Big Star were a tragically underrated band for their time and while they have finally clawed their way up to cult status, thanks in part to a deep love from a slew of influential musicians, sadly there is only one surviving original member of the band left. As this deep cuts-collection from a pre-Big Star Chris Bell shows, the talent was there long before the band was founded.
Omnivore Recordings has become the curator of all things Big Star over the past few years, re-releasing their albums, digging up demos and rarities and pulling together some truly brilliant collections. ‘Looking Forward – The Roots of Big Star’ is yet another gem in that crown. Coming in at 22 tracks, it may seem a little intimidating for those unaware of Bell’s work in previous bands Rock City, Christmas Future, Icewater, the Wallabys and more, but with time, these songs will grow on even the most novice of Big Star fans. For diehards, ‘Looking Forward – The Roots of Big Star’ is like mana for heaven.
While many of these songs have been around on bootlegs and other out-of-print records, it also includes photos and liners from Grammy-nominated writer Alec Palao, as well as quotes from Bell’s bandmates (Jody Stephens, Terry Manning, Tom Eubanks, Steve Rhea) and collaborators (Alan Palmore, Ardent Studio founder John Fry) and six songs which have never been released before. A must-have for Big Star acolytes.