Iggy & The Stooges - "Raw Power" Legacy Edition CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, June 25, 2010

Iggy & The Stooges - "Raw Power" Legacy Edition CD Review

Iggy Pop - Raw Power Legacy Edition CD ReviewI've been a bit suspicious of this release after having acquired a large number of 'lost' live shows and outtakes from Raw Power era of The Stooges over the last twenty years. After finally sitting down to give this 2CD a listen (and then a second listen), I was pleasantly surprised.

The first disc of this set restores the original David Bowie mix of Raw Power. While this may not be a big deal for long-time fans, the original mix has been hard to find since Columbia issued Iggy's red-lining, guitar-heavy remix in 1997. The original mix wasn't without its fault - it was trebly with Iggy and guitarist James Williamson grossly dominating the mix, leaving the Asheton brothers no where to be heard - but the '97 remix didn't solve any problems by turning the volume up to "11". Interestingly, both James Williamson and Ron Asheton individually stated in interviews over the years that they liked the Bowie mix better than Iggy's later version.

"Bowie's not my favorite guy, but I have to say that overall, I think he did a pretty good job." -- James Williamson

The real gem, and counterpoint to the Bowie mix of Raw Power, is on Disc 2 - which is a complete live show from the Raw Power tour recorded at Richard's in Atlanta, GA. The surprise with this show is that it captures The Stooges, both tight and coherent and James Williamson's guitar is buried in the mix so Ron Asheton's fluid bass playing and Scott Thurston's bar room piano rise to the top of the mix. The set list is pretty standard for this era/tour which consists of five tracks from Raw Power plus "Head On", "Cock In My Pocket" and "Open Up & Bleed".

The second disc wraps up with "Doojiman" which is an outtake from the session for Raw Power. The sound on this track is perfect (unlike some of the Bomp and Revenge releases) but this is a track that will only appeal to die-hard fans. While the band lays down a voodoo groove, Iggy scats and jabbers over the four minute track leaving him sounding somewhat like Gibby Haynes. The last track, "Head On", is from a rehearsal performance and sounds like something that could have (and may have?) been included in the massive series of outtakes and reissues that Bomp, Revenge and Easy Action have issued over the years.

Given the $13.99 price point for this set (new from Amazon), the live show on the second disc more than makes this set worthwhile.

Iggy and the Stooges