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#1 Record – Big Star

Big Star #1 Record

#1 Record

(1972), 8/10
#1 Record revisited the guitar groups of the 1960s, bringing a slightly harder edge to the 1965 sound of The Beatles and The Byrds, and emphasising tunefulness with a wistful and youthful innocence to songs like ‘Thirteen’ and ‘In The Street’. The production on #1 Record is gorgeous, making the guitars and harmonies lush and appealing, especially in the softer songs.

On #1 Record, it’s the softer side of Big Star that shines: ‘Give Me Another Chance’ and ‘Watch The Sunrise’ are laden with pretty acoustic guitars and warm harmonies, while standout track ‘The Ballad of El Goodo’ and ‘My Life is Right’ build from gentle verses into arresting climaxes. Even the snippet ‘ST 100/6’ boasts a sparkling acoustic riff. #1 Record is a strong debut overall, but there is some weaker material; bassist Andy Hummel misfires with the insipidness of ‘The India Song’. The rock oriented material isn’t as convincing as that on their following record Radio City: ‘Don’t Lie To Me’ is grating and predictable, while the band’s most famous song ‘In The Street’ also has awkwardly keening vocals.

#1 Record is a gorgeous, if uneven debut – their next album would be a twisted rock masterpiece.

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