What's so weird about Big Star's Third?

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Is Big Star's Third album that weird?

Yes, it's off the wall bonkers.
0
No votes
It's kinda weird, yo.
4
57%
Not that weird.
3
43%
It's still rock and roll to me.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

Jake
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What's so weird about Big Star's Third?

Postby Jake » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:46 pm

I've been listening to Disc 3 (the Third/Sister Lovers stuff) on the Big Star box, and it just doesn't sound that weird to me. Some of it's pretty mellow ("Big Black Car"), and some of it's lyrically pretty dark ("Holocaust"), but a lot of it just sounds like Big Star ("Nighttime"), and some of it is downright exuberant ("Jesus Christ").

Even instrumentally it just doesn't sound that weird. I recently ripped my CD of Chilton's pre-Big Star 1970 collection, and I was listening to recently added tracks on shuffle and when certain songs came on, I couldn't remember if they were on Third or 1970. E.g., "Sugar Sugar" is a lot like "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On."

What do you think?

Jake
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Postby Jake » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:58 pm

Okay, there's some weird shit going on in "You Can't Have Me." That farty bass tone, the dissonant piano, etc. But it still sounds like a late night jam that Chilton could've been blaring with the the Dolby Fuckers (i.e., "Mod Lang") before Radio City.

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Postby D. Phillips » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:03 pm

A little bit weird but it's really just that it's not as good, for me.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:18 pm

"Downs" is weird, too. But the story with that one is that Chilton intentionally sabotaged it when someone who had heard the demo said it had potential to be a hit. Hence, goofy steel drums and wasted sounding vocals.

Lep
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Postby Lep » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:20 pm

I think it's because people are comparing it to #1 and Radio City, which were practically pristine, not Alex's other (more-or-less) fucked up shit. Yes, it's just that "late night jam" vibe - plus late-night drunken barbituated (is that a word?) jam. Plus, you have hints of darkness on the first two, but nothing like "Get me out of here, I hate it here," just to reference lyrics from one of the songs you mention.

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Postby worpswede » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:24 pm

I thought "Kangaroo" was the one Chilton messed with.

Lep
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Postby Lep » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:26 pm

Don't you think "Take Care" sounds like a suicide note?

Jake
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Postby Jake » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:32 pm

Lep wrote:Don't you think "Take Care" sounds like a suicide note?

Yeah, but it's pretty.

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Postby Jake » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:43 pm

worpswede wrote:I thought "Kangaroo" was the one Chilton messed with.

Maybe. I can't find the quote I'm thinking of. But here's what Dickinson said about "Kanga Roo":

"'Kanga Roo' was when I got Alex's trust. He came in in the middle of the night with Lisa Aldridge and he recorded it with his voice and the twelve-string acoustic guitar on the same track, just to make it harder. He said to me, 'You want to produce something? Produce this.' So I started stacking stuff on it. I did the strings first with the Mellotron, then I started playing guitars. Pretty soon Alex was out there with me."

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Postby Jake » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:51 pm

I love this photo:

Image
Dan Penn (in glasses) and Alex Chilton lounging at the Sam Phillips Recording Service, mid-1970s. Photo by William Eggleston.


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