New Big Star album... Might it actually be good?

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What are the odds that the Big Star could release a good album?

Of course it's going to be great!
4
22%
There's a chance it'll be good.
9
50%
There's a slim chance it'll even be listenable.
3
17%
No fucking way. What are you? On dope?
2
11%
 
Total votes: 18

Jake
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New Big Star album... Might it actually be good?

Postby Jake » Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:00 pm

Big Star Travel "Space"

Work on In Space started last year at Memphis' Ardent Studios, home of the band's Seventies recordings. Tracks such as "February's Quiet," "Best Chance We've Ever Had" and "Lady Sweet" recall the classic Big Star sound of Beatles-influenced melodies, Byrds-like harmonies and loose garage rock. A few surprises on the album include the upbeat disco-funk of "Love Revolution" and the stirring soul number "Mine Exclusively." "There are fascinating things on the record," says Stephens. "I don't think there's ever a dull moment. This record has a great sense of humor about it."

Chilton was the guiding force during the recording sessions, at times favoring a rougher take of a song over a more polished version, as with "Do You Wanna Make It." "He would hear stuff on an earlier take that made me cringe at first," Stringfellow remembers, "and then he'd say, 'No, you should listen to this. It doesn't matter -- it's got great energy.' He's got a really good ear for hearing the most natural and interesting stuff that's happening in the studio."

Is there any possibility at all that Big Star has a good album left in them?

johnhl
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Postby johnhl » Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:58 pm

Between the Big Star and No Direction Home, it's looking like Christmas in September this year.
Last edited by johnhl on Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rnolan66
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Big Star

Postby rnolan66 » Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:03 pm

The few early reviews I've heard have been pretty negative. I hope those reviews are wrong. Nothing would make me happier than to have them deliver a great Big Star record, but let's face it... it's highly unlikely. I wish they would just leave it alone already.

jaimoe0
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Postby jaimoe0 » Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:08 pm

Fuck reviews! I can't wait to wrap my ears around Alex Chilton working in a "pop" context with the Posies and Jody Stephens. I don't see how this could possibly suck.

DJMurphy
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Postby DJMurphy » Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:29 pm

I gave this poll a high rating, and I'll tell ya why: I'm coming to this record without the weight of expectations. Actually, that's not entirely true, but it's an ideal I'm working towards. Here're my thought processes:
a) I'm one of the hugest fans of the first two Big * albums (duh);
b) I find Third/Sister Lovers fascinating;
c) I dig a significant portion of Alex's solo output, even when he's simply doing classic R&B covers.
d) I've seen the reunited Big * twice here in Chicago; they're a pretty tight unit, and I didn't notice any overt inter-bandmember tensions (oh, except for maybe the time during the first concert that Alex dedicated the song "Slut" to Jody Stephens's wife. The second time around, he dedicated the song to himself.)
e) I've always dug the Posies' work, both as a group and solo.

So, a+b+c+d+e = a pretty good chance the end result will be something worth hearing. Will it be Big * as we know it? Probably not. But neither was the Third album. I'm stoked; I wanna see what Alex and the boys come up with this time around.

ryanking
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Postby ryanking » Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:36 pm

Out on the road today, I saw a Big Star sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, "don't look back. you can never look back."

Baltimucho
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Postby Baltimucho » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:23 pm

Out on the road today, I saw a Big Star sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, "don't look back. you can never look back."


With all the great tunes discussed on this board every day, I end up with a Don Henley song on infinite loop in my head.

worpswede
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Postby worpswede » Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:32 pm

Baltimucho wrote:With all the great tunes discussed on this board every day, I end up with a Don Henley song on infinite loop in my head.

It could be worse. Visions of Glen Frey could've been conjured up!

Jake
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Postby Jake » Tue Sep 13, 2005 2:46 pm

From a Letter to the Editor:


I read Edd Hurt’s article about Big Star with great interest, having been somewhat involved with the band and their subsequent post-BS recordings (“Mod Lang,” Sept. 1). With all due respect to Mr. Hurt, he and many others didn’t quite read between the lines of Jovanovic’s bio. Big Star was Chris Bell’s band, period, and if there was any single person who epitomized power pop it was Chris, not Alex. Before meeting and working with Alex Chilton, I was duped into thinking he was the one responsible for the style and greatness of Big Star, and I apologize for whatever contribution I have made to furthering this lie. Ardent Records wanted to make Alex the center of attention as he had an exploitable history as singer in the Box Tops, and Chris Bell was too artistic, intelligent and volatile to be depended upon to do the do. The only reason Big Star’s second album had any kind of power pop resonance was Chris’ presence on the recordings (he had long since left the band by the time the album was issued), and by the time the third (Sister Lovers) album was underway, Alex was trying to emulate Lou Reed—any Beatles references were long gone.

After the group broke up, Chilton dismissed the entire power pop canon as “pukes” (as in regurgitating Beatles) and had no interest in this kind of music until Big Star suddenly loomed large as power pop icons and there was an opportunity to cash in. My own struggles recording Chilton in 1975 made it very clear to me that Alex had no interest in making records that were pop (or even coherent, unfortunately), and although I was able to cobble together a record that had some resemblance to his previous acclaimed work, he was determined to bury his past. Which does link up nicely with Hurt’s quote from Michael Bane regarding Memphis. So should we expect anything tuneful or life-affirming from a post-Chris Bell Big Star? There’s a lot of greatness in the first two Big Star albums, but nothing since has substantiated the iconic treatment of the group or Chilton solo. He got the kudos for the Box Top’s success when the bows should have been taken by the great Dan Penn. Likewise him stealing Chris Bell’s thunder with Big Star, but dead musicians can’t take any bows or complain.

Jon Tiven

Seems rather harsh. And I definitely wouldn't have posted this had we not found out that Chilton survived the hurricane. But I wonder if this is just sour grapes or if there's any truth to the letter. Jon Tiven, by the way, produced Bach's Bottom.

DJMurphy
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Postby DJMurphy » Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:06 pm

For what it's worth, Alex Chilton and Jon Tiven have a checkered history together. It's definitely a hate/hate relationship. It wouldn't surprise me if Jon attempted to piss on Alex's parade by hijacking positive feeling with truth.

What Jon says is not entirely untrue; Big Star was most definitely Chris Bell's band which Alex joined. However, Chris also left his own group. Chris is also dead, and couldn't rejoin Big Star if he wanted to (death is strangely inconvenient when it comes to full band reunions; just ask the Who). Which, by default, leaves Alex as de facto leader of the aggregation currently calling itself Big Star. And frankly, I consider that aggregation a valid one, enough so to call themselves Big Star without needing to flinch. What I've heard so far of the new CD is a pleasant listen; they haven't embarrassed themselves, which is probably the biggest risk with any reunited group.

Jon Tiven is just a bitter old journalist who oughta STFU.


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