Ever felt overwhelmed by an artist’s extensive back catalog? Been meaning to check out a band, but you just don’t know where to begin? In 10 Songs is here to help, offering a crash course and entry point into the daunting discographies of iconic artists of all genres. This is your first step toward fandom. Take it.
Editor’s note: This feature first ran in 2016 upon the release of Iggy Pop’s album Post Pop Depression. It has been updated in celebration of the punk icon’s 75th birthday (April 21st, 2022).
Iggy Pop has been hanging around the punk-rock conversation for so long that even his body has become a sort of living artifact, a street-walkin’ cheetah for naturalists to study in the flesh. Every sinewy muscle, every scar inflicted by a shard of broken glass is a product of a bygone era when sex, drugs, piss, and vinegar were the key ingredients in a rock ‘n’ roll song. Pop’s physique might belong in a museum or an art class, but his music still belongs on stage, or at least in a car stereo set to an ear-splitting volume.
More than a half century since his debut with The Stooges, and at the age of 75, the prolific punk provocateur remains as vital as ever. Iggy will forever be one of rock music’s greatest live performers, but he has also delivered a body of work that has highly influenced generations of music acts, not to mention legions of fans. Let’s look back on 10 songs that define Iggy Pop’s long career, from his early years with The Stooges to his solo work, including his wildly productive sojourn with David Bowie in Berlin.