Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.

Monday

James Williamson – Re-Licked




James Williamson's feral guitar work on Iggy & the Stooges' epochal Raw Power in 1973 has proven to be wildly influential with the passage of time, but it's also the sole basis for his legend in the minds of many fans. While Williamson collaborated with Iggy Pop on the fine Kill City album (released in 1976), and he produced Pop's 1979 effort New Values, the trail of his career goes cold after that. To take him at his word, Williamson had barely even picked up a guitar for 25 years after he quit rock & roll to study engineering in 1980, and before he reunited with the Stooges in 2009 following the death of original guitarist Ron Asheton. Presumably interested in reaffirming his musical legacy (and with the Stooges on hiatus after the death of drummer Scott Asheton), Williamson returned to a fascinating but often overlooked body of work -- the songs he and Pop wrote and demoed for the projected follow-up to Raw Power that was scrapped when Columbia dropped the band. These songs have appeared on a remarkable number of bootleg and semi-authorized albums, but Williamson decided to re-record them on the album Re-Licked, with a battalion of guest vocalists taking the place of Pop, who declined to participate in the project. In promotional interviews, Williamson says he hated hearing the sound of the various releases of the demos (ironically, it's widely reported that the sources for most of those bootlegs were tapes Williamson himself sold to small labels when he was in dire financial circumstances), and by comparison, Re-Licked sounds big, bold, and glossy, with the full-bodied production and mix those demos (and Raw Power) lacked. Williamson used two core bands on Re-Licked, one anchored by Mike Watt on bass and Toby Dammit on drums (who played on the Stooges live dates in support of 2013's Ready to Die), the other featuring bassist Simone Marie Butler (from Primal Scream) and drummer Michael Urbano; both are capable and drive the songs well, and Williamson's guitar work is as good as ever from a technical standpoint. But Williamson's leads lack the edgy fire he brought to his mid-'70s demos, and no amount of engineering talent can compensate for that. More importantly, Williamson may have written this music, but Iggy Pop wrote the lyrics, and though there are a handful of good to great singers on board here -- including Mark Lanegan, Gary Floyd, Bobby Gillespie, Lisa Kekaula, Nicke Andersson, and Jello Biafra -- none of them match the lunatic intensity Iggy gave these songs, and the sonically challenged bootlegs of "Head On," "Scene of the Crime," and "I Got a Right" still pack more rock & roll snazz than these new versions. James Williamson has every right in the world to take another shot at these songs, but Re-Licked falls short of the grubby magic of those buzzy demos he recorded so long ago.


Ripped from the CD to MP3

James Williamson – Re-Licked

01. Head On The Curve (w/ Jello Biafra)
02. Open Up And Bleed (w/ Carolyn Wonderland)
03. Scene Of The Crime (w/ Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream)
04. She Creatures Of The Hollywood Hills (w/ Ariel Pink)
05. Til The End Of The Night (w/ Alison Mosshart from The Kills, Dead Weather)
06. I Gotta Right (w/ Lisa Kekaula from The BellRays)
07. Pinpoint Eyes (w/ Joe Cardamone from The Icarus Line)
08. Wild Love (w/ Mark Lanegan & Alison Mosshart)
09. Rubber Leg (w/ Ron Young from Little Caesar)
10. I’m Sick Of You (w/ Mario Cuomo from The Orwells)

Bonus Tracks:
11. Gimme Some Skin (w/ Caroline Wonderland)
12. Cock In My Pocket (w/ Nicke Andersson from The Hellacopters)
13. Heavy Liquid (w/ Lisa Kekaula)
14. Wet My Bed (w/ The Richmond Sluts)
15. Cock In My Pocket (w/ Gary Floyd from The Dicks)
16. Rubber Leg (w/ J.G. Thirlwell aka Clint Ruin, Foetus)


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