Aaron H. (barrywom23) from ALTADENA, CA Reviewed on 3/15/2014...
Nice and pleasant and all, your grandmother may even like it. No rattling of the bones, blowing of the mind, or kicking in the ass (for me). Very safe. Lyrics and musicianship - fine, just did not move me. Sorry, I tried. Even watched "Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me" to see what all the fuss was about. Left half-way through bored and empty (same goes for Alan Parsons). despite my specific genre in seeking out Cds, I am open to all kinds of music. Alex Chilton just doesn't do it for me. With the Chuck Berry-esque duck-walk on the cover, I expected more ROCKING going on. This album leaves me flat.
Fun with the old catalog
cartaufalous | Austin, TX | 07/31/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think everyone should own every one of the original LX solo albums, and this misses most of my favorites of Alex's solo songs (hunt down the French import "Stuff" collection for something more to the tastes of a fan like me), but it's still a good introduction. Not as good as "A Man called Destruction" or "Set", but it doesn't overlap with either of those classics. You could use it to supplement them, and the notes and pictures are great."
Henry Zeno | Dallas | 11/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Between the making of Big Star's "Third" in late 1974 and his "comeback" in 1984, Alex Chilton didn't do too much recording. He did the "Bachs' Bottom"/"Singer Not the Song" stuff in '75, there's a Japanese LP of a gig at CBGB ("I guess it's bigger than the tallest building...", definitive version of "Take Me Home and Make Me Like It," which exists in several million incarnations on "Bach's Bottom"), the "Bangkok" single, "Like Flies on Sherbert," some demos that have been bootlegged (and that really should be officially released, as they're among his best work of the late '70s), the pretty awful "Live in London"--and that's about it. He recorded some with Tav Falco's Panther Burns, but seeing that they have to be one of the worst groups ever to commit sounds to tape, that don't count for much. In the early '80s he repaired down to New Orleans (who goes to New Orleans to dry out?!?), washed dishes, worked as a tree trimmer, began playing with Rene Coman, and then made the "Feudalist Tarts" EP. I myself welcomed that return to (relative) form, but I don't think it's very good, notwithstanding his own superb "Lost My Job" and the brilliant cover of Willie Tee's "Thank You John" (not included on "19 Years," although his lousy versions of Slim Harpo songs are). "No Sex" EP was better--title song pretty great. His work on "No Sex" hinted at an avant-garde pop that he has never quite achieved, although something like "Don't Stop" on '95's "Man Called Destruction" comes close. "High Priest" has its moments--"Dalai Lama" (not included here) and "Volare" (included) among them. That's where this compilation ends. "Black List" from '89 is a worthy effort and it's fun to hear him reference the guitar part in Charlie Rich's version of "Nice and Easy" in his own version of that song. "Man Called Destruction" is his second-best solo album (behind "Flies on Sherbert")--his take on Mr. Danny Pearson's "What's Your Sign Girl?" certainly ranks amongst his best work. Too traditional for folks brought up on punk rock and grunge and too strange for those boomers who worship the Beatles and Crosby, Stills and Nash, Alex Chilton, unlike his contemporary Nick Lowe, has never had the kind of budget and resources to make the recordings that would have shown the world what he could have done. So we're left with this odd document, which begins with a pretty lame 1969 Gram Parsons imitation and a few tracks from Big Star's "Third" (a record that really should be taken as a whole) and ends with a cover of a Ground Hog tune. In between he covers the Troggs, the Seeds, Lowell Fulson, and Slim Harpo, mentions "living on Chinese rocks," shows off a few jazz chords he learned from a Mel Bay book, gets (the late) Lee Baker or someone to play a one-note guitar solo on "Rock Hard," and, just for kicks, one-ups Dean Martin. Maybe the second "19 Years" will contain his re-recorded version of "Cry Like a Baby" (I think it's that one, I find it hard to listen) I found on this $2.99 cassette at a truck stop outside of Baton Rouge."
mencken61 | Metairie, La. United States | 04/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alex Chilton is the smartest man in rock and roll. This Memphian knows his stuff, from Box Tops to Big Star to solo to Panther Burns to solo again, this is the true genius. It will please you and make your mind fire its synapses. Buy this."
Unless anybody on here...
F. A Ognibene | Germantown, TN United States | 05/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"can write songs with the same sort of stupid drunken swagger that chilton had, has, and will always have. Songs like "Lost my Job" and "No Sex" are so mindlessly juvenile and simple that the writer is obviously possessed by some genius. It takes alot to be able to just not care at all about what the end result of a take is, just that it was fun to play. How people don't see Chilton as someone amounting to Captain Beefheart or Pere Ubu levels of fractured songs, but with much more emphasis on soul and traditional rock n roll is beyond me. I do agree with most that Chiltons best work was with Big Star, and I feel that their Third album is one of the greatest in all of pop music, but Chilton's solo work is also worth the time, be it far less acsessible. The collection's worth it."