Iggy Pop
"A Million In Prizes"

(Virgin Records 2005)Iggy Pop - A Million In Prizes

A couple of years ago, I caught Iggy Pop performing "Mask" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Now the reason I remember it so vividly is probably that Pop had a bunch of broccoli tied around his neck as he climbed all over Leno's set. Since The Stooges' 1969 debut self-titled album, Pop has been a show stopper -- whether it is broccoli, peanut butter or glass -- as he struts around stage squirming wildly in tight pants and screaming into the microphone. Virgin have sought to assemble the music of Pop, born James Osterberg, from The Stooges to 2004's "Skull Ring" solo album. Selecting 38 tracks from over forty years worth of music, including two live festival performances, "A Million In Prizes" was born.

Three quarters of "A Million In Prizes" highlights Pop's solo work, including his duets with Kate Pierson ("Candy") and Debbie Harry ("Well Did You Evah!"). It is these solo tracks -- many produced smartly by David Bowie -- that makes the anthology worthwhile, especially those who dig Iggy Pop but never wanted to shell out the cash for his numerous solo albums which have received mixed reviews throughout the years.

For most, "A Million In Prizes" is an unnecessary but nice addition to their rock 'n' roll compact disc collection. If you do not, at this point, already own all of The Stooges' albums simply forgo the Pop anthology and get those instead. But for the rest of us? "A Million In Prizes" is a quirky collection where for each track that made the cut ("I Wanna Be Your Dog," "Lust For Life"), you will instantly think of a track that did not ("I Need Somebody," "Dirt"). It is just too difficult to fit it all on, to summarize Pop's career and boil it down into 38 tracks. That is not even one track for every year since 1969.

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