Though they only released three studio albums in the early 70's, the interest in Big Star has continued even 40 years later. The band's influence is evident in many bands today and though the band never reached huge mainstream success, they have (arguably) been widely regarded as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt You is a full length documentary film that will coming to theatres across the country this summer. The film features never seen before footage of the band as well as in depth interviews. It's unfortunate that 3 of the 4 members of the band had passed away (Chris Bell 1978, Alex Chilton 2010, Andy Hummel 2010) before the completion of the film. I'll definitely have an interest trying to catch a screening of the film, as I admittedly am not an expert about the band's history and legacy.
I first became aware of Big Star from listening to Replacements bootlegs with the band covering songs like, September Gurls and I'm In Love With A Girl. Hey, if my favourite band, the Replacements love Big Star, I better see what the fuss was. From that I bought a CD compiling both #1 Record and Radio City and also their third album, Sister Lovers/Third, definitely one of my wisest music decisions ever. I never had a chance to see Big Star live (I was too young during their original inception and the reunited version of the band never toured close enough) and the closest that I've come to Big Star-related live shows was the Posies and Golden Smog with Jody Stephens on drums, both shows (in different years) at the 400 bar in Minneapolis in the 2000's.
To get you in the right spirit, I'm posting the "reunited" version of Big Star (Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens, Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow) rehearsing a run through of their set before the first reunion show that was immortalized on the live recording, Columbia: Live At Missouri University. Recordings like this are cool because they offer a fly-on-the wall listen to the band working through the songs, with some discussion about details of the songs. A solid sounding set, though the vocals are low in parts, this should interest any fans of the band and it's yet another rare document of a great band we don't know enough about and apparently can't get enough of.
BIG STAR "set run through" unknown location Seattle, WA April 13, 1993
01 In the Street 02 Don't Lie To Me 03 I Am the Cosmos 04 Oh My Soul 05 Ballad of El Goodo 06 Back of a Car 07 Way Out West 08 Daisy Glaze 09 Thirteen 10 Baby Strange 11 For You 12 Feel 13 September Gurls 14 Thank You Friends 15 Slut 16 When My Baby's Beside Me