Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bloody You're The Dredge

Alex Chilton didn't start releasing any really terrible records until the late '80s, so seeing as this is from his first post-Big Star recording session-- at Ardent in 1975-- I think you're pretty safe here. I'll admit that I'd never even broken the seal on this one until I ripped it yesterday, not because I was afraid it would be a piece of crap, but because I'd already heard most of these songs on the copy of "Bach's Bottom" (the white vinyl Line Records pressing) that I had 20 years ago. Likewise, if you're any kind of Chilton fan, chances are you've had these songs in your possession in one form or another along the way.

Actually, I take that back, since the hilariously typo-strewn liner notes indicate that "(Every Time I) Close My Eyes"-- written by Alex's bandmate, Jon Tiven of The Yankees, whose LP I might subject you to someday if you're not careful-- appears here for the first time on vinyl. It's a decent enough pop number, too, even if it suffers a bit from being scrunched onto the innermost grooves of a 7-inch. Just as poppy but (thankfully) a bit more rockin' is "All The Time", which is pretty much the only song here that bears any resemblance to Big Star, mainly because of a Chris Bell guitar part that was dropped-in later.

Other than that, this EP presents Alex The Man at his most proto-new-wave-ishness, especially "Take Me Home And Make Me Like It" (not the version I like the best, but a strong runner-up) and the fuzzed-out "Free Again", one of my favorite love 'em-and-leave 'em songs. You'll also get some studio blather, chopped up to make Alex sound like a real waistoid ("I need a pain pill"), but I'm not falling for that one. Heck, you can tell by looking at the photo on the back cover that the man has pretty much never been burnt a day in his life. Straight and Alert!!

click for enlarged view

Alex Chilton -

"Free Again"

"Take Me Home And Make Me Like It"

"All The Time"

"(Every Time I) Close My Eyes"

(these files are now listen-only)

click for enlarged view

click for enlarged view


Mr. HCI said...

Massive Chilton fan that I am, I don't own the original of this. However, I've got the One Day in New York album (bought at BestBuy on CD many moons ago, no less!), which collects this EP with some rockin' live stuff. Consider this a recommendation.

Wait a minute, terrible LX records? Are you insane?

ib said...

Great stuff - even a throwaway session - which I have to confess I hadn't heard previously. What's really interesting to me is contrasting this with Alex's 1970 pre Big Star/post Box Tops shit and Chris Bell's own solo sessions for "Cosmos", which this predates by a good three years.

Tiven took some of these tracks from Memphis and remixed them in Hoboken ? Then released them on Ork ? See, I didn't know any of this. Amazing.

Is that Chris Bell on "All Of The Time", then ? Recorded after the fact in 1976 ? Check out the flange!

What a gem, Brushback.

Brushback said...

The Ork release of "Singer Not The Song" was first, in 1977. Then after came "Bach's Bottom" (in '81, I think), "One Day In New York", and the other variations.

Then there's this 1999 re-issue, on Munster, which stays pretty close to the original Ork release except that it was re-mixed and has the extra song... I might have one or two facts wrong, who knows.

Some of that post-Box Tops/pre-Big Star stuff is pretty great, too-- "I Can Dig It"..

Brushback said...

By the way, ib, Mr. HCI is another guy who might know about the Alabama Kids-- he knows every band that's ever made a record since the 50's...

I think the only Chilton project I've never heard is The Dolby Fuckers, if anyone wants to help me out with that.

ib said...

No. Or, Yes. You're right; some of that 1970 pre Big Star stuff is 100% on the ball - I'm thinking the cover of the Archies' "Sugar Sugar", especially.

Mr HCI ? Who is he ?

BTW, my copy of "Earthman Supersmell" shipped yesterday. Unfortunately, I have no facility to play vinyl these days. Current finances leave me indisposed. Just the same, I'm looking forward to this.

ib said...

Sorry, Mr. HCI. Blame it on a moment of blindness...

ib said...

Mr. HCI: consider yourself linked, for better or for worse.

Brushback said...

Check out the Happy Flowers tag in the sidebar over there-- that's one of Mr. HCI's neat little tricks.

Mr. HCI said...

I think I've heard the name The Alabama Kids but that's it.

On the other hand, Sex Clark Five and Taylor and the Puffs are mighty fine Alabama poppy rockers.

Brushback said...

ib hipped me to these guys-- they're a Dutch band from the early '90s, and they're friggin' amazing. Like Died Pretty, sorta.

Alabama Kids, "Sand"

(taken from ib's blog, by the way)


Brushback said...

Here's a link to the post on ib's blog, if anyone wants to download the song for themselves (for as long as he has it available, at least):



Brushback said...

Coming up later: the list of terrible Alex Chilton records that Mr. HCI believes doesn't exist...


Mr. HCI said...

OK, Mr. BB, which is terrible?


Like Flies on Sherbert
Live in London
Feudalist Tarts
High Priest
Black List
A Man Called Destruction
Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy
Live in Anvers

Cubist Blues with Alan Vega and Ben Vaughan?

The Box Tops' reunion album, Last Call?

OK, the two albums by the new version of Big Star are disappointing but I wouldn't call either terrible.

Brushback said...

Okay, I don't like anything after "High Priest", and I think I'm even being generous by going as far as asserting that any of Alex's '80s stuff ("No Sex", "Dalai Lama", "High Priest", "Make a Little Love" etc) as being somewhat listenable. (And I really like all of that stuff, though I can admit mostly because I'm a huge huge fan.)

"In Space" is one of the worst albums by anyone, ever.

Having said that, I consider Alex's 70's post-Big Star output ("Bangkok"/"Can't Seem To Make You Mine", "Sherbert", the stuff on "Dusted In Memphis" and similar bootlegs) to be top-tier, brilliant stuff. Legendary stuff.

As ib was sort-of alluding to (and adding my own interpretation), when you listen to Chris Bell's and Alex Chilton's solo stuff immediately pre- and post-Big Star, the only stuff that sounds like Big Star is Bell's. Chilton's songs with Big Star are almost an anonomaly compared to everything else he did in his career.

None of this discussion over-rides the fact that I think Alex Chilton is one of the greatest artists of all time.

Brushback said...

By the way, I think "Big Star Live at Columbia" is great. I love the version of "I Am The Cosmos", the cover of "Baby Strange", and the Todd Rundgren cover on that record.

"Cubist Blues" and the Box Tops reunion stuff, I'll admit I've never heard. Might've heard a bit of "Cubist Blues", actually, and then chucked it, but that's about it.

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. For those of you who missed the boat, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files. I'm also open to hearing any LX stuff that I don't already have, so if you're sitting on something cool, hit me up...

Viacomclosedmedown on youtube said...

You'll need to have heard the '87 release "Stuff" to really get the slower hip stuff oozing out of this release (the first I ever heard of him or Big Star was this CD that a neighbor lent my buddy so I taped it). But Beale St. Green is essential listening also with the short but sweet "Marshall Law" still brings chills...both are here along with a live Boxtops reunion and an Alex show both around the same time in Minneapolis where Alex would play small venues and protesters would call for larger venues outside in MPls. At least he played in Mpls. quite regularly so I could see him alot.,,,