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Music / Lust for Life

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"Well, I'm just a modern guy / Of course, I've had it in the ear before..."

Lust for Life is the second studio album by Iggy Pop, released in 1977. It was released in the same year as his first solo album, The Idiot and is the second of three to be co-produced and co-written by David Bowie (the third being 1986's Blah-Blah-Blah). Unlike The Idiot, which was primarily a Berlin Trilogy prototype, Lust for Life moves closer into the style of Pop's earlier work with The Stooges, being a Hard Rock album rooted strongly in his Proto Punk background with his former band. Bowie would later cover both "Tonight" and "Neighborhood Threat" on his 1984 album Tonight, which itself featured two original songs co-written by Pop.

Like its predecessor and Bowie's Berlin Trilogy, the album would be cited as a major influence on the Post-Punk movement.

Lust for Life was supported by one single: "Success".

This album is not to be confused with the 1956 film about Vincent van Gogh starring Kirk Douglas in the starring role.


Side One

  1. "Lust for Life" (5:13)
  2. "Sixteen" (2:26)
  3. "Some Weird Sin" (3:42)
  4. "The Passenger" (4:44)
  5. "Tonight" (3:39)

Side Two

  1. "Success" (4:25)
  2. "Turn Blue" (6:56)
  3. "Neighborhood Threat" (3:25)
  4. "Fall in Love with Me" (6:30)

I got the lust for tropes:

  • Alliterative Title: "Lust for Life."
  • Alternate Album Cover: The original vinyl cover has a monochrome border matching the photo, but CD versions and some vinyl reissues have an orange border.
  • And Starring: David Bowie sings the lead vocals on "Tonight."
  • All of the Other Reindeer: "Sixteen:"
    Go out to the funky bar
    I get hurt — crying inside
    'Cause everybody's so fine and
    And they don't need me
  • Call-and-Response Song: "Success," with David Bowie on backup vocals. Towards the end Iggy starts improvising lyrics and Bowie follows him perfectly.
    Iggy: I'm gonna hop like a frog!
    David: I'm gonna hop like a frog!
    Iggy: I'm gonna go out on the street and do anything I want!
    David: I'm gonna go out on the street and do anything—
    Iggy (Cracking up): Oh, shit!
    David: Oh, shit!
  • Careful with That Axe: Iggy's screeching moaning in "Turn Blue."
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: "Lust for Life" in which Iggy sings about the shallowness of being rich and succesful and feels that life is more than that alone.
    I'm worth a million in prizes
    With my torture film
    Drive a G.T.O
    Wear an uniform
    All on a government loan
    I'm worth a million in prizes
  • Continuity Nod: The intro of "Tonight" has Iggy singing about his loved one turning blue because of heroin abuse. Another song on the album is also titled "Turn Blue."
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The black and white album cover.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: A huge theme on the album. "Lust for Life" has the protagonist wanting more from life. "The Passenger" describes himself as just a passenger driven by life and "Some Weird Sin" has him trying to break into it.
  • Drugs Are Bad:
    • "Lust for Life:"
    Yeah I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk
    No more beating my brains
    With the liquor and drugs
    With the liquor and drugs
    • "Tonight" and "Turn Blue" deal with heroin abuse.
  • Epic Rocking: The Title Track, "Turn Blue," and "Fall in Love with Me" are all over five minutes.
  • Face on the Cover: The cover art keeps it simple and only shows Iggy's smiling face alongside his name and the album's name.
  • Intercourse with You: "Sixteen."
    Baby, baby, I'm hungry, sweet sixteen
  • Lust: "Lust for Life."
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Lust for Life" is a pumping track about celebrating life, though it also deals with cutting a drug habit. This hasn't stopped many advertisers to use it as a cheery song in advertisements or other people to think it glorifies a life of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll. (Though, this is noticeable by the song almost immediately cutting to the chorus in said advertisements.)
  • Obsession Song: "Turn Blue," "Sixteen," and "Fall in Love with Me" are all sung almost to the point of despair for the loved one.
  • One-Word Title: "Sixteen," "Success," and "Tonight."
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Lust for Life" and "Success" both embrace life.
  • The Power of Love:
    • "Sixteen:"
    I give you my body and soul, sweet sixteen
    • "Fall in Love with Me:"
    Fall in love with me
    I wish you would
    Fall in love with me
    I wish you would
    Fall in love with me
    I wish you would
    Fall in love with me yeah, yeah
    • "The Passenger:"
    We'll see the stars that shine so bright
    The sky was made for us tonight
    (...) And everything was made for you and me
    All of it was made for you and me
    Cause it just belongs to you and me
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: According to Iggy Pop, Bowie's celebrated riff on "Lust for Life" was inspired by the morse code opening to the American Forces Network News in Berlin.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Tonight" would be re-recorded in 1984 by David Bowie as a duet with Tina Turner.
  • Scatting: "The Passenger."
    Singing la la la la lalala la la la la lalala
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: "Lust for Life:"
    Here comes Johnny Yen again
    With the liquor and drugs and the flesh machine
    I know he's gonna do another striptease
  • Shoe Fetish: "Sixteen:"
    Baby, I must be hungry because I go crazy over your leather boots.
  • Shout-Out: The lyrics of "Lust for Life" contain a number of references to William S. Burroughs' experimental novel The Ticket That Exploded, most notably mentions of "Johnny Yen" (described by Burroughs as "The Boy-Girl Other Half strip tease God of sexual frustration") and "hypnotizing chickens."
  • Singer Name Drop: "Turn Blue:"
    Jesus, this is Iggy
    You, you might as well come with me
  • Spoken Word in Music: Some lines in "Turn Blue" are spoken rather than sung.
  • Teenage Death Songs: "Tonight:"
    I saw my baby
    She was turning blue
    Oh, I knew that soon, her
    Young life was through
  • Time Title: "Tonight" is named after the final night between the narrator and his girlfriend as he comforts her while she dies of a drug overdose.
  • Title Track:
    I got the lust for life!