mp3 : Iggy Pop – Lust For Life

For years, it was always the downstairs alternative disco within Strathclyde University’s Student Union.  Level 8 was the main place for live acts and a half decent indie and pop disco but two floors down, in what usually functioned as the main dining hall, you’d find a DJ playing more obscure and cult material. Iggy Pop featured every week, alternating between The Passenger and Lust For Life (it was vinyl in those days and I’m guessing that was the only LP that the student union had!)

Moving forward more than a decade and the song became synonymous with the opening few minutes of the film Trainspotting as Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Spud (Ewan Bremner) sprint down Princes Street in Edinburgh pursued by security guards after a shoplifting incident gone wrong. The joy and surprise of seeing so many familiar locations come to life on the big screen was part of what made that film so special, and every time I walk up Leith Walk and pass its junction with Calton Road I instantly recall the moment where Renton sprints down the sorts set of stairs and seconds later narrowly avoids getting killed by a car emerging from a side street as Iggy’s song pounds away in the background.

Almost 20 years later and I’ve a third abiding memory and that’s of Johnny Marr and his cohorts blasting out a tremendous live version from the stage of the O2 Academy in Glasgow. In a gig packed with many highlights, including some astonishingly good versions of Smiths songs, the unexpected blast of Lust for Life was just as much a stand-out.

It wasn’t originally released as a single in the UK but was readily available on import from the Netherlands where it went Top 3, with this same track on the b-side as had been put on the UK release of The Passenger:-

mp3 : Iggy Pop – Success

1977?  Still sounds incredible and fresh today.


  1. Unfortunately, what comes to mind is a television commercial for a cruise line. This “sell out” doesn’t bother me quite as much as it normally would, and I think it’s because I know Iggy has lived in extreme poverty at different times. A great song… and album!

  2. I’m with Brian, unfortunately. Not sure, but I think it was Disney? Carnival at the least. I still love it, although I prefer The Passenger nowadays…

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