Big Star

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For giving Teenage Fanclub a career, classic. For inspiring every other halfwit Glaswegian indie band, dud.

Agree with dave q, the soppy gurly ballads win over the rockers everytime (esp on #1 record), and yup Sister Lovers is overwrought and overrated but any Lp with Holocaust, jesus christ and Kanga roo is ok by me (though I prefer This Mortal Coil's versions).

I will pass on the Raspberries coz' all I know about them is that they taste nice in trifle.

Billy Dods, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Weeellll I've never been that partial to "#1 record" unless I'm completely in the right mood for it, the rockers sound forced but the ballads are wonderful, especially the last few on side two. "Radio city" is end to end genius without doubt. "Sister lovers" has too much of a reputation hanging around it of 'tortured genius' to ever live up to it - didn't NME vote it most depressing album of all time a few years back? Oh come on! But it still has moments. And I'm probably the only person here who'll admit that they like the Columbia live album (but hell I love the Posies so what do you expect?) The rockier songs from "#1" sound better on "Columbia" than the originals - discuss.

Rob M, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The three BS albums are like a drunk's progress. First album - happy buzz, sociable and 'up'. Second album - nasty, sloppy, mean-minded, initially amusing but unpleasant to be with. Third album - all the grief, dysfunction and ultimate serenity of the hangover. I like a lot of their stuff, I love a bit of their stuff - ultimately Chilton has to take some of the indirect blame for lo-fi's cult of the fuck- up.

Tom, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Nice comparison Tom. Why didn't I have that idea? "Kangaroo" is the delirium tremens isn't it?

alex in mainhattan, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Never heard them in my life.

the pinefox, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'Like Flies on Sherbert', the solo alb AC made after 'Sister Lovers', is the real good'un - we're talking one last reckless binge before the Betty Ford clinic beckoned. So ramshackle and woozy it makes the Dead C seem like King Crimson.

I also like 'I Am The Cosmos',the posthumous Chris Bell alb.

Andrew L, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Foxy: you might actually like 'em quite a bit, especially the slower moments (Ballad of El Goodo, for ex., and of course the immortal Thirteen.)

Everyone else: The first two records rock Third's world. Radio City is, I think, my favorite of the moment, b/c tho it has fewer instant hits it feels mature and thoughtful as opposed to angsty. Also, because of Septermber Gurls. Third has probably the most breathtakingly stunning songs, but I can't listen to something so morose that often. I need lifestyle music, eh?

Sterling Clover, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

dave q: I like the Raspberries reference. Very, very nice.

JM, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Big Star weren't on Stax proper but rather Ardent, a Stax subsidiary with which Stax misguidedly took on the white rock market. I don't think it was much of a priority for Stax, which was a mixed blessing in that it allowed such a singularly weird band to pretty much do what they wanted but hurt them in that the Stax guys didn't have much interest in or aptitude for promoting anything other than soul.

fritz, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, Rob, I liked Columbia too, also being a fan of the Posies. I think it's maybe telling that I like a lot of the bands that Big Star influenced a bit more than I like Big Star proper (esp. Replacements), but mostly because they are more powerpop and eliminated most of the rawk cliches of those first two albums, whether they invented them or no.

Sean Carruthers, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

anyway, what's wrong with kiss?

g, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

or Teenage Fanclub for that matter? They have gotten a bit boring...

g, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The first time I heard "Thirteen" I nearly cried. I *heart* this band so much.

Helen Fordsdale, Friday, 19 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Big Star totally live up to the hype. Their history is nearly as compelling as their music. "Radio City" defines it's era, much like X's "Wild Gift" defines it's own era.

Mole Man, Saturday, 20 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Sean - doncha love it when everyone gets sidetracked?

I heard Big Star before I heard either the Posies or Replacements or even the Fannies (a brother who had exceedingly bad taste most of the time finally got something right when he got "#1 Record" / "Radio city" in '91), and I've converted my fellow bandmate (a Fannies / Replacements / Smithereens fan) into a BS fan, his trying to convert me on the 'Mats and Smithereens has never worked in my direction for some reason. But we're totally agreed on the Posies and the Fannies though. Odd. I just can't get my head around the 'Mats at all, I've tried loads of times with different LPs of theirs, but still nothing. Mind, Paul Westerburg's last solo LP was rather good!

Rob M, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Call me old fashioned but I think one property of an era-defining record ought to be people actually buying it during that era, not 20 years later.

Tom, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Smithereens - AAARGGGGHHHH (makes retching sounds)

dave q, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It is an era defining record, era being 1990 unfortunately.

TFC way, way better than BS.

Billy Dods, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Could somebody PLEASE explain TFC's appeal? Start a new thread if you have to. This one really perplexes me.

dave q, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

From my experience, Teenage Fanclub is exemplary of most Britpop bands - Hey! We like such-and-such bands! Let's pay homage to them through shameless, lifeless emulation! Everyone'll LOVE us!

Bandwagonesque was all fine & good, but a bit slow (even when going fast) and surprisingly bland as a whole. Pleasant in certain situations, though. This is the only album I can confidently speak on, so feel free to ignore my pronouncements.

David Raposa, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Basically TFC = Big Star with 'originality' replaced by 'lyrics and sentiments early 90s students could relate to better'. As an early 90s student I hugely preferred them.

Tom, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

From my experience, Teenage Fanclub is exemplary of most Britpop bands

'Britpop' = term with huge ever growing scope creep

Nick, Monday, 22 October 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
"Thirteen" is such a fucking good song.

NA (Nick A.), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 20:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Isn't it just.

Sick Nouthall (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 20:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like the third one the best myself. "Radio City" is the most fully realized of the three "official" BS albums, but "Third" really did something that hadn't been done before, I think.

The Stax org was in such disarray in the early '70s that it's a wonder the records even got out there as much as they did. I've read that each of the first two albums only got into the marketplace in ridiculously small quantities...4000/5000 is a number I've seen.

I don't know if they "define" any era. A post above maintains that to define era, their records would've have to been bought by somebody. So I guess they were one of the first true indie/critic's bands...the reviews were mostly glowing. In retrospect they do seem to define the period much better than any number of more popular acts, though. I see nothing wrong with revisionist nostalgia myself.

For a long time I loved them without reservation, then went thru a period during which I'd just heard them too much. For a lot of us they were like the Beatles, the absolute gold standard of pop records. Now I just accept them as a great pop band, period, and wish people would quit gushing about them so much, or maintaining that they weren't really all that good. As a live band they seem to have sucked; but I can't think of any better-conceived record than "Radio City." Such style. And they seem to define not an era but a state of mind, one epitomized by the Eggleston "red ceiling" photo that graced the original "RC" LP...bad dreams and vibes in an oversexed room, distilled into melancholy, perhaps? With a few good times vaguely recalled? Maybe that's the '70s, I don't know.

Interesting to see what the new Big Star album will be like...

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 21:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

a friend of mine is assisting with the engineering at Ardent. He says it sounds amazing.

of course, Chilton & company could scrape a chalkboard with rusty chisels and this guy would say it's the best thing ever.

(I think I listen to Third the most, too)

Will (will), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 22:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

there is a new studio album?

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 4 May 2004 22:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, they've been recording at Ardent since March, I believe.

I wonder how committed Chilton is to the whole idea of Big Star these days. Probably not very. I didn't think much of "Hot Thing."

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

When did 'Hot Thing' come out?

de, Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Umm, it was sometime after the Columbia reunion...maybe '95? It's on the somewhat misbegotten Rkyo "Big Star Story."

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, £15 for a 'best of', £10 for #1 Record/Radio City. Hmmm.

de, Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Really? That's so wrong.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 00:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

guys seriously I love "Ballad of El Goodo" so much

I want to be in a band that covers this

iiiijjjj, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

don't make me say a bunch of shit about it, just fire back re: yes this would be a pretty good thing to do, be in a band that covers this

iiiijjjj, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah

ghost rider, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I purchased the Blitzen Trapper song 'Summer Town' just because the vocal hook reminded me of BS' 'Thirteen.'

calstars, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

iiiiijjjjj where do you live?

calstars, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ya know, Evan Dando covered "El Goodo".

Pleasant Plains, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

'Thirteen'>>'El Goodo'

Drooone, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

fucking love them. i honestly feel sad for anyone who who passes them by.

Frogman Henry, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

drooone otm but it doesn't even matter

ghost rider, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

overrated Grandpappy Indie (VU notwithstanding); not worthless, but nor are Wishbone Ash, for goodness sake
-- mark s, Wednesday, October 17, 2001 5:00 PM (5 years ago)

"overrated"

gershy, Tuesday, 19 June 2007 05:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

overrated Grandpappy Indie (VU notwithstanding); not worthless, but nor are Wishbone Ash, for goodness sake

-- mark s, Wednesday, October 17, 2001 5:00 PM (6 years ago) Bookmark Link

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

ENLIGHTENING

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

uh x-post

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

and 'mod lang' is what needs to get cover treatment

strgn, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 11:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Mod Lang" is quite easy to play, so a cover would be cool.

whisperineddhurt, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 15:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

and somehow, strangely, Big Star lives on.
http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?region=gb_london&query=detail&interface=shepemp&event=257724
wish i could go ... is this one of them Don't Look Back things? Are they playing Radio City in its entirety?
i'll also take this opportunity to say that Alex Chilton probably has one of the top 5 singing voices in rock and roll history. Serious.

tylerw, Tuesday, 11 March 2008 15:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

Actually, listening to Radio City and Third, Alex Chilton kind of reminds me of a vanilla Barrett Strong Rude from Lethem's "Forttress of Solitude." Moments on Third definitely sound fucked up enough to come from three-week coke binges.

That being said "Blue Moon" and "Stroke it Noel" totally PWNs! The former is better than "Thirteen" (which, sadly, contains no oboes).

Drugs A. Money, Wednesday, 12 March 2008 02:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

sweet jesus this band is good. they seem to have such a unique and effortless ear for hook and melody. such a pleasure to listen to.
and on another note, 'i'm in love with a girl' appeared on a shuffle the other day. i was feeling a little absent-minded and it took me about 30 seconds to recall who it was without checking. such a sweet, simple song and yet it feels about 20 years ahead of its time.

Charlie Howard, Thursday, 8 May 2008 16:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

edd hurt up there described chilton's kind of effete memphis accent as "insolent" and i liked that. he also seems to had a kind of limp-wristed comportment as well. was taking on some of what we now think of as "gay" mannerisms part of that insolence? or is there a more complex connection, or none at all,between chitin's kind-of-upper-crust mid-south manner and "gay" codes?

wizzz! (amateurist), Friday, 2 September 2016 04:46 (three months ago) Permalink

i hope i don't offend anyone with those observations. it seems like an integral part of chitin's complicated schtick, if it was a schtick.

wizzz! (amateurist), Friday, 2 September 2016 04:46 (three months ago) Permalink

Jon Tiven on "pancake records" and working with his many friends--a group that doesn't include Axel Chitlin.

Edd Hurt, Friday, 2 September 2016 22:40 (three months ago) Permalink

This guy

Under the Zing of Stan (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 3 September 2016 02:35 (three months ago) Permalink

For clarity's sake, re the ones I mentioned above and others:

VOL. 1: Demos To Sessions To Roughs
1. Like St. Joan (Kanga Roo) * (Demo) 2. Lovely Day (Demo) 3. Downs (Demo)
4. Femme Fatale (Demo) 5. Thank You Friends (Demo) 6. Holocaust (Demo)
7. Jesus Christ (Demo) 8. Blue Moon (Demo) 9. Nightime (Demo)
10. Take Care (Demo) 11. Big Black Car (Demo #2/Acoustic Take 1)
12. Don’t Worry Baby 13. I’m in Love With A Girl *
14. Big Black Car (Demo #3/Acoustic Take 2) 15. I’m So Tired * – Alex & Lesa
16. That’s All It Took * – Alex & Lesa 17. Pre-Downs * 18. Baby Strange *
19. Big Black Car (Demo #1/Band) 20. Kizza me * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal)
21. Till The End Of The Day * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal, Kept As Final Vocal)
22. Thank You Friends * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal)
23. O, Dana * (Dickinson Rough Mix) 24. Dream Lover * (Dickinson Rough Mix)

VOL. 2: Roughs To Mixes
1. Big Black Car * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal)
2. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
3. Take Care * (Dickinson Rough Mix) 4. Holocaust * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
5. Nightime * (Dickinson Rough Mix) 6. Thank You Friends * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
7. Nature Boy * (Dickinson Rough Mix) 8. After Hours * – Lesa
9. Stroke It Noel (Backwards Intro) 10. Lovely Day * (Fry Rough Mix)
11. Nightime * (Fry Rough Mix) 12. Blue Moon * (Fry Rough Mix)
13. Till The End Of The Day (Alternate mix #1) 14. Big Black Car (Fry Rough Mix)
15. Holocaust (Fry Alternate/Rough mix) 16. Downs * (Fry Rough mix)
17. Kanga Roo (Fry Rough Mix) 18. Femme Fatale * (Fry Rough Mix)
19. For You * (Alternate Version/Alex Vocal) 20. Thank You Friends * (Fry Rough Mix)
21. Take Care * (Alternate Version/Alex Vocal) 22. Kizza Me * (Fry Rough Mix)
23. Till The End Of The Day (Fry Rough Mix #2) – Lesa
24. Nature Boy (Fry Rough Mix) 25. Mañana

VOL. 3: Final Masters
1. Stroke It NoeL 2. Downs 3. Femme Fatale 4. Thank You Friends
5. Holocaust 6. Jesus Christ 7. Blue Moon 8. Kizza Me 9. For You
10. O, Dana 11. Nightime 12. WhoLe Lotta shakin’ Goin’ On
13. Kanga Roo 14. Take Care 15. Big Black Car 16. Dream Lover
17. You Can’t Have me 18. Till The End Of The Day 19. LoveLy Day
20. Nature Boy

VOL. 1: Demos To Sessions To Roughs
Track 1, 13, 15–18, 20–24 Previously Unissued
Tracks 2-3 originally issued on Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story, Big Beat
CDWIK2 273 (2008)
Tracks 4-11 originally issued on Keep An Eye On The Sky, Rhino 519760 (2009)
Tracks 12, 19 originally issued in edited form on Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story,
Big Beat CDWIK2 273 (2008)
Track 14 originally issued on Jesus Christ, Omnivore Recordings, OVS10-153 (2015)

VOL. 2: Roughs To Mixes
Tracks 1-8, 10-12, 16, 18-22 Previously Unissued
Tracks 9, 14-15, 17 originally issued on Nothing Can Hurt Me, Omnivore Recordings OV-61 (2013)
Tracks 13, 24-25 originally issued on Keep An Eye On The Sky, Rhino 519760 (2009)
Track 23 originally issued in a different mix on Lésa, Barbarian Records BWRR0201 (1980)

VOL. 3: Final Masters
Tracks 1, 3-11, 13-15, 17 originally issued on 3rd, PVC 7903 (1978)
Tracks 2, 12 originally issued on The Third Album, Aura AUL 703 (1978)
Track 16 originally issued on Big Star’s 3rd: Sister Lovers, PVC 8933 (1987)
Tracks 18, 20 originally issued on Third/Sister Lovers, Rykodisc 10220 (1992)
Track 19 originally issued on Keep An Eye On The Sky, Rhino 519760 (2009)
All songs written by Alex Chilton except: “Downs” by Alex Chilton/Lesa Aldridge; “Femme Fatale”
and “After Hours” by Lou Reed; “Big Black Car” by Alex Chilton/Chris Gage; “Don’t Worry Baby” by
Brian Wilson/Roger Christian; “I’m so Tired” by John Lennon/Paul McCartney; “That’s All It Took”
by Darrell Edwards/Charlotte Grier/George Jones; “Pre-Downs” by Alex Chilton/Jim Dickinson;
“Baby strange” by Marc Bolan; “Till The End Of The Day” by Ray Davies; “Whole Lotta shakin’
Goin’ On” by David Curly Williams; “Nature Boy” by Eden Ahbez; “For You” by Jody stephens

Guitar: Alex Chilton, Jim Dickinson, Lee Baker, Steve Cropper
Keyboards: Alex Chilton, Jim Dickinson
Drums: Jody Stephens, Richard Rosebrough, Tarp Tarrant
Bass: Tommy Cathey, William Murphy, Tommy McClure, Jimmy Stephens Jr. (on “For You”)
Reeds, Woodwinds, Synthesizer: Carl Marsh
String Arrangements: Carl Marsh
Strings: John Wehlan, Robert Snyder, Peter Spurbeck, Noel Gilbert,
Rebecca Anne Mcmullan, John Stubbs, Celeste Wilson, Lorine Gottshall
Other Contributors: The Duncan Sisters, Pat Rainer, Randy Romano (on “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”)
PRODUCED BY JIM DICKINSON
Engineered by: Alex Chilton, Jim Dickinson, John Fry & Richard Rosebrough
Recorded at Ardent studios, Memphis, TN
PRODUCED FOR RELEASE BY CHERYL PAWELSKI
ASSOCiATE PRODUCER: ADAM HILL
Tape Research, Transfers & Additional Mixing: Adam Hill
Audio Restoration & Mastering by Michael Graves at Osiris studio
Licensing: Bryan George
Editorial: Audrey Bilger
All Photographs courtesy of Andy Hummel & the Ardent Archives except where noted
Art Direction & Design: Greg Allen
Project Assistance: Dutch Cramblitt, Mary Lindsay Dickinson, Luther Dickinson, Joy Graves,
Lee Lodyga, Elizabeth Montgomery, Pat Rainer, Brad Rosenberger, Chris stamey & Jody stephens
special Thanks: John Calacci, Bertis Downs, Elizabeth Hoehn, David Jenkins, Tony Margherita,
Kevin O’Neil, Ken Shipley & Rich Tupica
some of the recordings on this collection contain audio anomalies and compromises that could not be corrected due
to their age and the manner in which some tapes were stored*. We’ve done our very best to restore the sound on these
tracks, and they are presented here for historical purposes and relevance to the overall story of this album’s creation.

(*Which maybe is why some of the roughs do sound crackly and dry, as I noted, but even those are basically pretty clear, and overall sound quality is very agreeable)

dow, Tuesday, 6 September 2016 17:13 (three months ago) Permalink

For Disc 3, we should keep in mind that xpost Dickinson quote in the booklet

“The Rykodisc people asked me if I wanted to sequence
it,” he recalled, “but when I went back to my production notes, I realized
that my ideas and Alex’s were so different that it wouldn’t be fair. There is
no sequence.”

dow, Tuesday, 6 September 2016 17:22 (three months ago) Permalink

Speaking of the booklet, I don't have any others at hand for comparison, or Rob J.'s book, but enjoyed this one: Besides the contextualizing main essay from journalist/A&R executive Bud Scoppa, extensive notes from original participants and artists influenced by Big Star are also included: Jody Stephens (Big Star), Mary Lindsay Dickinson (widow of producer Jim Dickinson), Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Adam Hill (Ardent staff producer), Elizabeth A. Hoehn*, Susanna Hoffs and Debbi Peterson (The Bangles), Peter Holsapple (The dB’s), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Mike
Mills (R.E.M.), Cheryl Pawelski (Omnivore Recordings), Pat Rainer (Memphis photographer/friend of band), Danny Graflund (Alex Chilton’s bodyguard), Jeff Rougvie (former Rykodisc A&R), Pat Sansone (Wilco), Chris Stamey (The dB’s), John Stirratt (Wilco), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star), and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate).

*AKA Lesa Aldridge (did she marry Tommy H.?), who remembers their writing "Downs" together, mostly with her lyrics, and that it impressed Fry enough to give Alex the green light for a new album.

dow, Tuesday, 6 September 2016 17:38 (three months ago) Permalink

Finally got to xpost Vol.3: Final Masters just now, during the caffeinated workday, and found its phosphorescent after midnight vibe not at all dependent on mere circadian rhythms or other reality/irreality crutches. Beale Street Green would indeed have been a good title (picturing green odd-cornering three-storeys,also around bus shelters, if any, in smoggy parklets and medians and alleys and pipes). Latest remastering makes this just a bit more vivid, without getting into Guiliani York Time Square shine jobs.
I haven't counted up the outtakes I like or the ones I suspect may grow on me, but so far seems like this might be one of those rare boxes I wouldn't want to be without, almost in its entirety: the collector bait now takes its place alongside the canonical edition, or versions, in this case.
Since the booklet emphasizes the lack of any definitive intended sequence or even contents, we can make our own, and mine goes something like this:
All of Vol 3 as listed above, except I'd substitute the aforementioned "pulsating puzzle palace" Fry alt mix of "Downs", or maybe the crispy solo version.
If I knew how to pull Fry's echo around the vocal into the Vol. 3 version of "Holocaust", I'd do that, but otherwise, I'd let this 'un alone.
No "Femme Fatale": AC is oh-so-gracefully superfluous, kinda preeny too, Lesa's long-distance French chorus is just anxious (secret insecurity of la "Femme Fatale"? Conceptually acceptable, but currently vaguely annoying in actual listening). Steve Cropper is out in the hall, notes tell us: uncomfortable with the setting and/or material, and just kinda poking at it.
Prob no "Nature Boy" for me, though I do like Fry's mix, and Eggleston's piano.
I'll have to compare Vol. 3 version of "Lovely Day" to Fry's Vol. 2 rough, but they're both mighty fine.
Maybe reprise "Big Black Car" via one of those mesmerizing acoustic solo demos, though mainly cos I love the effect of going from that to
"Don't Worry Baby", multiple Alexes x unaccompanied guitar
"I'm In Love With A Girl", solo
Alex & Lesa:
"I'm So Tired"
"That's All It Took"
Lesa & musos:
"After Hours"
maybe the version of "Til The End of The Day" with her singing lead, but her lack of confidence does seem to drag the momentum a little.
maybe the Fry alt of "Kanga Roo" I mentioned as incl. "jangle dub."
Maybe the Big Star 2.0 live in Columbus MO version of "Baby Strange", because the attempt here did seem like it could have fit.
Ditto that show's version of "I Am The Cosmos", re grandiosity vs. reality, but not cringing away.
(Others from Complete Columbus? Must check.)
(Also trying to find AC's version of the Lefte Bank's "She May Call You Up Tonight". which seems like it might fit musically etc.)

Ditto the

"

dow, Thursday, 15 September 2016 19:34 (two months ago) Permalink

Never knew Chilton did "She Might Look My Way." But that would kinda validate my Theory of Power Pop, that it starts, pretty much, with the Left Banke/Knickerbockers/Beau Brummels. Where and when did he do it?

"Femme Fatale" never bothered me, but it is...tentative. It always flowed in the context of the record. But I haven't listened to it in quite a while and certainly haven't sat down with any Big Star record from start to finish in a while either. The best things on the Columbia record are the covers--the T. Rexes and Eugene Chandler. "Kansas City" is superfluous, though. I'm not much of a fan of that recording; I was there, and about all I can say about it is that Chilton fiddled with his amp settings until he came up with a good blend with the other guitarist, that seemed to be his main goal at the show. I mostly find the Posied Big Star rather one-dimensional; the video of the Memphis show, I was there too, is nice but again, about all I get from it is that Alex was a good guitarist. Decent versions of "Daisy Glaze" and "Back of a Car," because they're really Guitar Fantasias in a way most of the other material isn't. "O My Soul" proved remarkably impossible to play well live. Christgau likes the Columbia record, I filed it away years ago. And yeah, Beale Street Green is a perfect title, because, as Pete Townshend said about summertime blues re "Summertime Blues," there's no green--only bad money and nothing verdant, either-- in Beale Street.

Edd Hurt, Thursday, 15 September 2016 19:57 (two months ago) Permalink

"She May Call You Up Tonight" is the title we both meant to post just now, Edd! Apparently not recorded by AC, although coulda worked: singer-narrator afraid he's about to get busted for furtive trash-talking, the shady, real-teen side of power popl in Lefte Banke's original recording--- but think I was thinking of the solo version of "She Might Look My Way" you mentioned (as a Karin Berg-produced or authorized demo), which I'm not seeing, though Ocean Club '77 performance is good vocally, despite somewhat clumsy accompaniment.

dow, Thursday, 15 September 2016 20:06 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was mainly hoping for something else on The Complete Columbus that would go with "Baby Strange", for filling out my personal plastic Jesus cartape version of Third.

dow, Thursday, 15 September 2016 20:09 (two months ago) Permalink

Talking of Alex and Lesa, went to see this today.

Bottlerockey (Tom D.), Thursday, 15 September 2016 20:17 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm quite pleased by the fact that, before I knew who William Eggleston was, I went to an exhibition of his and said to the person I was with that "This stuff reminds me of the photographs on Big Star's Radio City".

Bottlerockey (Tom D.), Thursday, 15 September 2016 20:20 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I didn't think he'd done "She May Call You Up Tonight." But I bet he knew it.

Edd Hurt, Thursday, 15 September 2016 20:33 (two months ago) Permalink

Never knew Chilton did "She Might Look My Way." But that would kinda validate my Theory of Power Pop, that it starts, pretty much, with the Left Banke/Knickerbockers/Beau Brummels. Where and when did he do it?

it is on the "Beale Street Green/Sarcrossed" bootleg, maybe others?

https://www.discogs.com/Big-Star-Alex-Chilton-Beale-Street-Green/master/371466

sleeve, Thursday, 15 September 2016 22:34 (two months ago) Permalink

uh 'Starcrossed'

sleeve, Thursday, 15 September 2016 22:34 (two months ago) Permalink

We meant "She May Call You Up Tonight," by Michael Brown. "She Might Look My Way" is on the Dusted in Memphis set, which has been reissued on vinyl w/ the 1978 KUT interview and some other stuff. Bootleg. It really deserves a proper issue, perhaps packaged with the One Day in NYC live set that I have on an LP with the Tiven stuff.
From what I can gather, Michael Brown was even more ornery than Alex, and to less purpose--no one wanted to work with him. Funny that The Left Banke Too is without Brown, mostly, and it's a definite precursor to the third Big Star album, orchestrated, second-hand, ultra-romantic, overheated. One of those records that screams "'60s," kinda like Dudley Moore's Bedazzled soundtrack or prime Gal Costa. Brown never fulfilled his talent--the Beckies, eh, Stories, a little better, but always too fussy, unfocused. I think Brown was really young when he hit with the Left Banke, too, like Alex.

Edd Hurt, Thursday, 15 September 2016 23:02 (two months ago) Permalink

the Beckies' s/t got the tunes, though not especially the vocals; Stories' About Us got both, once/if you get used to Ian Lloyd, who is def not fussy; could have used more focus, more covers maybe (their Greatest Hit was version of Hot Chocolate's "Brother Louie"). Haven't heard their s/t or Montage's, that being another band (or something) with Michael Brown contributions. The Left Banke's There's Gonna Be Storm is worth checking out for some coverworthy songs and *some* earworthy performances (considering all the dithering/writhing/legal battles documented in the notes, and some since, it's amazing they achieved anything).

dow, Thursday, 15 September 2016 23:17 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I need to revisit the Stories album. Been a while since I heard it. I've got that Left Banke comp which includes all their recorded work. I have a taste for that kind of thing, so I like all of it, prolly have an original Smash LP of the first LB around somewhere. "Men Are Building Sand" may be the apogee of Brown's Art, anyway, kind of a brilliant song and a prescient performance to boot.

Edd Hurt, Thursday, 15 September 2016 23:26 (two months ago) Permalink

"Men Are Building Sand" is a Bert Sommer song - the guy who played at Woodstock who no-one remembers - he sings it anyway, I assume Michael Brown was still in the Left Banke then? Difficult to tell with that band. First Stories album is a bit rough, almost demo-like in places, some good songs but the second album is much better.

Bottlerockey (Tom D.), Thursday, 15 September 2016 23:42 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, think About Us was the second.

dow, Friday, 16 September 2016 00:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Sommer and Brown wrote "Men Are Building Sand." I've got a few Bert Sommer albums, which are on the edge of power pop, I suppose. Yacht-rocky.

Edd Hurt, Friday, 16 September 2016 01:02 (two months ago) Permalink

Wow, that's really good, thanks! I forgot about the Cossacks, will have to check for more videos. Your quotes of the principals don't rehash anything they say in the Complete Third booklet, though on the same themes, of course. Gordon overemphasizes the misery a little bit maybe; I hear it more as keeping misery at arms length, with strings and things, though it's certainly not offstage or suppressed, but results tend to be lyrical, graceful, even moving around feedback, which is also welcome.
Speaking of strings, anybody know of other albums we should check out re Carl Marsh arrangements?

(oh yeah, and speaking of chaos, the Complete Third booklet indicates there's more:
The decomposition and decay that Dickinson spoke of in interviews is in full effect as we move from
the demos to the session material...We’ve spared you the near thirty minutes of people banging on things and endless guitar noodling,on a tape presumably left running on the day the steel drums showed up for “Downs.” To give you a good taste of it for context, we’ve excerpted a portion we call, “Pre-Downs.”
As described upthread, that's enough for me, thanks [well probably].)

dow, Friday, 16 September 2016 16:27 (two months ago) Permalink

Carl Marsh's resume is long and varied:
http://carlmarsh.com/projects.html

tylerw, Friday, 16 September 2016 16:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Wow, he even worked with James Luther (Jim) Dickens.

Sigue Sigue Kaputnik (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 16 September 2016 16:37 (two months ago) Permalink

string arrangements on garth brooks' deathless chris gaines LP

tylerw, Friday, 16 September 2016 16:41 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

So is there a guide to all the versions released on "Complete Third", "Keep An Eye On The Sky", "Jesus Christ" single and other demos released on comps?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 17 October 2016 22:40 (one month ago) Permalink

When are the vinyl versions due to drop, and am I right in thinking I will be able to purchase just the album itself without the extra gubbins that I want but can't afford?

Robby Mook (stevie), Wednesday, 19 October 2016 08:58 (one month ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Surprised there's no dedicated Prix thread

calstars, Thursday, 24 November 2016 23:11 (one week ago) Permalink

are you really

Immediate Follower (NA), Friday, 25 November 2016 00:53 (one week ago) Permalink

'Girl' is a dope jam

It sounds like the earliest attempt to 'do a Big Star'

PaulTMA, Friday, 25 November 2016 01:15 (one week ago) Permalink


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