RECORDS

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The Independent Culture
Iggy Pop: Best of ... Live (MCA, CD/tape). Thanks to the Trainspotting soundtrack and the odd beer commercial, Mr Pop is nowadays as hip as a 49-year-old can be, so we can forgive his record company for rushing out this album so fast they didn't even have time for a decent translation of the French sleevenotes ("This unusual '5 foot 1' fellow ... This friendly hometown boy will soon becom [sic] a star"). The 18 tracks are drawn from concerts in 1977, 1986 and 1988, and while the spread lets you appreciate Iggy's ferocious life-long devotion to scrappy, sleazy punk, it means that the quality of both voice and band is decidedly wobbly. No one is going to argue that these renditions of "The Passenger" and "Lust For Life" top the definitive studio cuts. As a 76-minute live album it's a lot of fun. As a Best of ... album it leaves a lot to be desired. Nicholas Barber

Barry Adamson: Oedipus Schmoedipus (Mute, CD/LP/ tape). In a shady corner of a Hollywood analyst's waiting-room, John Barry bumps into Massive Attack. The most impressive thing about this bizarre and profoundly entertaining psycho-sexual concept album from the former Bad Seed and Magazine mainstay is that it somehow manages not to collapse under the weight of a formidable trio of guest vocalists. Jarvis Cocker's hilarious cod-Phil Spector libido explosion "Set the Controls For the Heart of the Pelvis", Billy Mackenzie's swooping falsetto fiesta "Achieved in the Valley of the Dolls", and Nick Cave's demurely downbeat "The Sweetest Embrace" might all have stolen the limelight in less intriguing company. But the best of Adamson's unassisted work - the subliminal soft- shoe shuffle of "In a Moment of Clarity", the venomous inter-racial romance of "The Vibes Ain't Nothing But the Vibes" ("Usual story - they fall in love under a hail of spit that they ignore while secretly conspiring to murder each other") - matches and even betters them. Ben Thompson

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