Punk pioneer Iggy Pop has taken his new solo album, a French-flavoured line-up of cover songs, straight to his fans online, shunning record majors convinced it would be a flop.
“They would have preferred that I do a rock album with popular punks, sort of like ‘Hi Dad!’ I was not going to do that!” the 65-year-old American quipped at a press conference for the record launch in Paris on Wednesday.
“What has a record company ever done for me but humiliate and torment and drag me down?” the sinewy rocker said of his move to sell it online in CD and download forms.
Entitled “Apres” (After), the record has the francophile Iggy Pop crooning his way through tracks by the likes of Edith Piaf and Georges Brassens, his second French-inspired album after the 2009 “Preliminaires” (Preliminaries).
Though he went it alone in creating the record, Iggy Pop was contractually obliged to offer it to his longtime label Virgin EMI.
“They didn’t want it. They didn’t think they would make any money, they didn’t think my fans would like it — very sensible attitudes for a sensible sort of person — but that’s a different sort of person than I am.”
So he went ahead and put the album on sale online, as a CD on the French website vente-privee.com, and in digital form on several download platforms.
Iggy Pop — real name, James Newell Osterberg — was lead singer of The Stooges, a 1960s-1970s garage rock band that influenced heavy metal and punk rock and whose live acts included Pop taking drugs, self-mutilating, verbally abusing the audience and leaping off stage.
His best-known solo numbers include “Lust for Life”, “I’m Bored” and “Real Wild Child”.
Though he will probably work with a major with the newly-reformed Stooges, Iggy Pop said as a solo artist he was unlikely to go back.
“I’ve always had a very rough time in the big time music business,” he joked. “I got kicked off every label.”