Search and Destroy (The Stooges song)

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"Search and Destroy"
Promo single label
Single by Iggy and the Stooges
from the album Raw Power
ReleasedJune 1973[1]

"Search and Destroy" is a song by American rock band the Stooges, recorded for the group's third album Raw Power (1973). Lead singer Iggy Pop said that the title was derived from a column heading in a Time article about the Vietnam War.[2]

In 1997, "Search and Destroy" (along with the rest of the songs on Raw Power) was remixed and remastered by Pop and Bruce Dickinson. The result was far more aggressive and stripped down than the original release, which had been mixed by David Bowie.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked "Search and Destroy" at No. 468 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". In 2009, it was named the 49th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[3] The song has also been characterized as garage rock,[4][5] glam rock[6] and proto-punk.[7]


In a song review for AllMusic, Bill Janovitz commented on the song's influence:

With "Search and Destroy," the Stooges lay down an archetype for punk rock: [Stooges' guitarist] James Williamson blistering through a bastardized and pumped-up Keith Richards guitar riff; Ron Asheton, having been relegated from guitar to bass, pounds the instrument with ferocity, while his brother, Scott Asheton, pummels the drum set like Keith Moon – all fills and cymbals ... One can hear the influence of the song in a myriad of bands that followed: the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, Motörhead, the Dead Boys (who covered it), and Nirvana.[8]

Janovitz also notes that the song has become a popular live punk performance piece for bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sid Vicious, the Dictators, and KMFDM.[8]


Finnish band Smack played the song in their gig at Husulan Kasino 26th of September 1986 and it has been recorded on their live album Live Desire.

Former Chemlab vocalist Jared Louche covered the song with The Aliens for his 1999 solo debut Covergirl.[9]

Emanuel covered the song for the Tony Hawk's American Wasteland original soundtrack in 2005.[10]

Skunk Anansie covered the song for the Sucker Punch soundtrack.[11]

Industrial metal band Ministry, joined by guitarist Billy Morrison and bassist David Ellefson, covered the track on their 2021 album Moral Hygiene.

Indie rock band Florence and the Machine covered the song on the deluxe edition of their 2022 album Dance Fever.

Red Hot Chili Peppers covered the song on The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience.

Soundgarden covered the song on Live on I-5.

Shotgun Messiah covered the song for the 1992 EP I want More



  1. ^ "Stooges singles".
  2. ^ Trynka, Paul (2011). Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed. Random House Digital. p. 136. ISBN 9780767927222.
  3. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Archived from the original on 2009-02-12. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
  4. ^ Kane, Tyler (August 27, 2014). "The 50 Best Garage Rock Songs of All Time". Paste. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Smith, Troy L. (May 24, 2016). "50 greatest album-opening songs". Retrieved December 27, 2018. 'Search and Destroy' is a raw form of garage rock that would go onto influence a number of artists.
  6. ^ Savage, Jon (February 1, 2013). "The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time". The Guardian. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  7. ^ Terich, Jeff (November 5, 2015). "10 Essential Proto-punk tracks". Treblezine. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Janovitz, Bill. "Iggy & the Stooges: 'Search and Destroy' – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  9. ^ Steininger, Alex (July 30, 2020). "Jared Louche and the Aliens: Covergirl". In Music We Trust (26). Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Corey Apar. "Emanuel – Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 11 January 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  11. ^ "The Crew of "Sucker Punch"". 25 March 2011.