BIG STAR’S #1 RECORD AND RADIO CITY TO BE REISSUED ON 180-GRAM VINYL

Image

Craft Recordings is excited to reissue Big Star’s acclaimed, first two albums on 180-gram vinyl.  Set for a January 24th release date, and available for pre-order now, #1 Record and Radio City feature all-analog mastering by Jeff Powell at Memphis’ Take Out Vinyl, and also manufactured locally—in Big Star’s hometown—at Memphis Record Pressing.

Though they both failed to strike commercial success at the time of their releases, 1972’s #1 Record and 1974’s Radio City are now considered to be milestones in the history of rock by critics and musicians alike. Heavily influenced by the British Invasion, yet markedly original—with their jangly pop, driving guitars, sweet harmonies, and wistful melancholia—Big Star offered a distinctly new sound when they first emerged in the early ‘70s, and are counted among the founders of power pop—a genre which wouldn’t truly take off until later in the decade. Nevertheless, Big Star would become an underground favorite, influencing some the biggest alt-rock artists of the ’80s, ’90s and beyond, including R.E.M., Teenage FanclubWilco, and The Replacements (who famously penned the song “Alex Chilton” as an ode to the band’s frontman).

The Memphis band was formed in 1971 by singer/songwriters Alex Chilton (1950-2010) and Chris Bell (1951-1978), drummer Jody Stephens (b. 1952) and bassist Andy Hummel (1951-2010). Chilton and Bell drew on the Lennon/McCartney style of collaborative songwriting for their aptly titled debut, #1 Record. Working with Ardent Records’ founder and engineer John Fry, Chilton laid down guitar and vocal tracks—often in one take, while Bell added polish with overdubs and harmonies to songs like “The Ballad of El Goodo,” “Thirteen,” and “In The Street.” #1 Record was released to wide critical acclaim, yet distribution issues severely limited the album’s availability in stores. It would sell fewer than 10,000 copies.

Although Chris Bell departed the band shortly after the release of #1 Record, Big Star’s remaining members began work on a second album in the fall of 1973. Losing the creative input of Bell could have wreaked havoc on the band’s progress, but Chilton confidently took the helm, and his undeniable talents shone through—especially on tracks like “I’m in Love with a Girl,” “Back of a Car,” and cult favorite, “September Gurls.” Released in February of 1974, Radio City garnered praise from the press, but, unfortunately, critical acclaim did not translate to sales.

Disbanding in late 1974, Big Star could have easily fallen into the abyss of could-have-beens and one-hit-wonders, yet they have instead achieved near-mythic status in pop music history. The legacies of #1 Record and Radio City—as well as the band’s third LP, Third—have far exceeded their original commercial performances. All three of Big Star’s albums are included on Rolling Stones 2012 “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” lists, and tracks from the first two (“Thirteen” and “September Gurls”) are also among the magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” Numerous artists (Elliott SmithThe BanglesPlacebo, Beck, and Jeff Buckley, to name a few) have recorded covers of the band’s songs.

Big Star has been honored with a tribute record (Big Star Small World, 2006), a documentary (2012’s Nothing Can Hurt Me) and a touring live show, “Big Star’s Third,” in which an all-star roster of guest vocalists and musicians join a core group (including R.E.M.’s Mike MillsChris Stamey of The dB’s, The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow and sole surviving Big Star member, Jody Stephens) to perform Third, plus selections from #1 Record and Radio City. Most recently, the 2016 concert film and live album, Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…And More, captures one such performance in Glendale, CA. Through their heartfelt renditions of the band’s songs, a cross-generational lineup of talent—Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Robyn HitchcockDan WilsonJessica Pratt, and San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet among them—prove the enduring appeal of Big Star’s music.

Click here pre-order #1 Record

Click here to pre-order Radio City

Special bundles, including official Big Star merchandise, available via the Craft Store

Track Listing:

#1 Record

Side A

  1. Feel
  2. The Ballad Of El Goodo
  3. In The Street
  4. Thirteen
  5. Don’t Lie To Me
  6. The India Song

Side B

  1. When My Baby’s Beside Me
  2. My Life Is Right
  3. Give Me Another Chance
  4. Try Again
  5. Watch The Sunrise
  6. ST 100/6

Radio City

Side A

  1. O, My Soul
  2. Life Is White
  3. Way Out West
  4. What’s Goin’ Ahn
  5. You Get What You Deserve

Side B

  1. Mod Lang
  2. Back Of A Car
  3. Daisy Glaze
  4. She’s A Mover
  5. September Gurls
  6. Morpha Too
  7. I’m In Love With A Girl

Stax News Archive

Featured image for “CONCORD PLEDGES $1 MILLION TO LAUNCH SCHOLARSHIPS AT MEMPHIS’ STAX MUSIC ACADEMY”
Feb. 16, 2021

CONCORD PLEDGES $1 MILLION TO LAUNCH SCHOLARSHIPS AT MEMPHIS’ STAX MUSIC ACADEMY

Featured image for “SOULSVILLE FOUNDATION, STAX MUSIC ACADEMY AND STAX RECORDS HOLD SONGWRITING WORKSHOP”
Nov. 18, 2020

SOULSVILLE FOUNDATION, STAX MUSIC ACADEMY AND STAX RECORDS HOLD SONGWRITING WORKSHOP

Featured image for “CRAFT RECORDINGS RELEASES TIMELY LYRIC VIDEO FOR “RESPECT YOURSELF””
Nov. 12, 2020

CRAFT RECORDINGS RELEASES TIMELY LYRIC VIDEO FOR “RESPECT YOURSELF”

Featured image for “THE STAPLE SINGERS’ COME GO WITH ME: THE STAX COLLECTION NOW AVAILABLE IN A DELUXE SEVEN-CD BOX SET”
Sep. 23, 2020

THE STAPLE SINGERS’ COME GO WITH ME: THE STAX COLLECTION NOW AVAILABLE IN A DELUXE SEVEN-CD BOX SET

Featured image for “THE GOSPEL TRUTH: THE COMPLETE SINGLES COLLECTION SET FOR RELEASE”
Sep. 17, 2020

THE GOSPEL TRUTH: THE COMPLETE SINGLES COLLECTION SET FOR RELEASE

Featured image for “TRIBUTE TO GOSPEL TRUTH RECORDS WITH FIRST-EVER DIGITAL RELEASE OF 25 ALBUMS FROM THE STAX IMPRINT’S CATALOG”
Mar. 11, 2020

TRIBUTE TO GOSPEL TRUTH RECORDS WITH FIRST-EVER DIGITAL RELEASE OF 25 ALBUMS FROM THE STAX IMPRINT’S CATALOG

Featured image for “CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH”
Feb. 02, 2020

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Featured image for “BIG STAR’S #1 RECORD AND RADIO CITY TO BE REISSUED ON 180-GRAM VINYL”
Dec. 07, 2019

BIG STAR’S #1 RECORD AND RADIO CITY TO BE REISSUED ON 180-GRAM VINYL

Featured image for “The Memphis Masters”
Dec. 06, 2019

The Memphis Masters

Featured image for “COME GO WITH ME: THE STAX COLLECTION DELUXE 7-LP BOX SET CELEBRATES THE STAPLE SINGERS’ STAX YEARS”
Oct. 29, 2019

COME GO WITH ME: THE STAX COLLECTION DELUXE 7-LP BOX SET CELEBRATES THE STAPLE SINGERS’ STAX YEARS

Featured image for “CRAFT RECORDINGS TO REISSUE FIVE STAX TITLES ON 180-GRAM VINYL”
Sep. 05, 2019

CRAFT RECORDINGS TO REISSUE FIVE STAX TITLES ON 180-GRAM VINYL

Featured image for “BLACK MUSIC MONTH KICKS OFF WITH FIRST-TIME RELEASE OF 30 DIGITAL ALBUMS”
May. 30, 2019

BLACK MUSIC MONTH KICKS OFF WITH FIRST-TIME RELEASE OF 30 DIGITAL ALBUMS

Featured image for “BLACK MUSIC MONTH DIGITAL REISSUES – SOUL EXPLOSION”
May. 07, 2019

BLACK MUSIC MONTH DIGITAL REISSUES – SOUL EXPLOSION

Featured image for “Soul Explosion 2-LP Reissue – Release Date May 31st”
May. 07, 2019

Soul Explosion 2-LP Reissue – Release Date May 31st

Featured image for “Stax set to release Deluxe Edition of Shaft – Music from the Soundtrack”
Apr. 26, 2019

Stax set to release Deluxe Edition of Shaft – Music from the Soundtrack

Featured image for “Record Store Day 2019”
Apr. 10, 2019

Record Store Day 2019

Featured image for “STAX ’68: A MEMPHIS STORY DUE OUT OCTOBER 19th”
Sep. 27, 2018

STAX ’68: A MEMPHIS STORY DUE OUT OCTOBER 19th

Featured image for “OTIS REDDING’s LIVE AT THE WHISKY A GO GO: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS RECEIVES GRAMMY® AWARD FOR BEST ALBUM NOTES”
Jan. 28, 2018

OTIS REDDING’s LIVE AT THE WHISKY A GO GO: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS RECEIVES GRAMMY® AWARD FOR BEST ALBUM NOTES

Featured image for “NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS RETURN WITH “TEARING AT THE SEAMS” OUT MARCH 9TH ON STAX RECORDS”
Jan. 10, 2018

NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS RETURN WITH “TEARING AT THE SEAMS” OUT MARCH 9TH ON STAX RECORDS

Featured image for “STAX SINGLES, VOL. 4: RARITIES & THE BEST OF THE REST”
Jan. 05, 2018

STAX SINGLES, VOL. 4: RARITIES & THE BEST OF THE REST