Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#746 in the Series) is Iggy Pop, Blah Blah Blah
I dusted this one off recently and fell back in love with it. Tons of sharp pop hooks and well written pieces, it was “Jim Osterberg’s” most successful commercial record when it came out in 1986 that apparently ended up causing some negative emotion that we can only imagine came from the fact it sounds a lot like a David Bowie record.
The first song “Real Wild Child” was his first top 10 hit in the UK (don’t know why it wasn’t “Lust for Life”- I always loved that some cruise ship company used the music bed of “Lust” for their commercial. Do you think the execs of that company knew one of the lyrics was, “of course I’ve had it in the ear before”?). So this song is a cover of a Johnny O’Keefe song, he is the same guy credited with writing “Shout”, not the Tears for Fears song, think Animal House. It gets the record going in the right direction and moves nicely into song after song that had potential for pop hits, but as often happens did not become all that popular.
Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols co-wrote 3 of the songs as well and many of the songs were reportedly rejected for Bowies “Tonight” release. But one man’s ruble can be another’s treasure and the heartfelt rock ballad “Isolation” contains one of the favorite lyrics: “I need some lovin, like a fastball needs control.”
There is not a bad song on this record if you like fast moving pop with a little rage mixed in. The title track may have been an attempt to move from stooges to new wave with some special effects and a drum beat to match, but the real gems are songs that more fit the era in both music and lyrics like “Hideaway.”
The story that is told about this record is Bowie did not sing or play on it, but his pal from The Stooges sure has managed to do a good imitation of him. It is a short record about 42 minutes, but there really is nothing blah about it.
Blah Blah Blah peaked at #90 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in 1987.
— John Driscoll, Chicago, Illinois, USA
All tracks written by Iggy Pop and David Bowie except where noted.
- “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” (O’Keefe, Greenan, Owens) – 3:38
- “Baby, It Can’t Fall” – 4:14
- “Shades” – 5:57
- “Fire Girl” (Pop, Steve Jones) – 3:33
- “Isolation” – 4:37
- “Cry For Love” (Pop, Jones) – 4:28
- “Blah-Blah-Blah” – 4:32
- “Hideaway” – 5:01
- “Winners & Losers” (Pop, Jones) – 6:18
- Iggy Pop – vocals
- Kevin Armstrong – guitar, backing vocals
- Erdal Kizilcay – synthesizer, bass, drums, string arrangements, backing vocals
- Steve Jones – guitar solo on “Cry for Love”