Iggy Pop – “Family Affair” (Sly & The Family Stone Cover) (Feat. Bootsy Collins)

Iggy Pop – “Family Affair” (Sly & The Family Stone Cover) (Feat. Bootsy Collins)

Today is Iggy Pop’s birthday; he has just turned 73 years old. To celebrate the occasion, the leathery grandmaster has decided to, out of nowhere, get funky on us. On Bandcamp, Iggy has dropped a cover of “Family Affair,” Sly & The Family Stone’s psychedelic soul-funk classic. The original “Family Affair” was a #1 hit in 1971 — the first chart-topper ever to feature a drum-machine beat. Sly Stone recorded most of the original track by himself, playing almost all the instruments. It’s a terse and ambiguous song, but it’s a joyous one, too.

It’s not entirely clear when Iggy Pop recorded his version of “Family Affair.” (He’s covered the song before, and there are at least some reports that he recorded this version back in the ’80s.) Bill Laswell produced the track, and it features bass from funk legend Bootsy Collins, the former Parliament-Funkadelic member and James Brown sideman. Together, they’ve made a version of “Family Affair” that aims for the low-key simmer of the original, giving Iggy’s insinuating baritone plenty of room to operate. It’s cleaner than the original, but it’s an impressive shot at recapturing that vibe. You can hear both the cover and the original below.

On Bandcamp, Pop writes:

To all Poptimists!

“[this track] made me feel good and it was good company and I hoped I could put it out and it would be good company for someone else too”

If Iggy Pop really refers to his fans as Poptimists, that’s amazing. You can get the “Family Affair” cover at Bandcamp.

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