Keep an Eye on the Sky

Keep an Eye on the Sky

by Big Star


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Keep an Eye on the Sky

As the object of intense devotion for so many fans, it's fitting that Big Star receive a box set designed for the intensely devoted: four discs containing every song the band cut in the '70s, often present in slightly alternate mixes or versions in addition to the originals, a clutch of solo songs from both Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, as well as a handful of pre-Big Star cuts by Icewater and Rock City, all topped off with a live disc culled from a three-set stint at Memphis' Lafayette's Music Room in January of 1973, not long after Bell left the band. Excepting subsequent reunions in the '90s and 2000s, no corner of the band's career remains untouched on Keep an Eye on the Sky and rarities are abundant, with 55 of its 98 tracks previously unreleased. This is a staggering statistic but it's also misleading, for 20 of those cuts are from the live disc and the rest are either alternate mixes, alternate versions, or demos -- there are no unheard songs, aside from an excerpt of Rock City's "The Preacher." Of these, only a handful are markedly different either in their lyrics or attack, with all finding the songs and even arrangements essentially intact, even in their demo form. Consequently, Keep an Eye on the Sky contains fewer revelations than it initially appears, which isn't to say it lacks any: the earliest demos for 3rd are by and large lighter in tone than the album (although there's no way "Holocaust" ever could seem cheery), a testament to how much a song can change during the recording process. In a way, all of Big Star's career is a testament to the recording process. They were a creature of the studio, not stage, having free rein at Ardent Studios, where they stayed up into the next morning tinkering at the same set of songs. This resulted in the crisp, sterling sound of #1 Record and the deliberately looser Radio City, as well as the sliding, sprawling mess of 3rd, but it didn't result in outtakes -- it resulted in alternate mixes and instrumental scraps, the stuff that enthralls fetishists, sometimes justifiably so. Those are the listeners who will find Keep an Eye on the Sky most rewarding, but anybody who has loved the band will find something to cherish here, whether it's the crackerjack live show -- which provides roaring covers of the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Hot Burrito #2," T. Rex's "Baby Strange," and Todd Rundgren's "Slut" (later revived 20 years later on their reunion concert), as well as a startlingly effective take on "The India Song" -- or merely the context of the set, which tells the story of America's greatest cult band this side of the Velvet Underground in a complete and affecting fashion.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/24/2014
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227956202
catalogNumber: 519760
Rank: 71413


Disc 1

  1. Psycheldelic Stuff
  2. All I See is You
  3. Every Day As We Grow Closer
  4. Try Again
  5. Feel
  6. The Ballad of El Goodo
  7. In the Street
  8. Thirteen
  9. Don't Lie To Me
  10. The India Song
  11. When My Baby's Beside Me
  12. My Life is Right
  13. Give Me Another Chance
  14. Try Again
  15. Gone With the Light
  16. Watch the Sunrise
  17. St 100/6
  18. The Preacher
  19. In the Street
  20. Feel
  21. The Ballad of El Goodo
  22. The India Song
  23. Country Morn
  24. I Got Kinda Lost
  25. Back of a Car
  26. Motel Blues

Disc 2

  1. There Was a Light
  2. Life is White
  3. What's Going Ahn
  4. O My Soul
  5. Life is White
  6. Way Out West
  7. What's Going Ahn
  8. You Get What You Deserve
  9. Mod Lang
  10. Back of a Car
  11. Daisy Glaze
  12. She's a Mover
  13. September Gurls
  14. Morpha Too
  15. I'm In Love With a Girl
  16. O My Soul
  17. She's a Mover
  18. Daisy Glaze
  19. I Am the Cosmos
  20. You and Your Sister
  21. Blue Moon
  22. Femme Fatale
  23. Thank You Friends
  24. Nightime
  25. Take Care
  26. You Get What You Deserve

Disc 3

  1. Lovely Day
  2. Downs
  3. Jesus Christ
  4. Holocaust
  5. Big Black Car
  6. Manana
  7. Jesus Christ
  8. Femme Fatale
  9. O, Dana
  10. Kizza Me
  11. You Can't Have Me
  12. Nightime
  13. Dream Lover
  14. Big Black Car
  15. Blue Moon
  16. Holocaust
  17. Stroke It Noel
  18. For You
  19. Downs
  20. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On
  21. Kanga Roo
  22. Thank You Friends
  23. Take Care
  24. Lovely Day
  25. Till the End of the Day
  26. Nature Boy

Disc 4

  1. When My Baby's Beside Me [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn,
  2. My Life is Right [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January
  3. She's a Mover [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January 197
  4. Way Out West [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January 1973
  5. The Ballad of El Goodo [Live at Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, TN, Januar
  6. In the Street [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January 197
  7. Back of a Car [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January 197
  8. Thirteen [L
  9. The India Song
  10. Try Again [
  11. Watch the Sunrise [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January
  12. Don't Lie To Me [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January 1
  13. Hot Burrito #2 [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January 19
  14. I Got Kinda Lost [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January
  15. Baby Strange [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January 1973
  16. Slut
  17. There Was a Light [Live At Lafayette's Music Room, Memphis, Tn, January
  18. St 100/6 [L
  19. Come On Now
  20. O My Soul [
  21. Thirteen

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Big Star   Primary Artist
Chris Bell   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Alex Chilton   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Steve Cropper   Guitar
Terry Manning   Bass,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Lee Baker   Guitar
James Luther Dickinson   Guitar,Keyboards
Noel Gilbert   Violin
Andy Hummel   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Wayne Jackson   Horn
John Lightman   Bass
Andrew Love   Horn
Carl Marsh   Synthesizer,Reeds,Woodwind
Tommy McClure   Bass
Richard Rosebrough   Drums
Peter Spurbeck   Cello
Jody Stephens   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Ken Woodley   Organ,Bass
Lesa Aldridge   Background Vocals
William Eggleston   Piano
Charlie Owen   Steel Guitar
Thomas Dean Eubanks   Bass,Vocals
Danny Jones   Bass
William Murphy   Bass
Steve Rhea   Drums,Vocals,Guitar (Leslie)
Tommy Cathay   Bass
Tarp Tarrant   Drums

Technical Credits

Loudon Wainwright   Composer
Chris Bell   Composer,Producer
Big Star   Producer
Alex Chilton   Composer
Gram Parsons   Composer
Lou Reed   Composer
Todd Rundgren   Composer
Robert Gordon   Liner Notes
Marc Bolan   Composer
Ray Davies   Composer
Bill Cunningham   String Arrangements
James Luther Dickinson   Producer
Chris Ethridge   Composer
John Fry   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Cover Photo
Andy Hummel   Composer
Carl Marsh   String Arrangements
Cheryl Pawelski   Producer
Richard Rosebrough   Composer
Andrew Sandoval   Producer
Jody Stephens   Composer
Warren Wagner   Engineer
Eden Ahbez   Composer
Lesa Aldridge   Composer
Chris Gage   Composer
Alec Palao   Producer,Liner Notes
Bob Mehr   Liner Notes
George McWilliams   Art Direction
Steve Rhea   Composer
Tom Eubanks   Composer
David "Curly" Williams   Composer

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