Iggy Pop Reveals His Favorite ‘Raw Power’ Track

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Looking back at The Stooges’ landmark album, Raw Power, nearly 50 years since its release, Iggy Pop revealed that his favorite track from the album was always “Shake Appeal.”

Released in February 7, 1973, Raw Power exploded with the bashing proto-punk of “Search and Destroy,” but it’s the second-to-last track that always stuck with Pop.

“‘Search and Destroy’ [had] become very popular,” said Pop in a recent interview. “My personal favorite, though, is ‘Shake Appeal,’ because that was the only three minutes of my life when I was ever going to approximate Little Richard. It’s practically impossible for me to hit a sustained high tone like that and scream that sort of hyped-up, crazy hillbilly rock thing that I always liked.”

Despite his adoration for “Shake Appeal,” Pop said he knew immediately that “Search and Destroy” would be the “record’s masterpiece,” and one of The Stooges’ biggest hits. “I knew it when we did it,” shared Pop. “I felt a sense of relief that it made me artistically secure, but I knew I was still socially fucked.”

Following the band’s 1969 debut, The Stooges and Fun House, in 1970, their third album, Raw Power, was recorded in New York City and finished in London with David Bowie, who produced it along with Pop.

“I realized that there was almost no one in the world who wanted to save The Stooges,” said Pop. “I knew that there were a few malcontented, strange people out there who were actually going to like this, but there was no apparatus to gather them up. I knew our management didn’t want it, I knew that radio didn’t understand it, and I knew that most people wouldn’t get it.”

He added, “On top of that, we were all one step away from becoming junkies and the ones that weren’t junkies were completely out of touch with reality. I knew what was going to happen.”

After recording Raw Power, the band returned to the U.S. and played a series of chaotic shows before breaking up in 1974. Soon after, Pop relocated to Berlin, Germany along with Bowie and focused on sobriety and his solo material, which resulted in his 1977 debut, The Idiot, and follow up Lust For Life.

“I had the faith that if we did our best, things would come around,” said Pop of that era of The Stooges. “Of course, they did. We were very well rewarded for that record, later. All three Stooges albums are equal to me. But Raw Power is the high-priced spread when you’re talking about the Stooges. That’s the big one.”

Pop recently released his 19th album, Every Loser, in 2023, featuring Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, Dave Navarro, and the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Photo: Linda D. Robbins/Getty Images

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