Iggy Pop

Nights of the Iguana

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It appears that in the blink of an eye, several new Iggy Pop collections pop up on the marketplace. And most are merely repackagings of the same material, over and over again. So it's easy to pass on the limited-edition four-CD box set Nights of the Iguana as yet another re-release that most longtime Iggy admirers will have in their collection already, under a different title. Admittedly, that is basically what this set is, as it contains four live CDs that surfaced years earlier: Wild Animal (which focuses on performances from 1976 and 1977), Hippodrome (from 1977), Live at the Ritz (from 1986), and Live at the Channel (from 1988). By skipping over Iggy's hazy early-'80s performances (see the 2005 DVD Live San Fran 1981), you get four solid/strong sets -- proving why Iggy is rightfully considered to be one of rock's all-time great live performers. Additionally, Iggy has some impressive talent backing him up throughout: David Bowie, as well as Hunt Sales and Tony Sales (who played on Iggy's first two solo releases, and later Tin Machine), Hanoi Rocks' Andy McCoy, and the U.K. Subs' Alvin Gibbs, among others. The best of the bunch would have to be the first disc, as restrained readings of such Stooges classics as "I Need Somebody" and "1969" have a definite post-punk air about them (reminiscent of such then-new bands as Magazine). And you can't go wrong with such rarely performed early Iggy solo selections as "Sister Midnight" and "Turn Blue." Elsewhere on the box, it's a bit of roller coaster ride -- especially the new wave-ish disc three, and the Guns N' Roses-ish disc four. If you're looking to pick up four of Iggy's most popular (and certainly most repackaged) live sets from over the years, Nights of the Iguana is recommended. But since it was limited to a pressing of 5,000, copies may be increasingly hard to come by.

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