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Big Star's Radio City (33 1/3) Paperback – May 1, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
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"What Eaton's book has going for it is a personal connection to Chiltonthat provides him with rare access to the somewhat reclusive icon andan insistence on focusing more on the music itself and thecircumstances of its recording rather than the more familiarpersonality-based story of the band's brief initial life." —The Memphis Flyer
About the Author
Bruce Eaton is a writer and jazz concert producer who lives near Buffalo, NY. He is the author of two successful business books. He played bass and guitar with Alex Chilton on dates in Buffalo, Toronto and New York, and set up Chilton's notoriously distastrous 1981 tour.
Top Customer Reviews
The truth, as always, is somewhat messy: Participants occasionally contradict each other w/r/t specific details, as is to be expected when trying to recall events from 30+ years prior. These contradictions do not mar the tale, however; if anything, they improve the story by adding texture and scope. The author is not content to let any single member write history, and in situations where written records do not exist, he allows for competing memories to vie for their place in history. That's not to say the book is full of confusing contradictions. It happens only occasionally, and never regarding anything substantial, but their retention stood out to me, because it showed that Eaton was trying to be as honest and true as possible regarding this legendary album and band.
Unlike the small handful of other 33 1/3 books I'm familiar with, Bruce Eaton saves most of his own personal narrative until the very end. And in his case, it's actually interesting and relevant: the author describes meeting and performing with a post-Big Star Chilton, who had moved far astray from the detailed, focused work of early Big Star, into his more infamous "chaotic" period. Eaton's personal narrative helps flesh out this last piece of Chilton during that era, in a way the other interview subjects may not have been able to. It is not self-aggrandizing or mired in purple prose, but rather serves the book quite well.
I've seen other Amazon reviewers who prefer the "book as thesis" format of some of the other 33 1/3 titles.Read more ›
One criticism: The text is a bit sloppy in places. There are enough missing or duplicated words to be noticeable and occasionally took me out of the zone. I was surprised, as I expect better from this series.
Overall, this is among the best 33 1/3 books I've read. The proof: It made me appreciate a favorite album all the more, discovering things I hadn't on my own over hundreds of listens.
By the time you're finished reading, you'll be surprised with how holistic and organic Radio City sounds, in light of the ad hoc circumstances under which much of it was recorded. Eaton's song-by-song notes are best read with the album playing, the better to hear the many subtleties he highlights. Ideally you should have the original album, the 2-CD Thank You Friends and the box set Keep an Eye on the Sky to cover all of the versions Eaton discusses.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm having trouble getting through this one. For some reason the story just doesn't have the same gravity as so many of these books. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Andrew L May
You love the album? Then read a great account on the making of it. Until the last quarter of the book the author lets the artists and producers tell the tale and stays out of their... Read morePublished 17 months ago by top5jimmy53
A really interesting account of the making of a classic album. Lots of great interviews, lots of insights into the production of great studio sound. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mattias Hï¿½gstrï¿½m
I've enjoyed the 33 1/3 series quite a bit, but I enjoyed this one the most. Alex Chilton's cooperation makes it a must-read for Big Star/Box Tops/Chilton fans. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Joseph M. Perret
I've purchased half a dozen books in the 33-1/3 series and have never been disappointed. As an ardent admirer of the late, great Alex Chilton, I appreciate author Eaton's... Read morePublished on January 20, 2011 by Amazon Customer
That would be Alex, Chris, Jody, Andy, John Fry and now Bruce Eaton.
Is there anything better than getting on a plane with one of the good books (they are NOT all good)... Read more
I am a huge Big Star fan, and was very excited about getting this book (which I bought together with the incredible box set). Read morePublished on October 31, 2009 by John Deligiannis
the 33 and 1/3 series could also be called "the good, the bad, and the ugly" - the bad includes the book on Nick Drake's Pink Moon (really lame), the ugly is the book on Richard &... Read morePublished on October 17, 2009 by Pat Thomas