Friday, April 1, 2011

Big Star- 3rd (1975) MP3 & FLAC -For Reindeer Man-

"Your eyes are almost dead, can't get out of bed, and you can't sleep."

As the legend goes: after the promotional fiascoes that somehow reduced two of the best rock records of the seventies, #1 Record and Radio City, to cutout bin status, Alex Chilton, by this point completely disillusioned with pursuing any form of commercial success, carried the Big Star sound into the studio one last time with self-sabotage on his increasingly drug-addled mind. In addition, Stax, Big Star's label, was quickly heading toward bankruptcy, creating an environment in Ardent studios conducive to accommodating Chilton's artistic death-drive. With only Jody Stephens left from the band's original lineup, the sessions included producer Jim Dickinson and a revolving cast of Memphis musicians. As such, 3rd  is essentially a Chilton solo record, and oh what a record it is- a shambolic, self-indulgent mess that somehow matches, and occasionally surpasses, the greatness of the earlier records. For example, on "Big Black Car," Chilton takes the pristine acoustic hush of #1 Record and entirely warps it into something laconic, loungy and brilliantly desolate, with vocals that are simultaneously tender and mocking. And then there's "Holocaust," a song built around a simple piano chord progression and a groaning cello with Chilton sounding like he's singing in a coffin. An absolutely chilling performance. Many find 3rd a frustratingly perplexing album, so full of promise, but collapsing under the weight of Chilton's deteriorating emotional state. To my ears, the album is one of the most stark and nakedly direct narratives of personal and professional dissolution ever recorded. I can't imagine life without it.

3rd (Sister Lovers) (1992 Ryko Remastered Edition)
 1. Kizza Me  (2:44)
 2. Thank You Friends  (3:05)
 3. Big Black Car  (3:35)
 4. Jesus Christ  (2:37)
 5. Femme Fatale  (3:28)
 6. O' Dana  (2:34)
 7. Holocaust  (3:47)
 8. Kangaroo  (3:46)
 9. Stroke It Noel  (2:34)
10. For You  (2:41)
11. You Can't Have Me  (3:11)
12. Nightime  (2:53)
13. Blue Moon  (2:06)
14. Take Care  (2:46)
15. Nature Boy  (2:30)
16. Till the End of the Day  (2:13)
17. Dream Lover  (3:31)
18. Downs  (1:43)
19. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On  (3:20)


  1. I didn't have this one. Thanks!

  2. Awesome blog and a seriously fantastic album. This was the beginning of Chilton's highly fascinating twillight years. There are some records documenting this phase, One Day In New York, Like Flies On Sherbert (preferably the fifteen track version) and the studio bootleg Dusted In Memphis. They are all awesome and I'd be over the moon if I could find versions in lossless as they (with the exception of LFOS) are extremely hard to get hold of.

  3. I urge EVERYONE to get this one. One of my very favourite albums.

  4. scurfie, my pleasure. It's a great one :)

  5. Anon. I'd love to find some of those too. I'll keep my eyes open. Thanks for visiting (La) luna

  6. Thanks for this! I need to listen to this again with new ears - my initial impression some years back was not so great but too many people have disagreed for me not to rethink it.

  7. reindeer man, it's certainly not as polished as "#1 Record" or as consistent as "Radio City," but "3rd" contains many of Big Star's most brilliant moments

  8. A truely great record, of it's time yet timeless. I don't care for the first 2 records so much though they both have great songs. Anyone who has been through dark times will relate to it. It's not all dark, but it is fucked up - the sound of someone starting to fall apart but still functioning. Alex, I salute you. Great site by the way


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