Title - 'From KO To Chaos' [8-Disc Box-Set]
Artist - Iggy & The Stooges
For those not in the know, the riotous, infamous "last ever" Iggy & the Stooges 1974 gig in Metallic, KO - which was first issued in 1976 on the French independent label Skydog that heralded in the punk movement and cemented Iggy's position in it - has now been re-released as part of a quite wondrous 7CD+DVD box-set.
Now inclusive of the two full source tapes pitch-corrected on two CDs, and all of the Skydog label's Iggy releases remastered: We Are Not Talking Commercial Sh*t; Wake Up Suckers; Acoustics KO on both studio CD and live DVD; and the reformed Iggy & the Stooges Telluric Chaos - live in Tokyo in 2003, it also contains notes by Iggy Pop's biographer Paul Trynka in a 48 page booklet.
While this might not be the best live recording, the Metallic KO live performances (spread here over the first three CDs), do capture one of the most furious shows ever!
I personally don't think the sound quality is all that bad, but I admit it's not top notch. Besides, how good is a live punk album supposed to sound?
To me, the Stooges are the epitome of punk. What other band had a singer that went on a radio show the day of their last gig and challenged the local Hell's Angels to "come down to the gig and do your worst"?
The best part was that they DID show up and were probably responsible for the majority of the objects hurled at the band during the show (some of which you can hear on the recordings!)
Iggy practically makes this into a comedy album with all his put downs of the audience, but overall the band jams frenetically, but tunefully.
Sure they had lost most of the jazzy, psychedelic experimentation they were delving into at this point, but Ron Asheton still does some really cool things on bass (although different from what Dave Alexander used to do).
Iggy sings, screams, and baits the audience, and basically carries the show. There's a strange reading of 'I Wanna Be Your Dog', where (basically) Iggy speaks a different version of the first verse, then screams "Well Come ON!", which then allows Thurston to kick in with the one-note keyboard thing! (and then they just stop!).
All the rest of the material is latter day Stooges stuff, unless you count Iggy's 15 second solo goof on 'Where Did Our Love Go?' by The Supremes, and of course, the KILLER remake of The Kingsmen's 'Louie, Louie'.
Few artists in the history of rock have seen demos and studio outtakes repackaged and re-released as many times as Iggy Pop has. However, one of the more interesting and strongest Iggy rarities collections turned out to be the 1995 single-disc We Are Not Talking About Commercial Sh*t.
As its title states, this is obviously not an Iggy best-of, as it focuses entirely on the latter-day selections, but if it's uncommon Iggy you're after, then you've come to the right place.
As evidenced by such interesting covers as 'Batman Theme,' 'Family Affair,' 'You Really Got Me,' '96 Tears,' and one of Iggy's own Stooges classics, 'No Fun' - which is paired along with 'I'm Waiting for My Man.'
Next up is Wake Up! Suckers, which is a 1995 compilation which features 12 tracks (the opening five with the Stooges), and nine of them are live cuts from cities such as London, UK and San Diego, CA.
That said, and as tracks start to blur the lines here, the only other place I've ever found them was on a bootleg on the Swingin' Pig label called Nightclubbing, whilst all the other tracks you can find on Nuggets and the aforementioned Metallic KO recordings.
As for the album itself, well, Wake Up! Suckers is very poorly recorded, and the quality and sound levels change from track to track. And, in truth, Iggy sounds really wasted on several tracks, and even forgets the lyrics to 'Gimme Danger'!
Next up is the DVD/CD pairing of Acoustics KO which features rare acoustic live footage and tracks from 1990 and 1993 (DVD NTSC), with the CD adding ten more acoustic tracks recorded in the studio.
This DVD/CD moment within this box-set package provides a glimpse into the rarely documented world of Iggy's solo performances. While the idea of one of rock’s most notorious front men performing solo with a guitar anchoring him down may not seem like an exciting proposition, Iggy’s never boring to watch, I think we can all agree!
At a 1993 acoustic set for a small TV studio audience in Barcelona, Iggy (seated, no less) can’t help but provide spontaneous entertainment – after breaking a string in each of his first two songs, Iggy realizes he doesn’t have any extra strings and abandons his planned set-list for songs that can be done on four strings, such as 'Gloria', 'Pablo Picasso', 'Loose,' et al.
As noted, the CD contains additional acoustic cuts recorded in the studio either before or after this live performance, including a handful of 'Brick By Brick'-era acoustic songs, five of which are previously unreleased.
Lastly we are presented with the reformed Iggy & the Stooges' Telluric Chaos, Live in Tokyo in 2003. It is nearly 80 minutes of hard-edged "proto-punk" that is made loud to be played even louder!
The Stooges are in their element here and deliver an intensity that captures the period before the band imploded in the early-1970s.
Recorded on March 22nd, 2004 at Shibuya-Ax in Tokyo, Japan, the 17 cuts are mostly drawn from the band's first two albums - The Stooges and Fun House - with the latter being played in its entirety.
To casually dismiss The Stooges is a mistake. To think the band has nothing left in the gas tank is just plain wrong. This is a highly flammable sonic soundscape they brought forth back in 2003 and as much as they are down and done now, never bet against one more Iggy live shop to top all lives shows (once we're all back and "normal" again, of course!).
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