Iggy Deluxe: All Aboard for Funtime

Two of Iggy Pop’s earliest, best and most enduring solo albums are being reissued in deluxe CD editions on May 29, in addition to being included as part of a more extensive box set. Although the term “solo” is a bit misleading with these as they were both written and recorded in major collaboration with his bud David Bowie, whose musical interests at the time (funk, Krautrock, cold electronic minimalism) heavily impacted the sound, especially on the first of the pair, 1977’s The Idiot.

That album, Iggy’s first under his own name, includes lasting fan favorites such as “Funtime,” “Nightclubbing” and “Dum Dum Boys.” Bowie himself recorded his own versions of The Idiot’s “Sister Midnight” (with reworked lyrics as “Red Money” on 1979’s Lodger) and “China Girl” (a major hit from 1983’s Let’s Dance). The deluxe CD edition comes with a second disc of a live show recorded at London’s Rainbow Theatre in July 1977.

Hastily recorded and released that same year, Lust For Life was a decidedly more rocking affair, with “The Passenger” and title track becoming signature songs for Iggy. Bowie would again pull from this album for his own, recording “Tonight” and “Neighborhood Threat” for his 1984 LP Tonight. The new deluxe version tacks on the 1978 live album TV Eye.

As for the 7-CD box set, titled The Bowie Years, it includes all of the above, plus two more full live shows from the 1977 tour, which featured Bowie on keyboards (Cleveland and Chicago, with identical set lists), as well as a disc of single edits and alternate mixes of assorted tracks, and a 40-page booklet with commentary from the musicians involved and notable fans discussing the albums’ influence on them.