Friday, June 2, 2017

Alex Chilton’s A Man Called Destruction vinyl reissue

Alex Chilton’s A Man Called Destruction
If all he’d done was sing “The Letter” as a member of the Box Tops, Alex Chilton’s status as a rock ‘n’ roll legend would be ensured by that one single hit. That he would go on to form the Memphis rock band Big Star with Chris Bell, Andy Hummel, and Jody Stephens and subsequently influence a generation of rockers to follow only serves to carve Chilton’s legacy in stone.

Chilton also enjoyed a lengthy and influential solo career that stretched from the mid-‘70s until his untimely death in 2010, releasing critically-acclaimed albums like 1979’s Like Flies On Sherbert and 1987’s High Priest. To be honest, Chilton also released more than a few stinkers, too, and a number of live albums of dodgy provenance have cropped up through the years that have done little to tarnish his reputation as an edgy, constantly innovating musician.

The current Big Star revival is largely being fueled by high-quality reissues of works like Chilton’s Free Again: The 1970 Sessions and a deluxe box set of Big Star’s Third by Omnivore Recordings, as well as the recent documentary film Nothing Can Hurt Me. The band is gaining fans like it’s 1974 all over again and Radio City is fresh on the record store shelves. Interest in Chilton’s solo career has also grown relative to the band, and Omnivore appears to be doing something about the shameful state of Chilton’s back catalog of recordings.

On August 25th, 2017 Omnivore Recordings will release Chilton’s long out-of-print 1995 album A Man Called Destruction as a two-disc vinyl set on beautiful blue translucent wax. This will mark the first appearance of the album on vinyl and it includes seven previously-unreleased bonus tracks from the original recording sessions as well as fresh liner notes by music journalist Bob Mehr, who wrote the definitive book on one of the many bands to be influenced by Big Star, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements. The double LP also includes a download card so that you can take the music with you, and the album will also be reissued on CD and as a digital download.

Chilton returned to Memphis and the city’s legendary Ardent Studios – where Big Star got its start – to record A Man Called Destruction for the studio’s revived Ardent Records label. A typical Chilton mix of original songs and classic cover tunes, the 1995 album offered up an amalgam of garage-rock, blues, and jazz as filtered through the eclectic mind of the artist and includes Chilton’s inspired take on songs like blues legend Jimmy Reed’s “You Don’t Have To Go” and Jan & Dean’s “The New Girl In School,” co-written by the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.

A Man Called Destruction garnered mediocre critical response upon its release but has since grown in stature to sit alongside accomplishments like High Priest or the 1985 EP Feudalist Tarts. The album is a good place to begin familiarizing yourself with the music of Alex Chilton, and hopefully the folks at Omnivore are busy working at rescuing some of Chilton’s other neglected recordings.

A Man Called Destruction track listing:
1. Sick And Tired
2. Devil Girl
3. Lies
4. It’s Your Funeral
5. What’s Your Sign Girl
6. Il Ribelle
7. You Don’t Have To Go
8. Boplexity
9. New Girl In School

10. You’re Lookin’ Good
11. Don’t Know Anymore
12. Don’t Stop 
13. Devil Girl (Double-Track Vocal) *
14. Don’t Know Anymore (Rough Mix) *
15. Give It To Me Baby (Take 3) *
16. You’re My Favorite *
17. (I Don’t Know Why) But I Do *
18. Please Pass Me My Walkin’ Shoes *
19. Why Should I Care/It’s Your Funeral *

* previously-unreleased bonus track

Buy the LP from Alex Chilton's A Man Called Destruction

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