I`ll keep this fairly short.
It`s not often words do fail me - as any readers of my many other reviews would no doubt attest - but all that really needs to be said about this 2-CD collection of Big Star`s first two albums is that it is immaculate, superbly and wittily crafted pop-rock which deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as the very best bands of the 60s & 70s.
Imagine an amalgam of the Byrds (track 2 is a dead ringer), Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, Lovin` Spoonful, Crowded House...add a splash of soul, a dash of psychedelia, an echo of Alex Chilton`s excellent previous band the Box Tops, and a whole lot of something uniquely theirs, and you have the troubled, under-promoted purveyors of ecstatic pop that was Big Star.
No need for a track rundown. It is, as they say, all good.
It`s taken me nearly forty years to get to hear this great little band - who make a big noise with few instruments - and I now intend to wake up the neighbours with an inordinate number of playings of this tremendous disc.
Big Star had two advantages over many of their peers: the knack of writing great songs, and the ability to sing and play them to perfection. They make it all sound so easy too.
Big Star never lived up to their name in commercial terms - the whole sad story is outlined in the comprehensive booklet notes, made all the more poignant for Alex Chilton`s recent death - but they more than lived up to their promise in artistic terms.
What a band!