‘Raw Power’ stands as a benchmark album that opened the door to punk some forty years ago; it was also the first time that the name Iggy And The Stooges appeared. Incredibly, the album met with poor commercial success back then, yet stands as one of the most influential recordings of our time. One might then question the wisdom of trying to follow it up after so long, but the main man suggests the reasoning to be that they were “a real fucking group” and that merely “twiddling on stage” would not suffice. Respect to that notion then, but is there any merit in the result?
Well, yes actually. We should be truly thankful that the decision was made, for this is indeed a fine and worthwhile album. Somehow retaining the rough-edged innocence of its predecessor, the result is both unrefined and dirty, harbouring a clear desire to provoke. Iggy has of course prolifically released material ever since, although those rough edges have all but disappeared. There have also been previous semi reunions, yet none capturing the brash rawness of the band at their peak. Yet here, the band set out to recapture the spirit of ’73 and have embraced that ethos with an admirable interpretation of where they should have gone next and therefore essentially have.
A time-bridging release that stands as an essential and timely reminder of just how rock ‘n’ roll ought to be played.
Words by TC