Review: James Williamson | Re-Licked

Leopard Lady Records

James Williamson happens to be the guitarist and co-songwriter on one of my favourite albums of all time, The Stooges Raw Power. This was before “Iggy and the Stooges”, and it, like one of the tracks on the album is ‘Hard to Beat’. I saw Williamson play with the Stooges at the Big Day out some years ago and man, he can still crank it out.

This latest release Re-Licked is a collection of songs penned by Williamson and Iggy Pop in 1973-74 as a follow up to Raw Power, but as the Stooges disintegrated and Iggy moved on while disintegrating at the same time, the songs were never properly recorded; some making their way onto bootlegs and unofficial releases like Metallic KO which sits proudly in my record collection, but the sound quality of this live recording is average at best.

This year during a break in touring, Williamson and the current Stooges (Steve Mackay, Mike Watt and Drummer Tony Dammit) got together and recorded Re-Licked. And although Iggy is not on the album and is hard to replace, but what a line up of singers! Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Lisa Kekaula (Bellrays and Basement Jax fame), Billy Gillespie (Primal Scream), Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Nicke Andersson (Hellacopters) and many more: it is one awesome album.

Some of the tracks feel like they are straight off Raw Power, others have a tinge of Funhouse, and others remind me of the Josh Homme collaboration of the Desert Sessions. The tracks I have in my collection, the bootleg originals, Cock in My Pocket, I’m Sick of You, stack up fine against their bootleg brothers, but let me tell you, Lisa Kekaula’s I Gotta Right is kick-arse and pumping.

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