Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Won't you let me walk you home from school

The last encore from the last show I saw Alex Chilton live (Fillmore, 10/20/2007)

I sail today for Singapore (and Malaysia, and Thailand), so I'll be mostly off the grid for the next few weeks, but should do some travel blogging, and trying to keep up with the month of Alex.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hanging out, down the street

The second song on #1 Record, performed on the Tonight Show in the early 90s. One of the few Big Star performance clips on youtube, even if it's not the real original Big Star.

This song was revived a few years later as the theme of "That 70's Show". I'm one of the few people in the world who likes Cheap Trick's version with the "we're all alright!" coda, but the song itself is very difficult to mess up.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Girlfriend, what are you doing?

According to the Internet, this is the first line of "Feel", the first song on Big Star's first album, #1 Record. Here's an early rough mix from the box set.

I wrote about #1 Record a few years back. Big Star formed in the early 70s when Alex joined forces with the band Ice Water (fronted by Chris Bell). Even though the songs were credited to "Bell/Chilton", most of them were written by either Chilton (most of side one) or Bell (side two).

Since Chilton was the bigger name, he got most of the credit in the reviews, which evidently caused friction between the pair and caused Chris Bell to leave the band right after the album came out. This combined with some distribution problems between Ardent and Stax to render #1 Record DOA. With better karma, "Feel" or "In The Street" could've been as big as "Go All The Way" or "Hello It's Me". Contrary to public revisionism, Big Star really wasn't that far out of the mainstream, they were just unlucky.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Every Day As We Grow Closer

Another 1970 track that was revived last year as a bonus track on the Big Star box set.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Free Again

After the Box Tops fell apart, Alex Chilton cut a handful of songs at Ardent which were later assembled on the (now OOP) album 1970. This song "Free Again" was a good snapshot of his mood at the time, and still one of the best songs Alex ever wrote.

I'll admit that I didn't know "Free Again" until it was covered by Teenage Fanclub in the early 90s, but their version is pretty much a carbon copy of Alex's original version.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We've gathered five of them

The Box Tops on Mike Douglas in 1969.
"Turn On A Dream" and "Soul Deep"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The world owes you a living

Another minor Box Tops hit was "Sweet Cream Ladies"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Every road is a lonely street

Post #1,001. The Box Tops miming "Cry Like A Baby" (their third hit, and second major hit) on some TV show.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The city lights, the pretty lights

Highlighting Chilton's career in chronological order.
Here's the Box Tops' second hit, "Neon Rainbow".

This is my 1000th post on Hot Rox. Who picked Butler in the Final?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dreams and wishes, like shooting stars

Giving up on years for one month. April is Alex Chilton month here.

I've been re-listening to all my Box Tops, Big Star, and Chilton records, and feel like breaking down the man's stellar but uneven career, starting with his first big hit.