Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
On April 7, Classic Records will reissue two records that fit the definition of power pop perfection: Big Star's #1 Record and Radio City. Recorded at Ardent Studios and released in 1972 and 1974--and virtually unknown until the now iconic September Gurls was covered by The Bangles in 1986, Big Star's first two records have inspired countless guitar-driven pop artists from Cheap Trick and The Replacements, to R.E.M. and Matthew Sweet.
Lyrics driven by adolescent lust, catchy, hook-laden melodies, and jangly guitars defined Big Star's sound and set them apart from the Sixties-era power pop genre dominated by groups such as The Kinks, The Who, and Badfinger. Each record originally sold less than 5,000 copies, mostly due to a bad distribution deal with Stax Records and have only been reissued a few times on vinyl--and both of the better known reissues are either from digital sources (UK Back Track) or digitally remastered (Italian Akarma).
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Both of these albums are notorious for their bright, jangly sound. The challenge for the mastering engineer will be to convey that sound without also imparting the harsh, ear-bleeding glare heard on the 2004 SACD two-fer.
Classic Records will press #1 Record and Radio City on their new, proprietary 200 gram Clarity Vinyl formula. The original analog source tapes will be used and mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Stay tuned for a full review of both of these records.
Big Star in 1971
Ardent Studios, Memphis
September Gurls Track Sheet
Mastering Notes from the Radio City sessions
Posted by My Vinyl Review at Tuesday, March 31, 2009