New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Stax Records, an imprint of Concord Music
Group and its Catalog Division, Craft Recordings, is excited to announce the release of a new compilation celebrating Big Star. The 16-track collection spans all three of the influential band's LPs (1972's #1 Record, 1974's Radio
City and Third, released after the group disbanded, in the late '70s), and features rare edits of some of their most popular songs. Liner notes from GRAMMY® Award-winning writer and director Robert Gordon, plus an introduction by the sole surviving Big Star member, drummer Jody Stephens, round out the package. In stores on June 16, 2017, Best of Big Star will be available as a 2-LP, 45 rpm album housed in a gatefold jacket, with lacquers cut at Ardent Studios and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis
Record Pressing. The title will also be available digitally and on CD.
Much like Nick Drake, the Velvet
Underground, and other critically esteemed artists whose work only gained commercial traction long after its initial release, Big Star let loose their trademark mix — shimmering jangle pop with a side of elliptical melancholia — into a world that just wasn't ready for it. In his liner notes, Robert Gordon
muses that the band "fizzled before most anyone heard them, then when they seemed totally forgotten they began to exert more musical influence than most bands ever dream of — an unusual story … Big Star reminds us that great art lives, that immediate audience appreciation can't be counted on and that it's not about the brightness of the light but its beauty."
Formed in 1971 by singer/songwriters Alex Chilton (1950-2010) and Chris Bell (1951-1978), drummer Jody Stephens (b. 1952) and bassist Andy Hummel (1951-2010), the Memphis-based group is now considered to be one of the most influential bands in modern music, having inspired some of the biggest alt-rock artists of the '80s, '90s and beyond. An underground core of fanatical enthusiasts kept the fire burning. The Replacements famously released "Alex Chilton," a song that paid tribute to Big Star's songwriting genius. R.E.M.'s Peter
Buck said, "Big Star served as a Rosetta Stone for a whole generation of musicians."
Over the course of their time together, Big Star recorded three LPs with producer John Fry at his Ardent Studios. 1972's #1 Record included the power-pop anthem "When My Baby's Beside Me," dreamy "Thirteen," and "In the Street" (famously covered by Cheap Trick
for the theme of That '70s Show). Radio
City (1974), recorded after the departure of Chris Bell, featured "September Gurls" (covered by likes of the Bangles
and Superdrag). In the fall of 1974, not long after the release of Radio
City and the departure of bassist Andy Hummel, Chilton and Stephens recorded a new album, which was shelved until 1978, after the group had disbanded. That mythic album was released as Third (later reissued under the name Sister Lovers as well), and has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential albums ever produced. #1 Record, Radio
City and Third are now considered to be milestones in the history of rock by critics and musicians alike. The three LPs made it onto Rolling Stone's 2012 "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list, while tracks from the first two ("Thirteen" and "September Gurls") are also among the magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
Best of Big Star is part of a wide-ranging, year-long initiative celebrating Stax Records' 60th anniversary. The cross-label collaboration between Concord Music
Group and Rhino Entertainment will highlight the hits, deep cuts and rare tracks from the Memphis
label's heyday of the '60s and '70s.
About Stax 60: The 60th anniversary of the legendary soul label Stax Records commemorates its extraordinary legacy as an international hit-making machine and its indispensable chapter in American musical history as an integrated company in the heart of the Civil Rights movement. A cross-label collaboration between Concord Music
Group and Rhino Entertainment, the Stax 60 celebration will highlight the hits, deep cuts and rare tracks from the Memphis
label's heyday of the '60s and '70s, featuring the many legendary artists who jointly created the world-renown "Stax sound": Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus
Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Sam & Dave, The Dramatics and many more. The Stax 60 campaign will honor the music from Soulsville USA through curated collections, deluxe box sets, hi-resolution audio, streaming playlists and unique vinyl initiatives.
1. In the Street (single mix)
2. Don't Lie to Me (single version)
Gurls (single version)
5. Jesus Christ (single edit)
6. I'm in Love With a Girl
7. O My Soul (single edit)
9. When My Baby's Beside Me
10. Take Care
11. Life Is White
12. Watch the Sunrise (single version)
13. The Ballad of El Goodo
15. Back of a Car
16. Thank You Friends
Preorder Best of Big Star on CD or Vinyl: http://smarturl.it/BestofBigStar