Listen to Iggy Pop’s Lost Cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Family Affair’
Iggy Pop turned 73 on Tuesday and he celebrated by unearthing a cover of the Sly and the Family Stone classic “Family Affair” that he recorded with funk icon Bootsy Collins back in 1985.
“I’ve always loved this song; it came out when I was kinda on the ropes in 1971,” Iggy told the BBC. “There’s a lot of truth in it, especially in the second verse, about all sorts of questions that are coming around again now.”
The song has sat in his archive for the past 35 years. “Then one day recently things had quietened down in daily life for everybody and for me, too, and I listened to it by accident,” he said. “It just made me feel good and it was good company and I hoped that I could put it out and it would be company for somebody else, too.”
Pop’s most recent record, 2019’s Free, is a mellow, jazzy collection of songs he created in collaboration with trumpeter Leron Thomas and guitarist Sarah “Noveller” Lipstate. “The only difference from this Iggy and the one who founded the Stooges is the album’s jazzy horns, synthy backdrops, and greater emphasis on Sinatra-style crooning,” Rolling Stone‘s Kory Grow wrote in a review of the album. “As luck would have it, the Iguana makes a convincing lounge lizard.”
Pop promoted the album with a handful of special shows in Europe that featured nearly the entire new album along with a smattering of older songs like “Sister Midnight” from 1977’s The Idiot and the Stooges classic “Death Trip.” He hasn’t gone on a proper American tour since his 2016 Post Pop Depression run with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme leading the backing band.
Since the conclusion of that tour, Pop’s live performances have been largely confined to overseas festival appearances. He has a handful of them booked between June and September, but the global shutdown of the concert industry due to the coronavirus makes it quite likely they’ll be postponed or canceled.