Iggy Pop

Lust for Life

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Song Review by Steve Huey

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 Virgin 5:14
D.O.A.: A Right of Passage 1981
Various Artists
Harmony Vision / Vestron
Choice Cuts 1984 RCA
Livin' on the Edge of the Night 1990 Atlantic 5:12
Passenger 1990 Virgin 5:14
No Image 1993
Various Artists
Priority Records 0:00
Punk University 1994
Various Artists
Oglio Records 5:12
Bali: The Ketchak 1995 Virgin 5:12
Trainspotting [Original Soundtrack] 1996
Original Soundtrack
Capitol / EMI Records 5:11
Best Album in the World...Ever! Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
Virgin
Nude & Rude: The Best of Iggy Pop 1996 Virgin 5:10
Best Rock Anthems in the World...Ever! 1996
Various Artists
Virgin
Lost Property 1996
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:12
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
Cleveland Rocks!: Music from the Drew Carey Show 1998
Original TV Soundtrack
Rhino 5:10
Essential Soundtracks 1999
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 5:12
Best Anthems...Ever! [2000] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:52
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
Music of the Millennium, Vol. 3 2002
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Spitting [CD1] 2002
Various Artists
Disky 5:11
Punk: The Jubilee 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:09
60 Classic Punk Tracks 2003
Various Artists
Disky 5:11
No Image 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:13
Modern Edge 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:12
No Thanks! The '70s Punk Rebellion 2003
Various Artists
Rhino 5:13
Retro 80's, Vol. 5 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:11
Essential 70's [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 3:05
Platinum & Gold Collection 2004 BMG Heritage / Arista 5:14
The Best Beer Drinking Album in the World...Ever 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:12
World Cup Of Hockey 2004 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 4:59
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
A Million in Prizes: The Anthology 2005 Virgin 5:12
20th Century Masters - Millennium Collection: The Best of Iggy Pop 2006 A&M 5:12
Holiday Gift Pack 2007 Virgin 5:12
Best Movie Album in the World Ever 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 5:11
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
101 Running Songs 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:07
101 Punk & New Wave Anthems 2010
Various Artists
EMI 5:07
Sounds of Vancouver 2010: Canada's Hockey Anthems 2010
Various Artists
EMI 5:10
I Used to Be a Stooge, But Now I'm a Real Wild Child 2011 The Store for Music 4:59
Essential 2011 EMI / EMI Gold 5:11
Playlist: The Very Best of Iggy Pop 2013 Columbia / Legacy 5:12
Icon 2014 Virgin 5:11
Post Pop Depression 2016 Concord Loma Vista / Loma Vista 0:00
T2: Trainspotting [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2017
Original Soundtrack
Interscope / Polydor 5:00
The Bowie Years: Edits + Out-Takes 2020 Universal 3:04
The Bowie Years 2020 Universal 5:11
'80s [Cleopatra]
Various Artists
Cleopatra 5:00
20 #1's: Party Hits
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:12
70's Hits [Capitol]
Various Artists
Capitol 5:11
70's Rock Classics
Various Artists
Universal 5:14
70s Memories
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
80's [Cleopatra]
Various Artists
Cleopatra 5:00
Air Guitar Anthems
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Anthology Box: The Stooges & Beyond Cleopatra 4:57
Best 70's Hits
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Blockbuster Movie Hits [Capitol]
Various Artists
Capitol 5:10
CAPS: Campus and Pub Songs
Various Artists
Mood Media Entertainment 5:11
Churrasco Rock Anos 70
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Classic Driving Songs
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 5:10
Cleaning at Home [Rock Edition]
Various Artists
Universal 5:14
Clássicos do Rock Internacional
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Cottage Music: Retro Road Trip
Various Artists
Universal 5:12
Double Tops - Die 40 Ultimativen Darts-Songs
Various Artists
EMI / Mixed Repertoire 5:11
Going Solo
Various Artists
Universal 5:14
Hits From the Past
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Home Office Party
Various Artists
Universal 5:14
Idea Musical
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Road Trip Tunes
Various Artists
Universal 5:14
Rock Clássicos Internacionais
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Rock Para Comer
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Rock Sin Límites
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
The Man Cave
Various Artists
Universal 5:11
Uplifting Old School
Various Artists
Universal 5:14