Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
#1 Record/Radio City (Hybr)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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Did Any Band Ever Make Two Better Albums Back to Back?
Manjushri | New Haven | 03/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After reading about "the greatest band I've never heard of" in Rolling Stone, I decided to check out Big Star's first two albums. The verdict: this band should have ruled the world. Today, while the music of many of their early 70's contemporaries sounds cheesy and dated, Big Star's sounds are absolutely timeless.
Let's talk about "Numer 1 Record." For pure groove, "Feel" rivals Led Zep. "The India Song" is a retro, hippie-dippie slice of the Byrds, while "Watch the Sunrise" is as good of a George Harrison song as George Harrison ever wrote. "Thirteen," is simply one of the purest, most innocent love songs I've ever heard. Yet none of these are my favorite track on the album; that honor goes to the inspired "Ballad of El Goodo." As a lyricist, Alex Chilton will never be mistaken for Leonard Cohen; on "Numer 1 Record" he sometimes tends to fall into the "mad/sad/glad" school of writing, but it simply doesn't matter. His voice is sweet and soulful and gorgeously wounded, and the hooks and harmonies are pure joy.
And "Radio City" is better. This album isn't as consistent as "Number 1," but the variety is even more pronounced and the high moments are simply other-worldly. This album is sortable by sections. The first two tracks "O My Soul" and "Life is White" are a complete departure from "Number 1," and echo the Mephis boogie-woogie of Chilton's roots. "Way Out West" is a brilliant nod to the best of 50's style pop ballad writting - innocence yet lined with desperation - with the ringing guitars of the 60's Brit. bands folded in. "You Get What You Deserve" is a complete one off; it sounds like it was a Steely Dan song written long before Steely Dan was even thought ot. On "What's Going Ahn," "Mod Lang," and "Back of a Car," indie rock springs fully formed out of the side of Alex Chilton's head. After hearing these tracks I could absolutely see why Rolling Stone said bands like the Replacements and Pavement would have been unimaginable without Big Star. By the time "She's a Mover" rolls around the album has built to almost unbelievable heights. This song sounds like a prime cut off of "Rubber Soul" or "Revolver." The icing on the cake is "September Gurls." The Replacements once wrote an awesome song titled "Alex Chilton." The chours goes "I'm in love/ I'm in love/ I'm just in love with that song." My thoughts exactly.
Simply put, this is some of the best pop-music ever. Chilton was on the level of Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson. The fact that Big Star remains so unknown almost makes it sweeter. I never thought I would be able to hear pop songs this good for the first time again."
Good Music, No Strings Attached
Quentin Tarantino Fan | nowhere | 08/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While scouring reviews for this album (in a different version), I read somebody classifying two different ways to listen to Big Star: As what they are, or a band that's so great and important that, if you don't like it, your obviously musically retarded and can't appreciate good music. And they certainly were important. Big Star was a major influence on a___load of artists like R.E.M. , The Replacements, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, and more. With all that in your mind, which road should you take (alright, that's the stupidest question I've ever asked).
Well, take the first one. Music snobs will tell you that this band is the best, but that kind of hampers the experience. When hype comes and bites you, your probably under quite a bit of pressure to come to their conlusions. Besides, concentrating on the musical influence would probably just diminish the real impact of the music, and how great the music is on it own (if it's great). So, with mindset one in mind (actually, I never really gave two _______ about who they influenced when listening to Big Star), that was the one I chose when listening to the music of this band.
For individual reviews of each album, see Radio City and #1 Record, and you'll know why I wrote about each album separately.
Did I, once deciding on whether or not these guys are good (Oh, it was SO hard, ha ha ha!), look to see their mark? You got me. But the bands that I give a damn about, the ones that are influenced by Big Star, really don't sound too much like them. Who am I kidding, those bands really sound a lot different from Big Star. Which is a testament that Big Star really is a good group. Namely, they don't sound like a weak, prototype for the bands that influenced them. And no group can do their songs like Big Star, every single group has done a pretty awful job at covering their music, save for Cheap Trick. Example, take Wilco's cover of Thirteen. They just had to slaughter it with sappy strings, and who was singing? Sounded AWFUL. Proof that many bands can't pull off songs like this, ever. Indeed, no matter what, Big Star will never be replaced, or never be imitated (the bands influenced by them stand out and don't sound like knock offs of the band).
Really, when you pretty much get two albums remastered, well, to me it goes to a five star average, and since that you get both albums for the price of one, it really makes the deal even sweeter. So yeah, get it.
A Great Disc Just Got Even Better
Scott Riback | Wallkill, NY USA | 07/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will not go on as to how exceptional the two albums on this CD are; there is already much comment to their praise on Amazon. I will say that if you are not familiar with Big Star, and you are a fan of The Beatles or any of the musically inspired music of the 70's, you will absolutely love these guys. I have both the original vinyls and CD of this release and if you own a SACD player this is a must have. Positively brilliant!"