The Stooges split up in early 1974 and stayed that way until their 2003 reunion. In the summer of 1975, guitarist James Williamson and lead singer Iggy Pop got back together to work on some songs, which became the Kill City
album. They stopped production when they ran out of money, but in 1977 they completed the album when the Bomp! label agreed to release it (by this point, Pop had established a successful solo career).
In a Songfacts interview with Williamson
, he explained: "'Kill City' was written as the last song to the group of songs we would record as the album Kill City
. Ben Edmonds, who had been instrumental in arranging Jimmy Webb
's home studio to record in, felt like we were missing a hook song to round out the material we had come up with. The riff for 'Kill City' just came to me one day, and was just barely written when we went into the studio. Turned out to be the pivotal track and title track."