Iggy Pop is celebrating his 73rd birthday today (21) by offering fans a free download of his 1980s cover of Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘Family Affair.’
Pop recorded the version in 1985 with funk pioneer Bootsy Collins. It was never officially released as a single, but appeared on his 1995 compilation We Are Not Talking About Commercial Shit! The recording is now available to stream or download at his official website.
Talking to Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music, the station on which the star has himself been a favourite presenter in recent years, he explained the background to his recording. The Sly & The Family Stone version topped both Billboard‘s pop and R&B charts when he was at a low ebb.
“I’ve always loved this song, it came out when I was kinda on the ropes in 1971,” he said. “There’s a lot of truth in it, especially in the second verse, about all sorts of questions that are coming around again now.
“I loved the music and I love what Bootsy did with it. Bootsy’s a great star and there is so much life in his playing, and so much personality and truth in who he is. It was a big thrill to work with him and Bill Laswell. It just sat there for a long time because it just wasn’t right vis-à-vis the noise and constant shifting and churning of the horrible pop scene (sorry), and also in light of the other things I was doing.
“Then one day recently,” he continued, “things had quietened down in daily life for everybody and for me too. I listened to it by accident and oh 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.”