Sunday, January 17, 2021

Iggy And The Stooges Return "From KO To Chaos" With A New Box Set Full Of Gems

Back in December 2020, Skydog International unleashed an eight-disc box set from Iggy Pop & The Stooges titled "From KO To Chaos." The set centers around the final live gig for Iggy & The Stooges, which was originally issued back in 1976 as "Metallic KO." This new box set includes that original seven-song "Metallic KO" release on CD, along with two other "Metallic KO" sources of the full show that have been cleaned-up and pitch-corrected, giving the music a grittier, more punk sound that helped make The Stooges one of the premier punk bands of the seventies. The new versions of the full shows also include the addition of their more popular tracks like "Search And Destroy" and "Open Up And Bleed," along with versions of "Heavy Liquid" and "Gimme Danger."

This new set also includes The Stooges 2003 reunion show, which was recorded live in Japan and originally released as "Telluric Chaos." The sound of this set is much better than expected, as you listen to Iggy Pop And The Stooges perform these classic tracks from their back catalog like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "1969." Their performance is timeless, as you can hear Iggy Pop working up the crowd into a frenzy for songs like "TV Eye" and "Fun House."

Two compilations of rare studio and live tracks are also featured in this box set. The release "We Are Not Talking About Commercial Shit" includes some great, one-of-a-kind versions of some classic songs like "Louie, Louie," "Hang On Sloppy," "96 Tears" and even the "Batman Theme." Most of these cover songs were taken from live performances and are not necessarily presented in the best sound quality, but the rarity factor of hearing Iggy Pop perform these songs more than makes up for that. The sound quality on the other compilation "Wake Up Suckers!!!" is slightly better at times, but remember that these tracks were never mastered for a final album and have remained left-overs from recording sessions. Songs like "Gimme Danger" and "I Got Nothing" show Iggy Pop trying to recapture that raw, reckless glory of his days with The Stooges.

The highlights of this new box set have to be the "Acoustic KO" CD and DVD, which shows Iggy Pop in an unusual quiet and controlled setting. You will hear a side of Iggy Pop that is rare, and dare I say emotional, as he delivers the ballads "Foolish Dreams" and "Starry Night" with an elegance. He can also rock out with an acoustic guitar, as displayed in tracks like "Think Alone" and "Nightclubbing." The DVD is a nice addition, watching Iggy Pop perform these tracks in a live setting, but it's almost better to imagine him singing these songs on a dark, bare stage with a single spotlight and only an acoustic guitar to accompany him, as he plays these songs as if his life and career depended on it.

A 48-page booklet featuring detailed notes from Iggy Pop biographer, Paul Trynka is a nice addition to this set, which only adds more insight into the life of Iggy Pop, the man and the performer. Also included in the booklet are many rare and unseen photos. Skydog International has done a nice job bringing all these releases together in one concise box. To find out more about Iggy And The Stooges' "From KO To Chaos," please visit the YouTube page at youtube.com.

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