Big Star, Keep An Eye On The Sky

Published on September 29th, 2009 in: Issues, Music, Music Reviews, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Kaye Telle

The mythical proportions of Big Star are hard to deny, so I won’t. Big Star are a treasure worth (re)discovering; they have gems worth seeking out and examining over and over, for years to come.

So, what can I tell you about them that you don’t already know? Alex Chilton vehicle? Check. Cult following? Check. Short lived, less-than-successful career while actually recording together? Check. Icons of power pop, the well-loved genre with fanatical followers? Check.

big star box set cover

Big Star has been held up, and rightfully so, as the gold standard for power pop. If you don’t own any Big Star, and are of the Goth or 4AD geek variety, you may have heard their songs as delivered by the all-star cover band This Mortal Coil.

Yes, you probably have heard Big Star over the years, and might even own some of their songs.

So how can I, a not-at-all famous rock journalist, possibly hope to tell you something about Big Star?

Well, if I have to tell you about Big Star, then you have to buy this box set. It’s a demand and a requirement if you’re a music fan. Or conversely, if I don’t have to tell you about Big Star, then you clearly need to own this box set. Even if you own the previously released material, this box set spans the years 1968 to 1975 and includes unreleased demos, unused mixes, alternate versions of songs, extensive and impressive liner notes, tons of photos, and a 1973 concert recorded in Memphis.

I will now humbly toss out my perceptions of this essential and comprehensive purchase which includes the studio versions you should know, the live versions fans will know, and the alternate takes and demos everyone should know, and now will, thanks to Rhino Records. (My only complaint is that Alex Chilton’s “Heavy Medley” was not included, as I was really crossing my fingers for that on CD.)


Click to read more about. . .

Disc One
Disc Two
Disc Three
Disc Four

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

3 Responses to “Big Star, Keep An Eye On The Sky


  1. Christian:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I love their live cover of T. Rex’s “Baby Strange” on disc 4 as well. Good review!

  2. Kaye Telle:
    October 5th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks Christian!

  3. K Telle:
    March 18th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    R.I.P. Alex Chilton

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