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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Thankfully, these three renegade rock icons didn’t hold back during the two marathon sessions it took to create 1996’s Cubist Blues. The result is a bleary-eyed, weirdly engaging album, animated by a damaged rockabilly spirit. Chilton and Vaughn switch off on a range of instruments as Vega purrs and moans his way through a mixed bag of morose ballads and twisted swamp-rockers. Fans of Vega’s work with Suicide will hear his familiar haunted panache in the ominous “Fat City,” the ghoulish “Come On Lord” and the sickly suave “Lover of Love.” His morbid murmur on “Sister” is a particularly succulent performance. While the grooves here are on the loose side, there are moments of sonic clarity, such as the eerie guitar/synthesizer interplay on “Freedom” and the pulsating rhythmic clatter of “Too Late.” “The Werewolf” — a twitchy boogie tune narrated by Vega with creepy aplomb — sums up the spooky vibe of this skewed but fascinating project. (Disc Two’s live takes are for the hard-core faithful only.)

Biography

Born: December 28, 1950 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In a business that reinvents itself at every turn, Alex Chilton thrived for four decades with a three-fold career — his early recordings with the Box Tops, the albums he did with Big Star in the mid-'70s and after the group re-formed with a new lineup in 1993, and the spate of cool but chaotic solo albums he recorded beginning in the late '70s. To some, he was a classic hitmaker from the '60s. To others, he was a genius British-style pop musician and songwriter. To yet another audience, he...
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