The life and times of the legendary band.
“Third isn’t really a record, more a series of recordings. We never finished it.” Jim Dickinson, producer
There is no definitive tracklist for Big Star’s Third. It can get a bit frustrating, especially with the numerous rereleases of the album; once you’ve just got used to it one way, another alternative comes along with different songs (the version I go for uses 15 of the session’s 18 masters). For a start, there’s that title - some call it Third, some call it Sister Lovers, some give it no name at all. Some don’t even call it a Big Star album at all. When it was recorded, Big Star was just Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens and whoever else was floating about at the time. When it was released, no one really cared much for Big Star - least of all, Alex Chilton.
He’d been burned too many times, and felt wilful enough to simply record his state of mind. The anecdotes say it all: did you hear the one about the label guy telling Chilton he heard a hit in the album demos? You know, the one that ends with Chilton deconstructing the song in question by ripping out the drums and replacing them with a pinging basketball. Hence, ‘Downs’ (a song which doesn’t even feature on every issue of Third anyway). That’s a good one.
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