We’re taking a look back at one of the best live covers from Iggy Pop we’ve ever heard. The Stooges’ frontman takes on The Kinks’ 1964 classic ‘You Really Got Me’ as part of a rarely heard live album California Hitch-Hike.
The performance in question sees Iggy and his band, comprised of some very talented musicians, take on the iconic British invasion song with the kind of grit and guttural guile that Iggy lends to all his work. But, with this performance, he goes above and beyond his usual growling, prowling performance.
The track, originally written in 1964 by Ray Davies, the song was originally performed in a more blues-oriented style, a style inspired by artists such as Lead Belly and Big Bill Broonzy. Two versions of the song were actually recorded, with the second performance being used for the final single. It was rumoured that future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page had performed the song’s guitar solo, but alas, that has since been proven false.
It is in the guitar that the song’s power and grandeur resides. The power chords were unlike anything rock had heard before. Dave Davies’ guitar would heavily influence later rock musicians, particularly in the genres of heavy metal and punk rock. This may be the reason that the performance form Iggy and his band was so powerful.
Recorded on tour while Iggy was showcasing his current record New Values, he and the band would be in fine form. It would prove to be one of the most frenetic, breakneck tours Iggy would ever undertake. The atmosphere was charged even more with two of punks top generals in his band Sex Pistol Glen Matlock and the Damned’s Brian James as well as Patti Smith Group’s Ivan Kral.
As well as the cover of The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’ Iggy and the band performed brand new tracks only recently recorded for the forthcoming Soldier album alongside some of the Stooges most iconic tracks including ‘TV Eye’, ‘Real Cool Time’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, and ‘No Fun’.
Listen back to Iggy Pop’s cover of The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’ below.