One of the forefathers of modern rock, Iggy Pop, has one hell of an ear. It’s fair to say that he could have one of the best in the business. A penchant for the avant-garde has seen Iggy dominate the music industry with his subversive expressions of punk rock.
So we naturally jumped at the chance to create a perfect playlist of his 12 favourite CDs of all time as reported in EW. It’s an eclectic list which sees spots on the turntables for John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Bowie and The Rolling Stones.
It comes together, as one might imagine for a now seasoned radio host and general top bloke, as a beautiful mix and is well worth a listen straight through if you have the time. This is the music that Iggy Pop loves and that has us very happy.
See the full list, below.
Bringing It All Back Home
Bob Dylan, 1965
Kicking things off with the great Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop has referenced Dylan’s fifth studio album Bringing It All Back Home as an essential listen.
Released on March 22, 1965, by Columbia Records, Dylan’s now-iconic album is a 50/50 split of electric and acoustic guitar which further fueled his ongoing feud with the folk music community at the time.
“I spent the summer of my 18th year studying this and a Stones album,” Pop said. “Great cover, amazing songwriting. The inspiring lack of vocal skills gave me hope.”
12 X 5
The Rolling Stones, 1964
Following quickly behind Bob Dyland is another staple band of rock and roll, The Rolling Stones. 12 X 5, the group’s second studio album, arrived just as Mick Jagger and Co. attempted to deal with international fame.
Iggy Pop said of the album: “It’s got a picture of them looking really unhealthy on the front. I found out later it was taken by David Bailey, this really sophisticated photographer/image-maker.”
Station to Station,
David Bowie, 1976
It wouldn’t be a list of Iggy Pop’s favourite records without a mention for his oldest mate David Bowie, would it? Released by RCA Records in 1976, Station to Station marked the arrival of Bowie’s on-stage persona ‘The Thin White Duke’ and did so with new, transitional material.
“It’s a very exciting record,” Iggy Pop said. “It’s short. All my favourite records are really effing short.”
In the Wee Small Hours
Frank Sinatra, 1955
From Bowie to Sinatra in one seamless swoop. Released in 1955, In the Wee Small Hours sees a crooning Sinatra tackle theme of isolation, existential love and depression in typically emotive fashion.
“This is a nice one,” Pop says. “There’s such a cult around him, the buffs [hardcore fans] have a name for this period—his pathos period or something—where he sings songs of loss in an intimate setting. He excels at it.”
The Indian Runner
Various Artists, 1991
The film soundtrack for Sean Penn’s 1991 crime drama film The Indian Runner is next up. The film, based on Bruce Springsteen’s song ‘Highway Patrolman’, enjoyed a score created by Jack Nitzsche and David Lindley.
”This is the soundtrack to a movie Sean Penn directed,” Pop said. “Half of it is a real elegant folk-blues score by Jack Nitzsche. The other half are songs by Sean’s favourite hippie bands like Traffic, Creedence, and Jefferson Airplane.”
See the trailer, below.
Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs
Marty Robbins, 1959
Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, a 1959 country album by Marty Robbins, was recorded in a single eight-hour session and earned victory at the Grammy Awards when it claimed the gong for ‘Best Country & Western Recording’.
Pop said if the album: “His big hit was ‘El Paso’. Stuff like this or Hank Williams is as close as I get to country.”
James Brown, 1991
“I listen to this a lot. Tight is a very inadequate word for his band.”
It’s James Brown time. Star Time, released in 1991, boasts a quite ridiculous 71 tracks in total which pretty much collected Brown’s complete musical works to that point.
Four CDs in one box set, what’s not to like?
Are You Experienced
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967
The most iconic debut album of all time? Quite possibly.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience rocked up in the late 60s armed with Hendrix and his axe and prepared to rip up the genre as people knew. Tracks like ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ sums up its brilliance.
“When it came out, nothing else had ever sounded like this. Super special,” Iggy Pop said of the record.
The Beatles, 1965
Rubber Soul, the sixth studio album by a certain English rock band going by the name of The Beatles, is up next. “This is just after they’d written their cute hits and a little more sadness was creeping in,” Iggy Pop said.
“But they hadn’t yet gone into the this-song-is-gonna-be-12-minutes-long-and-I’m-depressed-so-put-up-with-it phase.”
The Heavyweight Champion
John Coltrane, 1995
Iggy Pop is cheating a bit with this favourite albums list but who are we to complain? Up next, the second box set of the article, a monster from the great Coltrane.
In what has been dubbed ‘The Complete Atlantic Recordings’, this collection of records exhibits eight iconic Coltrane records. ”You can put it on in a car, before dinner, if you’re lonesome—he always flows real nice,” Pop said.
“Probably more than any other single artist, I listen to him.”
The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, Vol. 1
Louis Armstrong, 2003
“Eerie, scary, and sometimes ironic. Really cool playing.”
Enough said, nice one Iggy.
Too Bad Jim
R.L. Burnside, 1997
A bit of rock and blues to see things off from Iggy. Too Bad Jim, by R.L. Burnside, was described as “a good sharp poke with a short, sharp stick,” by Pop himself.
He added: “I just got the Killers album. I don’t wanna listen to The Killers. I wanna listen to this!”
Stream a full playlist of the albums, below.