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Author Topic: Big Star/ # 1 Record  (Read 29438 times)

David Kulka

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2005, 10:05:44 pm »

I'd never heard of Big Star until seeing this thread but now I'm curious and I think I'll pick up a CD.  Which one should I start with?
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compasspnt

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2005, 11:52:21 pm »

David Kulka wrote on Sat, 26 February 2005 22:05

I'd never heard of Big Star until seeing this thread but now I'm curious and I think I'll pick up a CD.  Which one should I start with?



The first two albums are available on one CD now owned by Fantasy, and released by Ryko.  The artwork is somewhat screwy compared to the original, but the music is there.

Others may disagree, but in my opinion this is all you'll ever need.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000000XHA/qid=110948 6830/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-2362780-8924046

Terry
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David Kulka

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2005, 12:10:14 am »

Terry, I ordered it using your link, thanks.  I remember the Box Tops well, but that's about it.  Will be fun, I don't have a clue what to expect.
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standupbass

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2005, 12:28:16 am »

Terry Manning, great stories on this board. Thanks.

It's interesting how split people are over what to listen to. Some put the "Sister Lovers/3rd"  whatever it is record in a special category all by itself. Some adore #1 Record. For me, Big Star was brightest on Radio City. I've heard "1970" and it didn't really do much for me. I've got a great version of "I am the Cosmos" by  the Posies, on 45 RPM transparent vinyl. I've heard the original, but don't think I have it around here.

A band I was in did get to open for Chilton in the late 80s, and I've seen him a few times since. And I bought an MCI board from the studio John Fry was working at a few years ago, and met him breifly.

There was a lot of great stuff in this continuum, it's interesting to know a little more. I'll probably read the friggin book.
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mcfate

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2005, 02:22:45 am »

Wow!  This is an amazing forum, and a really great thread.  Thanks again, Terry.

I have kind of a follow-up question regarding the dynamics of the drums (and really, everything):  Were you guys into any kind of expansion while tracking or mixing?  I've often wondered while listening to those two records if there was any use of a Dolby A encoder, with no decode.  Sorry if my chronology is off, I believe Dolby A was around at that time.  Anyway, I know this technique was more popular at some point - bypassing certain filters to achieve different colors.  Anything like that?  Reading the thread it seems less likely to me now, but I've just always wondered particularly about the "magic" sound of the cymbal decay  - and while I'm at it, is that a metal pick on the acoustic on "Feel"?  I LOVE THAT SOUND!  Thanks,

Gideon
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leonardo valvassori

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2005, 12:47:34 pm »

"ahh, those in the know--they know."
                    -Brown Midnite


I've spent my entire adult life (and a good part of my late teens) in studios always in searching servitude to THE bass tone required for the track at hand. The flatwound string--on any bass--seams to allow the instrument to reveal it's real tone. Hopefully that of a BASS.
Although I avail myself to all the cool tools of the trade, man my p-bass with flats, straight through almost any D.I. and/or my '61 Ampeg B-12N never fails to kill anybody who lets me use it.
Another killer--Music Man Stingray and flats...
Just thought I'd concur with the bass string thing.
This is by far the most enjoyable forum I've read in years.
Perhaps a thread on bass recording techniques for us bass hounds is in order?




 
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Leonardo Valvassori

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2005, 03:46:33 pm »

I personally request this album be entered into the future 'recording hall of fame' awards.

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compasspnt

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2005, 05:53:02 pm »

mcfate wrote on Wed, 16 March 2005 02:22

Wow!  This is an amazing forum, and a really great thread.  Thanks again, Terry.

I have kind of a follow-up question regarding the dynamics of the drums (and really, everything):  Were you guys into any kind of expansion while tracking or mixing?  I've often wondered while listening to those two records if there was any use of a Dolby A encoder, with no decode.  Sorry if my chronology is off, I believe Dolby A was around at that time.  Anyway, I know this technique was more popular at some point - bypassing certain filters to achieve different colors.  Anything like that?  Reading the thread it seems less likely to me now, but I've just always wondered particularly about the "magic" sound of the cymbal decay  - and while I'm at it, is that a metal pick on the acoustic on "Feel"?  I LOVE THAT SOUND!  Thanks,

Gideon


Hi Gideon; thanks for the interest.

No expansion was used.  The mixes were done Dolby A, as I remember.  We got our first Dolby A (the huge gray stereo ones that looked so good, especially compared to the later 1u ones) about late 69 or early 70, I think, but it might have been a bit later than that.  I do know the first use I made of them was on LZ3 mixes.  But we always used them "by the book," no encode-not-decoded stuff going on.  The Dolby's were only on two track, not multitrack, though.  Some of the early BS1 songs were actually recorded as early as '69 (the ones that were from the Rock City/Icewater sessions).

The brightness is just the way it was tracked and mixed.  The SpectraSonics consoles didn't give a big buildup on low mids, plus the guys and John Fry liked it bright...very bright.  Also, I don't think we ever had any metal picks around...I think that was a light guage plastic one.

Thanks again,

Terry
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compasspnt

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2005, 05:58:31 pm »

standupbass wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 00:28

Terry Manning, great stories on this board. Thanks.


Thank you.

Quote:

It's interesting how split people are over what to listen to. Some put the "Sister Lovers/3rd"  whatever it is record in a special category all by itself.


For me, it is in a "special" category.

Quote:

Some adore #1 Record. For me, Big Star was brightest on Radio City.


Hard for me to decide...lots of good on both...I think I'm slightly biased towards #1, (but probably because I sang and played more on that one than on RC, so that probably doesn't count anyway).

Quote:

...got a great version of "I am the Cosmos" by  the Posies, on 45 RPM transparent vinyl. I've heard the original, but don't think I have it around here.


Great guys, The Posies.  Ken was here at Compass Point with REM a year ago.  I played and sang with Ken and Jon (and of course Alex and Jody) as Big Star at last year's SXSW.

Quote:

...I bought an MCI board from the studio John Fry was working at a few years ago...


I know that board...hope YOU like it!

Quote:

There was a lot of great stuff in this continuum, it's interesting to know a little more. I'll probably read the friggin book.


I finally have a copy of it on the way to me.
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jwhynot

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2005, 09:18:08 pm »

Terry - great to hear about all this - I was thinking of Big Star of course when I was at Ardent (madison) last August - of course you can't _not_ think about BS walking the halls there and seeing Jody...

That double CD set was on a Rolling Stone list some years back and I got it because of that (it was in the "B"s and I ran out of $ soon after...  something to think about when naming a band! start with a low letter, and although "Big Star" may not exactly qualify, always choose a band name that will not reveal millions of hits in a Google search - I made a great album last year with a band that ended up calling themselves "Doctor".  Google that and they turn up on page one million or so - even though they're awful damn good...)  As soon as I post this I'm up off my chair to get the CD from my library back in the house...

I don't have the original 'magic' Ardent experience for comparison purposes, but me and my pals made a really nice album there in 4 days.  And made generous use of a couple of UA 175s.

Regarding flatwound strings - love them too and would like also to point out that nylon strings can be super cool, especially on a precision-style bass.

Cheers
JW
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David Kulka

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2005, 09:22:48 pm »

I received my "#1 Record /Radio City" CD a couple weeks ago.  Visitors and clients who saw it in the shop got all excited about it and behaved as if I had excellent taste in music.

The only problem is that when I play it, the songs go right over my head.  Honestly, I can't make heads or tails of it.  

Sorry Terry, sorry JJ, don't take it personally.  I never liked Phil Collins, and certain friends consider this a major character flaw.  I'll keep listening, maybe after a few more tries I'll connect with this music.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2005, 04:08:23 am »

David, I'm impressed that you were openminded enough to give it a try!  Hey, my best friend, Mike Finnigan, can't stand Led Zeppelin.  
I mean really can not stand them.  And this is a guy who recorded with Hendrix, too and not some folkie or jazz snob.  This sort of thing might just not be your kind of bag, baby.

My advice, make yourself a short playlist of the following songs and see if you you can get your head around these first:

When My Baby's Beside Me, My Life Is Right, Get What You Deserve, Back of a Car, September Gurls, In the Street and Ballad of El Goodo.

If those don't grab the Beatles and Badfinger lover in you, then it's just not the band for you.  And btw, I don't own any solo Phil Collins albums either (or solo Sting for that matter).
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MB

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2005, 05:45:16 am »

Anybody ever seen that Albert Brooks movie Defending Your Life?

They're in heaven and Albert's guarden angel (Rip Torn, how cool is that?) is thoroughly enjoying a plate of what looks like shit and Albert asks if he can try some. Rip says sure but he won't like it. Albert takes a spoonful, and promptly spits it out exclaiming "That tastes like shit!" Rip laughs and tells him it's because Albert hasn't developped his angel brain enough to appreciate "Big Brain" food. Albert is left with a look on his face that says "Now you tell me."

Anyhoo, this is how I feel when it comes to my social relationship with music. Sometimes I feel like Rip or sometimes I feel like Albert and for the life of me I can't bridge the gap on either side of that cliff.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2005, 12:00:59 pm »

One of the reasons I love Brian Kehew is that he finds the cool and enjoyable things in music that most of us consider shit, as well as his appreciation of great music.  A truly admirable quality that he never loses the enthusiasm that some of us had before we got jaded.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

tarmadilo

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Re: Big Star/ # 1 Record
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2005, 09:44:10 pm »

The Big Star records are right up there with Buffalo Springfield Again, Music From Big Pink, Younger Than Yesterday, Tres Hombres, and Born To Laugh At Tornados as my Desert Island Discs.  I've been raving about them for twenty years now (which is when I discovered them).

I can't believe I missed this thread until now!  Thanks for writing about it, Terry.

Cheers, Tim
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