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The world’s forgotten boy: Iggy & the Stooges’ ’Raw Power’ turns 50

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Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings

When it comes to the sin of helping to invent punk rock, Iggy Pop still ain’t got time to make no apology.

The highly influential Stooges Raw Power album turns 50 Wednesday. Released on February 7, 1973, Raw Power didn’t exactly set the charts on fire at first, but proved to be instrumental in pioneering the burgeoning punk scene.

Raw Power was the third Stooges album, following 1969’s self-titled debut and 1970’s Fun House, but was the first to be credited to Iggy & the Stooges. Along with Pop on lead vocals, the record featured guitarist James Williamson, and brothers Ron and Scott Asheton on bass and drums, respectively. It was co-produced and mixed by David Bowie.

Having built a reputation for wild stage antics, Iggy’s energy is felt throughout Raw Power, beginning with the album opener “Search and Destroy,” in which Pop memorably yelps, “Look out, honey, ’cause I’m using technology” and “I’m the world’s forgotten boy.”

By 1974, the Stooges had broken up, but their impact had been made. The sound and ferocity of Raw Power paved the way for the explosion of punk rock in the mid-’70s, and Iggy is now known as the Godfather of Punk.

Following the demise of the Stooges, Pop went solo, and memorably reunited with Bowie for the 1977 albums Lust for Life and The Idiot.

Eventually, Iggy reunited with the Asheton brothers in 2003 and they released a new album, The Weirdness, in 2007. Following Ron Asheton’s death in 2009, the Stooges were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Williamson rejoined for one final album, 2013’s Ready to Die. Scott Asheton died in 2014.

A remastered edition of Raw Power was released last week in honor of its 50th anniversary.

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