A mentally ill Iggy and his Keef-ish sidekick, James Williamson, head into an LA studio with the spawn of Soupy Sales on rhythm. What could go wrong? What was hot shit in 1977, when Bomp! saw fit to release the sessions, sounds tepid today in the ever-growing light of the majestic Raw Power and its two predecessors. But when Kill City was recorded in 1975, Raw Power could be had for $2 in cutout bins, even in Michigan.

Grasping for something in the post-Stooges days, Kill City was the answer to a punk rock call. It worked; we all listened to “No Sense of Crime” and the title track and dug. But with time providing such tremendous documents such as the Heavy Liquid (Easy Action) collection and myriad bootlegs providing a missing link to the real deal, Kill City sounds like some throwaway sessions that boded poorly for Iggy’s looming solo career.  The work was diligent and performed with the best of intentions. The high spots, though, don’t seem as bright today.

That said, it’s always a pleasure to hear Williamson’s frayed riffs—the guitar work on “Johanna” is simple but well timed and his punching chords makes a listener wish “Consolation Prizes” had been given the muffled, drugged, and righteously dark Raw Power production treatment.  And what I overlooked over the years was the saxophone of Detroit session man John Harden. He mostly breathes into the songs and keeps them alive.  His five-minute solo that is “Master Charge” emerges today as the best song on Kill City and makes more sense than the rest of it.  It’s a saturnine nod off, more Sunset Blvd. circa 1975 than anything remotely Detroit-ish. In that, it captures the flavor of the sessions, which had little going for them on the way in and even less going out. [Bomp!]


Kill City (Remastered) - Iggy Pop & James Williamson


Filed Under: MusicMusic Reviews


RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.