Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just received the January issue of Down Beat magazine and there's a full page review of the Big Star box set - notable right off the bat because it's a jazz magazine that only occasionally touches on rock when it's deemed to be of ultra-importance or interest. The review is interesting because while the reader is obviously knowledgeable, he's not pre-determined to slobber over the project without reservations. He makes several points that I think are well considered: the three official studio albums should have lead off each respective disc and then followed with the outtakes and rarities at the end of each disc. Also, the sequencing of Third is random and distracting (he opts for the 1978 PVC sequence which I agree is by far the best). None of this is earthshaking but the review reminds me that critics tend to be predisposed to what they're writing about and skew it all accordingly. There is indeed such a thing as constructive criticism (the box set gets 4 out of 5 stars). The Chris Bell reissue gets 3 stars and includes this interesting line "melodically, his posthumous 1992 solo album always delivers...but Bell's singing and lyrics often go down easier with Chilton as his creative foil."

1 comment:

James L. said...

Totally fair points. I, too, found the Third track ordering to be a bit less than ideal.

Still, it was fun to hear these albums "re-imagined". A traditional re-release, of the original albums followed by bonus tracks may have been pretty redundant in some cases. You'd end up having the original album followed by alternate versions/mixes that don't differ dramatically enough to warrant, say, three versions of The India Song on the same disc.