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Big Star: Keep an Eye on the Sky [Box]

Track List

>Psycheldelic Stuff [Original Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>All I See Is You
>Every Day As We Grow Closer [Original Mix]
>Try Again [Early Version] - (previously unreleased)
>Feel
>Ballad of El Goodo, The
>In the Street [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Thirteen [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Don't Lie to Me
>India Song [Alternate Mix], The - (previously unreleased)
>When My Baby's Beside Me [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>My Life is Right [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Give Me Another Chance [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Try Again - (previously unreleased)
>Gone With the Light - (previously unreleased)
>Watch the Sunrise [Single Version]
>ST 100/6 [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Preacher [Excerpt], The - (previously unreleased)
>In the Street [Alternate Single Mix]
>Feel [Alternative Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Ballad of El Goodo [Alternate Lyrics], The - (previously unreleased)
>India Song [Alternate Version], The - (previously unreleased)
>Country Morn
>I Got Kinda Lost [Demo]
>Back of a Car [Demo]
>Motel Blues [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>There Was a Light [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Life is White [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>What's Going Ahn [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>O My Soul
>Life is White
>Way Out West
>What's Going Ahn
>You Get What You Deserve
>Mod Lang [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Back of a Car [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Daisy Glaze
>She's a Mover
>September Gurls
>Morpha Too [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>I'm In Love With a Girl
>O My Soul [Alternate Version] - (previously unreleased)
>She's a Mover [Alternate Version]
>Daisy Glaze [Rehearsal Version] - (previously unreleased)
>I Am the Cosmos
>You and Your Sister
>Blue Moon [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Femme Fatale [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Thank You Friends [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Nightime [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Take Care [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>You Get What You Deserve [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Lovely Day [Demo]
>Downs [Demo]
>Jesus Christ [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Holocaust [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Big Black Car [Alternate Demo] - (previously unreleased)
>Manana - (previously unreleased)
>Jesus Christ
>Femme Fatale
>O, Dana
>Kizza Me
>You Can't Have Me
>Nightime
>Dream Lover
>Big Black Car
>Blue Moon
>Holocaust
>Stroke It Noel
>For You
>Downs
>Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On
>Kanga Roo
>Thank You Friends
>Take Care
>Lovely Day - (previously unreleased)
>Till the End of the Day [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>Nature Boy [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased)
>When My Baby's Beside Me [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>My Life Is Right [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>She's a Mover [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Way Out West [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Ballad of El Goodo [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973], The - (previously unreleased, live)
>In the Street [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Back of a Car [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Thirteen [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>India Song [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973], The - (previously unreleased, live)
>Try Again [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Watch the Sunrise [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Don't Lie to Me [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Hot Burrito #2 [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>I Got Kinda Lost [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Baby Strange [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Slut [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>There Was a Light [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>St 100/6 [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Come On Now [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>O My Soul [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, January 1973] - (previously unreleased, live)
>Thirteen [Alternate Mix] - (live)

Album Reviews:

Entertainment Weekly (p.70) - "The spare demos, crystal-clear concert recordings, and handsomely produced liner notes are a fan's delight..."

Billboard (p.37) - "[A] treasure trove of rare gems, including material by pre-Big Star groups Rock City and Icewater..."

Q (Magazine) (p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Exhibiting strong Anglophile leanings, and pick'n'mixing the usual '60s suspects, their brisk, guitar-encrusted power-pop was an unlikely product of a city better known as the home of Southern soul."

Uncut (magazine) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY is particularly good at showing up the darker aspects of Chilton's personality....A brilliant demo of Loudon Wainwright's 'Motel Blues' provides a suitably bleak counterpoint to 'Thirteen.'"

Album Notes

Audio Remasterers: Don Hersch; Andrew Sandoval.

Liner Note Authors: Bob Mehr; John Fry ; Alec Palao; Robert Gordon.

Recording information: Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN.

Photographers: Roni Hoffman; Carole Manning; David Bell ; Maude Schuyler Clay; William Eggleston; Lisa Margolis; Maldwin Hamlin; Michael O'Brien ; Andy Hummel.

As the object of intense devotion for so many fans, it's fitting that Big Star receive a box set designed for the intensely devoted: four discs containing every song the band cut in the '70s, often present in slightly alternate mixes or versions in addition to the originals, a clutch of solo songs from both Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, as well as a handful of pre-Big Star cuts by Icewater and Rock City, all topped off with a live disc culled from a three-set stint at Memphis' Lafayette's Music Room in January of 1973, not long after Bell left the band. Excepting subsequent reunions in the '90s and 2000s, no corner of the band's career remains untouched on KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY and rarities are abundant, with 55 of its 98 tracks previously unreleased. This is a staggering statistic but it's also misleading, for 20 of those cuts are from the live disc and the rest are either alternate mixes, alternate versions, or demos -- there are no unheard songs, aside from an excerpt of Rock City's "The Preacher." Of these, only a handful are markedly different either in their lyrics or attack, with all finding the songs and even arrangements essentially intact, even in their demo form. Consequently, KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY contains fewer revelations than it initially appears, which isn't to say it lacks any: the earliest demos for BIG STAR 3rd are by and large lighter in tone than the album (although there's no way "Holocaust" ever could seem cheery), a testament to how much a song can change during the recording process.

In a way, all of Big Star's career is a testament to the recording process. They were a creature of the studio, not stage, having free rein at Ardent Studios, where they stayed up into the next morning tinkering at the same set of songs. This resulted in the crisp, sterling sound of #1 RECORD and the deliberately looser RADIO CITY, as well as the sliding, sprawling mess of 3rd, but it didn't result in outtakes -- it resulted in alternate mixes and instrumental scraps, the stuff that enthralls fetishists, sometimes justifiably so. Those are the listeners who will find KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY most rewarding, but anybody who has loved the band will find something to cherish here, whether it's the crackerjack live show -- which provides roaring covers of the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Hot Burrito #2," T. Rex's "Baby Strange," and Todd Rundgren's "Slut" (revived 20 years later on their reunion concert), as well as a startlingly effective take on "The India Song" -- or merely the context of the set, which tells the story of America's greatest cult band this side of the Velvet Underground in a complete and affecting fashion.



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