Big Star – Keep An Eye On The Sky
4 x CD box set, U.S. , 2009
If only for Alex Chilton's haunted version of “Nature Boy” with photographer William Eggleston on piano, that this 4 CD box set by Big Star is a must. It's funny due to this version of the classic, I think of Chilton as being Chet Baker's younger soul brother. Lost, but on solid ground with his music. They also share a real sense of cool, not movie cool, but cool that one can only be born with.
Keep An Eye On The Sky is very much an essential package to get, not only for the demos of Big Star and Chris Bell classics, but the way it packages and frames the career and vision of Chilton & Co. Listening to Big Star and all of its off-shoots is a highly emotional ride into a dark night that has no answers. In a way it is a hopeless meditation on one's place on this earth. Blues music that is not technically the blues, but expresses the anxiety of those who wander into the myst that's culture. In this case its strongly placed in the Memphis landscape. I rarely buy box-sets (I have about five, and they're all pretty essential, and will get to them later here), but Big Star is a band that is often seen in fragments, so this set places them in a bigger frame. Wonderful.