Alex Chilton S&D

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Alex Chilton, former singer of Big Star and the Box Tops. What about his solo career? What is there to retain, what is there to throw away (a lot I guess). In Germany he used to be a favourite of the critics 10 to 15 years ago. That was when Morrissey was their other darling!

alex in mainhattan, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I really like High Priest, but I may be alone on that one...anyone know whether it's ever come out on CD? Otherwise, the 19 Years compilation on Rhino may be the best bet, because Chilton tends to be a bit spotty. Still, best solo Chilton is Third/Sister Lovers, even though it came under the Big Star name.

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"Bangkok" & his version of the Seeds "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" - circa '77 singles - on a lot of compilations...those're fantastic...the "messy" period (late '70s) is the shit man.

duane, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

(specific album titles if you want them - "Like Flies on Sherbet", "Dusted in Memphis", "Bach's Bottom". All his albs've got decent stuff tho')

duane, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

(also a band he's only a peripheral member of - but worth mentioning 'cause they're great - Tav Falco's Panther Burns - like a super-ramshackle blues-rockabilly deal - prototypes of the Gories/Doll Rods/etc)

duane, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

1970 is GRATE. The three solo accousitc tracks on Big Star Live are gut wrenchingly beautiful.

JM, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Unless you're talking about Big Star or Box Tops stuff, destroy it all... here's a man who shot his load early on, and has consistently failed to produce anything listenable since. His records are released because of his pedigree, but it all sucks.

andy, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

He recently had a pretty good covers album, if a bit dull. I like his badly produced 70s stuff, like Bangcock.

Mike Hanle y, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy" = smashing album name, okay album. 19 years = almost good enough. No Sex EP and Feudalist Tarts EP = more essential than just trax in 19 yrs. Man Called Destruction = just OK. Flies On Sherbert period + live recording of such is groovy. Bangkok = one of the greatest garage songs ever. Lost My Job = similarly essential. No Sex = the most essential. "C'mon baby, fuck me and die!"

Sterling Clover, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I like 'Hey Little Child' on Live in London. 'Bangkok', too. And the version of 'Sugar Sugar' on 1970. I saw him play at McCabe's several years ago, and he was pretty entertaining. The other day, I relistened to an interview I recorded off the radio near the time of the concert - this was when Cliches was released, which I don't have - cos I remembered he said some stuff about songwriting and singing as separate crafts. Well, it just seemed like he wanted to record stuff without having to come up with original songs. But cos he thinks songwriting is really important. He said he'd only come up with a few worthwhile songs in his career, among them 'September Gurls' and 'In the Street'. I love the combination of being laid back about things, but also idealistic and ambitious.

youn, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

And "Thirteen". Don't forget "Thirteen".

Sterling Clover, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

i still haven't got "1970" but i know some of those songs & they're champ. - & another stray track I dunno what it's off, his version of "I Will Always Love You" live on some radio show in the '70s - acoustic gtr, shaky & clumsy 'cause he "took his last 30 mgs of valium before coming here to the studio tonight" (approx. paraphrase of mid-song monologue) - it sounds dumm i know , "oh he's so WASTED man, cool" but it's really affecting. He realises he's fumbling the chords really badly & making a dick of himself so he sips into self-parody there - this monologue - then he comes back strong for another chorus - even sloppy stoned- drunk-whatever his voice is such a wonder. I *heart* LX!

duane, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Ned wrote the (positive) review of Chilton's 19 Years on . I like when Ned and I agree on something - it doesn't happen nearly enough, considering what a fine, knowledgeable, over-opinionated fellow he is. I think we'd probably agree more on pre-80s stuff, before the goth mistake happened. I do find his tendency to call for the assassination of my favorite performers rather disturbing, though.

Patrick, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I started this thread as I am about to buy Live in London (great album have got it already on vinyl) and Like Flies on Sherbert on one CD. My favourite besides Big Star's Third (all-time classic of depression) is Cubist Blues from 1996 which Chilton recorded with Alan Vega from Suicide and Ben Vaughn. An amazing session, slightly improvisational with Vega's low voice mumbling and a very stripped down sound. A little bit like Tom Waits in his best time, e.g. Bone Machine but much cooler.

alex in mainhattan, Thursday, 19 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

All meant in the insanely over-the-top intentionally foolish way it is, those assassination attempts. I think it would be more accurate to say that practicing Orwell-like unperson approaches would be more my speed, though. "Springsteen? Never heard of him. Albums, you say? Huh." ;-) But I do thank you for the kind words re: 19 Years and all -- goth's no mistake, it's just sometimes mistaken. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
i think that like flies on sherbert is excellent for a goofy, sloppy drug addled studio record... there is a great tale around memphis of one of the guitar solos being performed with a young lady in his lap.

there is little to be gleaned from the live in london set aside from a mere curio stance.

search: the big star boot entitle Beale Street Green which features some great "Lost-Era" Alex doing some very rad demos:
"she might look my way"
"windows hotel"
"can't seem to make you mine" (seeds)
"shaking the world"
"all the time"

but then the greatest song ever written:

"tennis bum"... as alex mentions it's like wooly bully, all strat reverb and the goofiest lyrics you've never heard. i am in love with the lost era chilton voice, it's perfect.

classic classic classic.

gygax!, Tuesday, 19 November 2002 01:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The song Alex Chilton by the Replacements = Classic.

Just had to point that out.

David Allen, Tuesday, 19 November 2002 01:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I can't remember what album it's from, but the song "Free Again" is fantastic. A classic three-chord charmer, also covered (I think?) by Teenage Fanclub, back when they were inexplicably garnering so many Big Star comparisons.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 19 November 2002 01:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Not mentioned yet, this Ep I got a while ago "Black List", it's mostly really good despite coming from 1989 and has my favourite solo proper Chilton song "Guatanamerika" and as usual a bunch of weird covers, which are good too, esp. "Little GTO" and "I Will Turn Your Money Green".

Andrew Thames (Andrew Thames), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 02:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Alex Chilton puts on a swanky live show. The time I saw him, he was great.

earlnash, Tuesday, 19 November 2002 03:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i think the very first post i ever made here on ILM was about "flies on sherbert". i love it. and "1970" too, especially that version of 'jumpin jack flash'

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 16:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
So. Here we are. Does he still tour?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Monday, 16 December 2002 19:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, both as a solo act and with Big Star.

hstencil, Monday, 16 December 2002 19:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Really? He/They never come to the UK. Just like Tom Waits, Devo, X, Screamin Jay (RIP), Jay Z...

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Monday, 16 December 2002 20:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
I've only just bought the Chris Bell album! It makes me want to listen to Like Flies On Sherbert.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 9 May 2003 12:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Flies on Sherbert" is a great record--lots of power-poppers hate it, because they "fuck up" the songs...I believe the dumb-ass person who wrote the review for All Music Guide hates it, which should tell you right there that it's a good record. I mean, how much can you "fuck up" "Boogie Shoes" and why on earth would you want to "respect" it? The version that came out in 2000 is the best reissue I've heard of "Sherbert"--I copped an original Peabody LP of it a few years back.
"19 Years" contains most of his good stuff from that 19 years. "Dalai Lama" is missing, though, and it's one of his best songs, I think. "No Sex" is another highlight from the '80s.
His version of Willie Tee's "Thank You John" is some of his best singing ever--the production leaves a bit to be desired. He does for real fuck up the Slim Harpo tunes, though.
"Black List" is nice, he references the Charlie Rich version of "Nice and Easy" (compare the guitar parts), and "Guantanamerika" is among his best songs post-Big Star.
"A Man Called Destruction" is his best single record since "Sherbert" and of course much more "listenable." "Don't Stop" is great as a sort of homage to the New York sound of 1977 (Richard Lloyd goes thru therapy and comes out relaxed), and his take on Dan Pearson's "What's Your Sign Girl" is awesome. Doug Garrison, his drummer, is fantastic on this and other songs.
"Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy"/"Set" sucks, I find it, except for the nice version of the Brenton Wood song, almost completely unlistenable--his voice is terrible (try listening to "Single Again").
"Live in London" has its moments but it's not too hot and the version of "September Gurls" is horrible. I've seen AC play live many times and not once has he ever done a decent version of "September Gurls."
"High Priest" is about half-good. As with all his '80s work, the production leaves much to be desired. And as I say, "Destruction" is his single best effort post-drunkenness because it's the best produced, someone at Ardent actually took the time to make it sound good.
The demos collected on "Dusted in Memphis" are generally quite good, esp. "She Might Look My Way." There's a bootleg called "Beale Street Green" that collects "Dusted" and some other stuff, including a pretty instrumental outtake from the first Big Star album, I believe. The cover of "Beale Street Green" is a photo by Eggleston--of Nashville, not Memphis, and you gotta wonder when the bootlegger-liner-note "writer" can't even spell Eggleston's name right...
I dislike "Cubist Blues" but did see that trio in NYC in 1996, decent enough if you can tolerate Alan Vega. "One Day in NYC" contains a couple of nice live tracks. "Bach's Bottom" is the stupid Jon Tiven attempt to remake AC in the dubious image of Mr. Tiven himself, but I enjoy Chilton's obvious relish in sabatoging the whole thing, and the endless take on "Take Me Home" is fun, as is the "version" of "I'm So Tired." Tiven re-recorded that stuff, apparently; the other thing, besides the fact that Tiven was involved, that's wrong with that 1975 material is that AC doesn't play guitar on it.
I saw the Panther Burns live a couple times with Chilton. Tav Falco as a guy who found some great Cordell Jackon tunes, is great--as a performer he's worthless, and I sold my copy of "Behind the Magnolia Curtain" years ago, as it's a piece of shit.

Of course the third Big Star record is an Alex Chlton solo album and it's one of the greatest LPs ever made, in my opinion, greater even than "Radio City."

So I would say get "19 Years," "Sherbert" and "Destruction" and you'd have it. Alex has been treading the same water for years now, though--I've seen him be brilliant live and I've seen him just go thru the motions. Some experimental genie seems to ruin many of his efforts, which I guess is kind of a good thing, since how many performers even try anything new, ever? As a commentator on pop-music history, he's been intermittently great--there's something very second-hand about his passion, which doesn't mean I disregard what's real about his passion. Very strange guy, but I rate him very high as a guitarist, despite the fact that he's among the most mannered of all rock guitarists.

Jess Hill (jesshill), Friday, 9 May 2003 13:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I saw him play last Friday night after a Big Star show with some friends (a couple could have been ex-Box Toppers). They did covers of Stax and early Rock'n'roll standards and not much else. It was kind of off-the-cuff and loungy, for lack of a better adjective. Highlight of the evening: a cover of "Desafinado" (sp??) with Alex playing the Stan Getz part all slinky on the guitar. Low point: the band half-heartedly busting into "Don't Lie to Me" (or was it "In the Street," I was DRUNK) while Alex was packing up his stuff to leave.

Will (will), Friday, 9 May 2003 13:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Sabotage, not sabatage...

"1970" is decent, I always liked "Just to See You" and "All I Really Want is Money," both of which circulated for yrs on tapes...I never liked "Free Again" at all. What they do to "Sugar Sugar" is nice. It's good juvenalia, I guess.

The Big Star reunion CD is all right--they left off the best thing about that show in Missouri, though: AC leading his backup band thru the very demanding changes of Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl" as an encore.

Will, it is "Desafinado."

Jess Hill (jesshill), Friday, 9 May 2003 14:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
I love 1970 sooo much.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Friday, 5 August 2005 05:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"The Smile Song" is so beautifully sweet and trippy.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Friday, 5 August 2005 05:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Like Flies on Sherbet is outstanding. The rest of his solo stuff is not so hot.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Friday, 5 August 2005 09:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Sherbert" is great. You got to have the two Rs in that one, because that's the way it's spelled in the south. "Man Called Destruction" is the other really consistently good one. Most of his solo stuff that is unreleased or fairly hard-to-get (like the Elektra/Ardent demos on the boot "Dusted in Memphis" and the live CBGB material on "One Day in New York") is good too. The Jon Tiven album "Bach's Bottom" is good fun, nice to hear how he hijacked it out from under Tiven. "Guantanamerika" from "Black List" is a good song.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 5 August 2005 13:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

skin as soft as buttermilk

paper plans (tipsy mothra), Friday, 13 February 2009 06:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

guys which of his solo albums/compilations are worth checking out? i'm going through a big star phase and i'd like to explore chilton solo too. i know it's depressing stuff, i'm down for that

k3vin k., Friday, 10 April 2009 21:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

solo chilton isn't that depressing really -- it's fun! definitely start with like flies on sherbert

tylerw, Friday, 10 April 2009 21:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

omg that french tv clip

This Board is a Prison on Planet Bullshit (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 10 April 2009 21:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

The album called 1970 rocks balls and isn't depressing at all; the cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" tops the Stones' original (acc. to me)

Euler, Friday, 10 April 2009 21:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Search: the 1987 CD version of High Priest on Big Time, which includes the Feudalist Tarts EP and the "No Sex"/"Underclass" single.

...but is apparently rare as hell, because I can't find any copies for sale anywhere.

WmC, Friday, 10 April 2009 22:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wow, this edition is apparently really rare. I wonder what I could get for it.

WmC, Friday, 10 April 2009 23:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, 1970 is good, he's trying out different things like country rock, funk, almost bubblegum-y ballads

velko, Friday, 10 April 2009 23:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

fuck the "Jumpin' Jack Flash" on 1970 is tight. The drum sound in particular is amazing, as you'd expect from a Terry Manning production, as is the bass. And Chilton's lead guitar mines the song's implicit funk, brings it forth. The vocal is good and hoarse too but the rhythm section sells this one.

Euler, Saturday, 3 October 2009 14:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

kinda cool
Ray Davies , whose new album See My Friends contains special contributions from artists like Billy Corgan and Bruce Springsteen, recently talked about working with Alex Chilton. The Big Star icon died earlier this year, but he recorded “Till the End of the Day” with Ray Davies before he became sick.

Speaking to ClashMusic, Ray Davies elaborates on the collaboration: “Way back in 2004 I was in New Orleans, recovering from an injury, and I was befriended by a neighbor called Alex Chilton. Alex had been in a band called Big Star, and had sung on a record called ‘The Letter’ by The Box Tops. We didn’t talk about music much, but he did say to me before I came back to England, ‘You know, I’ve recorded one of your songs, ‘Till the End of the Day’, with Big Star, and I’d love to do another song with you. And he asked me to write some songs for him – I felt really flattered, because by then I had found out about his history. A very unassuming guy.”

Then, in 2009, Chilton and Davies did indeed get together to record. Davies recalls: “In 2009, on July 4th, Independence Day, he came up to Konk Studios. He was a real character – he was wearing a New Orleans beret, he had a cigarette holder, he was a chain smoker, and I think a recovering drinker – and he said, ‘Let’s do it!’ I said, ‘What would you like to do?’ He said, ‘Till the End of the Day’ and ‘Set Me Free.’ So I just had an acoustic guitar and a rhythm box, because I hadn’t organized anything. I played guitar and Alex sang.”

tylerw, Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:37 (seven years ago) Permalink
artists listed on the cover of this tribute makes it look fucking horrible

tylerw, Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wish I could make it to Los Angeles and hear this Holly George-Warren presentation on Alex Chilton at the February 2010 EMP Pop conference

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

She's writing a bio of him that is scheduled for a 2012 release.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

ooh that does look good. interesting that there's a bio in the works. would read.

tylerw, Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

thought i'd bumped one of the AC threads to say this a while back but either way, damn, cliches still sounds exquisite to me

and my soul said you can't go there (schlump), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 14:55 (six years ago) Permalink

I picked up Cliches in a used cd shop last year and still haven't gotten around to it. This week!

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:09 (six years ago) Permalink

would be really interested to hear from anyone else who likes/hates it etc, i'd never heard anything about it before hearing it. it's a really good showcase for his guitar playing, &c, but it's also just such a satisfying fit for him, knowing how into the standards he was, & how much working in that sorta context was what he was drawn to, eg playing with pick-up groups etc.

and my soul said you can't go there (schlump), Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:21 (six years ago) Permalink

It makes me feel great listening to it, his guitar is so enveloping.

Also note the Box Tops reunion album is surprisingly alright, with a few of the tracks absolutely essential for AC fans.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:53 (six years ago) Permalink

Noticed in the EMP participants bios that her book is due next month:

Holly George-Warren is the author of the forthcoming biography of Alex Chilton, A Man Called Destruction (Viking, April 2014)

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 March 2014 20:09 (three years ago) Permalink

hope it's good!

tylerw, Friday, 7 March 2014 20:43 (three years ago) Permalink

Yall all know about Tyler's AC/Big Star re-posts, rat? On

Here's a bit of HGW's bio:

dow, Friday, 21 March 2014 14:46 (three years ago) Permalink

Steve Danzinger's pretty frustrated by the bio in this weekend's WSJ (overall, he conveys the appeal and struggles of Big Star pretty well):

Somewhere in "A Man Called Destruction" is a story about the mysteries of creativity, collaboration and luck, the agonizing loss of wasted potential, the multitude of factors that must align for artistic success. But potential insights are obstructed by minutiae and redundancies, investigations supplanted by undeveloped allusions about Chilton's resentments. The missed opportunity is substantial; even the trifles portray early 1970s Memphis as a singular world of musically precocious, emotionally fragile man-children struggling to attain some state of grace. Ms. George-Warren gives a glimpse of that lost world, but it remains largely unexplored.

So does Chilton. By 25, he was barely more than impish grin, inclined more to nullity than destruction. He urinated off one stage, was fellated on another. He sat on curbs watching Catholic-school girls go by, prospecting for dates. He smoked pot and drifted through his days like a sixth-year undergrad who doesn't want to leave the dorms. He laughed his way through shambling performances, as if he couldn't believe his acolytes were taking him seriously. These post-Big Star years reek of disdain, not least toward the fans who laughed awkwardly along with him, as if to convince themselves there was actually a joke to witness, rather than the remnants of a great talent.

It's a petty, dismal litany, seemingly endless in Ms. George-Warren's lethargic telling. But in life, it was mercifully brief, and Chilton's life would end positively, if more in resignation than redemption. At 31, he quit drinking, moved to New Orleans and lived contentedly, working at jobs like tree trimmer and "human jukebox," playing requests in a tourist bar. Big Star reissues inspired an international cult ("influenced R.E.M." became the general Big Star legitimizer, and the Replacements' 1987 tribute "Alex Chilton" made him famous for being loved by the Replacements). There would be new records, like Feudalist Tarts from 1985, a gritty return to form with covers of songs by Isaac Hayes, Slim Harpo and Willie Tee, residuals and reunions and the comparative triumph of replacing self-mockery with nonchalance.

Chilton died in 2010 of a heart attack, aged 59. To the end, he claimed not to understand the fuss about Big Star. After "A Man Called Destruction," readers might not, either... Ooh! But the anecdotal material seems like it might be interesting, at least judging by his glosses.

dow, Saturday, 22 March 2014 20:44 (three years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
eight months pass...
video footage by william eggleston

drash, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 20:37 (two years ago) Permalink

Heard "O My Soul" from Ocean Club this morning on WFMU, sounded great.

WilliamC, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 20:51 (two years ago) Permalink

Hoooooly shit nice find drash!

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 22:18 (two years ago) Permalink

oh wow check that out!

he quipped with heat (amateurist), Wednesday, 10 June 2015 02:03 (two years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Ocean Club and several other Chilton thingies are on Spotify, but just noticed that they only have Disc 1 of the Flies On Sherbet/Feudalist Tarts/No Sex twofer on the Last Call label. This list incl. the FT/NS tracks, which add up to one of his best EPs evah (still got the vinyl):

dow, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 16:33 (two years ago) Permalink

SEARCH his beach boys love you covers

chaki (kurt schwitterz), Wednesday, 21 October 2015 16:59 (two years ago) Permalink

new girl in school is aces too (jan & dean, but brian wilson co-wrote)

tylerw, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:00 (two years ago) Permalink

he does honkin down the highway somewhere too...

tylerw, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:01 (two years ago) Permalink


tylerw, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:01 (two years ago) Permalink

sick! thanks!

chaki (kurt schwitterz), Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:03 (two years ago) Permalink

these are good, he should've covered the whole album...

tylerw, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:05 (two years ago) Permalink


Οὖτις, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:05 (two years ago) Permalink

feel like there's some alternate universe where alex stayed out in california and actually ended up joining the beach boys in the early 70s... i think he was supposed to make a post-boxtops solo LP for Brother Records at some point.

tylerw, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:07 (two years ago) Permalink

and an alternate alternate where BBs incl. AC and Glenn Campbell, who wisely declined to get involved in all their drama, over on our side of the timelines.

dow, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:13 (two years ago) Permalink


chaki (kurt schwitterz), Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:23 (two years ago) Permalink

unsurprisingly much worse than the version on Lei'd in Hawai'i

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:27 (two years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

maybe for fans only i can never tell but really really enjoying ocean club 77

balls, Monday, 21 December 2015 17:16 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah i think it's great -- maybe the best set from this period? speaking of which, a lot of good info on chilton's nyc years in the numero group Ork Records set that came out a few weeks ago.

tylerw, Monday, 21 December 2015 17:31 (two years ago) Permalink

Indeedio---currently listening to Ork box on the free version of a certain streaming service: Mr. C. (and Prix trax which may or may not incl. him) sounding mighty fine so far.

dow, Monday, 21 December 2015 18:53 (two years ago) Permalink

Just noticed it a couple days ago but it looks like Raven records have put out the three Box Top albums on a 2 CD set earlier this year.

earlnash, Monday, 21 December 2015 19:52 (two years ago) Permalink

There's actually four Box Tops LPs, which are indeed in that Raven set alongside some but not all of their stray Chilton-era* singles.

*I have a Chilton-less Box Tops single from '71-2 on Stax in my 45 collects!

"Damn the Taquitos" (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 21 December 2015 21:35 (two years ago) Permalink

I thought that might be the first time those Lps were brought out on CD. I know for a long time the Box Tops only had a greatest hits package available.

earlnash, Monday, 21 December 2015 21:46 (two years ago) Permalink

Sundazed had them out on CD with bonus tracks (stray singles, mono 45 mixes, unreleased stuff) back in 2000, but they've been OOP for awhile.

"Damn the Taquitos" (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 21 December 2015 22:11 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

interesting little chilton/dickinson deal -- -- "possibly under the influence of hog tranquilizers"!

Summersteps is proud to announce this special limited edition single featuring two vintage sides from Amy Gassner. Amy is best known as the bassist for Memphis’ first all-girl punk band The KLiTZ.

The A-Side features a very relaxed reading of The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” recorded in the haze of 1979 and possibly under the influence of hog tranquilizers. Personnel includes legendary producer Jim Dickinson (Big Star, Replacements, etc) on bass along with her fellow KLiTZ providing backup. While the flip side, features a groovy rendition of Tony Hatch’s “Call Me.” Committed to tape a few years later in ‘82 at Easley Studios with the accompaniment of both Doug and Ron Easley along with legendary sometime Panther Burn and Alex Chilton drummer, Ross Johnson.

Highly recommended for those who dig the artfully damaged sounds of Alex Chilton's Like Flies on Sherbert, Tav Falco's Panther Burns and of course, The KLiTZ.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 April 2016 21:14 (one year ago) Permalink

The Grifters should be mentioned as well, I think?

dlp9001, Thursday, 7 April 2016 21:16 (one year ago) Permalink

did anyone get that live in '77 album that came out a year or two ago??

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 7 April 2016 21:59 (one year ago) Permalink

the ocean club one? i have it -- it's a very good time. similar to the bootlegs that have floated around from that period but (slightly) better sound, some rare covers.

tylerw, Thursday, 7 April 2016 22:17 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Feeling kind of sad about how many of the people in the Chilton story, some of whom I got to meet, like Jim Dickinson, and write about (I did a Dickinson piece in 2007 for which I got to talk to him), are gone: Alex, Andy Hummel, John Hampton, Lee Baker, Tommy Hoehn, Dickinson, Sid Selvidge (got to see him play once in Nashville, where he shared a bill with folk-jazz singer Caroline Peyton), Richard Rosebrough, John Fry. And Chris Bell. And Chips Moman, who passed this year, and with whom I got one of the last 2 interviews he gave, far as I can determine. I guess I feel lucky to have known or interviewed or met some of these folks--I also got to interview Alex back in 1981 and got an interview that I think is one of the better ones he gave, and he treated me and my friends really nice and wasn't remotely difficult that day. A few months later in Nashville, I caught a Panther Burns set and went back to the dressing room between sets and sat at Alex' feet like a little puppy dog; he was also nice to me then.
I wrote this back when he died, and I wish I could have written more about him; it's kind of hard to read it now because it was so long ago, and though I think I did a good job of interviewing him, what I know now. what I knew in 2010, versus what I thought I knew then...damn. I don't know if I ever posted this anywhere here, see what you think. And here's my Jim Dickinson piece, which covers some Alex stuff pretty well (I would've made it a bit more down-to-the-bone, I think, but it was done for No Depression and they had their way of doing stuff.

Edd Hurt, Wednesday, 20 July 2016 23:31 (one year ago) Permalink

And, here's my 2012 Chips Moman interview. Chips was like Alex--he didn't give a lot away, unless he wanted to:

Edd Hurt, Wednesday, 20 July 2016 23:44 (one year ago) Permalink

Good stuff, thanks. Wonder if there's any more Chilton-Dickinson out there. Moman worked with the Box Tops *after* Dan Penn? Thought Penn kept his hand in for the duration. How were their records different with Moman?

dow, Thursday, 21 July 2016 03:00 (one year ago) Permalink

Moman just did the last album...the main difference was he let the actual band appear on stuff alongside the session guys. Aside from a jammy cover of "Rock Me Baby" at the end, it doesn't really come off that different from the earlier stuff.

Kenneth Without Anger (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 21 July 2016 04:02 (one year ago) Permalink

Right, Chips just did the "Soul Deep"-era Box Tops, and maybe there was just a bit less schlock on that single than the previous, not that the schlock wasn't beautiful on Penn's "Neon Rainbow" and "I Met Her in Church" and the great "Fields of Clover," perhaps the toughest track the Box Tops ever did. I always heard that Chips admired Chilton and wanted to work with him again. Definitely would've been interesting, but Chilton always looked down his nose at Chips and Penn for being out of touch with contemporary music. Dan Penn told me that Alex showed up after a show in New Orleans and carried Dan's guitar for him, a sign of respect I guess, and Penn never thought much of Alex' songwriting.
I think there are some tracks that Dickinson cut with folks like wrestler Jerry Lawler that are out there somewhere. They apparently aren't on the same tracks, but Dickinson and Chilton had something to do with this interesting single by a former member of Memphis punk band the Kltiz.

Edd Hurt, Thursday, 21 July 2016 14:47 (one year ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

new thing coming out -- not sure if these have ever showed up on bootlegs?

Just announced for release by Munster Records on June 16: an LP of previously unreleased rehearsals and alternate takes from Alex Chilton's 1975 recording sessions for the Singer Not The Song EP and Bach's Bottom album, with notes by Alex Chilton, written in 1992, and 2017 notes by original producer Jon Tiven.

Take Me Home And Make Me Like It is a raw document of one of the pivotal moments in Alex Chilton's career, telling the story of a troubled recording process that nevertheless produced intensely unique music. From Jon Tiven's liner notes: "He wanted to repudiate his Big Star work and make a sinister record that threatened people. . . . so I'm happy to present these tracks with no apologies."

tylerw, Friday, 28 April 2017 18:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

More info here:

Alex Chilton Take Me Home And Make Me Like It

Alex Chilton
Take Me Home And Make Me Like It

Take Me Home
Every Time I Close My Eyes (Alt version)
All Of The Time (Alt version)
I'm So Tired (Full version)
Free Again (Alt version)
Jesus Christ (Take 1)
Jesus Christ (Take 2)
Singer Not The Song (Alt version)
Summertime Blues (Full version)
Take Me Home (Rehearsal)
Free Again (Rehearsal)
Every Time I Close My Eyes (A capella)

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 28 April 2017 18:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

feels a little barrel-scraping-y, but what the hell, i'll check it out.
i finally got that chilton-vega-vaughn live record and it is amazing.

tylerw, Friday, 28 April 2017 19:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

I hope they include a tacky badge.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 29 April 2017 03:59 (nine months ago) Permalink

The weirdo version of Take Me Home is m6 favorite song of his, so I'm mildly intrigued.

dlp9001, Saturday, 29 April 2017 21:10 (nine months ago) Permalink

Before scraping the barrel, check out Prix

calstars, Saturday, 29 April 2017 21:29 (nine months ago) Permalink

i listened to a promo of this, it's great

tylerw, Saturday, 29 April 2017 21:30 (nine months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

June 1, 2017


Critically acclaimed album to be released on two-LP vinyl for the first time,
and features new liner notes from Bob Mehr.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As lead singer of The Box Tops and co-founder of Big Star, Alex Chilton already had a place in rock history. But he was never one to rest on his laurels. An enormous music fan himself, he consistently reinvented his own sound throughout his career, until his death in 2010.

Chilton returned to Memphis’ legendary Ardent Studios and a reconstituted Ardent label to record Destruction, a classic mix of originals and covers, this time with a full-horn section. Featuring an eclectic mixture of garage rock, jazz and R&B, A Man Called Destruction, released in 1995, was well received by fans and critics, and even landed him a spot on Late Night With Conan O’Brien performing the album’s “Lies.”

The Orlando Sentinel observed: “Plenty of bands attempt, however feebly, to reproduce Big Star's melancholic power-pop. But nobody else would dare try to approximate the brilliant, offhand weirdness and subtle irony of Chilton's later solo work. Teenage Fan Club might be able to imitate Big Star's guitar sound on ‘September Gurls,’ but they couldn't transmogrify 'Volare’ the way Chilton did on 1987's High Priest. Destruction is very much in the tradition of High Priest — a peculiar mélange of deliriously cheesy pop.” 

Destruction will re-appear via Omnivore Recordings on August 25, 2017, complete with seven previously unissued tracks from the original sessions and new liner notes from journalist and author Bob Mehr (Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements).

To make this reintroduction even more special, the title is making its vinyl debut. The first pressing will be a translucent blue double album, which includes all of the bonus tracks, a download card, and Mehr’s essay in the gatefold sleeve.

With the renewed interest and appreciation for his work in Big Star, it is the perfect time for Chilton’s solo work to get the same due. It is time for a reintroduction of A Man Called Destruction.

Track Listing:
1. Sick And Tired
2. Devil Girl
3. Lies
4. It’s Your Funeral
5. What’s Your Sign Girl
6. Il Ribelle
7. You Don’t Have To Go
8. Boplexity
9. New Girl In School

10. You’re Lookin’ Good
11. Don’t Know Anymore
12. Don’t Stop

Previously Unissued Bonus Tracks:
13. Devil Girl (Double-Track Vocal)
14. Don’t Know Anymore (Rough Mix)
15. Give It To Me Baby (Take 3)
16. You’re My Favorite
17. (I Don’t Know Why) But I Do
18. Please Pass Me My Walkin’ Shoes
19. Why Should I Care/It’s Your Funeral
# # #

dow, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 23:23 (six months ago) Permalink

Will also be available on CD and download.

dow, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 23:24 (six months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Still haven't checked that, but now I'm listening to another Chilton-related Omnivore expansion, Carmaig De Forest's I Shall Be Re-Released, which starts with I Shall Be Released, produced and played on by Mr. A.C., some of whose peers still find it startling: Will Rigby, who played with De Forest at CBGB, is quoted in the booklet to the effect that it's a whole other side--"the punkiest"---to Chilton's picking and undocumented anywhere else; lstening again, early adopter Scott McCaughey now raves, "Chilton's production and playing is almost shockingly prescient and wholly brilliant---spiky and wild, yet way more disciplined than he allowed himself to be on his own records."
Well, I hope that's not entirely true of the Chilton recs I haven't heard yet (and we've mentioned several on here that are tight enough), but this certainly works as punky 80s folk-rock: comparisons were and are made to to early Modern Lovers and especially Violent Femmes---Gordan Gano also played that CBGB show w De Forest, who opened for the VFs several times, him and his solitary ukelele. Which is another thing that reminds of Loudon Wainwright III, with his spare, limber, plugged-in LPs and exuberant one-man shows, starting a decade earlier (back when Chilton was covering Wainwright's "Motel Blues" at Big Star gigd).
Also like early Wainwright (and young Jawnwathon Richman, though he's a heavier vocal presence than these other guys), De F.'s got a lot of compressed lyrics, confrontational dream-scenes from complicated relationships (comebacks he wishes he'd thought of at the time and/or will have the nerve for next round: exciting fantasies!), flying by like boomerangs. Plus some still-entertaining topical work-outs, like "Hey Judas" and "Crack's No Worse Than The Fascist Threat."
It's a lot to take in, but right away I hear why and how Chilton responded so well.

dow, Saturday, 4 November 2017 22:06 (three months ago) Permalink

It's no masterpiece, but pretty refreshing so far, putting s sparky spin on (not too-)familiar elements.

dow, Saturday, 4 November 2017 22:12 (three months ago) Permalink

From Alex Chilton RIP 2010----still gotta check this too!

Listened to Like Flies on Sherbert while stoned and it completely came alive to me. It made me realise he's a great story teller. He shapes the narrative with weird effects and volume inequalities, all the while acting out a scenario with his voice. The way everything is structured, and especially his guitar work, heightens the story.
It also rocks in a brutally southern, soulful way. Live in London is spectacular too. The version of Kanga Roo on that is massive.
I've Had it - who's singing this? It totally sounds like John Cale, but he's not credited right?

Bach's Bottom - I can't beleive I haven't heard this before. As a massive Big Star fan, this is the missing link between Big Star (particularly Third) and Like Flies on Sherbert. It's beautiful, and the throaway outtakes are fascinating.

― glumdalclitch, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 14:37 (yesterday) Permalink

Live in London is awesome. He has got an incredible presence. I saw him in Munich in the late 80s and he rocked hard.

― Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 22:01 (yesterday) Permalink

I've Had it - who's singing this?

Jim Dickinson, I think?

― Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 22:54

dow, Thursday, 9 November 2017 02:12 (three months ago) Permalink

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