Music Reviews

Kill City, by Iggy Pop & James Williamson

Kill City Cover

Well, in 1974, that “most powerful band,” Iggy And The Stooges, staggered off some stage in Michigan, unofficially calling it quits. (See Metallic K.O. if you wish to hear it).

For Iggy And The Stooges, Spring wouldn’t bud until nearly thirty years later . . . .

Meanwhile, in 1975/76, in the midst of recovering from what Billie Holliday deemed a musician’s “occupational hazard,” Iggy Pop partnered with Stooges guitarist James Williamson to record an album essentially designed to pique the interest of the one or two music execs left in Los Angeles who didn’t already disparage, or ignore, Pop and the gang’s formidable name.

It didn’t work.

Titled Kill City (1977), the record’s a combination of The Stooges power (uproarious guitar attack with a snarling Pop punch) and carefully arranged, rather pop-minded, surges of rhythm and eclectic instrumentation.

Saxes, bongo’s, and keyboards add new flavor to Pop and Williamson’s song-writing partnership, not to mention swelling out the sound with variegated frequencies. Which all adds up to a raucous romp through the annals of post-Stoogedom.

Pop’s lyrics broach such topics as the deathly speed of L. A. living, prostitution, hateful love, nihilism, and general disgust with the clowns, leeches and dolts lusting to swarm his stage.

Kill City’s sun-drenched sound fits snugly into the city of which it was born, in time with its time but also with the timeless signature of Pop and Williamson’s contorted aesthetic, with track after track of crisp, virescent songs sounding the duo’s intention to keep it going with or without their fellow Stooges.