So why is Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
For a good portion of my childhood and high school years, I was more aware of Iggy Pop as a larger than life entertainer and pop culture figure than as an actual singer and performer.
It was probably around the time that Trainspotting became a phenomenon (see: Trainspotting: Music From the Motion Picture: #470 of best 1,000 albums ever) that I locked in on the fact that he was both the “Lust For Life” guy and also was a proto-punk icon going back to the days of The Stooges.
I still greatly enjoy “Lust For Life” the song (even despite its association with things I describe in detail below), but “The Passenger” is the song that fully blew me away and converted me into a serious fan of Iggy Pop’s music.
I love that “The Passenger” is equal parts jangle pop and proto-punk. It’s aggressive in attitude without having to be loud: the attitude for days comes purely from Iggy’s voice. It’s the kind of song I can listen to over and over and never get sick of it for a second. You might say it’s “la la la la la la la la” in that way.
I think “The Passenger” has a spiritual connection with the Teddybears’ “Punkrocker,” featuring Iggy Pop on vocals. It’s also a song that I deeply love.
“Sixteen” is a gem of a deep cut, down and dirty yet compelling and finely constructed hard rock.
Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life
Looking back on the course of my life, there was a chunk of years when I heard the first 30 seconds of “Lust For Life” hundreds of times.
This involved years that I was living on the west coast, commuted to work (this included hellish commutes in both northern and southern California), and also fell into a timeframe that was:
- Before streaming Internet was a thing, nor downloadable podcast episodes, sadly
- Which meant that I was stuck with whatever happened to be on the dreaded terrestrial radio
While I hope it goes without saying that I’m super passionate about music, I often find myself interested in listening to other forms of audio content when I’m in the car, and especially in traffic.
So it was during these years that my options were pretty limited, and so I found myself often listening to a sports talk radio show called The Jim Rome Show in the morning. And, as you’ve probably guessed, he used the opening of “Lust For Life” as the intro to his radio program.
Jim Rome was a pioneer (I guess?) in bringing a kind of aggressive, shock jock-y vibe to sports talk. His motto for his legion of listeners who call into the show is, “Have a take, don’t suck.”
I found Rome’s show to be… just okay. It got me through commutes. Let’s just say I was thrilled when I figured out that I could start downloading these things called “podcasts” onto a portable mp3 player and listen to them in the car. Finally: on demand audio content that I could personally curate and listen to whenever I want.
Viva la revolution!
These days, I listen to The Bill Simmons Show podcast regularly, and enjoy its mix of entertaining sports chatter, analysis, and other wide-ranging topics – including fascinating regular appearances by Derek Thompson of The Atlantic, talking about technology topics, for example.
Simmons uses a live version of Pearl Jam’s “Corduroy” to open the show, which has become one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs in the process.
Different topic: I wrote about an incredible story involving Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins on Rollins Band’s Get Some Go Again entry (#655 of best 1,000 albums ever). Highly recommended.
Some stats & info about Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Proto-Punk, Hard Rock, Album Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Lust For Life released? 1977
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #429 out of 1,000
Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
I am a passenger, and I ride and I ride.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.