Iggy Pop's Post-Halloween "Candy"
Welcome to Forgotten Videos. For some, these videos are forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Whichever category you fall into, each week we'll feature a video that's possibly been collecting dust when what it really deserves is a fresh look. Or vice-versa…. We're not here to judge, we just want to take you on a little trip down memory lane. Yep, you'll remember when hair was really that big, when drums were that up front in the mix, when video was young(er) and so were you.
By the time Iggy Pop released his 1990 album Brick By Brick, he'd already gone through a lifetime's worth of career and personal ups and downs. The former James Osterberg's path to stardom (or at least rock excess) started in Ann Arbor, Mich., as part of the Stooges, progenitors of punk and purveyors of rock's dark side of freewheeling drugs and anarchic abandon. Following an erratic few years of primitive recordings, wild proto-punk shows and deep heroin addiction, Iggy and the Stooges disbanded, but left behind a legacy that would influence many bands that followed.
Pop launched his solo career in 1977 with the David Bowie-produced The Idiot, which contained an early version of the eventual Bowie hit "China Girl." Less than a year later, Pop served up his first real stab at mainstream accessibility with Lust For Life, which featured a title track that has gone on to fame in numerous films and commercials.
Still, it wasn't until he landed a recording contract with A&M Record and released Blah Blah Blah in 1986, again with Bowie producing, that Pop began to enjoy some chart success, with the tracks "Real Wild Child" and "Cry For Love" making the Top 40 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.
But it was when Virgin Records signed him and put him in the studio with Don Was that Pop emerged with an actual pop hit in "Candy." Featuring vocals from the B-52's' Kate Pierson, who was riding the success of her band's biggest hits ("Love Shack" and "Roam"), "Candy" was from all appearances a romantic duet set in an abandoned cabaret, a song of longing for lost love. Or was it?
Let's look a little closer. The lyrics suggest Pop may be reflecting on a different kind of candy, the kind he was addicted to, and the kind that has a hold over you even after you've kicked it.
Candy, Candy, Candy I can't let you go
All my life you're haunting me
I loved you so
There are other clues. While Pop appears in the video in his classic uniform — jeans, no shirt — it's a decidedly cleaned-up Pop; the usual mop of hair is washed, his oddly sinewy torso looks practically normal, and the video offers only one trademarked Pop contortion 43 seconds into the clip. Not only did Pop go his most pop with Candy, it may also have been a celebration of sober living.
Indeed, Pop's career has come a long way from his early punk days to his role as a rock institution and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Still, even as his image gets more mainstream, it seems there's a little rebel left in Pop.
"Now that I'm an action figure at Toys 'R' Us," Pop told SF Weekly recently, "I thought like, wow, could [there] be a five-headed Stooge monster and when you pull a string it spews our new music?"
What's your favorite Candy? Got any Forgotten Video recommendations? Leave us a comment.
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