Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Big Star, Aisle 9

Big Star news from billboard.com:

Having thrown its hat into the ring as a reunited touring band in recent years, Big Star has set a Sept. 27 release for its first new studio album since 1978's "Third/Sister Lovers." The Rykodisc set "In Space" was recorded at Memphis' Ardent Studios, the site of the original Big Star recordings, with the latter-day lineup of Alex Chilton and founding drummer Jody Stephens alongside Posies principals Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer.

"We had no expectations," Auer tells Billboard.com of the recording sessions, "and I think we came up with a pretty credible record. It's impossible, of course, to compete with the original Big Star, but it's pretty crazy that a band that broke up 30 years ago made a new record."

Highlights include the ballad "Lady Sweet," replete with Big Star's signature harmony vocals and expert sense of melody, plus prototypical loose rockers like "February's Quiet" and "Best Chance We've Ever Had."

The original Big Star released three albums -- 1972's "No. 1 Record," 1974's "Radio City" and "Third/Sister Lovers," which was released after the band's breakup and founding member Chris Bell's tragic death in a car accident.

But the group's influence stretched far, inspiring, among others, a young Auer & Stringfellow, who would later prove catalysts in the band's rejuvenation when called upon to join Stephens and Chilton for a 1993 reunion concert. Since then, the group has been an on-and-off proposition, touring sporadically.

..."If there's anything strange about it, it's that we've been in the band longer than the original lineup was together," he notes. "Ken and I consider ourselves hired guns, but Alex and Jody clearly think of us as equal members at this point."

Still, Auer cautions fans to approach this new album on its own terms and not stacking it up against the Big Star legend. "You can't compete with a myth," he says. "I hope people don't expect it to be like it was, but there's enough of what made Big Star 'Big Star' on this record."
Big Star is a band I should know more about, but I never got into them in high school and college when I was supposed to. The major reason for that is that I always got them mixed up with a grocery store. Anyway, they are much to humble to be Advanced, but I hope they made a good record.

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