Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Didn't Know...

tomorrow night is an event to behold. me and some buddies are going out to the movies to watch "rifftrax" live!!! it's the christmas special, so it's only happening this one time only. special guests include weird al!!! if you don't know what rifftrax is, well you might want to click on this link here. yeah, so hilarity will ensue and good times will be had. i can't wait!!!

i have been up all day today, so i got some much needed beading done. while i was doing my work i listened to my music like always, and for today's post i want to brag on a wonderful 70's power pop band that not many know about. actually, you might know of them because their song "in the street" was used for the theme song for That 70's Show. the song was a cover version done by Cheap Trick. but besides that, here is the real band. they are called Big Star.

here is a band that has a very heavy cult status. usually bands with huge cult followings are something to watch out for because you wonder why they are held up in such high regard, and big star are one of those bands. forming in 1971 in memphis tennessee by members alex chilton, chris bell, jody stephans, and andy hummel, big star were way ahead of their time in regards to their musical style and lyrical content amongst all the popular bands of the 70's. these guys are often considered the predecessors of the alternative music scene of the 80's and 90's. in their first era they resembled the british invasion bands such as The Kinks, The Beatles as well as The Byrds and The Beach Boys here in america. but with the influence they took from those artists, they morphed the sound into their own and also included nihilistic themes and dark imagery. bands that haves stated big star as an influence include The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, R.E.M., Primal Scream, The Posies and Velvet Crush.

the band only released three records in their 70's era, breaking up in 1974. after the first album, chris bell and andy hummel left the group, but bell contributed some song to the second lp. chris bell has also become a sort of cult figure in the music world as well. he went solo after he left big star and many years later a collection of his solo material was collected into one complete album titled I Am the Cosmos.

often compared to the solo work of john lennon, chris bell made heartfelt pop songs about longing and want. it's very somber stuff and fits right up my alley when i consider how much i love solo acoustic work like Beck, Nick Drake, and Elliot Smith. sadly, bell would later die in a car wreck in 1978.

in the words of Rolling Stone magazine, big star created a "seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations". as i always seem to mention nowadays, all three big star albums are located in the Rolling Stone top 500 greatest albums ever made and rightfully so. when you first hear their music you wonder "why the heck did these guys never take off???" i thought the exact same thing. as it turns out, their record label never really backed them 100%. it was hard times for a great band and an issue i still see today with artists that need to recognized more often. this is truly TRULY great music to listen to. many bands back then made genuine emotional music, but most of the time it was hidden behind too much over production and pop flare and dazzle. big star just seem like real dudes who wanted to get to the point and not hide behind all the glitz and glamor. like my recent post on the band Settlefish, big star are just as important for you all to listen to. (in my opinion of course!!!)

today i have all three big star albums as well as chris bells solo album. in recent years the band has reunited and made new music, but as stated all over, the band made three perfect albums during their cult status years and really, those are the ones i want to represent here for you. by all means, i don't want to take anything away from the artists i post on here. i just want you all to check these out because not many know about certain music and of course you can't listen to the radio anymore because the radio is terrible tripe. so, the first album here is titled #1 Record. this is the groups first batch of material and includes the song "in the street". second we have my favorite album by the band titled Radio City. the song "i'm in love with a girl" was recently used in the movie Adventure Land and made a really great scene. and last for big star is Third/Sister Lovers. this album was completed in 1975, after the band broke up and because of the lack on interest in record labels, never released to the public until 1978 after the first two albums were released in the uk to great applause. third/sister lovers is the darkest and moodiest of the three albums and often considered the masterpiece from the band. look for the fantastic cover of The Velvet Underground's song "femme fatal". and finally, in last place, we have I Am the Cosmos by chris bell. again, this is one reflective album showcasing a young man during depression, trying to reach out and make his own art in the face of trial and tribulation. dig it...

that this could happen to me...


  1. you've got a great blog here, but do you think you could post whatever the password is for Number 1 Record? thanks.

  2. ok, i think i hopefully fixed the problem. this is in regards to #1 record, which i hope is what everyone is talking about...