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Nobody Can Dance

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Album Review

A mix of early rehearsal tapes and a board tape from an early 1971 live show featuring a rare performance of "The Letter" makes this an official bootleg (band approved) worth adding to the collection after you've scored all the essentials. The rehearsals feature John Lightman on bass (no Chris Bell involvement in these performances), but Chilton's guitar cuts like a knife and his singing is inspired and that's half the joy in a great Big Star cut, anyway. The live show emanates from Memphis' Overton Park Band Shell and also demonstrates the band (and Chilton in particular) involved and turning in a rock & roll show well worth documenting and issuing nearly some 30 years later. Between the live stuff and the studio demos, there are two versions apiece of "September Gurls," "O My Soul," "You Get What You Deserve," and "Mod Lang" aboard in this 15-track collection, but even alternate versions of demos and alternate takes are worth the excavation when it comes to this cult group of cult groups. As solid a collection of leftovers as you're likely to find out there.


Formed: 1971 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The quintessential American power pop band, Big Star remains one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll. Originally led by the singing and songwriting duo of Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, the Memphis-based group fused the strongest elements of the British Invasion era -- the melodic invention of the Beatles, the whiplash guitars of the Who, and the radiant harmonies of the Byrds -- into a ramshackle but poignantly beautiful sound that recaptured the spirit of pop's past...
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