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James Williamson's feral guitar work on Iggy & the Stooges' epochal Raw Power in 1973 has proven to be wildly influential with the passage of time, but it's also the sole basis for his legend in the minds of many fans. While Williamson collaborated with Iggy Pop on the fine Kill City album (released in 1976), and he produced Pop's 1979 effort New Values, the trail of his career goes cold after that. To take him at his word, Williamson had barely even picked up a guitar for 25 years after he quit rock & roll to study engineering, and before he reunited with the Stooges in 2009 following the death of original guitarist Ron Asheton. Presumably interested in reaffirming his musical legacy (and with the Stooges on hiatus after the death of drummer Scott Asheton), Williamson returned to a fascinating but often overlooked body of work -- the songs he and Pop wrote and demoed for the projected follow-up to Raw Power that was scrapped when Columbia dropped the band. These songs have appeared on a remarkable number of bootleg and semi-authorized albums, but Williamson has re-recorded them on the album Re-Licked, with a battalion of guest vocalists taking the place of Pop. In promotional interviews, Williamson says he hated hearing the sound of the various releases of the demos, and by comparison, Re-Licked sounds big, bold, and glossy, with the full-bodied production and mix those demos (and Raw Power) lacked. Williamson used two core bands on Re-Licked, one anchored by Mike Watt on bass and Toby Dammit on drums (who played on the Stooges' live dates in support of 2013's Ready to Die), the other featuring bassist Simone Marie Butler (from Primal Scream) and drummer Michael Urbano; both are capable and drive the songs well, and Williamson's guitar work is as good as ever from a technical standpoint. Williamson also recruited a handful of fine singers -- including Mark Lanegan, Gary Floyd, Bobby Gillespie, Lisa Kekaula, Nicke Andersson, and Jello Biafra -- and they do their best to do right by songs that have been recognized as underground rock classics. ~ Mark Deming