by Andria Lisle
It's only May, but I'm already anticipating the remastered versions of Big Star's #1 Record and Radio City albums, officially due on Ardent/Stax Records on June 16th. Normally, I hate re-purchasing something I already own, but in this case, I'm more than happy to shell out the bucks for these reissues.
Reason #1: They've mined the vaults and recovered the original label artwork, as well as a few reworked songs, namely a never-before-released single mix of “In the Street” and a single edit of “O My Soul.”
Reason #2: The albums, originally released in 1972 and '74 respectively, will be released as a single CD and as separate LPs, which is great because I need to retire the scratchy, original vinyl copies I picked up at Shangri-La Records in the early 1990s, soon after hearing the Replacements' ode to Big Star frontman Alex Chilton. It still amazes me to realize how much this little-heard band from Memphis impacted so much of the music I listen to today.
And, in other Big Star-related news, the enigmatic Chilton is due home to front the Box Tops at a gig at the Italian Festival in Marquette Park. They'll be performing Friday, May 29th. I got a chance to see Chilton with the Box Tops a few years ago, when David Gest put on that bizarro Christmas concert at the Cannon Center — all I can say is, what a show! I hadn't seen LX move that much in years...