Saturday, September 3, 2011

Big Star--Third/Sister Lovers (1992 Rykodisc Edition)

Big Star never really received the commercial attention they deserved. Championed by the critics (and later The Replacements), Stax Records just wasn't up to the task of promoting their acts by the time Big Star came along. It didn't help that there were only two original members of the band left during the recording of their third record and that Alex Chilton was pretty much falling apart during most of the recording of the record. No one even agreed that this was a Big Star record. The group that recorded these songs went by Sister Lovers, not Big Star. That name, which later became the record name, came about because Chilton and drummer, Jody Stephens, happened to be dating two sister at the time. Cousins of my favorite photographer, William Eggleston, the sisters also contributed some of the backing vocals, but were later erased following the break up that must have led to the creation of songs like "Holocaust" and "Kangaroo." The rest of the band was made up of Stax session musicians with producer Jim Dickinson trying to keep some sort of order. I have to say that despite all of the emotional ups and downs and the eclectic mix of songs on Third/Sister Lovers (or perhaps because of them...), this is my favorite of all the records Alex Chilton created in his career. Stand out tracks include "Thank You Friends," "O, Dana," "Stroke It, Noel," "Holocaust," "Kangaroo," "Femme Fatale," and one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Jesus Christ."

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