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MAKE SENSE OF THE SENSELESS ! / QUESTION THE QUESTIONABLE ! / SHOUT ABOVE THE NOISE !

Friday, 19 March 2010

ALEX CHILTON - R.I.P


Alex Chilton went from chart success in 1967 at the age of 16 in The Box Tops, to cult and underground status with Big Star and his solo work. Alex’s song writing was Pure, raw and emotional. He produced The Cramps, influenced people like Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream, gives a nod to Johnny Thunders in his song Bangkok, Pauline Murray from Penetration covered Holocaust with her band the Invisible Girls, that track is from Big Stars 3rd album Sister Lover. What a brilliant but bleak album, second only to Lou Reeds Berlin as one of the most depressing albums I own. Live in London was recorded at Dingwalls in May 1980, Alex’s backing group included Knox from The Vibrators on Guitar. It was probably due to this, that Live In London was my first introduction to Alex Chilton. The album was poorly received when it was released, and to Chilton purists it might not be the best way to remember the man. But it’s my way! and I aint that pure. Alex Chilton; another good ’un is gone.

7 comments:

Marky Dread (Sparks) said...

Sadly missed somewhat a genius song writer...it's still like flys on sherbert for me.

john said...

I know it's free, thanks, but track 10 doesn't work. Just thought I'd let you know.

Dr Faustroll said...

Too many Chilton's Lps were poorly received... But here we are to say he was a great artist...

Chris Ripple said...

Well it was always gonna happen someday…
The wayward genius of Alex Chilton is silenced forever and all we’ve got left are the music and memories…
Probably one of the great ‘white soul’ voices of all time when he was a teenager in The Box Tops… ‘Give me a ticket for an aeroplane…’
Is that opening line ever gonna be forgotten… I don’t think so ?
Invented ‘Power Pop’ (Horrid label I know, but it did suit) with Big Star.
Helped put Psychobilly on the musical map.
Produced The Cramps and Panther Burns among others and made some of the weirdest and wildest solo albums ever…
Gave The Bangles one of their biggest hits…
Seen him a couple of times and he was a complete shambles at both of them, but there was something perversely loveable about him…
And he was definitely his own worst enemy.

I’ve loved this bloke since The Box Tops, bought what I could when you could obtain it, which wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
Loved him through the first two Big Star albums and the later solo stuff of which ‘Like Flies On Sherbert’ is my fave’, but as Nuzz already notes, Big Star Third or as it’s now known properly, ‘Sister/Lovers’ is probably the one that when you listen to it, taps into the world of Alex Chilton most directly.
There are very few albums which transcend everything and last forever but I think that one will ?
Yes, it will always be a ‘cult’ album and it will never go mainstream in a million zillion years, but what a fuckin’ great album it is.

Gonna miss him, ‘cos he helped cut the soundtrack to my soul.
And here’s a thing off the first Big Star album that seems to sum up this shitty world around us, and it’s forty odd years old now…

‘Years ago my heart was set to live
And I’ve been trying hard against unbelievable odds
It gets so hard in times like now to hold on
But guns they wait to be stuck by, and at my side is God
And there ain’t no one going to turn me round
Ain’t no one going to turn me round

There’s people ‘round who tell you that they know
And places where to send you and it’s easy to go
They’ll zip you up and dress you down and stand you in a row
But you know you don’t have to… You could just say no
And there ain’t no one going to turn me round
Ain’t no one going to turn me round
Ain’t no one going to turn me round
Ain’t no one going to turn me round

I’ve been built up and trusted, broke down and busted
But they’ll get theirs and we’ll get ours if we can ?
Just a-hold on…
Hold on…
Hold on…
Hold on…

Years ago my heart was set to live, oh…
And I’ve been trying hard against strong odds
It gets so hard in times like now to hold on
Well I’ll fall if I don’t fight… and at my side is God
And there ain’t no one going to turn me round
Ain’t no one going to turn me round
Ain’t no one going to turn me round
Ain’t no one going to turn me round
Hold on…
Hold on…
Hold on…
Hold on…’

Ballad of el Goodo (From memory, so don’t crucify me if I got a bit wrong ?)
Composed by Alex Chilton & Chris Bell.

And there ain’t no one going to turn me round… Rock On !

pipeline said...

Nice words Chris. Can't really add to that. 'cept to say that with the coming of this sad news, we also remember Chris Bell.

'Every night I tell myself I am the cosmos...'.

planckzoo said...

Nuzz, thanks for posting this often overlooked album. I purchased it years ago,made a tape with it on one side and Like Flies on Sherbert on the other.
LX will be missed.

Nuzz Prowlin' Wolf said...

Great comment Chris, said more than I ever could about Alex. I did think of you when I heard the news and did the post, remember you raving about the man when you had the shop. If memory serves correctly, think I bought my copy of Sister/Lovers from you. All the best to ya, and to you, and to you Marky,pipeline,dr faust and planckzoo. John, I think the prob may be with mediafire, I've had the same problem when I've downloaded stuff from other blogs using it and when I've tried again after it's worked OK, give it another go, if it still aint happening let us know and I'll sort it. Maybe I'll have to start using a different file sharing site, I dunno. Whether it's free or not, it's about the service.