Big Star’s Chris Bell Reissued!

 

Late founder of the
seminal Memphis
pop band gets the two-CD deluxe treatment in September.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Back in May we were talking about that upcoming Big Star
boxed set
, the 4-CD Keep an Eye on the Sky, due Sept. 15 from Rhino. At the same time
we’d been tipped by a source at the label that Rhino Handmade would also be
doing a Deluxe Edition reissue of the late Chris Bell’s I Am The Cosmos.

 

 

 

Now
comes official word from Handmade about the Bell released – now, on Sept. 28 -and as
promised it’s to be a rarities/outtakes-stuffed two-disc affair that vastly
expands upon the original ’92 Ryko release. According to Handmade, in addition
to remastering the Ryko version, the set is to include a second CD containing 15 tracks previously
unreleased. Among the wealth of unissued recordings are eight alternate
versions and mixes of album tracks, including ‘You And Your Sister’ with
Mellotron in place of the original’s string arrangement, and a later version of
‘Get Away’ featuring Big Star’s Alex Chilton on guitar, Ken Woodley on bass and
Richard Rosebrough on drums.

 

‘The
collection also gathers up a number of unreleased songs Bell recorded that did
not appear on I Am The Cosmos,
including two songs by Icewater (a precursor to Big Star); collaborations with
Memphis songwriter Keith Sykes (‘Stay With Me’) and singer Nancy Bryan (‘In My
Darkest Hour’); and ‘Clacton Rag,’ an instrumental recorded in 1976 that
features Bell solo on guitar.”

 

Cosmos will be a
limited/numbered edition, as are most Handmade titles. As a bonus, the first
1,000 orders will receive a free 7″ single of “I Am The Cosmos”
b/w “You And Your Sister.”

 

You
can read more about the collection at the official Handmade page and hear song
snippets. Here’s the tracklisting:

 

CD1:

01 I Am the Cosmos
02 Better Save Yourself
03 Speed of Sound
04 Get Away
05 You and Your Sister
06 I Got Kinda Lost
07 Look Up
08 Make a Scene
09 There Was a Light
10 I Don’t Know
11 Fight at the Table
12 Though I Know She Lies

CD2:

01 Icewater: “Looking Forward” *
02 Icewater: “Sunshine” *
03 Rock City: “My Life Is Right”
04 I Don’t Know (Alternate Version) *
05 You and Your Sister (Alternate Version) *
06 I Am the Cosmos (Extended Alternate Version) *
07 Speed of Sound (Alternate Version) *
08 Fight at the Table (Alternate Mix) *
09 Make a Scene (Alternate Mix) *
10 Better Save Yourself (Alternate Mix) *
11 Get Away (Alternate Version) *
12 You and Your Sister (Acoustic Version)
13 Stay With Me [ft. Keith Sykes] *
14 In My Darkest Hour [ft. Nancy Bryan] *
15 Clacton Rag (Instrumental) *

* previously unreleased

 

 

 

 

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