After releasing the mighty Raw Power album in 1973, Iggy Pop and his Stooges guitarist James Williamson wrote more songs for their next album, which was abandoned amid a swirl of conflict among band and management. "Open Up And Bleed" was one of those tracks that never made it to vinyl in studio form, but it was played at some of the group's live shows until they went out in a blaze of glory at the Detroit Palace on February 9, 1974 with their last concert (a very hostile one) until the 2003 Stooges reunion.
Befitting Iggy Pop, the song is very primal, as he sings about feeling like a caged animal, a reflection of the pressure he was under at the time.
In a Songfacts interview with James Williamson
, he said: "Like so many songs of mine, it began with playing around and stumbling on a cool rocking back and forth which would become the main verse to it." Williamson counts it among his favorites with The Stooges.
Pop was known to open up and bleed, quite literally. He would often cut himself on stage and make a bloody spectacle, which always enthralled the crowd.
This appeared on various lo-fi bootlegs, including a 1998 release of Metallic K.O., where the version from the final Stooges show in 1974 was included. In 1995, a bootleg called Open Up And Bleed, which included the song, was released.
James Williamson recorded this with Carolyn Wonderland on vocals for his 2014 album Re-Licked.