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#1 Record/Radio City

Big StarAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2009 $15.30  
Audio CD, 1992 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 1992)
  • 2-Album Edition edition
  • Original Release Date: 1972
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stax / Ardent
  • ASIN: B000000XHA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,511 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Feel
2. The Ballad Of El Goodo
3. In The Street
4. Thirteen
5. Don't Lie To Me
6. The India Song
7. When My Baby's Beside Me
8. My Life Is Right
9. Give Me Another Chance
10. Try Again
11. Watch The Sunrise
12. St 100/6
13. O My Soul
14. Life Is White
15. Way Out West
16. What's Going Ahn
17. You Get What You Deserve
18. Mod Lang
19. Back Of A Car
20. Daisy Glaze
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A two-for-one combo of the first two Big Star albums (they only recorded three). Heard side by side, #1 Record and Radio City only add further testament to Big Star's seminal greatness. On the first album, Chris Bell and Alex Chilton share songwriting credit, though each brings a remarkably different sensibility to the band: Bell creates pure pop nuggets ("Feel") while Chilton swaggers with reckless melancholy ("Ballad of El Goodo," "Thirteen."). After Bell's departure, Chilton took control of the helm for Radio City, and what a ride it is. While not abandoning Bell's penchant for pop, Radio City careens wildly through some of the most exhilarating music ever created, from the rave-up opener, "O My Soul," to the pure pop masterpiece "September Girls" to the whimsical ditty "I'm in Love with a Girl." It's too bad that Big Star didn't create more albums, but thank God they made the ones they did. --Tod Nelson

Product Description

A two-for-one combo of the first two Big Star albums (they only recorded three). Heard side by side, #1 Record and Radio City only add further testament to Big Star's seminal greatness. On the first album, Chris Bell and Alex Chilton share songwriting credit, though each brings a remarkably different sensibility to the band: Bell creates pure pop nuggets ("Feel") while Chilton swaggers with reckless melancholy ("Ballad of El Goodo," "Thirteen."). After Bell's departure, Chilton took control of the helm for Radio City, and what a ride it is. While not abandoning Bell's penchant for pop, Radio City careens wildly through some of the most exhilarating music ever created, from the rave-up opener, "O My Soul," to the pure pop masterpiece "September Girls" to the whimsical ditty "I'm in Love with a Girl." It's too bad that Big Star didn't create more albums, but thank God they made the ones they did.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's The Truth About Their Commercial Failure August 30, 2000
Format:Audio CD
No group in the history of rock 'n' roll ever put out three albums in a row more brilliant than Big Star. [Yeah, I originally said "as brilliant," but of course many bands have arguably matched them, so let's agree on a big tie at the top.] And it's hard to find any group that changed so radically as Big Star did in the span of three records. I've found that Big Star fans tend to fall into three camps:

1) Regards #1 RECORD as an all-time masterpiece, loves or likes RADIO CITY a lot, has a problem with SISTER LOVERS -- it's too acid-casualty incoherent.

2) Regards SISTER LOVERS as an all-time masterpiece, loves or likes RADIO CITY a lot, has a problem with #1 RECORD -- it's too slick and commercial.

3) Regards RADIO CITY as an all-time masterpiece and loves both the other two in their own very different ways.

And, of course, some of us are "3+" -- they're all masterpieces in my book, but RADIO CITY is the creme de la creme.

Other reviewers have done a wonderful job of describing this music and its enormous influence on indy rock. However, some have repeated the rather pernicious myth about the commercial failure of the listener-friendly #1 RECORD: that radio programmers didn't like it, that the record's sound was somehow wrong for its time.

There are folks at BILLBOARD and CASHBOX magazines who were paid well to listen to new releases and report on their commercial potential. Here's what BILLBOARD said on 9/9/72: "Each and every cut on this album has the inherent potential to become a blockbuster single. The ramifications are positively awesome." Boy, hedging their bet, huh? Here's CASHBOX a week later: "An important album that should go to the top with proper handling.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
So much has been written by the brilliant pop music of these two albums, that there's little left to say about the music itself. Lauded by critics and ignored by pop music buyers, Big Star became the most influential rock band never to make it commercially. Their debut album, cheekily titled "#1 Record" (1972) and its follow-up, "Radio City" (1974), were reissued in 1978 as a gatefold two-fer that pricked the ears of pop fans and collectors who'd missed their original release. The group's name would be bandied about by an ever-growing underground of in-the-know fans-turned-worshippers. The group's unreleased-at-the-time third album (alternately titled Third and Sister Lovers) appeared briefly on vinyl on the PVC label shortly thereafter. The `80s passed before a CD reissue of the seminal first two albums appeared on Big Beat in 1990. This was followed by a domestic release on Fantasy in 1992, which was paralleled by a period live FM broadcast from 1974, Big Star Live, and a CD reissue of Sister Lovers.

The attention finally brought vocalist/songwriter Alex Chilton back to his Big Star catalog, and along with original drummer Jody Stephens and the Posies' Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, a reconstituted Big Star recorded a live album at Missouri University, Columbia. Additional reissues of the three studio albums followed, along with more archival live recordings and rehearsal tapes (
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incalculable influence - great songs and performances December 1, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The merits of Big Star can hardly be overstated due to the band's lasting influence on soooo many artists - an ABRIDGED list might include Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Replacements, R.E.M., Game Theory, Bangles, Teenage Fanclub, and Jimmy Eat World. Of course, with most of these bands becoming MUCH more well known than Big Star, the influence is diminished somewhat because the original is heard AFTER the followers. Regardless, Big Star's 1st 2 albums create an essential release made even sweeter by the 2-for-1 deal, and the tunes still sound fresh listen after listen. A few songs drag a bit, to my ears anyway, but even the less enjoyable tracks like "Don't Lie To Me" and "Life Is White" are worthy due to great performances and lyrics. Along with Badfinger, Big Star is the absolute touchstone for melancholy pop songs that should have been huge hits - forming the basis for every power pop pretender to the throne. Fans of any aforementioned bands will do themselves a favor to pick this up, along with fans of absolute classics such as the Who, Beatles, and Byrds (lead genius Alex Chilton's faves).
Best Tracks:
"The Ballad Of El Goodo" - George Harrison-esque, shimmering ballad with stunning harmonies and guitars. One of the most celebrated examples of Chilton's genius.
"In The Street" - The feel-good Chris Bell classic that was used in "That 70's Show" (warning: that version was done by Cheap Trick!)
"Thirteen" - Another Chilton gem. Gorgeous acoustics, tender and somewhat striking lyrics. A great, honest portrait of youth.
"Way Out West" - Oh, those guitars...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a Number One!
Good music from a very interesting group. Wish I had known of them when they were active. I believe they must have been grat in concert.
Published 2 days ago by Stephen Redihan
1.0 out of 5 stars A representation of a garage band
I had read the hype, I recalled how much I liked the Boxtop singles and thaought this would be worth the purchase....It was not, a miserable amaturish effort. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Dave Yokom
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music.
Great music. A friend of mine recommended this CD and I was pleasantly surprised. It's like the Beatles mixed with the Byrds and Badfinger all in one. Great music.
Published 22 days ago by Ronald Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Big things from Big Star
My favorite of all their CD's and so well done. It kills me they never really hit the mainstream of what we listen to on the radio. That's a shame!
Published 2 months ago by Wade E. Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
The best band you have probably never heard of. Formed in Memphis, Tn with Alex Chilton who became famous with the hit song "The Letter" when he was in the Box Tops.
Published 2 months ago by Todd L Harvey
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 records on 1 CD
some interesting tracks.
Not as good as I thought it would be.
I expected more after reading about this band.
Published 2 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly great!
I had heard a few cuts from Big Star albums back in the 70s, and loved them, but could never find any of their releases in stores. Read more
Published 4 months ago by gbaade55
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cherished Part of My Musical Past
I discovered this double album some time in the early 90s. I think I dug the name of the band and some of the cover art (go figure). Read more
Published 5 months ago by splanky57
4.0 out of 5 stars the music was right with God (but society isn't)
I sympathize strongly with people who feel reviled for going against strong odds and on my side is God, but having such strong views is not like the entertainment values that make... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Bruce P. Barten
5.0 out of 5 stars Great pop music.
I found out about Big Star from one of my favorite singer/songwriters Paul Westerberg who was in the influential band The Replacements, he wrote a song simply titled Alex Chilton,... Read more
Published on June 26, 2011 by Michael
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