Iggy Pop and James Williamson – Kill City
Recorded in the aftermath of The Stooges’ collapse, Kill Ciy captures Iggy Pop in a rare moment of vulnerability and offers a glimpse of the front man at his most heartfelt.
Raw Power guitarist James Williamson supplanted the visceral bombast of the Stooges with a blend of tender ballads and gritty, Stones-like riffs in a last-ditch bid to focus Iggy’s flagging career.
The front man’s washed-out vocals, recorded while on day release from a psychiatric hospital, sound so fraught with despair here that they darken the album’s pop sensibilities, lending the soulful backup harmonies a poignancy that would not have been there otherwise.
Despite the murky production and the presence of John Harden’s wailing sax, Kill City is a consistently hard-hitting album with a commercial potential that was never realised. Instead an unsatisfied Williamson locked the tapes away for two years before cashing in on the material once Iggy’s stock had finally risen. Iggy, meanwhile, disowned the album, bewildered by its cult popularity and eager to distance himself from its deeply personal back story.
Nevertheless, few can argue that in terms of the quality of material and the strength of his voice, this is an overlooked achievement in a career that has seen few since.
The Stooges – Raw Power (Columbia/Legacy, 1973)
Iggy Pop – Lust for Life (Virgin, 1977)
The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones/Atlantic, 1972)