One of the true madmen of rock is back with a new album. In his hometown of Detroit, Iggy Pop shook things up in the late 1960s and early '70s with his hard-rocking band, The Stooges. With his group and as a solo performer, Iggy presented shows that made headlines.

He was known to roll around on pieces of broken glass and smear himself with peanut butter. Now, at age 54, he shows no signs of slowing down. The new album from Iggy Pop is entitled, Beat 'Em Up.

Iggy and The Stooges played a large role in the evolution of psychedelic rock, and are considered by many as the first punk rockers. Jim Osterberg, also known as Iggy Pop, has been widely revered as the godfather of punk, with a singing style that can best be described as shouting, sneering and howling.

As a solo artist, Iggy continued his hard rocking, irreverent music. He also tried his hand at acting, appearing in the films "Cry Baby," "Hardware" and "The Crow: City of Angels." His 1977 tune, "Lust For Life," was revived on television's "Drew Carey Show" and is currently being used in a TV commercial for automobiles.

Iggy Pop says his latest album, Beat 'Em Up, was inspired in part by the poetry of beat generation writer Alan Ginsberg. He even kept one of Ginsberg's collections with him in the recording studio. The tune "Mask" was inspired by a woman he met backstage after a concert by alternative band, Slipknot. Her opening line was, "Hi, which mask are you?" Iggy feels the song makes a statement about the human condition.

On Beat 'Em Up, Iggy Pop says he was looking to create a garage-rock album that included elements of 1970s classic rock. One review has already hailed his triumphant return as his "loudest, most adolescent and unwholesome album since The Stooges."

Recently, Iggy was the subject of a "Behind The Music" special on cable channel VH-1, which chronicled the ups and downs of his colorful career. Iggy Pop will support Beat 'Em Up with several European festival appearances from now through August, followed by a U.S. tour in the fall.