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Free Again: The 1970 Sessions

Alex ChiltonAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Price: $14.85 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 20 Songs, 2014 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2012 $14.85  
Vinyl, 2012 $18.94  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 10, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Omnivore Recordings
  • ASIN: B006DICVU0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,774 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

2. Come On Honey
3. Something Deep Inside
4. I Can Dig It
5. The EMI Song (Smile For Me)
6. All I Really Want Is Money
7. The Happy Song
8. Jumpin' Jack Flash
9. Every Day As We Grow Closer/Funky National
10. I Wish I Could Meet Elvis
11. Just To see You
12. All We Ever Got From Them Was Pain (*previously unissued)
13. Sugar, Sugar/I Got The Feelin'
14. Free Again (STEREO REMIX WITH ALTERNATE VOCAL)(*previously unissued)
15. Every Day As We Grow Closer (ORIGINAL MONO MIX)(*previously unissued)
16. Come On Honey (ORIGINAL MONO MIX)
17. The EMI Song (Smile For Me) (ORIGINAL MONO MIX)(*previously unissued)
18. All I Really Want Is Money (DEMO)(*previously unissued)
19. If You Would Marry Me Babe (DEMO)(*previously unissued)
20. It Isn't Always That Easy (DEMO)(*previously unissued)

Editorial Reviews

2012 release, a collection of 1970 solo recordings from the former Box Tops/future Big Star leader. Alex Chilton was the lead singer of a million-selling band, The Box Tops, but felt like little more than a puppet of the group's producers. In the era of free love, he'd been pressured into a shotgun marriage and fatherhood. And he'd ultimately come to see himself as the pawn of an unscrupulous business machine, sent to grind it out on the road in a series of silly lip-synched TV performances and one-night stands while someone else cashed his checks. As he entered the studio that summer to make his first solo recordings, the man who would come to define the very spirit of musical independence was still bound in chains. At a time where liberation and self-expression were rallying cries, Alex Chilton was about to break free.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Extended Version of "1970" February 24, 2012
Format:Audio CD
This extended re-release of "1970" has 3 "new" songs and 5 alternate versions of songs from the original release. "All We Ever Got from you is Pain" is an outstanding and surprising addition. With its great melody and beautiful Simon and Grafunkel harmonies from Chilton and Terry Manning, it is easily one of the best songs on the collection.

"It Isn't Always that Easy" is an acoustic song that stylewise easily could have been an outtake from Big Star's "#1 Record", Which is not particularly surprising since all those recordings were made in the period between his Boxtops time and the formation of Big Star, hence the title "1970."

"If You Would Marry Me" is obviously a demo, showing Chilton is at his more poppy side accompanied by just a piano.

The 5 alternate versions are not markedly different, and I believe you have to know the earlier versions very well, to notice differences.

Comments to the earlier 1996 version:

After the dissolution of the Box Top in 1969 Alex Chilton began to record music for his first solo album. This happened over a longer period during of 1970. Like the early Big Star the album is recorded in John Fry's Ardent Studios, and Chilton are musically supported by Ardent acquaintances such as as producer and mulitiinstrumentalist Terry Manning and drummer Richard Rosebrough.

Logically the music places itself somewhere between the soul-pop sound of the Box Tops and the more progressive power-pop-oriented sound of Big Star. Unfortunately when the album was finished and ready for release Chilton failed to find a satisfactory agreement with a record company, and he soon became heavily involved in his new band Big Star, so the recordings were shelved and soon forgotten.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE IMPORT VERSION TRACK LISTING! January 16, 2012
Format:Audio CD
There is an errant Amazon listing for the import version - showing 22 tracks. This is old and incorrect information. The import carries the same 20 tracks as the US version. Those two tracks will be included on a future release. In addition, there is no digital download for the LP. That info is incorrect, as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless April 6, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Listening to Free Again, one has to be constantly reminded that these recordings are more than 40 years old. The songs are as fresh and vibrant today as they were when they were recorded.

Anyone familiar with Alex Chilton understands why, as the Replacements song goes, children by the millions scream for Alex Chilton. Or at least they should. Much like Gram Parsons, Chilton's music is arguably more influential than it was commercially successful. It is easy to visualize a young Tom Petty, Paul Westerberg, or Jeff Tweedy listening to Chilton and trying to figure out chords and lyrics.

Every song on the album is good, but I particulary like Free Again, The EMI Song (Smile for Me) and The Happy Song. I'm really thankful the producers brought out this gem to inspire future musicians.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tuneful And Rockin' September 5, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great record from Alex Chilton. Such cool songs. Really has that feel of the first two Big Star records Big Star/#1 Record. Just discovered this album and it rocks all the way through. Such a great songwriter and singer. Tuneful and greasy. The attitude on the cover of "Sugar Sugar" brings a smile as it rocks, stumbles and falls apart.

If you like Big Star you'll love this record. Just a great listen all the way through.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The precursor to "Big Star" ... you can hear the roots of power pop being formed. His creative soul lives on all of his music. If you are a new listener to his craft .. explore it all and don't neglect his stint with Tav Falco, either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Nic
These pre- big star recordings didn't get released, a pattern to be repeated later on with the 3rd sessions for Radio City follow up, but they are a cool & various collection of good swampy slightly twangy style blues rockabilly & pop song writing with a fine creative voice - that being a young Alex Chilton.

The soon to be Big Star, as well as his later more rockabilly, characteristics are both present in this album in about equal amount, although it is the still yet to be jaded Alex Chilton in these recordings despite the slight bit of both flippant cynicism and melancholy tinged yearning that these songs both contain.

Each side is pretty well balanced between the expanded upon standard bluesy based rockabilly songs and the more poppy, romantic songs.

A cool vinyl record release by Omnivore records, for anyone in the Alex Chilton music appreciation club, with nice packaging, although not quite as cool as their Big Star Third test pressing release, which also finally had better track sequencing for listening to that album with in making better sense of it's music in an album listen way, rather significant with vinyl.

But this is an good enough album to be appreciated on it's own terms, and is a great time piece of a take from a particular music time & place being balanced with it's solo material aspects.
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