Review : Iggy Pop - Roadkill Rising... The Bootleg Collection 1977-2009
PitchforkFor any other artist, the idea of issuing four discs of moldy live recordings-- particularly for a performer who's been anthologized a couple of times already-- would reek of the worst kind of barrel-scraping, fan-fleecing cash grab. But to summarize a career as unlikely as Iggy Pop's, it makes perfect sense. Despite the enduring import of his first three albums with the Stooges and mid-70s collaborations with David Bowie-- the influence of which can still be heard today in everyone from Fucked Up to LCD Soundsystem-- those albums tell only part of the story.
The real reason why Iggy's been able to carve out a career for 40-plus years-- going from drug casualty into potential "American Idol" judge-- without the benefit of a platinum record is his magnetic charisma as a live performer. And long before YouTube allowed us to attend concerts vicariously, bootlegs played a crucial role in establishing that legend. Even without being able to see his wiry body slither across the stage, the seemingly bottomless supply of unauthorized Iggy concert recordings reified his incomparable talents for baiting a crowd, ad libbing, and rewriting "Louie Louie" with new lyrics more vulgar than the FBI could've ever imagined. At an Iggy show, what happens between the songs is just as entertaining and edifying as the songs themselves.
This quality was first widely brought to light with the most (in)famous of Iggy-related bootlegs, Metallic K.O., a delirious document of the Raw Power-era Stooges' dying days (circa 1973-74) and Iggy at his self-destructive zenith, encouraging all manner of abuse (verbal or otherwise) from a bloodthirsty crowd. In contrast, Roadkill Rising is like the extended post-script to that moment, picking up the story in 1977, after Bowie had effectively brought Iggy back from the dead with the still-potent double-whammy of The Idiot and Lust For Life. The set devotes each of its four discs to performances from a specific decade, but even if you don't think Iggy has produced a front-to-back great album since 1979's New Values, Roadkill Rising is still worth your time....full text
SpinSpanning The Idiot/Lust for Life late-'70s solo comeback concerts through the 21st-century Stooges reunion tours, this four-CD live box is so raw that you can almost see the twisting, sinewy torso and smell the sweat and peanut butter, as the sonic levels constantly push into the red. Highlights include savage covers of "You Really Got Me," "Hang on Sloopy," "Louie Louie," and "Gloria," the latter featuring an extended rap involving Iggy and some "fucking quah-ludes."...full text
AllmusicThere are few if any major rock artists who seem to have a more laissez faire attitude toward bootlegging than Iggy Pop; his catalog is riddled with semi-authorized live albums from various mysterious labels (mostly based in Europe and the United Kingdom) that document literally dozens of live shows from various points of his career (and in various degrees of fidelity). Only the most obsessive Iggy fan is capable of keeping track of all these semi-legit (or wholly non-legit) releases, and in recent years Iggy himself has taken it upon himself to try making sense of this aspect of his recorded legacy; he's authorized a pair of box sets from Easy Action Records, Where the Faces Shine, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, which collect some of the better live recordings that have surfaced over the years, and now Shout! Factory has issued Roadkill Rising - The Bootleg Collection: 1977-2009, a four-disc set gathering highlights from 21 different shows, starting with the 1977 tour in support of his solo debut, The Idiot, and concluding with five numbers from a French radio concert promoting Preliminaires. There's long been a real need for a well-curated set that would separate the wheat from the chaff in Iggy's glut of live albums, but Roadkill Rising falls short of the ideal anthology. While most of the performances here are quite good and the fidelity is always at least adequate, Roadkill Rising seems to have been stitched together with little rhyme or reason. The material is arranged chronologically, but beyond that, one set of tunes stumbles into another without making sense of their different sonic and musical characteristics as Iggy's backing bands (none of whom are credited) and musical approaches shift from concert to concert throughout this set, leaving Roadkill Rising in dire need of some sense of focus. (It also doesn't help that often Iggy will start introducing one song only to begin singing something else when the splice from one gig to another occurs.) And while there's a desperate and confessional air to some of the early shows on disc one and the combination of Stooges reunion gigs and the jazz-influenced Preliminaires material makes disc four exciting, what's in the middle often feels like a slog through the more inconsistent eras of Iggy's career. Few artists of Iggy Pop's stature are in greater need of a box set that would put the ups and downs of their body of work into proper perspective, and Roadkill Rising suggests that his live recordings could use one all their own -- one that handles this often remarkable music with greater care and attention than it receives here....full text
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