Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Iggy and the Stooges - More Power

This 2-CD 2009 Cleopatra Records release is a compilation of various demos and rehearsals from the Raw Power and later era Stooges, with James Williamson on guitar, the Asheton brothers (Ron on bass, Scott on drums) and keys by either Scott Thurston or Bob Scheff. There are essentially no liner notes to this pared-down package, so no info on any of the songs or the recordings, but a number of these will be familiar to fans. It's always good to compile things on one CD, though, as opposed to various 45's, boots and comps.

"Tight Pants" is an early version of "Shake Appeal" that had been released on a Bomp single, and I seem to think that I have "I'm a Man", an obvious rehearsal jam, on some boot, as well, though it's nothing too memorable. But then we get the fantastic, hyper-speed "I've Got a Right", one of Iggy's best, that has since been covered by innumerable bands, thanks to the previous 45 issue (this take seems to fade a lot faster than the single, though it's been a while and I may be thinking of one of the covers). Another filler track is "Money", that, while fun, quite frankly, is just the band screwing off, so nothing that you would want to go back and listen to regularly. "Scene of the Crime" has been available before, but is quite solid, and, of course, "Gimme Some Skin" is another stellar cut - this and "I Got a Right" came out as a single and is one of the most powerful releases that Iggy has ever done, though this tale of sex and drugs would hardly have been considered "commercial" by any record company at the time! The keyboard-driven "Rubber Legs" has also been seen in the past, but is another good rocker, though the sound is getting kinda iffy, as with "Open Up and Bleed", a number with some interesting progressions that could have been strong with some real production. CD one closes with a demo of "Johanna", a number that was "officially" released on Kill City, and it's kinda cool to hear this rawer take since the album was pretty slick.

CD two opens with "Cock In My Pocket", previously only known from the live Metallic KO bootleg - still plenty frantic here, with some rockin' keys that are really highlighted - Thurston, I assume. "I'm Sick of You" is the same, moody, dramatic cut from the 45, that revs into overdrive before reverting to the original speed for the finale. There's an incredibly silly and sloppy few moments of "Surfin' Bird" as an introduction to a legit "Louie Louie" with some filthy-ly updated lyrics from the Igster. Another number that appeared on Metallic KO shows up here as a studio cut, "Head On", but I had never heard the bluesy "Cry For Me" before and it's a pretty groovy tune, with some cool interaction between the guitar and keys - and Ron even gets to show off on the bass a bit. "She Creatures of the Hollywood Hills" and "Born in a Trailer" again seems more like jams than fully realized songs, though "Wild Love" seems a bit more fleshed out. The set finishes off with "Till the End of the Night" - not the Kinks "Till the End of the Day" - and slow, atmospheric, minimalist, minor-key piece - nice enough, though not very exciting!

Overall, pretty cool comp, though don't expect everything to be stellar - definitely for fanatical fans!