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Big Star

Big Star - Live On Wlir (Vinyl)

Big Star - Live On Wlir (Vinyl)

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View Artist: Big Star

  |  UPC: 816651017232

Big Star was a band that was more devoted to the recording studio than the stage. While it was a celebrated performance at a 1973 rock writers convention in Memphis that prompted Alex Chilton to soldier on and record a second Big Star album after 1972's #1 Record fell on deaf ears upon its initial release, the members of the band freely admitted that they were hit-and-miss as a live act. In February 1974, Big Star were trying to drum up support for their underperforming sophomore LP, the brilliant Radio City, when they made their way to Ultrasonic Studios in Long Island, New York to cut a live-in-the-studio performance for broadcast on WLIR-FM. The show circulated in edited form as a vinyl bootleg in the '80s before it was given a complete and authorized release in 1992 by Rykodisc under the title Big Star Live. In 2018, Omnivore Recordings took another stab at the material in an edition titled Live on WLIR, and it does make some noticeable changes over its previous incarnations. The bootleg LP was clearly taken from an over-the-airwaves recording of the radio broadcast, while the Rykodisc release used the studio session tapes as its source. However, the Ryko edition was subjected to some extensive studio work to clean up the audio, and Live on WLIR sounds rougher and edgier by comparison. However, this works to the advantage of the music; while the Ryko CD sometimes sounded soft and muffled, Live on WLIR gets the scrappy tone of Alex Chilton's guitar work just right, and there's a greater snap in Jody Stephens' drumming. The recording was done in one pass without overdubs, and there are obvious flaws both in the engineering and the performance. Bassist John Lightman had only been in Big Star for a few weeks when this gig was recorded, and the band sounds a bit loose, as if they were still working out the interplay between the members. Big Star sounds like a different band here than they did on #1 Record and Radio City -- tougher, with a more pronounced garage accent -- but in many ways, the occasional jagged edges give the songs considerably more energy than the studio renditions of these tunes. The no-frills feel of Live on WLIR anticipates the off-the-cuff approach of Chilton's solo work of the '80s, especially Feudalist Tarts and High Priest, while the languid but emotionally naked tone of the acoustic mini-set at the midpoint feels like a preview of what would evolve into Big Star's 3rd. This recording documents a good but not great night in the life of Big Star, but it's a fascinating artifact of what the band sounded like outside the confines of the studio, and this is the best presentation of this material to date. ~ Mark Deming

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Pop
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ALL albums listed on our website are 100% brand new and sealed. We only sell vinyl, and no other media format. We do not sell used vinyl. We also use industry-leading packaging to prevent damage during shipping. Shipping insurance is optional at checkout but is still highly recommended. Please Read our shipping and returns policy if you have any further questions.

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Meta Artist: Big Star

Product Tags: New, Out-of-stock, Pop, Vinyl

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