New Values was Iggy Pop's third solo studio album and his first since The Stooges' Fun House and post-Stooges Kill City without any involvement from David Bowie. Released in 1979, it was Pop's first record for Arista and the first collaboration by Pop and James Williamson since Kill City. The album also reunited Pop and Williamson with multi-instrumentalist Scott Thurston, who had played live piano for The Stooges on Metallic K.O. and Kill City. Although guitar was played by Williamson on "Don't Look Down", Scott Thurston played guitar on all other tracks, with Williamson concentrating on production. Likewise, although one of the songs was written by Pop and Williamson, five tracks were collaborations between Pop and Thurston.
Although well received critically and now regarded as one of Pop's best solo efforts, the album was not a commercial success, only reaching number 180 in the Billboard Top 200 album chart. Videos were made for "I'm Bored" and "Five Foot One". David Bowie later covered the New Values track "Don't Look Down" on his album Tonight (1984) and used it for the opening and closing titles of his short film Jazzin' for Blue Jean.