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big star: radio city


memphis calling…

Those of you out there familiar with my guest posts on Art Decade will be aware of my affection for Big Star. And those of you with a similar fondness for anything to do with Alex Chilton will know their second album, Radio City like the back of your hand.

At the time of its release the question on everybody\’s lips was how the ex Box Tops front man would cope with the loss of co-writer and guitarist, Chris Bell, struggling with depression and uncertainty as to his place within the group. Rumours of a budding solo career were the subject of much speculation.

The hive prognosis was suitably dire. The honey might drip, but surely would never set.

Recorded – as was #1 Record – at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Radio City proved just how much the fractured Chilton could keep it together. The sound is often fragile certainly, precariously \”up there\” as a tightrope walker on a unicycle, but the jangling heady vibe recalls the best of Saturday nights with only a foretaste of the looming morning come down narrowly hinted at. It\’s there – a cautious sense of impending dread – but it informs as much as warns.

Fuck tomorrow, let\’s just fuck.


\”I\’m In Love With A Girl\” sounds unmistakably as if it\’s been written with Bell in mind.

ardent, memphis limited pressing.

Ultimately, it\’s not a chronicle of heroin addiction ; it\’s a stubborn refusal to let go of a good friend.

BIG STAR: LIFE IS WHITE from \”Radio City\” LP (Ardent/Stax) 1974 (US)

BIG STAR: I\’M IN LOVE WITH A GIRL from \”Radio City\” LP (Ardent/Stax) 1974 (US)

BUY IT, KEEP IT, FLAUNT IT

#1974

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