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Big Star Third (Sister Lovers)

March 13, 2012

First published May 2011

Test Pressing edition (Omnivore OVLP-1)

“Lenny Waronker said ‘I don’t have to listen to that again do I?’. Jerry Wexler told me ‘This record makes me feel very uncomfortable’. Karin Berg at Elektra accused me of destroying Alex’s career”  Producer Jim Dickinson

Sadly, we were subsequently to discover that Alex was perfectly capable of doing that all by himself. Notwithstanding,  two thousand copies of Big Star III  have been released to celebrate 2011 Record Store Day – a vinyl only exact reproduction of the test pressing touted around major labels so unsuccessfully by Dickinson back in 1975.

Thirty-six years after recording the dust has settled to reveal harmony and dissonance in equal measures. Light and beauty can be found in Take Care, For You, Femme Fatale, Jesus Christ: the darkness descends in Downs, Holocaust, Kangaroo. But it’s never boring and this 14 track selection feels tighter and more to the point than the Ryko 19 track CD from the same sessions that came out in 1992 (but where is the  Leesa Aldridge sung version of Til The End Of The Day? )

The packaging is brilliant. A great slab of vinyl is housed in a box that mimics the original 15ips master tape with tracking sheets and other ephemera faithfully reproduced. The record has been cut by original engineer Larry Nix and the sound is stunning – this eccentric selection has never sounded better, a testament to engineer John Fry at the top of his game.

Now that the post-Record Store Day feeding frenzy has died down you can pick up a copy of this release for the cost of a good dinner. I suggest you treat yourself.

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