http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/bf26348b119565dc765458f8ccd92af79f765166.jpg In Space

Big Star

In Space

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
October 6, 2005

The original Big Star — Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens, Andy Hummel and Chris Bell — achieved its power-pop perfection when no one else was looking, on 1972's wishfully titled #1 Record and 1974's Bell-less Radio City. The reunited Big Star — Chilton and Stephens, with Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of the Posies — have the weird fortune of releasing their debut album to a world expecting that American Beatles ideal all over again. It's here — in the jangly longing and ice-wall harmonies of "Lady Sweet" and "February's Quiet" — but comes with the eccentric R&B and demo-quality glam rock that have made Chilton's solo records a mixed blessing. The funk pastiche "Love Revolution" should have been an outtake; "A Whole New Thing" starts out like old T. Rex, then goes nowhere special. But on either side of those potholes are the rough sunshine of "Best Chance We've Ever Had," the Beach Boys-via-Revolver paraphrase "Turn My Back on the Sun" and a Motown-punk treatment of the 1962 Bruce Channel nugget "Mine Exclusively." In Space is no #1 Record, but at its brightest, it is Big Star in every way.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »