A Million In Prizes: The Anthology

I have a confession to make – I’ve always been scared of Iggy Pop. I mean, from the moment I first read about him in some rock encyclopedia in the late 70s, he just frightened me – and the photos never helped. So listening to Iggy Pop music was just not on – no sir, I wanted to sleep peacefully at night.

As the decades wore on, the more glimpses I caught of Iggy Pop tended to reinforce my anxieties about the man – even though by that time, I was already a huge fan of David Bowie, whose path crossed with Iggy Pop. Not to mention the fact that I was digging the sounds of punk, post-punk and the so-called new wave, all of which of course owed  a big debt to Iggy Pop.

Thus, it is now 2005, and I am listening to Iggy Pop and wondering what the problem was. It is impossible not to listen to this 38-track compilation and not be impressed by the breadth of this man’s influence of rock music, as we understand it today.

The first disc contains 19 tracks that is as near perfectly essential for the rock musicologist. Ten tracks from Iggy Pop’s glory days with the Stooges, including the stomping classics “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Search And Destroy” and “Raw Power.” It is no wonder that Iggy Pop has often been described as the godfather of punk.

Perhaps equally astounding is Iggy Pop’s early solo work with David Bowie – selections from the seminal The Idiot and Lust For Life, including the creepy “China Girl,” funky “Sister Midnight” and effervescent “Lust For Life” – which would resonate into the 80s with the post-punk alternative scene.

Music on the second disc never quite touches those heights (or plumb those depths – depending on your perspective) though the likes of “Cold Metal,” “I’m Bored,” “TV Eye” and “Candy” come real close.

So does Iggy Pop still scare me? You bet. Let him scare you too… A+