We take a trip back into Far Out Magazine’s ‘From The Vault’ section to revisit a wonderful duet between the great Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop.
The idea was dreamt up by the Red Hot Organisation, a not-for-profit international organisation dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture. The group was founded in 1989 and, since its creation, has gone on to collaborate with ver 400 artists, producers and directors to create 16 compilation albums.
One of those aforementioned albums, 1990 effort Red Hot + Blue, the first of a long line of popular records and set the solid foundations of what was to come. The album brought together the likes of Fine Young Cannibals, David Byrne, Tom Waits, U2, The Pogues and, of course, Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop.
The principle idea of the album is to welcome contemporary pop culture performers and ask them to reinterpret several songs of the great Cole Porter. The album name itself is a reference to Porter’s musical Red, Hot and Blue. The record went on to sell over a million copies worldwide and was lauded as one of the first major AIDS benefits to have major success in the music business.
While Neneh Cherry’s reworked version of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin; was released as the lead single for the album and enjoyed the most success, it was Iggy Pop and Harry’s rogue effort on ‘Did You Evah’ which remains the most memorable moment for me. With an accompanying video created by English film director Alex Cox which sees the duo manoeuvre their way through a slightly grim 1980s New York City, the track is a playful take on Porter’s original as both Pop and Harry put their unique personalities on the number. “Iggy had always wanted to make a video with animals and Debbie had always wanted to publicly burn lingerie so I let them,” Cox later said in an interview with Spin.
With a subtle reference to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra who had previously recorded the song, Harry and Iggy Pop also namedrop Pia Zadora and ask: “Have you ever been out to L.A. lately?” as the duo bounce back and forth and, at one point, Harry blurts out “piss off” to a wonderful slapstick shock response from Iggy Pop.
Enjoy it, below.