Iggy Pop

Lust for Life

Composed by David Bowie / Iggy Pop

Song Review by

The one song most identified with former Stooge Iggy Pop's solo career, "Lust for Life" is also quite possibly the most upbeat, exuberant tune he ever cut. There's a heavy influence from co-writer David Bowie in the hip-shaking, glammed-up swing of the drumbeat, which dominates the song from start to finish and is doubled at one time or another by all the instruments. Really, it's the only hook the song needs; it's immediately memorable without being all that melodic. Pop bleats his hard lyrics with the ferocity of a survivor who's visited the absolute depths of life without having been consumed, and that's really what the song is about: making your way through everything life can throw at you, screwing up along the way but emerging stronger for it. Pop's persona gives the song a rougher edge than it would have otherwise, a harder-rocking grit that marks it as the product of an equal collaboration, not just Bowie's imagination. While the music definitely feels glammed up and a little bit campy -- not just the swinging rock & roll beat, but touches like the male falsetto voices echoing Pop on the chorus -- it's due to Pop's performance and lyrical contributions that the song never loses its strutting machismo. "Lust for Life" was originally released on the 1977 album of the same title, but remained a somewhat overlooked classic until it was used as the opening-credit theme for the 1996 film Trainspotting, after which it became a staple at college parties and radio stations.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Lust for Life 1977 Universal / Virgin 5:14
TV Eye: Live 1977 1978 Universal / Virgin 4:02
No Image 1981
Various Artists
Harmony Vision/Vestron
Choice Cuts 1984 RCA
Live in San Fran 1981 1986 MVD Audio 3:57
Passenger 1990 Virgin 5:14
Classic Rock, Vol. 5: Glitter Bands 1993
Various Artists
Priority Records
Punk University 1994
Various Artists
Oglio Records 5:12
Live at the Ritz NYC (1986) 1995 King Biscuit Entertainment 5:40
Trainspotting [Original Soundtrack] 1996
Original Soundtrack
Rhino
Best Album in the World...Ever! Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
Virgin
Nude & Rude: The Best of Iggy Pop 1996 Virgin 5:14
The Best of Iggy Pop Live 1996 MCA
Slam Jams, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 4:14
Once in a Lifetime 1997
Various Artists
Telstar
Big Screen Rock 1997
Original Soundtrack
Zomba 5:14
Trackspotting 1997
Various Artists
Polygram 5:10
This Is...Son of Cult Fiction 1997
Various Artists
Virgin 5:03
Indie 2000, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Mushroom Records
Cleveland Rocks!: Music from the Drew Carey Show 1998
Original TV Soundtrack
Rhino 5:10
Hippodrome - Paris 77 1998 Revenge Records 4:11
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Polygram/PDG
Essential Soundtracks 1999
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 5:12
Millennium Movies 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:13
Nights of the Iguana 1999 Remedy Records 4:11
Best Anthems...Ever! [2000] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:52
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:04
Greatest Hits of the 70's [Disky Box] 2000
Various Artists
Disky 5:11
As Seen on TV: Songs From Commercials 2001
Various Artists
UTV 5:10
Classic Rock Hits [Dead Line] 2001
Various Artists
Dead Line Music 4:57
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 5:11
Rock: Selects, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Fye 5:13
Punk Generation [DVD] 2002
Various Artists
Disky
Extended Versions 2002 BMG Special Products 5:32
Music of the Millennium, Vol. 3 2002
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Punk: The Jubilee 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:09
60 Classic Punk Tracks 2003
Various Artists
Disky 5:11
From the Front Row: Live 2003 Silverline Records
No Image 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:13
Party Box [EMI] 2003
Various Artists
EMI
Modern Edge 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:12
Greatest Hits Live 2003 King Biscuit Entertainment 5:40
Retro 80's, Vol. 5 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:11
Essential 70's [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 3:05
Iggy in Paris 2004 Immortal
Screen Cuts 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:09
Platinum & Gold Collection 2004 BMG / Sony Music
The Best Beer Drinking Album in the World...Ever 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:12
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Rhino
World Cup Of Hockey 2004 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 4:59
Ultimate Live 2004 EMI Music Distribution 4:54
World's Best Ever Beer Songs 2005 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:09
Hollywood Cool 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:11
Live at the Avenue B 2005 Virgin
Let's Get Loud [Disky] 2005
Various Artists
Disky 5:09
I Love Music 1975-1979: No More Heroes 2005
Various Artists
Disky 5:10
Absolute Very Best of the World's Best Ever Beer Songs [CD] 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
No Image 2006 Virgin
Lust for Live 1977 2006 Phantom Records (England) / Ozit 3:44
20th Century Masters - Millennium Collection: The Best of Iggy Pop 2006 A&M / Universal 5:12
Where the Faces Shine, Vol. 1: 1977-198 2006 Easy Action Records 5:53
The Ultimate Bands: The Classic Anthems 2006
Various Artists
EMI/Virgin TV
Spirit of 77: Spirit of Punk 2007
Various Artists
EMI/Virgin TV 5:10
101 Jukebox Classics 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:07
Holiday Gift Pack 2007 Virgin
No Image 2008 Euro Trend / MCP
Pop at His Top 2008 Get Back Records 3:17
I Love Punk [Central Station] 2008
Various Artists
Central Station Records 5:11
Heat Party Anthems 2008
Various Artists
EMI 5:07
Best Film...Ever! 2008
Various Artists
Pomaton EMI 5:13
Sounds of Vancouver 2010: Canada's Hockey Anthems 2010
Various Artists
EMI 5:10
Roadkill Rising: The Bootleg Collection 1977-2009 2011 Shout! Factory 6:44
No Image 2011
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 5:08
I Used to Be a Stooge, But Now I'm a Real Wild Child 2011 The Store for Music 4:59
Essential 2011 Virgin 5:12
Playlist: The Very Best of Iggy Pop 2013 Columbia / Legacy 5:12
Top Gear Driving Anthems 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:12
Icon 2014 Virgin 5:11
Post Pop Depression 2016 Eagle Rock / Eagle Vision 5:11
Post Pop Depression: Live from Royal Albert Hall 2016 Loma Vista 5:28
T2: Trainspotting [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2017
Original Soundtrack
Interscope / Polydor 5:00
'80s [Cleopatra]
Various Artists
Cleopatra 5:00
20 #1's: Party Hits
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:12
A  New You
Various Artists
Made II Measure
Absolute Rock Classics, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Eva 5:08
CMJ New Music, Vol. 37
Various Artists
College Media
Classic Driving Songs
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 5:10
Classic Movies [Spectrum]
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 5:08
No Image
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 5:11
Lust for Life: The Music That Changed a Generation
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 5:11
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
No Image
Various Artists
Now! 5:09
Original Hits: All American
Various Artists
EMI Gold 5:09
Original Hits: Drivetime
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 5:06
Trainspotting [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Various Artists
GC / Rhino / Warner Music 5:13
No Image
Various Artists
5:07
blue highlight denotes editor's pick