Greatest Songs, #468: “Search and Destroy” by The Stooges

Album: Raw Power (Columbia Records)
Year: 1973
Written by: Iggy Pop & James Williamson

 From Rolling Stone:

With “raw power,” producer [David] Bowie tried to mold the Detroit punks into glam-rock stars like himself. The mixed-bag experiment yielded this feral rocker, inspired by a headline from an article about the Vietnam War. The “streetwalking cheetah with a heart full of napalm” is Iggy Pop himself, who said he wrote it while wearing his cheetah-patterned leather jacket and “snorting big Chinese rocks of heroin.”

From the Wikipedia article on the album:

Raw Power was largely ignored upon its release, and the group broke up in obscurity a few years later. However, it was embraced by a small, rabid fan-base that included many younger musicians who would go on to help create the punk rock genre in the mid- to late-1970s and experience commercial success, making Raw Power one of the most important proto-punk documents of its era.

From the original Rolling Stone review of the album in 1973:

The Ig. Nobody does it better, nobody does it worse, nobody does it, period. Others tiptoe around the edges, make little running starts and half-hearted passes; but when you’re talking about the O mind, the very central eye of the universe that opens up like a huge, gaping, suckling maw, step aside for the Stooges.

With Raw Power, the Stooges return with a vengeance, exhibiting all the ferocity that characterized them at their livid best, offering a taste of the TV eye to anyone with nerve enough to put their money where their lower jaw flaps. There are no compromises, no attempts to soothe or play games in the hopes of expanding into a fabled wider audience. Raw Power is the pot of quicksand at the end of the rainbow, and if that doesn’t sound attractive, then you’ve been living on borrowed time for far too long.