In one of the more surprising moves of the '90's former Box Top and professional grump since 1976 Alex Chilton was persuaded to reform his classic early '70s power pop band Big Star. The two surviving/interested members were joined by crazy haired Seattle two-some the Posies. This collection is the complete recording of their set at University of Missouri and includes run throughs of many of their ignored at the time but now popular numbers as well as nicely a take on fallen Big Star comrade Chris Bell's 'I Am the Cosmos'. This is the first time the complete set has been released.
8/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 29th April 2016
Big Star: Complete Columbia Live at the University of Missouri came about when Big Star surprised everybody and reformed in 1993. Original members, de facto leader Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens were joined by Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, who at the time probably couldn’t believe their luck. The original CD released way back when featured 15 tracks, here you get the full set of 20.
The music is kind of lovingly ramshackle, more rocky than the original album versions. Alex Chilton grew to love the rough-and-ready style, from Big Star’s Third and throughout his solo career, after making two albums of pristine power pop with them. For all of his rickety guitar playing and lackadaisical crooning (he cares really though), Stringfellow, Auer and Stephens load the performance with their enthusiasm and verve. Listen to Stringfellow’s vocal on Chris Bell’s “I am The Cosmos”, for example.
The songs you’d expect are on here, mainly culled from their first two albums with the addition of “Thank You Friends” from Third, the aforementioned “I Am The Cosmos” from Chris Bell’s post-Big Star album of the same name and five covers, most interesting of which are Todd Rundgren’s “Slut” and T-Rex’s “Jeepster”. Whilst this is not classic Big Star, prospective purchasers really need to know is that I got it home after my Record Store Day outing, put it on, smiled and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.
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