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THE 1992 REFORMED BAND LIVE IN CHICAGO The two distinct eras of Big Star s existence are separated not just by a gap of almost twenty years, but also by the huge contribution played by original guitarist and singer-songwriter Chris Bell in the group s first incarnation - despite his inclusion being limited to the group s debut album alone. After Bell s departure in 1972, Alex Chilton and Big Star would release a further two albums which, like their first, initially gained very little attention. They had actually split-up before Third had been issued - a number of years after it was recorded - while tragically, Chris was killed in a car accident in 1978. That, therefore, might have been all that was ever heard of the group had not, following a renewal of interest when reissues caught the attention of many would-be fans, groups such as R.E.M. and The Replacements taken every opportunity possible to sing Big Star s praises - with the latter even composing tribute song Alex Chilton - which gained the band and head-honcho Chilton an almost incomparable cult-status. By the early 1990s, Big Star had reformed with Chilton and original drummer Jody Stephens alongside Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of power-pop trio The Posies. The show included on this CD, from Chicago s Cabaret Metro in June 1994, is an excellent example of the reformed band playing live, and of the strength and power of the Big Star catalogue. Featuring a plethora of tracks from the golden age alongside a touching version of Chris Bell s solo classic I Am The Cosmos , and a rousing Baby Strange from the pen of late British glam-rocker Marc Bolan, further covers include Todd Rundgren s Slut - charmingly dedicated to Jody Stephens wife (presumably an in joke ), The Kinks Till The End Of The Day and, obscurity to the helm, a version of the 1966 B-side Patty Girl , a local hit from a trio of Ohioan siblings aged between 7 and 14. This delightful and enticing show, available here for the first time, is certain to appeal to the thousands of enthusiasts still on board for this legendary collective and may, just perhaps, persuade a few new ones to fly the flag for one of music s best kept secrets.
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Big Star ran its course between 1971 and 1974. However, in 1993 this cult combo returned to action. In 1994 Big Star led by Alex Chilton, long term associate Jody Stephens and personnel from The Posies were on the road. Picking Posies, a Chicago radio broadcast from that era has now been released because this act still garners attention.
Big Star have probably scored more as an influential entity rather than a commercial proposition-but, their critical acclaim badge can be worn with pride across this live album. The band pay homage to founder member Chris Bell (who sadly died in 1978)-and, some of the celebrated contents of their trio of 70's long players also appear. To add to which covers from the vaults of T.Rex, The Kinks and Todd Rundgren feature to add further spice to a 75 minute set.
The Big Star fan following includes the likes of The Replacements (who released the single, Alex Chilton), R.E.M., Teenage Fanclub, Primal Scream, Afghan Whigs, Wilco, Gin Blossoms and Cheap Trick amongst others. It is now your chance to join this elite crowd!