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Keep An Eye On The Sky [Box set, Original recording remastered]

Big StarAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Price: $57.58 & FREE Shipping. Details
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MP3 Music, 98 Songs, 1 Video, 2009 $47.49  
Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, 2009 $57.58  

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Keep An Eye On The Sky + I Am the Cosmos + Third / Sister Lovers
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 15, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B002BFO8HS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,321 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Psychedelic Stuff (Chris Bell)
2. All I See Is You (Icewater)
3. Every Day We Grow Closer (Original Mix)(Alex Chilton)
4. Try Again (Early Version) (Rock City)
5. The Preacher (Rock City)
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. There Was A Light (Demo)
2. Life is White (Demo)
3. What's Going Ahn (Demo)
4. O My Soul
5. Life is White
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Lovely Day (aka Stroke It Noel)(Demo)(Alex Chilton)
2. Downs (Demo)(Alex Chilton)
3. Nighttime (Demo)(Alex Chilton)
4. Jesus Christ (Demo)(Alex Chilton)
5. Holocaust (Demo)(Alex Chilton)
See all 28 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. When My Baby's Beside Me (live)
2. My Life Is Right (live)
3. She's A Mover (live)
4. Way Out West (live)
5. The Ballad Of El Goodo (live)
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY-arriving September 15-spans 1968 to 1975 and the collection uncovers a trove of unreleased demos, unused mixes, alternate versions of songs, and a 1973 concert recorded in Memphis. The lavish packaging includes extensive liner notes, rare and never-before-seen photos, and insightful essays about the cult of Big Star and the band's history. Spotlighting the band's roots, the box set opens with several songs recorded before Big Star formed, including 'Try Again,' one of the first songs Bell and Chilton wrote together. Big Star inspired a fevered allegiance among fans of power pop, giving rise to a cult of believers who spent decades spreading the gospel. Their enthusiasm turned this obscure Memphis pop band-one that got little airplay, sold few records, and only played a handful of times-into a remarkable rock and roll resurrection story. Big Star's trek from obscure Memphis band to standard bearers for an entire genre of music has never been fully mapped-until now.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilled to have this, but with some disappointment September 27, 2009
Format:Audio CD
First off, I can't believe I would ever see a box of Big Star, let alone see it given the usual high standards one has come to expect from Rhino. The packaging is fantastic, combining layout, fonts and design into a seemless, immersive experience. The book that comes with the set is the best I have read so far about the band, surpassing even the 33 1/3 book on "Radio City" by a hair. There are a ton of photographs (which was startling, since the same four or five photos of them have been endlessly recycled over the years) and the text is broken down into appropriate sections, including one regarding how they acquired a cult following.

Then there's the music, four discs crammed to capacity with remastered original album tracks, alternate mixes and demos. There's even a whole disc devoted to live tracks. The sound is as pristine as one would expect. No complaints so far.

But then there's the matter of those original albums, as presented here. In lieu of simply having the remastered albums, many of the tracks are alternate mixes or versions, and inserted into the original running order. While I am grateful for these alternates, it seems odd to have them mixed in with original tracks, and in the order they were on the albums.

Even stranger, some of these alternate tracks are then presented in additional alternate versions outside of the running order. And some of the alternate tracks are almost indistinguishable from the original versions. Even worse, some of these tracks only appear in fairly radically different versions--the most notable of which is "Mod Lang" which is here only in a version fouled-up by annoying overdubbed ad libs.

And some of the previously unreleased tracks are a bit misleading.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning September 16, 2009
Format:Audio CD
The box set we have all been waiting for. I admit I dived in and was not immediately blown away by the early tracks or the remastering or alternate takes on disc one. Then along comes the series of demos with just Alex and his 12 string and the entire project gels and comes into focus. It's all here, and in fuller fidelity. The heart-on-the-sleeve anthemic pop songs, introspective ballads. Popping joy and aching melencholy. Music simply doesn't get any better. This item is worth every dollar you can throw at it. God bless Big Star forever.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally September 16, 2009
Format:Audio CD
The best rock'n'roll is created on the margins. It doesn't matter if you sell a dozen or a million records, it's all about heart and soul and guts. The Kingsmen, The Seeds, Television, The Castaways, The Velvets are just as important as any trillion seller you can think of because they felt what they did and they did it very well indeed.

That's a long lead in to say that there is another very imortant box set out this month and it's made by a truly American band. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, Big Stars "Keep An Eye On The Sky" is much more cause for joy than the Beatles boxes. And I daresay that anyone who has been touched by this truly magnificent band would agree with me.

Now, going into the history of this band is not something I want to do. Suffice to say it's the stuff of movies and legend. But no matter what tragedy or sadness befell these guys (and the story of Chris Bell, guitarist and songwriter is indeed very sad), the music will always stand. Heart wrenching, exhilarating pop music from the heart and soul of 4 (then 3) guys from Memphis in the early seventies. These discs are filled with classics, even if you never heard them. "Way Out West", "September Girls", "Ballad Of El Goodo" I can't think of a bad one in the bunch. All 3 albums ("#1 Record", "Radio City" and "3rd") are represented in full with the occasional alternate take, all sound the best I've ever heard(and I'm including the original vinyl in this assesment) with "3rd" trouncing the Ryko release. There are amazing Chilton demos here, and you have not lived until you've heard him alone on an acoustic singing "Femme Fatale". And the live disc will knock you out.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music that never went or will go away March 19, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I delayed buying this collection. March 17th is my birthday. It is also the day that Alex Chilton died. Normally all I have to contend with is the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC. #2 drinking-by-amateurs-day after New Year's Eve. A good day to stay in. I was truly saddened by Alex Chilton's passing. This boxed set is my birthday gift to myself, and my toast to Alex Chilton.

I bought the vinyl #1/Radio City reissue sometime in the '70's. I knew who Big Star were but when I finally scraped up enough cash the albums were gone from the record stores. Nor were they ever handed in at Free Being, my favorite re-cycled record store. Nobody, if anybody, who bought them ever traded them in. By the early '70's I was living in Manhattan, frequenting the downtown rock scene, I even upgraded my first apartment from one which had a bathtub in the kitchen to one with a proper bathroom. It was on Lexington Avenue, between 34 & 33rd.

One night, coming home from the clubs, I piled into the 1905 built elevator, with the steel door and grid you pulled shut. Alex Chilton & Jon Tiven (famous seminal rock critic & now blues songwriter) shoved into the tiny elevator. I recognized Alex but was too shy to speak. Said hello to Jon. Went up to my apartment. It wasn't until I bought Alex's early 45 rpm single "Shaking the World from 33rd and Lex" that I realized he was not some famous rock star guy, but my neighbor. Message to self, and anyone else: next time you are next to someone who's music, or art, or work, you admire, tell them so. Alex never heard it enough in his lifetime methinks.

If you already own the three Big Star records (which I do, in vinyl, on cassette, on CD) then this box is a treasure trove. Like other reviewers, I suggest you start with what has gone before.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Box Set
You really couldn't ask for more in a Big Star box set than what's included here. Alternate takes, out takes, alternate mixes, and a full disc of an unreleased concert. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Melissa Goemann
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-HAVE FOR BIG STAR FANS
This modestly-priced set is a must-have for anyone even remotely interested in Big Star. There is a detailed booklet packed with info about the group and its music. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Carlos Muebles
5.0 out of 5 stars WAHOO!
This is a must have for the follower of Alex Chilton and the huge sound and contribution of Big Star! Enjoy every repeat of the 4 discs ... WOW.
Published 20 months ago by Carla Hyndman
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential
Essential for collectors of 70's Rock or Power Pop. If you don't know who these guys were, you have to learn about them.
Published 21 months ago by M. J. Phelan
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the greatest bands ever..
ok..well..yeah, im a another go as far as to say i regard the three big star albums rank alongside the greatest albums ever made by anyone,,,,so what i love about the... Read more
Published on February 16, 2012 by dubub
3.0 out of 5 stars Whom is this for?
After seeing the nearly universally glowing reviews for great music by a great band, what choice did I have but to get this? And yet, and yet.... Read more
Published on December 4, 2010 by Michael B. Baer
5.0 out of 5 stars Close to Perfection
Rhino has done a great job putting together a compelling collection encompassing the brief, star-crossed trajectory of Big Star. Read more
Published on August 27, 2010 by Jacques Talbot
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot Be Faulted
Beautifully packaged, excellent selection of songs. The sound quality (even on the Sister Lover's cuts) are just astounding. The sound is ten nothes above anything out there. Read more
Published on May 12, 2010 by Jim C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great package, almost everything you need to hear
I'm delighted to have this set. The demos are interesting. The live set, while a bit low fi, is something I'll play often; it really shows the strength of the songs and proves... Read more
Published on April 7, 2010 by G. Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep An Eye In The Sky for Alex Chilton R.I.P
As with all box sets there is filler BUT this closes the book on BIG STAR and their legacy.
Published on March 21, 2010 by Mr. A. W. Riggs
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Topic From this Discussion
Big Star "Keep An Eye On The Sky" New CD Box Set
The live cd on the box set is from 1973 and features the lineup that recorded "Radio City". "Big Star Live" is from 1974 and has John Lightman on bass replacing original member Andy Hummel.
Sep 2, 2009 by Ralph from Brooklyn |  See all 21 posts
$20 Price Jump?
Jul 24, 2010 by icecube |  See all 4 posts
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