18 May 2006


"Mass Production" by Iggy Pop which clocks in at 8:24

Dark, ominous, fragmented, cerebral, paranoid...full of guilt and despair. These are the characteristics I assume were overwhelming Ian Curtis twenty-six years ago when he took his own life. I can't say for sure, I wasn't there, but I did read Touching From A Distance written by Ian's widow Deborah Curtis. She actually was there. She came home that day twenty-six years ago to find that Ian had hung himself. She tells in her book that Ian was plagued with depression, epilepsy, and was involved with another woman. This combination of factors may have had quite a bit to do with his decision to end his own life. Or, perhaps, it was Ian's fascination with the film Stroszek. It's impossible to say for sure, but a well documented fact is that Ian Curtis was a big fan of Iggy Pop. The influence came across in his music and the one well known fact surrounding Ian's death is that he was listening to Iggy Pop's 1977 album The Idiot when he killed himself. What exactly is The Idiot all about? It was Iggy's attempt to revive his slightly dormant career with the help of David Bowie. It was a move away from the guitar energy of The Stooges and towards something more dark, ominous, fragmented, cerebral, paranoid...

The album contains a few fairly well-known songs like "Nightclubbing" and "Funtime" but it is the final track, "Mass Production", that fully sums up what was being attempted with the creation of The Idiot. "Mass Production" has all of the vision of the album put together perfectly in its eight plus minutes. It is an ominous drone, it is a fitting soundtrack to self-destruction, and it is this final track that I imagine was the last song Ian Curtis ever heard. How could I know that? I don't, but it just seems to make sense.

Buy The Idiot HERE on Amazon.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"