Don't Look Down

Album: New Values (1979)


  • "Don't look down" is advice you hear when you're high in the sky intended to keep you from falling. In this case, Pop uses it as an analog for his wild life: he doesn't want to stop to think about what's going on, he just wants to keep going. This credo led to plenty of stints in rehab, but also a long and colorful career where he never looked down.
  • The New Values album was released five years after Pop's band The Stooges folded. He enlisted two of his former bandmates, James Williamson and Scott Thurston, to work on it. Williamson produced the album and wrote "Don't Look Down" with Pop. He explained in a Songfacts interview: "The riff to 'Don't Look Down' was written in my apartment one rather sad rainy day in my little duplex apartment in Hollywood. It almost came to me as a whole - including verses, choruses, and everything. I wasn't playing in the band or anything at that time, so it just laid dormant for a couple of years until Iggy asked me to produce his album, which would become New Values. During the pre-production, I showed him that song, and he immediately wrote the lyrics. I always loved the way it turned out."
  • David Bowie, who started working with The Stooges in the early '70s, released a cover version with a reggae feel on his 1984 album Tonight. James Williamson was not impressed. "I always thought it was kind of lame," he said. "But I loved the royalties that started coming in from his recording."


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