MEMPHIS, Tenn. — While Chris Bell is known as a founding member of Big Star (and for his posthumous classic song “I Am the Cosmos”), his story did not begin with that legendary band. Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star, set for July 7, 2017 release on Omnivore Recordings, featuring Chris Bell delivers the origins of his incredible, influential and far-too-short career.
The 22-track collection, including six previously unissued tracks, is the first of its kind to chronicle the music made by and with Bell before Big Star’s iconic #1 Record — with such projects as Rock City, Christmas Future, Icewater, the Wallabys and more. It examines Bell’s progress as a writer, performer and engineer leading up to Big Star, a journey in which the sounds and roots of Big Star are completely evident. Coupled with the previously issued Alex Chilton compilation Free Again: The “1970” Sessions, these two releases provide a look at the evolution of Big Star.
Looking Forward’s packaging contains photos and liners from Grammy®-nominated writer (and set producer) 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), telling the story of how this true talent came to be, who he was, and what he means to us all — a talent we celebrate to this day.
But to truly understand the sounds that influenced so many, one only needs to be Looking Forward. As Palao writes in his liner notes, “Both the hardcore Big Star aficionado and the casual listener will enjoy Looking Forward in the spirit intended: as the inspirations behind an inspirational act.
Chris Bell’s post-Big Star material will continue to unfold in further CD, LP and Digital releases in 2017. The original I Am the Cosmos album will be released in the fall on a single LP and double-CD/Digital deluxe edition. The Complete Chris Bell — a six-LP boxed set — is set for release in late 2017 and will collect all the material from both Looking Forward and the deluxe edition of I Am The Cosmos. Complete will also include all liner notes to the aforementioned projects, plus an excerpt from the forthcoming book by Rich Tupica, There Was a Light: The Cosmic History of Big Star Founder Chris Bell. The book will be released in the winter on HoZac Books. All Chris Bell-related projects are being produced with the approval and oversight of the estate of Chris Bell.
Track listings and further details for I Am The Cosmos and The Complete Chris Bell will be announced at a later date.
1. Think It’s Time To Say Goodbye
2. All I See Is You
3. My Life Is Right
4. Feeling High
5. Looking Forward
6. The Wind Will Cry For Me
7. Psychedelic Stuff
8. The Reason*
9. I Lost A Love
10. A Chance To Live*
11. The Answer
12. Lovely Lady
15. Sunday Organ
16. The Preacher
17. Shine On Me
18. Try Again (Movie Mix, 2012)
19. Germany (Backing Track)*
20. Oh My Soul (Backing Track)*
21. All I See Is You (Alternate Backing Track)*
22. Feeling High (Alternate Backing Track)*
* Previously Unissued
Billboard broke the news, premiered a previously unreleased track, and excerpted a chapter from the forthcoming Chris Bell biography: http://bit.ly/2phMkSz