ARTIST: Various Artists
TITLE: Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story
YEAR RELEASED: 2008
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Most of these were singles on Ardent Records
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: My Noise and Sick to Move if you were into alt-rock
LINEUP: Big Star, Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Terry Manning, Lawson & 4 More, Tommy Hoehn, Cargoe, and others.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The musical history of the record company that put out Big Star’s material.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I’m kicking myself, since this isn’t streaming and I jettisoned some of the tracks. Well, OK I may have exiled a lot anyway, but I always want to re-visit things, you know.
Ardent Records was the house label for Ardent Studios, which was (and is) a rather successful. As with any collection like this, it’s kind of an oddball mix of types and styles. You have blue-eyed Memphis soul, psychedelic garage rock, power pop, and rarities of all shapes and sizes. Some of this stuff wasn’t released because no one wanted to lease it after it was recorded.
For historical purposes this is good stuff, but I’d only play a few cuts over and over besides the Big Star stuff (which you can get everywhere). Ardent Records ultimately failed when Stax Records (who distributed it) wheezed out of commission in 1975.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Stax made a deal with Columbia in 1973. It only took two years to bankrupt it due to shoddy management.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: C+: There’s some great non-Big Star stuff, some average stuff and some head shaking stuff. For the price, it’s not cost effective especially since Big Star has lots of options for listening.