Thursday, April 22, 2010

ESG - Moody (Remix)

ESG - Moody (Remix).

So, it turns out I'm not the only one who thinks of ESG and Liquid Liquid in the same frame of reference.

Although I've only really known a handful of either group's songs, it turns out these 99 Records labelmates have enough in common, sonically, to have been paired together in Volume 2 of The Perfect Beats series (thanks for that heads up, Andy Kellman).

Early on in their career, Bronx natives ESG also caught the eye of Factory Records magnate Tony Wilson, who brought the group over to Manchester to gig and record their first 3 song single with the legendary Martin Hannett.

You can hear the original version of "Moody", recorded with Hannett, here. Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chris Bell - I Am the Cosmos

The Oxford American recently ran a great piece by John Jeremiah Sullivan called, "Chris Bell: Big Star's 'Other Genius'".

If you take an interest in today's artist, I highly recommend reading this article, not only for its focus on Bell and Big Star, but for its fabulous insights on pop music in general.

Following the recent sudden death of Big Star vocalist & solo musician, Alex Chilton, there's been a rush of posthumous interest in the great Memphis pop group and its individual members.

While Chilton usually garnered the most attention, his Big Star co-pilot Bell was an extremely gifted songwriter and musician in his own right.

In fact, of all the great music that I heard last year, Ardent Music's stream of Bell's I Am the Cosmos is the album that stands out most in my mind. If I had compiled a list of my favorite albums of 2009, it'd be right up at the top, despite being recorded at various times in the mid-late '70s and (originally) released back in 1992.

There is currently a dearth of Bell's music up on YouTube, but I hope you'll enjoy today's jukebox selection, the title track from Bell's only solo LP (this clip chosen for its audio quality rather than its video slideshow - I assure you). I hope you'll also check out the album in full - it's a stunner.

Chris Bell - I Am the Cosmos.

Related articles and posts:

1. Chris Bell: Big Star's Other Genius - Oxford American.

The Story of Big Star - NPR via YouTube.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Heartbreakers - Born To Lose

The Heartbreakers - Born To Lose.

I believe this version of "Born To Lose" comes from L.A.M.F: The Lost '77 Mixes, which many listeners cite as the definitive mix of The Heartbreakers' debut album.

There's another great version of this song (possibly an outtake?) on YouTube that I'll have to post in the future. It's very clear, loud and up front, with the most emphatic yells from Johnny on the "I said hit it!" lines. Fuck it, I'll include it here now.