CD Review: Iggy Pop, “Roadkill Rising…The Bootleg Collection: 1977-2009″

Iggy Pop is a truly unique individual; in the history of popular music, there are few who come close to the unpredictability displayed by Pop, both on record and in the live setting. With the release of Roadkill Rising…The Bootleg Collection: 1977-2009, Shout Factory! has put together a winner of a collection that does a nice job of chronicling the history of Pop as an on-stage performer, both solo and with the Stooges.

Pop snarls his way through four discs of material, with one disc dedicated to each decade, beginning with the ’70s.

It seems proper that since this is a “bootleg” collection, the liner notes are limited to recording dates and locations and essential credits, there’s no essay overview to be found and no specific detail regarding the actual source material for these recordings.

Some of these recordings, most of which are unreleased, will be familiar to longtime fans, particularly the versions of “I Need Somebody” and “Search and Destroy” on the first disc, which are both sourced from a sweaty club date at the Cleveland Agora featuring guest David Bowie on keyboards. The sound quality is fairly decent throughout the collection, but overall not pristine which again, is fitting, considering the title of these collected recordings.

Roadkill Rising is an excellent assembly of riches that any Iggy Pop fan will really appreciate. There are some nice oddball tracks such as a live version of “Candy,” void of the expected vocals from Kate Pierson, captured in Switzerland in 1991. There also are a number of covers scattered across Roadkill, including the Batman theme, “Hang On Sloopy” and “You Really Got Me.”

The Roadkill collection is one of the initial entries in a planned series of artist-endorsed official bootleg releases from Shout! Factory and follows a similar collection that put the spotlight on Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Pop is an easy target for a collection like this and as Roadkill demonstrates, there was no shortage of material. For future collections, it will be interesting to see what other bands/artists might receive similar treatment. As the Pop collection proves, the warts and all nature of an anthology like this allows for the inclusion of a lot of rarely performed material (and even songs that might have only been performed once) and it’s that facet of the equation that makes Roadkill such an enticing release.