Iggy Pop penned this song for the movie Gold along with Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, the film's director Stephen Gaghan and composer Daniel Pemberton. The motion picture stars Matthew McConaughey as a man looking for gold in the jungles of Indonesia. Pop and Danger Mouse previously worked together when The Godfather of Punk was a guest vocalist on "Pain," a track from the 2010 album, Dark Night of the Soul.
"This beautiful and unpredictable film spoke to me of violence, desire, destiny, lust and the inescapable twists of fate," said Pop. "The actors and the story spun a web of excitement that left me spent and breathless, so I tried to perform the vocal with that feeling in mind... I found myself at a new level of communication, standing there in the studio with Steve Gaghan and Danger Mouse, singing 'Gold' - a song for our times."
This represented the songwriting debut for Gaghan, who is best known for writing 2000's Traffic and writing and directing 2005's Syriana.
Speaking of working with producer Danger Mouse on the spaghetti western-inspired smoky ballad, Iggy told Rolling Stone: "In the studio, he very assiduously and energetically directed the vocal, which is what I want when you're working with a producer."
"Phrasing, intonation, vowel pronunciation – a lot of stuff like that," he added. "Little by little, the thing kept getting better and more conversational and less sing-songy."
Pete Townshend never had a #1 UK hit with The Who or as a solo artist, but he did produce and play on a song that hit the top spot there: "Something In The Air" by Thunderclap Newman, a group he assembled.
"Whole Lotta Love" was Led Zeppelin's only US Top 10 hit, charting at #4. Many of their songs, including "Stairway To Heaven," were not released as singles, as it was considered bad form in England to make people pay for singles that were on albums.