Monday, July 29, 2013

Big Star 7: Nothing Can Hurt Me

In 2012, every rock snob’s favorite power pop band got the feature-length documentary treatment. Advance promotion was helped by the soundtrack album, released first as a double-vinyl Record Store Day exclusive before the CD version came out.
Nothing Can Hurt Me is something of a Big Star sampler, representing all three albums, with the twist that all the tracks are previously unreleased versions. In some cases, they’re alternate or rough mixes from the original sessions; in others, songs are labeled “movie mix, 2012”, prepared specifically for the film by the band’s original engineer. Just to make things even more interesting, some studio chatter is included, along with a “demo” of “O My Soul”, a pedal steel-heavy take of “Try Again” credited to Rock City (aka Big Star before they were Big Star) and a couple of solo Alex Chilton and Chris Bell tracks.
Considering that the Rhino box set served up a whole pile of alternates to justify duplicating song titles, it really is something of a stretch to do it yet again. That said, Big Star fans are fervent, and very likely musicians themselves, so the chance to hear alternate mixes of songs they’ve memorized—maybe to decipher a mumbled lyric or pick apart how the instruments were layered in the studio—is always welcome. Some of us can’t hear enough variations on “I Am The Cosmos” anyway.
If you’re a Big Star fan and you’ve yet to see Nothing Can Hurt Me, either get the DVD now or put it in your Netflix queue. You’ll be glad you did, and don’t be ashamed to wipe your eyes here and there.

Big Star Nothing Can Hurt Me: Original Soundtrack (2013)—3

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting. A documentary on Big Star is long overdue.

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  2. I'm almost a little uncomfortable with the number of Big Star recordings I own. First there are the "original" releases (including two different versions of "Number 1 Record"/"Radio City"), the box set, three bootlegs (including material that (now) duplicates tracks on the box set). And now ... the soundtrack from the film, which I almost didn't buy . . . but then I just couldn't stop myself.

    But as a long time record buyer, I've made many far worse buying choices.




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