Sunday, November 2, 2014

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Discovers Unreleased Live Album From Big Star

Since the untimely death of Big Star frontman Alex Chilton and bassist Any Hummel in 2010 there has been a resurgence of their music in the mainstream. The band released three albums during their heyday from 1972 to 1978 and one last album in 2005, which featured only two original members. Their music has had one of the biggest cult followings since their departure and Omnivore Recordings is doing an outstanding job reminding us of how good of a band Big Star was.

Back in September, Stax Records (via Concord Music Group) re-released Big Star's first two studio albums with remastered audio and bonus tracks. Now, on November 4th, Omnivore Recordings will release Big Star "Live In Memphis," one of the only known professionally recorded concerts from the band's 1994 reunion tour. The twenty-song release begins with the one-two punch of two of the band hardest rocking songs, "In The Street" and "Don't Lie To Me." Drummer Joey Stephens takes the lead on the vocals of the seventies-type power ballad "Way Out West," before Big Star dives into the first of half-a-dozen cover songs that they performed that evening. The spot-on rendition of The Kinks' "Till The End Of The Day" shows the band paying tribute to some of the music they idolized in their earlier days. Their performance of "The Ballad Of El Goodo" is a concert highlight as it masterfully shows Chilton's and Chris Bell's knack for writing pop songs without loosing their rock essence. Drummer Joey Stephens returns to the mic with the originally penned "For You," before the band blast away on the guitar driven cover of Marc Bolan's "Baby Strange." Big Star slow down the momentum with "September Gurls" and with the slow-paced blues of "Big Black Car," before closing the show with a high-powered cover of Todd Rundgren's "Slut."

The show was recorded live at The Daisy Theatre on October 29, 1994 and has never been previously released. To find out more about this great new discovery from Omnivore Recordings, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

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