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Iggy Pop Is The Passenger

by Mike Singleton - Mikeydred 17 days ago in 70s music · updated 16 days ago
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Iggy Pop's Passenger Covered and Explained and Expanded

Iggy Pop - The Passenger - Single Cover

Introducing The Passenger

I have always been a fan of Iggy Pop ever since The Stooges. I loved “The Idiot” his first David Bowie collaboration, but the follow-up, “Lust For Life” was jam-packed with amazing songs like the title track, “Success” and for me, most importantly “The Passenger” written by Ricky Gardiner, the lead guitarist on the album.

Iggy said, "The Passenger" was partly inspired by touring with David Bowie: "I'd been riding around North America and Europe in David's car ad infinitum. I didn't have a driver's licence or a vehicle"

Biographer Paul Trynka states that the song was "a simple celebration of life", of the "long walks" Pop would take growing up and his own reputation at the time.

The thing is a lot of people have covered it, I did with my band The Bok though we never recorded it. I remember putting full reverb on the guitar and it went down well at gigs, and I sang it as well.

But here we are going to go through the versions that I have found or heard because I was listening to the “Batman Forever” soundtrack and there is a class version on there from Michale Hutchence.

So here we go.

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1: Michael Hutchence's Passenger

This was one of many great songs that appeared on the “Batman Forever” soundtrack, a lot slower than the original but I find it sinisterly threatening, making a memorable cover. This is a great example of how a song should be covered.

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2: David Hasselhoff's Passenger

I was shocked to find this as often Hasselhoff is seen as an almost comic caricature, but while keeping close to the original this is a more than creditable cover with a good amount of gravitas. When listening to it I didn’t want to switch it off, which is always good when you are listening to a song. You should try it out you might even be as surprised as me.

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3: Siouxsie and the Banshees' Passenger

Their version was included on their 1987 cover-versions album “Through the Looking Glass”. They revamped the song by adding brass arrangements. It was released as the second single from the album, and it peaked at number 41 in the UK.

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4: Iggy Pop's Passenger

We will conclude with the original. The song is simple and perfect for any new band to pick up. It has a relentlessness to it, and once you hear it, it is ingrained into your brain. Though the album is brilliant, this is one of the absolute stand-out songs on the “Lust For Life” album.

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5: The Jolly Boys' Passenger

No not Del Boy's lot, this is one of many incredible covers on their "Great Expectation" album

6: Other Covers

  • In 2009, New Zealand broadband internet provider Orcon held a promotion where eight fans re-recorded the song via the internet. The recording featured instruments foreign to the original, such as a flute
  • In 2010, the German mobile phone provider T-Mobile launched their "Welcome Home" flash-mob advert on British television. Amongst the songs performed using only voices was "The Passenger", sung by local Brighton resident George Ikediashi
  • A cover of the song by The Phoenix Foundation was used in Tourism New Zealand's "One journey leads to another" campaign in 2017.

Concluding Information on The Passenger

The song has been featured in many films, TV shows and games including Jarhead and the 2002 video game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2.

More recently others have included it such as, Up in the Air, The Weather Man, Kurt Cobain: About a Son, Scarface: The World Is Yours, 24 Hour Party People, Sons of Anarchy, Ash vs Evil Dead, 12 Monkeys, The Boys, Dexter: and The Umbrella Academy in addition to advertisements for Captain Morgan, Kohl's "Simply Vera" collection and Guinness.

The song is something that will always be with us and you will always listen to it from start to end whoever will be singing it.

70s music

About the author

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (7)

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  • Lou Morrison11 days ago

    I vaguely remember reading that The Passenger was loosely inspired by Jim Morrison, too. Two figures at the forefront, great work by each.

  • Blake O'Connor16 days ago

    Night Clubbing by Iggy is one of my favorite songs!

  • Cathy holmes17 days ago

    Good one. Congrats on the top story

  • Well deserved my friend

  • Kendall Defoe17 days ago

    David Hasselhoff? Really?, la, la, la, lalalaaah...

  • La la la lalalala laaaa N I ride n I ride

  • This reminded me of the movie 'The Passenger' (2016)

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