For a band who only released two real albums that were both universally ignored at the time, Big Star certainly has a high profile these days. Why? Because they wrote really catchy songs that might not have been en vogue at the time, but have aged very, very well. It doesn’t hurt that everyone from R.E.M. to Okkervil River has covered their songs.
And now they’re getting the reissue treatment. And how. First off, the twofer of #1 Record (1972) and Radio City (1974) is getting remastered and reissued and re-released on June 16 with bonus tracks (single mix of “In the Street” and single edit of “O My Soul”). They’re also being released “on two separate vinyl LPs featuring faithfully reproduced artwork, including the original Ardent Records labels.” So that’s pretty cool.
For fans who don’t really care about remastered audio or alternate mixes, on September 15 Rhino is releasing a four-disc box set of rarities, including “pre-Big Star bands Rock City and Icewater, solo work from Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, and unreleased material from the #1 Record, Radio City and Third/Sister Lover sessions.” The fourth disc contains live material from January 1973 including some covers of the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Kinks, and T.Rex. You can stream the unreleased “Lovely Day” at Rhino’s site.
As if that’s not enough Rhino Handmade is releasing a deluxe edition Chris Bell’s solo album I Am The Cosmos, too.
MP3: Chris Bell – “I Am the Cosmos”
Big Star: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.
#1 Record/Radio City reissue tracklisting
2. The Ballad Of El Goodo
3. In The Street
5. Don’t Lie To Me
6. The India Song
7. When My Baby’s Beside Me
8. My Life Is Right
9. Give Me Another Chance
10. Try Again
11. Watch The Sunrise
12. St 110/6
13. In The Street (single mix) *
14. O My Soul
15. Life Is White
16. Way Out West
17. What’s Going Ahn
18. You Get What You Deserve
19. Mod Lang
20. Back Of A Car
21. Daisy Glaze
22. She’s A Mover
23. September Gurls
24. Morpha Too
25. I’m In Love With A Girl
26. O My Soul (single edti) *
Keep an Eye on the Sky tracklisting (via Pitchfork)
01 Chris Bell: “Psychedelic Stuff”
02 Icewater: “All I See Is You”
03 Alex Chilton: “Every Day as We Grow Closer” (Original Mix)
03 Rock City: “Try Again” (Early Version)
04 Rock City: “The Preacher”
06 The Ballad of El Goodo (Alternate Mix) *
07 In the Street
08 Thirteen (Alternate Mix) *
09 Don’t Lie to Me
10 The India Song
11 When My Baby’s Beside Me (Alternate Mix) *
12 My Life Is Right (Alternate Mix) *
13 Give Me Another Chance (Alternate Mix) *
14 Try Again
15 Chris Bell: “Gone With the Light” *
16 Watch the Sunrise
17 ST 100/6 (Alternate Mix) *
18 In the Street (Second Recorded Version)
19 Feel (Early Mix) *
20 The Ballad of El Goodo (Alternate Lyrics)
21 The India Song (Alternate Version) *
22 Country Morn
23 I Got Kinda Lost (Demo)
24 Motel Blues (Demo) *
01 There Was a Light (Demo) *
02 Life Is White (Demo) *
03 What’s Going Ahn (Demo) *
04 O My Soul
05 Life Is White
06 Way Out West (Alternate Mix) *
07 What’s Going Ahn
08 You Get What You Deserve (Alternate Mix) *
09 Mod Lang (Alternate Mix)
10 Back of a Car (Alternate Mix) *
11 Daisy Glaze
12 She’s A Mover
13 September Gurls
14 Morpha Too (Alternate Mix) *
15 I’m in Love With a Girl
16 O My Soul (Alternate Version) *
17 Back of a Car (Demo)
18 Daisy Glaze (Alternate Take) *
19 She’s a Mover (Alternate Version)
20 Chris Bell: “I Am the Cosmos”
21 Chris Bell: “You and Your Sister”
22 Alex Chilton: “Blue Moon” (Demo) *
23 Alex Chilton: “Femme Fatale” (Demo) *
24 Alex Chilton: Thank You Friends” (Demo) *
25 Alex Chilton: “You Get What You Deserve” (Demo) *
01 Alex Chilton: “Lovely Day (aka Stroke It Noel)” (Demo)
02 Alex Chilton: “Downs” (Demo)
03 Alex Chilton: “Nightime” (Demo) *
04 Alex Chilton: “Jesus Christ” (Demo) *
05 Alex Chilton: “Holocaust” (Demo) *
06 Alex Chilton: “Take Care” (Demo) *
07 Alex Chilton: “Big Black Car” (Alternate Demo) *
08 Manana *
09 Jesus Christ
10 Femme Fatale
11 O, Dana
12 Kizza Me
14 You Can’t Have Me
16 Dream Lover
17 Blue Moon
18 Take Care
19 Stroke It Noel
20 For You
22 Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
23 Big Black Car
25 Kanga Roo
26 Thank You Friends
27 Till The End of the Day
28 Lovely Day *
29 Nature Boy
Disc 4 (Live at Lafayette’s Music Room, Memphis, TN)
01 When My Baby’s Beside Me *
02 My Life Is Right *
03 She’s a Mover *
04 Way Out West *
05 The Ballad of El Goodo *
06 In the Street *
07 Back of a Car *
08 Thirteen *
09 The India Song *
10 Try Again *
11 Watch the Sunrise *
12 Don’t Lie to Me *
13 Hot Burrito #2 *
14 I Got Kinda Lost *
15 Baby Strange *
16 Slut *
17 There Was a Light *
18 ST 100/6 *
19 Come On Now *
20 O My Soul *
* previously unreleased
12 thoughts on “Big Star Bonanza: Box Set, Bonus Tracks, more”
while i’m down with anything to do with classic big star, i’m not exactly going to run out for this box set. i guess it’d be interesting to hear the out takes from sister lovers/beale street green. if they had engineer tracks like the boot floating around for wilco’s yhf, that would be amazing. though, i’m happy with the re-releases from the early 90’s. i’ve heard the rock city stuff and i can’t say it’s anything that important. it’s cool they are getting the box set treatment. and i really like that they fold in the chris bell solo stuff. it’s all great, just don’t feel it’s that necessary.
though, re-mastered vinyl… that’s a whole other thing.
Alex Chilton is punk rocker than you.
sab, i’d say he’s just as much as a crotchety old man as i am. punk rock never even entered into the equation.
I didn’t mean he was punk rocker than you, specifically. He’s punk rocker than anyone.
The Big Star box set is going to be incredible! Can’t wait to get my hands on it.
I’m there. It’s weird… Big Star gets these little mini-rebirths every once in a while.
The first-two-albums-on-one-CD got reissued yesterday as well, with two bonus tracks. Supposedly, the packaging is nearly identical to the original ’92 issue of this disc; make sure if you buy it (which you need to if you haven’t owned this disc previously) that your copy has 26 tracks instead of 24.
I really want Alex to release another album and tour again. It’s been way too long since he put out Loose Shoes, Tight Pussy.
Supposedly, the packaging is nearly identical to the original ’92 issue
That’s correct. It actually looks like a mediocre photocopy of the original liner notes. Seriously. A total half-ass job. Haven’t done an A-B comparison on the remastering, but the packaging blows.
i read the review at pitchfork… sounds horrible. they pointed out that the running time listed on the packaging wasn’t even changed. that it’s basically a photo copy.
not that it’s directly related to big star, but it is about lost and found power pop… i just got around to listening to numero group’s release “titan – it’s all pop!”. it’s a pretty fantastic comp of long lost kansas city power pop from ’78 – ’81.
this comp alone is enough to put a smile on my face. though, numero group’s entire catalog just kills me. it’s been a long time since i fell in love with a record label. i think numero group is now one of my new favorite things. definitely going to fill this summer with great music.
There’s two Numero Group releases I *have* to get at some point: Prefill: Yellow Pills compilation, and Eccentric Soul: the Bandit Story. Both seem right up my alley: power-pop, and obscure Chicago soul with a fascinating backstory.
Can anyone pass judgment on either of these two Numero releases?
everything i’ve heard from the eccentric soul series has been awesome. out of the two that cover chicago in the series, i’d have to go with eccentric soul: the capsoul label. and i’d even recommend picking up eccentric soul: the big mack label (detroit) before the bandit story.
as for the power pop comps. if you like the original yellow pills comps, you won’t be disappointed with this one. while the original comps were a little more stretched across the power pop spectrum, this one is a little more concise, but still has a breadth of power pop sound. that side, i actually prefer titan:it’s all pop! since it focusing on a specific scene and time. you can’t go wrong with either, but push comes to shove i’m going with titan.
Oh, what a difference a year makes. God rest your soul, Alex. Say hi to Chris Bell for us.