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Lust For Life by Iggy Pop

Christmas Ain't Christmas Without You by Cher

I thought it would be fun to kick off the new year by telling you about a punk rock classic called “Lust For Life”. Iggy Pop and co-writer David Bowie harness all the fun and attitude of rock-n-roll on this 1977 foot stomper. Upon its release, the song reached No. 3 on the Dutch Top 40 and in 2004 Rolling Stone ranked it at No. 149 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. Its booming percussion, bouncing bass lines, and charming guitars feel like a party in your ears and a shot of caffeine for your soul. So, if you need a song to kickstart the year, look no further than “Lust For Life”.

The song starts with a drum beat that gets the blood pumping before the end of the first measure. Taking inspiration from the rhythm of "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes, Iggy Pop adds his own twist with a raw and booming room sound. This adds a bite and snarl to the drum mix and plays a central role in the signature sound of this timeless hit. After a bit of solo drums we hear the growl of the bass and some playful lead guitar deliver additional musical color. This is quickly followed by a touch of mellow Rhodes keyboard and a second guitar that follows the infectious drum and bass rhythm.

After a full one minute and eleven seconds of intro music, we hear Iggy’s commanding and confident vocals cut through the mix. He sings the strange and much speculated about lyrics, “Hey man, where'd you get that lotion? / I've been hurting since I bought the gimmick / About something called love / Yeah, something called love / Well, that's like hypnotizing chickens”. Under the attitude packed vocal melody of the verse the music smacks with drums, guitars, piano, organ, keyboard, and tambourine. The rhythm of this song doesn't let up once and by the end of the first verse it’s almost impossible not to move at least a little.

Shifting to the chorus, Iggy offers a new chord progression and melody line further engaging the listener. As the music and melody wind toward a culmination point, more thought-provoking lyrics are added which raise more questions than answers. To finish the chorus, we hear Iggy belt out the lines, “Been on a lust for life / 'Cause of a lust for life”. Backing vocals sung with an almost cartoon-like falsetto support these final lines of the chorus further adding to the fun and spirited feeling of the song. After the final lines of the chorus we hear the music cut out while solo drums pound away prepping the ears for another round of verse and chorus.

Iggy is known as the Godfather of Punk and songs like “Lust For Life” are a big reason why. He’s been at it for over 60 years, played countless live shows, and released 19 solo albums. In fact, just last year he released Every Loser: one of his best LPs to date. If you find yourself with the irresistible urge to listen to “Lust For Life” or any of Iggy’s other fine work, you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like more information on Iggy Pop, you can find it on Wikipedia, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Here’s to a new year. May it be full of good music.

Ron Powers


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