Iggy Pop Disses U2: ‘Giving Away Music Before It Can Flop’


Iggy Pop performs during his concert on the 4th day of the annual VOLT Festival in Sopron on June 2012.



By Chris Payne

Add Iggy Pop’s name to the list of those not impressed with U2’s latest attempt to change the world.

The Stooges frontman took on the Apple-backed new album giveaway in a recent interview with the U.K.’s Sunday Times.

“A veiled advert” is what he called the free-for-all rollout for U2’s Songs of Innocence, which was actually much more polite than how many others reacted to having the new album appear unasked for in their iTunes libraries.

“I’m not defending or condemning what they did,” the 67-year old Stooges frontman said. “And I don’t know… to me I wouldn’t call it free music. Because somebody probably paid them to do all that.” He’s right — U2’s album release via Apple was the centerpiece a whopping $100 million deal that eventually garnered 81 million impressions.

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Iggy went on, expanding his criticism to the music business as a whole:

“I don’t think that the glorification of the music business is always really truly good for the artist. It’s been good for… wouldn’t you say it’s been good for Simon Cowell?”

Several days earlier, Iggy Pop echoed these views in a speech at Manchester’s Radio Festival:

“We are exchanging the corporate rip-off for the public one. Aided by power nerds. Kind of computer Putins. They just wanna get rich and powerful. And now the biggest bands are charging insane ticket prices or giving away music before it can flop, in an effort to stay huge. And there’s something in this huge thing that kind of sucks.”

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It’s safe to assume “giving away music before it can flop” is in reference to Bono and company.

However, Iggy gave his stamp of approval to Thom Yorke’s recent rollout, which sold his new solo album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes over BitTorrent for $6.

“It’s good in this case that Thom Yorke is encouraging a positive change. The music is good. It’s being offered at a low price direct to people who care.”