The Passenger (song)
|Song by Iggy Pop|
|from the album Lust for Life|
|Released||August 29, 1977|
|Recorded||April – June 1977 at Hansa Studio by the Wall, Berlin|
"The Passenger" is a song by Iggy Pop and Ricky Gardiner, recorded and released by Iggy Pop on the Lust for Life album in 1977. It was also released as the B-side of the album's only single, "Success". It was released as a single in its own right in March 1998, reaching number 22 in the UK Charts.
The lyrics, written by Iggy Pop allegedly aboard Berlin's S-Bahn, have been interpreted as embodying the nomadic spirit of the punk outcast. Guitarist Ricky Gardiner composed the music. The song is loosely based on a poem by Jim Morrison.
Background and conception
In an interview with The Guardian, Iggy Pop spoke about how "The Passenger" was partly inspired by travelling with David Bowie on tour, "...I’d been riding around North America and Europe in David’s car ad infinitum. I didn’t have a driver’s licence or a vehicle."
In the media
The song has been featured in numerous movies, video games, documentaries and TV shows including He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, This Must Be the Place, Radiofreccia, 30 Days, Jarhead and the 2002 video game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2. More recently, Up in the Air, The Weather Man, Kurt Cobain: About a Son, Scarface: The World Is Yours, 24 Hour Party People, If I Stay, Sons of Anarchy, War Dogs , Ash vs Evil Dead , 12 Monkeys and Berlin Station (Season 3 episode 1) in addition to advertisements for Dublin Bus, Captain Morgan, Kohl's "Simply Vera" collection, Guinness, the fifth season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, and the film Waking Life.
- The instrumental lead-in riff of this song served as the intro theme music for the CNN program Anderson Cooper 360.
- In Lego Rock Band, the song appeared as a playable track featuring a Lego-style avatar of Iggy Pop on vocals.
- In 2009, New Zealand broadband internet provider Orcon held a promotion where eight fans re-recorded the song via the internet. The recording featured instruments foreign to the original, such as a flute.
- It was re-released as a single in the UK in 1998 in the wake of the Toyota Avensis commercial, peaking at number 22.
- The song was included in the book The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present published in 2008.
- In 2010, the German mobile phone provider T-Mobile launched their "Welcome Home" flash-mob advert on British television. Amongst the songs performed using only voices was "The Passenger", sung by local Brighton resident George Ikediashi.
- A cover of the song by The Phoenix Foundation was used in Tourism New Zealand's "One journey leads to another" campaign in 2017.
- A loop from the song is used as Music on hold for some phone services of Deutsche Bahn, the German national rail service.
- The song was used in the announcement trailer for the video game The Outer Worlds in 2018.
- Iggy Pop: Lead vocals
- David Bowie: Piano, organ, backing vocals
- Ricky Gardiner: Lead guitar
- Carlos Alomar: Rhythm guitar
- Tony Sales: Bass guitar
- Hunt Sales: Drums
Siouxsie and the Banshees version
|Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees|
|from the album Through the Looking Glass|
|B-side||"She's Cuckoo", "Something Blue"|
|Released||March 16, 1987|
|Format||7" single, 12" single|
|Genre||Pop rock, alternative rock|
|Producer(s)||Siouxsie and the Banshees|
|Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology|
English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees covered "The Passenger" in 1987 for their all-cover-versions album Through the Looking Glass. The group revamped the song by adding brass arrangements. Released as the second single from that album, it peaked at number 41 in the UK singles chart.
Iggy Pop praised their version and stated: "That's good. She sings it well and she threw a little note in when she sings it, that I wish I had thought of, it's kind of improved it [...]. The horn thing is good."
Other cover versions
- 1989: Pidżama Porno, on albums Ulice jak stygmaty and Futurista, with Polish lyrics written by Krzysztof Grabowski, called Pasażer ("passenger" in Polish).
- 1991: Brazilian band Capital Inicial recorded a Portuguese version of the song (whose lyrics follow nearly to letter the original) for their album Eletricidade. An acoustic version appeared in their MTV Unplugged album in 2000.
- 1994: Kult, on the album Muj wydafca.
- 1994-5: Deborah Harry played it many times during her Debravation Tour.
- 1995: Phil Shöenfelt in collaboration with Czech band Tichá Dohoda, on the album Live in Prague!
- 1995: Michael Hutchence, of INXS, on the Batman Forever soundtrack and used in a Budweiser advertisement.
- 1996: Die Toten Hosen, on the live album Im Auftrag des Herrn.
- 1996: Big Cyc, on the Z gitarą wśród zwierząt album, sung by Jarosław Janiszewski.
- 1996: Vlado Kreslin, on the album Pikapolonica.
- 1996: Portuguese rock band UHF, on the album 69 Stereo.
- 1997: Lunachicks did a cover for the We Will Fall: The Iggy Pop Tribute album.
- 1998: R.E.M. covered the song during their first performance on the BBC TV show Later with Jools Holland; the live recording was released later that year as a B-side to the R.E.M. single "At My Most Beautiful".
- 1999: Fool Boona sampled the riff in "Popped".
- 2001: Rowland S. Howard, on the He Died with a Felafel in His Hand soundtrack.
- 2006: MC Lars used a sample from "The Passenger" for the track "Download This Song", on his album The Graduate.
- 2006: Belgian group Absynthe Minded did a cover for the Windkracht 10 soundtrack album.
- 2006: German group Makrosoft covered it on their Stereo Also Playable Mono soundtrack album.
- 2007: Mark Vidler of Go Home Productions released a mashup called "Peggy Lee vs. Iggy Pop – Passenger Fever" on his album Mashed.
- 2008: Skizoo, a Spanish rock band, did a Spanish version of the song for their album 3, under the title to "Bla, bla, bla".
- Bauhaus often performed a cover version of "The Passenger" in live shows.
- 2009: DJ Gollum, a German dance music producer, made a remix of "The Passenger".
- 2010: Jamaican group The Jolly Boys recorded a mento version on their album Great Expectation. This version was featured in the British television series Skins, Season 5 Episode 8.
- 2011: Kid Loco, on the album Confessions of a Belladonna Eater.
- 2011: Cro, a German rapper, sampled "The Passenger" for his song "Wir waren hier" on his mixtape Easy, and put an extended version of it with a slightly changed instrumental on his album Raop, which was released in 2012.
- 2012: Los Colorados, on the album Move It!
- 2012: Alison Mosshart & The Forest Rangers covered the song on the second soundtrack released for the television series Sons of Anarchy.
- 2013: Big John Bates plays an Americana Noir version sung live by upright bassist Brandy Bones.
- 2017: The Phoenix Foundation covered the song for a Tourism New Zealand advertising campaign.
- PBS documentary Rock and Roll episode 7: The Wild Side, 1995
- The Lords and the New Creatures Poems by Jim Morrison, Simon & Schuster, 1969, pg. 32
- Perry, Kevin EG (5 March 2016). "Josh Homme on Iggy Pop: 'Lemmy is gone. Bowie is gone. He's the last of the one-and-onlys'".
- "Iggy re-records 'The Passenger' with a little help from NZ fans". 3 News. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
- "George Ikediashi from Brighton lands starring role in T-Mobile national TV ad". Brighton Visitor.com. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "Fighttracks: walkout songs of UFC 212". MMA Junkie.
- Dawson, Abigail. "Tourism New Zealand launches new mobile-led campaign". Mumbrella. Mumbrella. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
- "Italian single certifications – Iggy Pop – The Passenger" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved November 1, 2014. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "The Passenger" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
- "Siouxsie & the Banshees [uk charts]". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "120 Minutes" Iggy Pop interview. MTV. June 1990. Excerpt about Siouxsie and the Banshees' version of The Passenger from 08:38
- Rosen, Christopher (December 11, 2017). "Best of 2017 (Behind the Scenes): The stories behind the best songs on the I, Tonya soundtrack". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 22, 2017.