_A Tribute To Big Star w/ additional songs by Chris Bell_ is a very nice tribute to the group Big Star and Chris Bell's solo work. It is good to know that this band that has never had much commercial success, though it deserved to have lots, is this important to this many performers!
The highlights are: Longwave's performance of _Holocaust_ which opens in a fashion reminiscent of Tom Petty's _Into The Great Wide Open_, moves to a majestic guitar solo, and winds down with a nightmarish Pink Floyd-like soundscape; Marty Willson-Piper turns in a performance of _Thirteen_ that takes this originally sweet song and makes it sound kind of menacing, its has something of a Zombies _Time Of The Season_-like flavor; Susan & Brandee w/Giftshop do a Eurythmics like version of _Give Me Another Chance_ that possibly pulls off the trick of being better than Big Star's original; The Red Telephone's _September Gurls_ is close to the original except it gets a little more punky in the bridge section of the song; the Gentle Readers give a new wave style performance of _Back Of A Car_ that sounds kind of like Chrissie Hynde fronting the Romantics with the Bangles on backing vocals, the dramatic reworking really shows what a strong song _Back Of A Car_ is; Probe turn _Big Black Car_ into a shimmering swirly soundscape, they do an excellent performance with the hard loud "sssssTT" and all; Tony Zajkowski's version of _I Am The Cosmos_ sounds like the _Tommorrow Never Knows_/_Revolution #9_ side of John Lennon collaborating with Trent Reznor, it is very percussive and features a lot of tape-loop sounds; the Banjo Spiders turn in a sassy and spirited version of _Mod Lang_ that could be even better than Big Star's original, the arrangement is pretty close to the original, but I think that the presence of backing vocals really helps this song.
I think that all Big Star fans would enjoy hearing this. Some of these bands got very creative in their reworkings of the songs while others seem to have loved and studied Big Star so much that they reproduce nearly every guitar-lick and drum-beat from the original to the tee in the songs that they cover. Both camps do very good work though.
A fine tribute album!