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I Am the Cosmos [Original recording reissued]

Chris BellAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Price: $10.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2009 $9.49  
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, 1992 $10.99  
Vinyl, 2006 $19.12  
Audio Cassette, 1992 --  

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I Am the Cosmos + #1 Record / Radio City + Third / Sister Lovers
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 21, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009OD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,515 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Am The Cosmos
2. Better Save Yourself
3. Speed Of Sound
4. Get Away
5. You And Your Sister
6. Make A Scene
7. Look Up
8. I Got Kinda Lost
9. There Was A Light
10. Fight At The Table
11. I Don't Know
12. Though I Know She Lies
13. I Am The Cosmos (Slow Version)
14. You And Your Sister (Country Version)
15. You And Your Sister (Acoustic Version)

Editorial Reviews

The very first lines of Chris Bell's one and only album say it all: "Every night I tell myself I am the cosmos / I am the wind / That don't bring you back again." Recorded between his departure from the notoriously misbegotten power-pop group Big Star in 1972 and his 1978 death following an auto accident, Cosmos is the work of a man struggling to assuage his depression with spiritual succor. Musically, this collection (which was unheard by the general public prior to 1992) is reminiscent of John Lennon's '70s work. With the exception of Plastic Ono Band, however, Lennon never put out a solo album on a par with this one. The tragedy is that Bell never had a chance to try to match it. --Steven Stolder

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Majestic Sound of Big Star - Almost May 28, 2003
By dev1
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For fans of Big Star, Chris Bell's `I Am the Cosmos' is a must have. Bell writes sugar-sweet love songs (Speed of Sound, You and Your Sister, Thought I Knew Her) with infatuating melodies that stand well against the best of Paul McCartney. Love lost is seldom heard with such despair. Of particular interest, `I Am the Cosmos' overwrites a beautiful melody with some ripping guitar chords emphasizing the composition's aura of futility.
The rockers (Get Away, Make a Scene, I Don't Know) remind me not so much of Big Star, but of John Lennon's rebellious Plastic Ono Band period: fiery but chaotic.
Those familiar with Big Star songs such as `The Ballad of El Goodo,' My Life Is Right,' Try Again' and `Give Me Another Chance' shouldn't be surprised with Bell's spiritual affirmations. `Better Save Yourself,' Look Up,' and `There Was a Light' clearly seek the heavens for inspiration.
I wouldn't rate `I Am the Cosmos' on par with Big Star's first two albums, but Chris Bell's influence on the band's majestic sound is profound.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of history for Big Star and power pop fans September 17, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Chris Bell was always the underappreciated half of Big Star - while critics and fans raved over Alex Chilton's intense, brooding pop songs (deservedly so), Chris Bell was somewhat lost in the shuffle. His songs are often chilling and desperate in the same mold as Chilton, but his voice is not quite as powerful or accessible as Chilton's - which never detracts from the songs. This CD is a worthy companion to the essential Big Star albums, and fortunately is widely available. Nothing here approaches the anthemic status of "In The Street" - Bell's one contribution to mainstream culture, from That 70's Show - but the more low key songs make this work well as a cohesive record.
Best Tracks:
"I Am The Cosmos" - Soul-searching, lonesome, and an all time power pop classic. Would have sounded just as good on Third/Sister Lovers.
"Speed Of Sound" - Runs a little long, but this emotionally fragile tune is one of the best on the CD.
"You And Your Sister" - Chilton's backing vocals and the sweeping arrangement make this one of the greatest love songs nobody has ever heard. Truly a keeper, in any of the 3 versions that appear here (they aren't TOO different, but all worthy).
"There Was A Light" - I'd describe this as George Harrison and Mitch Easter jamming on a soul-pop theme.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Big Star, you'll like this February 27, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Many of the songs on this record will remind you of Big Star. But, you can tell from listening to Bell's style that he was every bit as important a member of the band as Alex Chilton. Chilton is often seen as the spotlight, but Bell's songs shone just as brightly. Here on this album, there are no Big Star songs, just Chris Bell solo. And we lost a great one when we lost him.

When I was a teenager (in the early '90s), I first heard the album "Blood" from This Mortal Coil. On it, they cover "You and Your Sister" from this album. I saw that it was written by Chris Bell, but I had yet to learn about Big Star. Eventually my fanaticism with Paul Westerberg led me to Alex Chilton and company. I listed to that song over and over again.

Now with this Chris Bell release, I can listen to three different versions of it! And each one is worthwhile. No overkill, no filler, this is a solid record.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tragically overlooked pop visionary July 31, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Chris Bell (along with Alex Chilton) formed the critically praised, but commercially unsuccessful, group Big Star in the early 70's. Bell left the group during the recording of their 2nd album. He recorded many demos for a planned solo album that never saw release during Bell's lifetime (he died in a 1979 motorcycle accident). This CD brings together Bell's recordings with touching liner notes by his brother. "I Am The Cosmos" is the song that gets most of the praise and it certainly is a powerful piece of work, but my personal favorites are "Look Up", a beautiful and highly spiritual ballad, and "You And Your Sister" an acoustic pop masterpiece which reunites Bell and Chilton. Bell also proves he can rock on "Got Kinda Lost" and "Fight At The Table". The remainder of the songs are competent, but meander a bit in places, which is what causes me to give a 4-star rather than a 5-star rating. Nevertheless, while many rockers tend to get vastly over-rated in death (Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur to name a few) Chris Bell remains virtually unknown except to a fortunate few. I strongly recommend that you purchase this CD. I am confidant that your purchase will make you a member of the small, but expanding, circle of Chris Bell fans!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent November 10, 1998
Format:Audio CD
This disc is worth the price of purchase for the liner notes compiled by Chris' brother David alone. The music, of course, is excellent.
As with the three Big Star re-issues which came out at about the same time as this album, you could comfortably curl up with the liner notes to this CD and a cup of coffee and drop out for the evening. The story is tragic - and leaves you wishing for more. Unfortunately, this is undoubtedly all you're going to get.
Perhaps that is why I continue to return to this album, when all the others fade, years after finding it. I even re-read the liner notes.
No other album in my collection sustains itself like this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived speedily and as described. Thank you.
Published 2 days ago by Maxalbert
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!!
Chris Bell turns out an excellent body of work and recording in "I Am The Cosmos." I bought the vinyl LP and it came with a download. Great deal!
Published 7 months ago by Wade E. Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT.
This is an incredible album, and a must have for anyone that remotely enjoyed/enjoys the band, Big Star. Well worth the purchase.
Published 7 months ago by Nick J. Schmidt
3.0 out of 5 stars Unrealized potential....
Several strong tunes, several near-misses. If you prefer the first Big Star album, you'll find a lot here to like, but ultimately I AM THE COSMOS will leave you wondering what... Read more
Published 7 months ago by greyhoundude
2.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed
Based on the almost mythic reputation of this album by one of the most important members of Big Star, and the fact that I really love a lot of the Big Star songs, I bought this CD... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nebo Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars What a loss. This man was a treasure.
If you love Big Star like me you will love this. Chris Bell was one of the true geniuses behind Big Star and it can be heard here. Heartfelt and honest. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael F. Ziegler
4.0 out of 5 stars trying to capture his own dream
Some anxiety is revealed by the nature of this music. I had four sisters who had some friends, but the "sister says I'm no good" idea is like a choice of Adam and Eve or... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bruce P. Barten
5.0 out of 5 stars Once I Walked a Lonely Road
I initially wasn't going to buy this new edition of I Am The Cosmos,
having finally picked up the original Rykodisc 1 CD release of the album
that dates back to 1993 and... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Scott D. Briggs
5.0 out of 5 stars The best John Lennon solo album....oh hold on!
Actually despite sounding 'exactly' like John Lennon for a decent shake, it's also amalgamated with the Kinks & fine folky ballads - in many ways it's an improved refinement of the... Read more
Published on March 14, 2012 by Nic
5.0 out of 5 stars Queer Pioneer
I wonder if many people know how agonizingly cruel and devastating it must have been for Chris Bell to have grown up in the south in the late sixties and know you were a... Read more
Published on November 10, 2011 by Ritchie Hendo
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