Wednesday, December 24, 2003  
WXPort
Feedback
 Clubs TonightHot TixBand GuideMP3sBest Music PollSki GuideThe Best '03 
 Clubs By Night | Club Directory | Bands in Town | Concerts: Classical - Pop | Hot Links | Review Archive |  
Home
Listings
Editors' Picks
New This Week
News and Features

Art
Astrology
Books
Dance
Food & Drink
Movies
Music
Television
Theater

Archives
Letters

Classifieds
Personals
Adult
Stuff at Night
The Providence Phoenix
The Portland Phoenix
FNX Radio Network

 
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend
 

Rock City
ROCK CITY
BY JONATHAN PERRY
Stars graphics

What becomes a legend most? In the case of í70s power-pop progenitors Big Star, reissues and newly unearthed artifacts. The latest document to be added to the corpus surrounding the cult bandís tumultuous existence and premature flame-out is this essential collection of recordings intended for an album that never was written and performed by a band who barely were. During their brief lifetime, however, Rock City featured two of Big Starís future founders, singer/guitarist Chris Bell and drummer Jody Stephens. A party-crashing Alex Chilton occasionally stopped by to guest on vocals and steel guitar.

Chilton and Bell were already collaborating on songs, as is attested here by early versions of "Try Again" ó you can hear Chilton on the count-in ó and "Feel," the latter credited to Icewater, Bellís preĖRock City outfit. Also on hand for these 1969-í70 sessions was the coterie of Ardent producers and engineers who would, a couple of years later, give Big Starís first two albums their crisp, crystalline shimmer. Those men do the same for the songs here ó in fact, Rock Cityís version of "My Life Is Right" sounds almost identical to the later version on Big Starís No. 1 Record. Although Rock City were more singer/bassist Thomas Dean Eubanksís songwriting vehicle than Bellís, whatís revelatory is how much of a template the unit were for what would come later. And how close Eubanks, who would go on to make a few scattered recordings, sounds vocally to Chilton (two of Eubanksís singles are included here for completists). That said, Rock City also sound like Three Dog Night or the Guess Who with Eubanks at the helm of tracks like the would-be hippie anthem "The Answer" and the campfire clap-along "Shine on Me."


Issue Date: September 19 - 25, 2003
Back to the Music table of contents
  E-Mail This Article to a Friend







about the phoenix |  find the phoenix |  advertising info |  privacy policy |  the masthead |  feedback |  work for us

 © 2000 - 2003 Phoenix Media Communications Group