcoming 50th anniversary by naming his favorite song from the eight-track title.
“‘Search and Destroy’ has become very popular,” he said. “My personal favorite, though, is ‘Shake Appeal.’ Because that was the only three minutes of my life when I was ever going to approximate Little Richard. It’s practically impossible for me to hit a sustained high tone like that and scream that sort of hyped-up, crazy hillbilly rock thing that I always liked.”
He allowed that “Search and Destroy” was the “record’s masterpiece,” continuing: “I knew it when we did it. I felt a sense of relief that it made me artistically secure. But I knew I was still socially fucked.”
The band, with a new lineup, had relocated to London to make the record at the invitation of David Bowie’s management company, MainMan. “I realized that there was almost no one in the world who wanted to save the Stooges,” Pop said. “I knew that there were a few malcontented, strange people out there who were actually going to like this, but there was no apparatus to gather them up.
“I knew our management didn’t want it, I knew that radio didn’t understand it and I knew that most people wouldn’t get it. On top of that, we were all one step away from becoming junkies and the ones that weren’t junkies were completely out of touch with reality. I knew what was going to happen.”
Pop insisted that MainMan had represented the band’s “best shot to do something,” and reported they’d been well-treated during their time in the U.K. “They respected us and left us alone. We were given every artistic requirement – a place to rehearse, and a good studio. The band had a nice house to live in. When I couldn’t come up with the lyrics and live with them at the same time, they put me in the basement of Blakes Hotel. I’d stick my head out and see Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret. ‘Oh, I say, it’s Iggy Pop!'”
Despite the Stooges’ disintegration months after Raw Power was released, he added: “I had the faith that if we did our best, things would come around. Of course, they did. We were very well rewarded for that record, later. … All three Stooges albums are equal to me. But Raw Power is the high-priced spread when you’re talking about the Stooges. That’s the big one.”
Listen to Iggy and the Stooges’ ‘Shake Appeal’
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