Iggy And The Stooges – 'Burn'

It sets out not just to kick ass but to fire rocket-propelled grenades at ass from point blank range

Andy Willsher/NME
Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
Having stage-dived face-first off of Bill Hicks’ artistic roll-call with a bunch of insurance adverts featuring a rather different ‘little Iggy’ than we’re used to having slapped in our faces, it was gonna take something pretty special for Iggy Pop to claw back some creative kudos. Like, say, getting the ‘Raw Power’ line-up back together (bar the sadly-deceased Ron Asheton) for the first time since 1973.

Hence ‘Burn’, a rabble-rousing return to fiery (sorry) punk rock after Pop’s recent exploits in French-influenced jazz subtlety on 2009’s ‘Preliminaires’. And it sets out not just to kick ass but to fire rocket-propelled grenades at ass from point blank range with the intention of scattering bloody chunks of ass across several miles’ radius.

Like The Stones with ‘Doom And Gloom’, ‘Burn’ is the sound of Pop acknowledging his peak period and cranking his pacemaker up to 11 to try to harness it again, with lyrics that wink knowingly at the ridiculousness of the whole idea. The sleeve shot of Iggy strapped up with a suicide bomb suggests he’s making an incisive comment about terrorism and warfare when he growls “respecter of duty is odious to me”, “Burn, burn, they’re taking over” and “there’s no God in this crowd” over a churning riff-storm resembling an exploding bus. But when he slips in lines like “I’m on file, with a reptile” and “Berlin-style!” he’s ramming his tongue into his cheek and fiddling about with his own myths as only the most astute rock’n’roll geriatrics can. The bomb.

Raw Power In Pictures - Rare Photographs of Iggy Taken By Mick Rock

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