First it's time to take the shill of a liner-note writer to task for even daring to equate the substandard dog mess on this collection with either the Stooges' material or the Lust for Life period. Next, if there were ever an argument to me made for a record company creating its own hype for an artist and then making it happen on some scale, it's Universal for Iggy Pop. The 15 tracks collected here draw on his period with A&M and Virgin, and largely fall flat on their faces for their generic sound, lackluster performance, and completely persona-deadening production. There's "Cry for Love," of course, featured here twice (there's a 12" mix at the end) that's redeemable as a pop song, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Iggy Pop of myth (and it sounds more like Andrew Eldritch of the Sisters of Mercy than it does its namesake). Then there's the fake raw edge in "Tuff Baby" and "Cold Metal" -- concocted rather than "produced" by Bill Laswell -- which sounds about as authentic a rock & roll music as Zodiac Mindwarp did. And then there's the evidence that the limeys have no idea what a real rock & roll song is: Pop and Bowie's update of "Real Wild Child (Wild One)" by Johnny O'Keefe. This is a rockabilly tune without the "billy," and without the rock for that matter. Didn't Pop remember how Bowie messed up Raw Power? And finally the last rub is that this is called "classic" Pop. How can that be when everything here was taken from exactly two albums? Man, does this stink of hype and record company rip-off.
Iggy Pop: Universal Masters Collection Review
by Thom Jurek