"[Iggy would] be floating there, facedown. I'd be saying, 'I can't swim, somebody grab him! Somebody grab him!'
The rest of the band would say, 'Fuck 'im, he gets what he deserves.' "

-- Stooges "minder" Leee [sic] Childers1


"The Stooges... were like an oven that burned money."

-- Stooges manager Danny Fields1


"I am the world's forgotten boy,
I am the one who searches only to destroy..."

-- Iggy Pop, "Search and Destroy"


Raw Power is the name of the Stooges' final studio album, released in 1973, and it is also the name of a song on that album.

That Iggy line up there looks pretty silly, doesn't it? On paper, it does. What you have to understand is that he sang it like he meant it. It doesn't sound silly. It sounds like he's going to jump right off the vinyl and hurt somebody.

The album was a legendary disaster. In 1971, the songs were ready, but the Stooges were dropped by their label, Electra Records. David Bowie's management organization picked them up and got them signed to Columbia. Bowie had just produced a Lou Reed album, Transformer: He was shopping for credibility, and he knew it when he saw it.

By 1972, when Raw Power was recorded, the Stooges had become the fiercest rock and roll band that ever lived. Nobody's gone there since, either. Certainly not Iggy. What they were doing was raw power, exactly and literally. They moved like a freight train and they wanted to hurt you. Pure savagery.

So they went to England to make the record, and it scared the crap out of everybody so Bowie wandered in and mixed it. He butchered the thing: It's dry, there's no bass, the guitars aren't loud enough, etc. For years, there have been bootlegs of truly terrifying rough mixes made before Bowie got involved in the project. In 1997, Iggy remixed the thing and the remixed version was released. It's better than the original, but there's still no damn bass. There's a CD around called Rough Power which has several of the original rough mixes: Buy it. Now. I'm not kidding. This is serious stuff.

From 1971 until the end came in 1974, the Stooges were:

Tracks on Raw Power:

  1. Search and Destroy
  2. Gimme Danger
  3. Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell (originally titled "Hard to Beat")
  4. Penetration
  5. Raw Power
  6. I Need Somebody
  7. Shake Appeal
  8. Death Trip

And here's the lyric to "Raw Power", by our man Iggy:


Dance to the beat of the living dead
You'll see baby, stay away from there.
Raw power is sure come a-runnin' to you

If you're alone and you got the fear
So am I baby let's roll on outta here
Raw power is sure to come a-runnin' to you.

Raw power's got a magic touch
Raw power is much too much
Happiness is a-guaranteed
It was made for you and me.

Raw power, honey, just won't quit
Raw power, I can feel it.
Raw power, hear it, can't be spared,
Poppin' eyes and a fashion feed
Don't you try, don't you try to tell me what to do
Everybody always tryin' a tell me what to do.


I look in the eyes of the seventh girl
Fall deep in love in the underworld
Raw power is sure to come a-runnin' to you.

If you're alone and you got the shakes
So am I baby, I got what it takes

Raw power is sure to come a-runnin' to you.

Raw power's got a healing hand,
Raw power can destroy a man
Raw power is so more than soul
Got a son called rock and roll.

Raw power, honey, just won't quit
Raw power, I can feel it
Raw power honey, can't be beat
Get down baby and kiss my feet.

Ev'rybody always tryin' a' tell me what to do,
Don't you try, don't you try to tell me what to do
Ev'rybody always tryin' a' tell me what to do,
Don't you try, don't you try to tell me what to do
Raw power it's got no place to go.
Raw power honey, it don't want to know
Raw power is a guaranteed OD
Raw power is a-laughin' at you and me

I wanna know.

Can you feel it?Can you feel it?
Can you feel it? Can you feel it?
Raw power, raw power
Raw power, raw power
Can you feel it? Can you feel it?
Raw power, raw power
Raw power, raw power
Raw power, raw power
Can you feel it, baby?



1 Fields and Childres are quoted from Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Grove Press, New York, 1996.

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