Pop Matters Gives Raw Power (Legacy Edition) 10/10!

Pop Matters Gives Raw Power (Legacy Edition) 10/10!

“Search and Destroy” is, of course, the all-time badass anthem. “I’m a street-walkin’ cheetah with a hide full of napalm / I’m the runaway son of a nuclear A-bomb” is as undiluted and perfect a distillation of fuck-you rock ‘n’ roll attitude as anything Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson ever came up with. The album it’s from is Raw Power, and the 38 minutes of feral mania that follow constitute one of the finest, bloodiest Dionysian works of art ever made. If it’s not the best, it’s only because the Stooges had already done it with Fun House. It’s not fair that anyone gets to be as awesome as Iggy Pop.

This new Cadillac reissue restores David Bowie’s original mix, which is apparently something of a big deal. Originally much-criticized for being too trebly and thin, it gained some credibility after Iggy’s remix for a 1997 CD reissue attracted its own flak for being too shiny and digital. The Bowie mix is better, as it happens, though it doesn’t necessarily seem like it should be. It pushes the vocals and guitar way out front, leaving the drums and bass just low enough to still be audible. It seems kind of tinny at first, but the real focus of the album lies in Iggy’s vocals and James Williamson’s stinging guitar leads. Stripping down the music around them is an excellent case of less being more. Iggy’s old mix, by comparison, sounds a little too conventional for music this ferocious.

So, there’s your 10 right there to begin with. There are two versions of this reissue coming out, though, with various configurations of additional material.

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