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Album Review: Iggy & The Stooges - Live In The Hands Of The Fans

    Ian Jane

  • Iggy & The Stooges - Live In The Hands Of The Fans

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    Released by: MVD
    Released on: 4/5/2011
    Purchase It At Your Local Record Store

    A common problem among Iggy & The Stooges fans is that almost all over their live recordings from their prime sound like absolute shit. Chalk it up to whatever you want - bad acoustics, crappy venues, subpar recording gear, or a band that thrived on feedback, distortion and berserk vocals but the fact of the matter is that most of their live stuff really doesn't sound very good at all. Well, time has seen fit to give the band a second chance and since reuniting a few years back in 2003, good quality bootlegs of various live performances and broadcasts have been around for those who wanted them. What does all of this mean? Why am I going there? Because it proves that no matter how sloppy they could be at times and no matter how frenetic Iggy could get with the mic, these guys can play.

    Proof positive of this is the upcoming release from MVD, Iggy & The Stooges - Live In The Hands Of The Fans, a recording of the bands September 3, 2010 headlining performance at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival held in upstate New York. This current lineup, comprised of Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, James Williamson, Steve Mackay, Mike Watt, have all the noise and reverb you could want in their live act but deliver it with enough professionalism and polish to make sure that you won't mind so much. Either that or the guy who recorded it was just really good with the levels.

    Either way, this recording is a good one. The set list is as follows:

    1 - Raw Power
    2 - Search And Destroy
    3 - Gimme Danger
    4 - Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell
    5 - Shake Appeal
    6 - I Need Somebody
    7 - Penetration
    8 - Death Trip
    9 - I Got A Right

    At sixty-three years old, Iggy still sings with all the fire and ferocity he had in his early years and he's backed by a veritable war machine as the band pummel the audience along with him. He might not bend over backwards and smear himself with broken glass and peanut butter anymore but he's still prone to cursing up a storm and antagonizing the audience and the band alike - a perfect example is when he asks both the band and the audience if they're 'ready for some FUCKING blues' (the emphasis is there on purpose) before busting into I Need Somebody. All eight tracks from the original Raw Power album are here (though not in the same order as they are on that album) and performed with all the piss and vinegar you could want and the recording does a good job of capturing as much energy as you can realistically expect it to.

    Since this review is based off of MP3s (made available legitimately for review and promotional purposes by MVD), we can't comment on the packaging, inserts or liners. The sound quality on the MP3s is good, you can expect the sound quality on the 180 gram vinyl to sound better - and you know, you get that whole tangibility thing to look forward to as well.
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