Vintage Stash

Iggy Pop & James Williamson

Kill City

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[amtap amazon:asin=B0040MGPGC] By 1975, Iggy Pop was – for lack of a better term – a hot mess. Following the dissolution of Stooges in the wake of the tepid reception their now-landmark 1973 LP Raw Power received upon its initial release, the legendary Detroit punk icon fell into a deep, heroin-induced depression, the severity of which prompted him to check himself into a psychiatric ward to straighten out and clean up. But while The Stooges were no more, Iggy still maintained a functional working relationship with the band’s guitar hero James Williamson, and, with Pop on a weekend pass from the loony bin, the two managed to score some time in Jimmy Webb’s home studio to lay down some demos in hopes of securing a new record deal. Sadly, however, no label was interested. That is, of course, until 1977 after Iggy made one of the greatest comebacks in rock history with his pair of David Bowie-produced solo classics The Idiot and Lust For Life, when Bomp Records gave Williamson an advance to release the demos as the album known as Kill City.

It’s a dark, revealing work that, as heard on songs like Sell Your Love and I Got Nothin’, sonically and lyrically reflects Pop’s sense of hopelessness and desperation at the time. For years, the album wallowed in a series of muddy, poor quality reproductions that mired the fire of Pop and Williamson’s incendiary performances, which saw them temper the feral electricity displayed on Raw Power with accents of piano, acoustic guitar, saxophone and congas. But with this excellent new remix of the LP, culled from the original multi-tracks by Williamson and engineer Ed Cherney, Kill City (reissued October 19 on Alive Records) is at long last finally restored to its intended glory, complete with a clarity and crispness that brings the album up to par with the might of the rest of the Iggy/Stooges canon. The Legacy edition of Raw Power and the recent Rhino Handmade-released Funhouse-era concert set Live at Ungano’s might have gotten more attention in the press, but the long overdue revamp of this unheralded classic is arguably the most important Iggy-related reissue to come out in the last year.