Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Iguanas - S/T

I say this is self titled, because there's not really a title for it.

Thankfully, there were extensive liner notes on the back of this compiliation to aid me in understanding exactly what this is.

It's Jim Osterberg's first band. You know, Jim Osterberg. That household name. I mean, you can't go anywhere these days without hearing the name, Jim Osterberg.


Well, for those of us not really "in the know" (like myself), Jim Osterberg is known primarily as Mr. Iggy Pop. Yeah! He was the drummer in this band, and wouldn't you know, that's probably how he came to be known as "Iggy". You learn something new every day...

The Iguanas were a local, Ann Arbor, Michigan band from the early 60's who had recorded some original tracks, but mostly covers of popular early 60's rock tunes. Garage band a-go-go...but that's not a bad thing.

This compilation of Iguana's tracks was released in 1996 by Norton Records, and I find it really cool that they included a few little photos and show flyers on the back cover. I was especially geeked to see the one announcing the Shangri-las with the Iguanas at Club Ponytail in Harbor Springs, MI. That's just north of Petoskey, so I've been there a few times...I wonder where that was at...

Track Listing:

Side A:
1. Mona
2. I Don't Know Why
3. Again and Again
4. Out of Limits
5. California Sun
6. Twist and Shout
7. Walk Don't Run
8. Things We Said Today
9. Surfin' Bird

Side B:
1. Louie Louie
2. Wild Weekend
3. Tell Me
4. Slow Down
5. Johnny B Goode
6. Tequila
7. I Feel Fine
8. Pipeline
9. If I Had a Hammer

"I Don't Know Why" and "Again and Again" are Iguana originals, which is great that they put them first among all the covers, because some of them are downright atrocious. Take "Tell Me" for instance. Ouch. I love "Tell Me". I have the Stones singing "Tell Me" on my mp3 player at work, so I hear it almost daily and I never get sick of it. The Iguana's version was pretty painful.

But, this compliation is what is. It captures the early Iggy in his element. He only "sings" lead on one track, "Louie Louie" (only few bands must have been privy to the lyric sheet to this!), but if you're an Iggy fan, you buy this album. It's a nice garage-y snapshot, and if you listen closely, you can hear some studio chatter, which is usually always pretty cool.

For me, I give it two and three quarters stars, Ed.


Where did you buy this record and when?
Vintage Vinyl, as per usual, probably around '96 - 2000.

Do you own it in any other format?

What is your over-all impression of this album?
It's not that great. It's sounds like just another garage band, but it's Iggy's first band, and has his first composition on it. It's compitent garage rock - nothing earth shattering.

Favorite Track?
"Mona". It was the official single, and it's the best on this album.

How many stars out of five?
Because it's Iggy.

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