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  • Under the Big Black Sun
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Under the Big Black Sun Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, September 18, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1982
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B00005NTQ7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,822 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Hungry Wolf
2. Motel Room In My Bed
3. Riding With Mary
4. Come Back To Me
5. Under The Big Black Sun
6. Because I Do
7. Blue Spark
8. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
9. Real Child Of Hell
10. How I (Learned My Lesson)
11. The Have Nots
12. Riding WIth Mary (Single Version)
13. X Rewrites 'El Paso' (Rehearsal)/Because I Do (TV Mix/Instrumental)
14. Universal Corner (Live)
15. Breathless (Single Mix)
16. How I (Learned My Lesson) (Live)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Under The Big Black Sun presents the complete original Elektra album plus 5 bonus tracks, 'Riding With Mary' (Single Version), 'X Rewrites El Paso' (Rehearsal), 'Because I Do' (TV Mix/Instrumental, 'Universal Corner' (Live), 'Breathless' (Single Mix) and

Amazon.com

By the time the title track's triumphant riff chime-growls out midway through Under the Big Black Sun, the listener has already been through the most wrenching sequence of X songs yet assembled. After the thumping bike-club anthem "The Hungry Wolf" opens this 1982 major-label debut, its tough-ass romanticism is quickly plowed under by memories of a motel bed "with rubber sheets" and two heartrending songs about Exene Cervenka's sister Mirielle, who'd been killed in a car crash. In fact, even without "Blue Spark," this would easily qualify as the group's most indigo record yet; the second half offers a lovingly surf-music-tinged remake of an old Tin Pan Alley tune, "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" and "The Have Nots," whose alcohol-soaked social comment clings so fiercely to mournfulness that hardly a wisp of punk anger can take hold. Rootsier than X's previous albums, Sun updates noirish dread with guitar wisdom. This remaster includes five bonus tracks, including the original mix of their Jerry Lee Lewis cover "Breathless." --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 40 customer reviews
The best original X album made overall.
Luis Martinez
They are all incredible musicians, and Exene's poetic lyrics are unique unto themselves.
F. Gentile
We have entered an era of music that reminds me of the 70's arena rock.
James V Graziosi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By F. Gentile on July 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
We thank the stars, cosmos, planets, moon tides...whatever it was that pushed these four weird people together at that time, and made them produce such crystal-clear genius. If I had to list my 10 fave albums of all time, this would be one of them. It still makes me shake my head in wonder that their collaboration created these songs, this sound, each member true to the sounds in their head, all blended together to make magic happen. They are all incredible musicians, and Exene's poetic lyrics are unique unto themselves. Standing there, in her farmer lady's dress and June Cleaver apron, screaming out her lyrics, sometimes making sounds that make Janis Joplin sound like Laura Nyro. They certainly are not for everyone, just for those lucky enough to "get it." They go from hard-core driving beat,("Because I Do", "Real Child Of Hell") to rockabilly gone haywire, to Mexicali ("Dancing With Tears In My Eyes"), to gut wrenching letters from lonely souls (Come Back To Me"), to drunken anthems ("The Have Nots")...and other songs, that can't be put under any category...all having un-equaled potency. Every time I play "The Hungry Wolf", I am eXhilerated, and left spent, and in awe. John Doe's and Exene's eerie harmonies, her poetry, Billy Zoom's relentless and skillfull guitar, D.J. Bonebreaks innovative, to -the -front pounding drums, they all came together at that little moment in time to create a perfect result. I am not necessarily recommending this to the same people that I'd recommend Judy Garland or Billie Holliday to,(both of whom I also love) you may HATE this band, and have a heart attack in the process. That's o.k. I, and many others, still consider them simply one of the best bands ever, you can list all their ingredients and analyze them to death...they remain an enigma. But, what pleasure they bring. I don't mind growing old, as long as I can still hear their songs.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Reggie Charan on June 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I bought a copy of X's first two albums and absolutely could not figure out what all the hype was about. The lyrics were pretentious, Doe and Cervenka's dual vocals were annoying, and worst of all, for a punk band, X's songs simply lacked the impact of artists like Sex Pistols and Avengers. On Under the Big Black Sun, however, it all came together. A stack of ace tunes, Billy Zoom's rocket-fueled guitar playing, and an emotional urgency (clearly influenced by the death of Exene's sister) left unheard before. This is the sound of the "live fast die young" kids facing adulthood head on and finding out they ain't so tough afterall. X's best record.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By kris darlington on February 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you're under thirty you probably don't even remember these guys, which is your loss, and a major hole in your musical education. This is what Punk Rock as Art was all about, innovation and sincerity without an second of prentention or preachiness. A weird mix of poetic lyrics, tight riffs, and open emotions, with some of the tightest vocal harmonies in musical history. If you're young enough to think that GreenDay, The Offspring, or Blink 182 are what punk rock is all about, this should set you straight unless you're just plain soul dead.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Minot on May 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I recently bought this on CD after having not listened to the LP for a long, long time. I had forgotten what a wonderful record it is--the lyrics, the songs, instrumental prowess, production it's ALL here. Heartbreakingly beautiful (especially the songs that allude to the death of Exene's sister), yet raw, the album achieves a perfect balance. Whenever you have trouble remembering just what exactly the difference is between pop and rock'n'roll, just put this one on. It's rock'n'roll, the real deal. Great remastering, and cool bonus tracks--especially the fierce live rendition of "How I Learned My Lesson"--mercy!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sharon A. Stanley on November 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Exene Cervenka, an enigmatic cult icon, was one of the women in rock who vied on equal footing with the boys of early punk rock. Exene was not the media... sex symbol that Madonna was, nor the outrageous new wave pixie that Cyndi Lauper was, nor the rock and roll chick with a guitar embraced by Chrissie Hynde and Joan Jett. She was instead the femme fatale of every great film noir, and this was X's best film - capturing the dark, sleazy, decadent underworld of Los Angeles at the beginning of the decade of excess better than any other album I can think of. X were a punk rock band including two Beat poets and a Gene Vincent-worshipping guitar hero whipping out rockabilly licks with the coolest detachment you've ever seen. If the combination of Zoom's menacing riff and Exene's desperate wails on the title track don't send a shiver down your spine, you have no soul.
I love this album. But no one else has heard it. X were truly, as they presciently observed on their stunning debut Los Angeles, locked out of the public eye. They should have been bigger than REM on college radio. Their live shows were deservedly the stuff of legends. There has never been a vocal duo like Exene and John Doe before or since. This album is absolute proof that the masses don't always discover the true gems of their time. Popular music today sure could use an Exene.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James V Graziosi on January 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
X remains one of the most underated bands in the history of rock. I can't help but feel exactly as the "Hungry Wolf" describes. We have entered an era of music that reminds me of the 70's arena rock. Pointless and indulgent. CD's like this stand the test of time. It is refreshing to hear music that makes a point and is musically pleasing. John Doe and Exene have put together some poetic songs emphasising an interesting view of relationships. The band has blended punk and rock a billy to create a fresh sound. "Blue Spark" and "Real Child of Hell" showcase the guitar playing of the underated Billy Zoom. I think John and Exene display some interesting harmonies that work like in "How I". When I listen to the "new" alternative bands, I feel they lack the emotion of bands like X. Although I prefer "Los Angeles", this cd is really a piece of work. This cd is a time capsule which displays the attitude of the punk era.
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