ARTIST: Big Star
TITLE: Radio City
YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: O My Soul, September Gurls
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Way Out West, Back of a Car
LINEUP: Alex Chilton, Andy Hummell, Jody Stephens. Danny Jones and Richard Rosebrough helped at times.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album from star-crossed power pop band, recorded during turmoil, is just a little bitty step behind their debut. Still, a classic.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Chris Bell left, came back, left again. For a while Alex Chilton recorded with studio musicians. At times, it seemed this album would never come out, and when it did, Stax Records couldn’t get it in the stores because of a distribution issue with Columbia.
All of that, and still, most everything on this album is a winner.
There are some songs here that Chris Bell co-wrote before he left, or when he left and came back, then left again. A few songs were written or co-written by Andy Hummel, and the most famous of those (and a hidden gem) is “Way Out West”, sung by drummer Jody Stephens.
A few cuts seem off, and not in the flow of everything else. But with classics like the singles, “Way Out West”, “You Get What You Deserve” and “I’m In Love with a Girl”, you can’t deny it’s place in power pop / rock history.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They started to record this in earnest after a great gig at the Rock Writer’s convention in Memphis in 1973
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: It’s on CD along with their debut.
GRADE: A: Not perfect, not AS good as their debut, but what really is. A fine record.