Iggy Pop’s winning formulaFor Iggy Pop, every collaboration presents a welcome challenge. Here are five of the rock icon’s most productive team-ups, and the major lesson he learned from each one
1977: Pop moves to Berlin with Bowie as both attempt to kick their drug habit. That plan may be unsuccessful, but the two years they spend together are very productive musically.
Pop produces his best solo albums – The Idiot and Lust For Life – with Bowie, who helps him address his neuroses and use them positively.
Listen to their song “Passenger” on YouTube.
1984: Pop is in free fall, with his success on the wane and drug use on the rise. But then film director Alex Cox asks Pop to come up with the title track for his new movie, Repo Man. With the help of ex-Pistol Steve Jones and the rhythm section of Blondie, the song is written and recorded in 30 minutes. It remains one of Pop’s best.
1990: After a long search for a suitable vocal partner for his new song, Pop strikes it lucky with The B-52s singer Kate Pierson, whose smalltown accent is perfect. Surprisingly, considering Pop’s legendary status, the duet “Candy“ is one of just two Top 30 hits he has had in the US.
1999: Having continually turned down offers of work from the fashion industry – for fear of betraying punk – Pop has a change of heart. “How many years have I been seeing these idiots jumping around at fashion awards!” he says. “Like I couldn’t do it better.” His performance at a Versace fashion launch acts as a timely boost for his career, though two years later he records the scathing “VIP“, a song based on the experience.
2016: For his new album, Pop seeks the help of the Queens Of The Stone Age frontman. As the two barely know each other before starting work together, Pop sends Homme some preparation in the form of drawings, diary entries, and short stories about his sex life.
It works. “Almost everything he sent me was soon a line in a song,” Homme reveals.
Listen to the song “Gardenia” on YouTube.