Iggy Pop - Blah Blah Blah
For some, the 1980's was not the greatest of musical decades and it may well be that a lot of the hatred for this album is derived from some notion that it represented Iggy Pop heading for the worst of the eighties. Well, as far as I am concerned the eighties was the best decade.Oh, sure, it had its fair share of howlers, songs which would cause you to wake up in the night in a cold sweat. But when it was good it was bloody excellent. And yes, while this is Iggy Pop in full eighties mode, it did a good job of it in my opinion. Not too overboard on the pop side of things, Iggy steered clear of the new romantics and managed to produce an album which contained some damn good songs while retaining an overall feel of that eighties sound.
At a time when Bowie was making some poor stuff himself, he was producing some much better stuff for other people. The Igster needed his career saving (again) and he called upon Bowie (again) to do it, just as he had done back in the seventies. This album may seem tame in comparison with some of his other work, too much oriented towards MTV MoR (hence the accusations of commercial crap) but this was a slick album, perhaps too slick for some. Still, I think the accusations levelled at him of selling out were unfair. This is Iggy Pop's take on the eighties and is well worth giving it a decent spin. For those who have written it off, I would suggest that you give this a good honest listen: put aside your prejudices and try to tell me that this is not good solid pop with a distinctive edge.
Though "Real Wild Child" was the hit single, with a driving catchy hook line, my favourite on the album has always been "Isolation", with its soaring vocals, like a cry of loneliness and, yes, isolation. Maybe not "Isolation" as Joy Division sang it, but a track with a distinctiveness all its own. "Winners and Losers" was more of a rocker than anything else on the album, but the tracks are generally appealing if not challenging. Some of the songs, notably "Cry For Love" and "Fire Girl" were co-written with Steve Jones, former guitarist of the Sex Pistols who susprisingly shows that he was not just some art school kid who was moulded into a pop icon of the seventies by an unscrupulous svengali. If nothing else, the Igster was able to call upon a lot of help when he needed it.
True, this album is not pure Iggy Pop, but with the excellent production of Bowie, it is one of his more accessible albums. It is closer to pop music than anything else he has done and while it does flirt with the nedges of the mainstream it never fully crosses over to the Dark Side, as it were. And he does claim to have the longest dick in rock.
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