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Roadkill Rising - The Bootleg Collection 1977-2009

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Album Review

There are few if any major rock artists who seem to have a more laissez faire attitude toward bootlegging than Iggy Pop; his catalog is riddled with semi-authorized live albums from various mysterious labels (mostly based in Europe and the United Kingdom) that document literally dozens of live shows from various points of his career (and in various degrees of fidelity). Only the most obsessive Iggy fan is capable of keeping track of all these semi-legit (or wholly non-legit) releases, and in recent years Iggy himself has taken it upon himself to try making sense of this aspect of his recorded legacy; he's authorized a pair of box sets from Easy Action Records, Where the Faces Shine, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, which collect some of the better live recordings that have surfaced over the years, and now Shout! Factory has issued Roadkill Rising - The Bootleg Collection: 1977-2009, a four-disc set gathering highlights from 21 different shows, starting with the 1977 tour in support of his solo debut, The Idiot, and concluding with five numbers from a French radio concert promoting Preliminaires. There's long been a real need for a well-curated set that would separate the wheat from the chaff in Iggy's glut of live albums, but Roadkill Rising falls short of the ideal anthology. While most of the performances here are quite good and the fidelity is always at least adequate, Roadkill Rising seems to have been stitched together with little rhyme or reason. The material is arranged chronologically, but beyond that, one set of tunes stumbles into another without making sense of their different sonic and musical characteristics as Iggy's backing bands (none of whom are credited) and musical approaches shift from concert to concert throughout this set, leaving Roadkill Rising in dire need of some sense of focus. (It also doesn't help that often Iggy will start introducing one song only to begin singing something else when the splice from one gig to another occurs.) And while there's a desperate and confessional air to some of the early shows on disc one and the combination of Stooges reunion gigs and the jazz-influenced Preliminaires material makes disc four exciting, what's in the middle often feels like a slog through the more inconsistent eras of Iggy's career. Few artists of Iggy Pop's stature are in greater need of a box set that would put the ups and downs of their body of work into proper perspective, and Roadkill Rising suggests that his live recordings could use one all their own — one that handles this often remarkable music with greater care and attention than it receives here.


Born: 21 April 1947 in Muskegon, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

There's a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk: every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late-'60s/early-'70s band, the Stooges. Born on April 21, 1947, in Muskegon, Michigan, James Newell Osterberg was raised by his parents in a trailer park close to Ann Arbor, in nearby Ypsilanti. Intrigued by rock & roll (as well as such non-musical, monotonous, and mechanical sounds as his father's electric razor...
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Roadkill Rising - The Bootleg Collection 1977-2009, Iggy Pop
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