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Radio City

8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 2, 2014
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Total price: $26.78
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Editorial Reviews

Radio City is the 1974 follow up to Big Star's debut, #1 Record. The critically acclaimed, Memphis-based band is often credited with creating the power pop sound, and has become a cult favorite over the years. Remastered from the analog stereo masters, this reissue will allow fans to appreciate Radio City as a standalone CD this is the first time in many years that the CD version of the album will be sold independently of #1 Record. Packaging includes new liner notes penned by R.E.M.'s Mike Mills, who cites Big Star as one of his biggest influences.
One half of Big Star's songwriting duo, Chris Bell, made the decision to leave the band following the 1972 release of #1 Record, which left Alex Chilton at the helm as primary songwriter on album number two. Chilton was able to use this opportunity to shine and prove himself to be an incredible songwriter on his own. Journalists noticed: bearing a tongue-in-cheek title, Radio City garnered rave reviews and produced several cult favorites, including 'September Gurls,' which has been covered by everyone from The Bangles to Superdrag.

In his liner notes, Mike Mills writes, 'On Radio City, Chilton confirms his place as one of the best songwriters in rock and roll. While 'September Gurls' may be the best-known song from this album, every other song here is one that I wish I d written.'

This reissue comes during a time of resurgence for Big Star, a band whose legacy has been widely recognized as of late, with a tribute record (Big Star Small World, 2006), a documentary (2012's Nothing Can Hurt Me) and a touring live show, 'Big Star's Third,' which features the sole-surviving original member of the band, Jody Stephens, on drums, guest vocalists, a chamber orchestra and a core band including Mike Mills, Chris Stamey of The dB's, The Posies' Ken Stringfellow and others. The ever-changing ensemble performs Big Star's third album Third/Sister Lovers, as well as favorites from the first two records.

'Songwriting has always been, for me, the most vital gauge of a band's quality, and these guys were clearly masters.' Mike Mills

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. O My Soul
  2. Life Is White
  3. Way Out West
  4. What's Going Ahn
  5. You Get What You Deserve
  6. Mod Lang
  7. Back of a Car
  8. Daisy Glaze
  9. She's a Mover
  10. September Gurls
  11. Morpha Too
  12. I'm in Love With a Girl

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 2, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stax
  • ASIN: B00M2D7KB0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,092 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Drucker on September 7, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I'm going to post the same review of this and #1 Record in their respective listings. This is a review of the 2014 releases on Concord.

The only CD copy I have ever heard of these two albums is the two-fer release from 1992 (NOT 2009). These both definitely represent upgrades in dynamic range and overall tone. The biggest improvement is the bass tone, by far. It sounds natural and clear. All instruments are more clear and present than they were on that CD release. This is not to disparage that release, and I certainly wouldn't call these releases necessary, or worse, "like hearing the music for the first time" (as a great reissue certainly can do), but that earlier CD really isn't that bad. It's a little bright, and there's definitely less dynamic range. Still, the improvements heard on these new reissues are noticeable.

As far as #1 Record is concerned, the album definitely sounds different from it's original LP release (which I have to compare to) and the 1992 CD. The instruments are more clear than ever before. On songs like "Feel" or any time there is an acoustic guitar, you can clearly hear their hands moving around the fingerboard and neck (sliding in-between notes). It's present on other releases, but even more so here. The intro to "Ballad of El Goodo" is noticeably more quiet than on the 1992 CD, with a greater and more effective buildup to that first chorus. "In The Street"'s guitars come way down in volume, which helps all the other instruments. And "Thirteen"'s acoustic guitars are more clear than ever, even more clear than on the original vinyl pressings. The hollow-body of the acoustic in the left channel is so clear and full, it really sounds like the guitar is in the room with you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Pearlman TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 15, 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album. 4-5 stars for the music. But you already knew that (or can find countless essays detailing the praise).

But this reissue gets only 3 stars. Why? Because, despite hype to the contrary, this is just a pointless decoupling of the 2-fer SACD/hybrid disc from 2004 #1 Record/Radio City. That 2004 2-fer offers the same sound as this one on the CD layer, and higher resolution sound on the SACD layer. And you get both albums on one disc for considerably less than buying them separately. And if you want one, you do want both albums.

Be careful. There are many reissues of the 2-fer:

1) Import on Line label from Germany
2) Import on Big Beat label (some variants missing 2 songs)
3) 1992 2-fer on Stax/Fantasy
4) 2004 2-fer SACD #1 Record/Radio City
5) 2009 2-fer on Stax/Concord.

The one you want to get is #4, the SACD. Avoid the 1992 and 2009 reissues, which have inferior sound.

One additional comment: This music was recorded with a lot of treble and not a huge amount of bass. That's how it sounds on the original vinyl, and that's apparently how it sounds on the master tapes. None of the reissues is an audiophile delight. But of the reissues, the SACD 2-fer is the one to get.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I'm giving this 3 stars based on the only positive thing is it's Big Star and a great album. However this pressing by "4 Men With Beards" is the worst. The surface noise especially on the run in groove well into the first track is bad and it's just a poor quality vinyl.
So BUY the album but not from that company.
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By David Strong on November 8, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A few good songs, decent purchase.
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