A seven-disk box set titled The Bowie Years, which explores Iggy Pop’s Berlin-era albums, has been announced for release on 29th May via UMC.
The boxset features remastered versions of The Idiot, Lust For Life, live album TV Eye and rare outtakes, alternate mixes and a 40-page book. ‘Lust For Life’ and ‘The Idiot’ will also be released as standalone 2CD deluxe editions with bonus live CDs on the same date. The box set and albums provide a fascinating insight into the mythical Berlin-era of post-punk which would shape popular culture in the years to come.
Iggy Pop’s The Idiot and Lust For Life are still regarded as two of the most influential albums ever made and you can still feel the effect of those records within the post-punk records that continue to dominate today.
The first track to be released from the box set is an alternate mix of ‘China Girl’, which you can listen to here. Originally, the track featured as the second single from The Idiot in May 1977 which would of course later go on to become a hit for David Bowie on his Nile Rodgers produced 1983 album Let’s Dance.
After spending time on the road together following the end of The Stooges, Iggy and Bowie moved to West Berlin in 1977 to start work on Iggy’s debut solo album. Inspired by the Cold War-era surroundings, and named after Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, The Idiot saw Iggy under Bowie’s guidance shy away from that trademark punk sound of The Stooges thanks to Bowie breathed new life into his work which was a critical and commercial success that featured ‘China Girl, ‘Nightclubbing’, and ‘Sister Midnight’.
Just weeks following the tour for The Idiot ending they were then back in the studio recording Iggy’s sophomore record Lust For Life with the title track becoming Iggy’s biggest solo track to date.
In the boxset as well as these two albums, there is a remastered version of the live album TV Eye recorded during the 1977 tour in Cleveland, Chicago and Kansas City which features Bowie on keyboards. There are also three discs of live recordings from March 1977 officially released for the first time—Live at The Rainbow Theatre, London, Live at The Agora, Cleveland and Live at Mantra Studio, Chicago. The set also contains a 40-page booklet with contributions from the musicians who played on the records and famous fans discussing the influence the albums have had on them.