Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
To hell with the Box Tops!!
E. Zwick | Dallas, TX | 06/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, the Box Tops were a puppet band that included, among other musicians, one Alex Chilton. Big Star was another band which also included the very talented Chris Bell and Jody Stephens, who is still living and continues to play drums and sing with Alex, whenever these "Big-Star-Like-Projects" crop up. So now we're talking about an Alex Chilton live album, 'Live In London' from a concert recorded wednesday, May 28, 1980 to be exact. A full two decades after the end of his tour of duty with the Box Tops and following his disastrous stint with the soon-to-be-rediscovered band (OOPS..NOT FOR ANOTHER DECADE) Big Star! Here we find Alex hip-deep in a wilderness period of sorts as well as one of his most creative periods.
It's disconcerting to hear Baby-Boomers whine about the lack of polish on this, a LIVE ALBUM. To complain about the sound quality on such an important collection as this strikes me as more than a little lazy. This is the man who produced the First EP by the legendary band The Cramps and both produced and performed with "Psychobilly" oddballs The Panther Burns. At this stage in his career he is completely "Off-The-Boat" where commercial music is concerned. If you aren't getting that after the 3rd Big Star recording, which included a particularly deranged version of 'Whole Lotta Shakin' and such gloriously damaged masterpieces as 'Kangaroo' and 'Holocaust', then you simply aren't paying attention. Here's a tip, if you're stuck in a British Invasion rut where everything is sunny and pretty and "cellophane flowers of yellow and green are towering..", then the darker side of this artist may not be for you. But for the serious Alex Chilton fan, this is a major touchstone. Some of the key tracks on this disc were featured on a Chilton compilation called 'Document' which I bought in college. On the back cover Alex remarks: "No one understands what I'm trying to do".
Indeed, whether you're talking NYC punks or the Gun Club or the Replacemnts or Teenage Fanclub or This Mortal Coil, much of Alex Chilton's work after 'Like Flies On Sherbert' is usually ignored, maligned or misunderstood (or simply interpreted by someone else).
'Hey Litle Child' is just relentlesss. A spastic Velvets-like riff that rocks all the way from Memphis . 'Rock Hard' could be Alex in the studio with The Cramps after a few beers. 'Bangkok' has such energy that it can literally make my hair stand on end, as though I were there at Dingwalls in London.
Finally this record/CD was my first opportunity to hear 'September Gurls' performed live. That alone makes this disc worth the price."
An indelible collection of soulful, sloppy rocking
James H. Conley | Bronx, NY United States | 09/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chilling Chilton performances here, as great as his work with Panther Burns on "Behind the Magnolia Curtain." "Tramp"is a killer cut. His workouts here on "Bangkok" and "September Gurls" are, to my ears, equal to the celebrated studio versions. This record is part of the soundtrack to my wild '80's. Ignore the haters and buy this disc."
A train wreck, but...
Chris Ward | Hoboken, NJ USA | 04/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviewer generally trashed this, and maybe I can see why, but I had never heard "Bangkok" before, and if I could play, I would play that."