December 9, 2005
ROCK N' ROLL history has many example of band/artists unlucky, that didn't get the recognition they deserve. Here's one.
What is Big Star about? A rock n' roll, slightly psychodelic, most influenced by Beatles and The Byrds.
the first record (#1 record - 1972) is the battle of two frontman putting one classic pop-rock tune after another. Chilton gets the most rock stuff, Chris the ballads, and also a contribution from Hummel, the hippy "India song".
best moments: In the streets, thirteen, india song, when my baby's beside me, my life is right.
the second album - Radio city - 1973. Chris left the band, claiming that Chilton was getting too much control of everything. For this record, Hummel contributes more, the band goes torward some stuff slightly different, like the soul intended O my soul (maybe a reflection of the record label atmosphere.
Chilton here also takes full control of the musical direction, the albm sounds not better or worse, but less laboured, sounding in some tracks, more like a rehearsal, with a great garage feeling.
Stevens goes great on drums, specally on Back of a car.
best tracks: way out west, life is white (although the harmonica annoys me a little), mod lang (very bowie mood), back of a car, september gurls.
At a glance, Big Star reminds me backing home from school,playing my guitar, calling my girlfriend on the phone and waiting for the weekend to go to the beach. A feeling of youthness that doesn't come back, just like those special moments in a band's career that later, they can't catch anymore, no matter how hard they try. For Big Star, no differ, they would never do anything like these two records. And sadly after Bell's death, chances are zero to none.
Why didn't they succeeded. Well, ego stuff, lack of Stax knowledge to deal with rock n' roll bands, and the dicotomy that was ruling the rock n' roll scene at the time: Hard rock versus progressive rock. And what about Big Star? Neither hard rock, nor progressive.
But, despite all that rubish, Big Star is pure rock n'roll, guitar band, 70's style, recognizable in many current bands recording all over the world.
Big Star is eternal.