Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

4. Iggy & The StoogesRaw Power

This was a tough one to decide out of The Stooges’ three key albums. I’ve opted for Raw Power because since [Iggy’s 1997] remix was done – which, obviously a very contentious thing – I think it’s their best album. Iggy did a great job remixing it and it finally showcased the songs properly and it’s got all the edge and the hardness and outrageous levels of things and it’s got the drums and the bass at a volume which is actually acceptable! It’s finally presented the album as it should be and it’s great.

Ron Asheton’s bass playing is so sensational and the songwriting is really great and it’s their best album, I think. Their albums were quite hard to find in Australia but Raw Power came out, I think, because of the David Bowie connection. So I must have first heard it around ’74 or ’75 and I heard it at a friend of mine’s who lived over the back fence and he’d bought a copy. It wasn’t very pleasant listening! It was pretty hard to listen to! It was pretty extreme but very, very interesting. My tender ears were probably not quite ready for it.

It didn’t become a favourite album then and I wouldn’t have listed here but for the remix which really elevates the whole thing. Poor old David Bowie mixing that album! Apparently he didn’t get the multi-tracks to mix with; it was already bounced down and there was a vocal track and there was a lead guitar track and then a stereo mix of the band; something like that. To make it sound exciting Bowie didn’t have much ammunition so I think he made a good choice in turning James Williamson’s guitar up to an absolutely unthinkable level – which is pretty hilarious – but it really has stood the test of time.

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