“Third” by Big Star - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1978Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Their “#1 Record” long-player of ’72 may have been highly-rated but was a bit of a soft-rock snooze-fest for me. “Third”, six years later, was a big improvement, although it’s generally dissed as the sound of a band falling apart, which just goes to show – you can’t trust my reviews. The set has a bit of a hodge-podge history, a stop-start, on-off background with a great deal of uncertainty as to whether it would actually see the light of day at all. A good 3 or 4 years had passed since the first seeds were sown, before it was finally issued. The spine-tingling majesty of “Kanga Roo” is the top-dog on this one, followed by the exquisite “Stroke It Noel”. Jim Dickinson’s liner notes for the Rykodisc reissue of the album in 1992 praise Carl Marsh’s string arrangements, and these are central to my enjoyment. The “Noel” of the aforementioned song is Noel Gilbert, violinist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, who was playing on the session. As Dickinson relates, it was the off-the-cuff remark at the end of the second chorus – “Stroke it Noel” – that inspired Alex Chilton to change the song’s title and, according to Dickinson, scrap the original lyrics. This happy accident typifies the messy background to this thoroughly worthwhile release.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:04] 8.3.png Big Star - Stroke It Noel (William Chilton) Songwriter
A2 [02:45] 6.9.png Big Star - For You (Jody Stephens) Cerebral Pop
A3 [02:45] 5.4.png Big Star - Kizza Me (William Chilton) Rock
A4 [03:11] 5.6.png Big Star - You Can’t Have Me (William Chilton) Rock
A5 [02:53] 7.1.png Big Star - Nighttime (William Chilton) Songwriter
A6 [02:07] 6.4.png Big Star - Blue Moon (William Chilton) Songwriter
A7 [02:48] 6.8.png Big Star - Take Care (William Chilton) Moodcore
B1 [02:38] 5.4.png Big Star - Jesus Christ (William Chilton) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B2 [03:32] 4.9.png Big Star - Femme Fatale (Lou Reed) Moodcore
B3 [02:35] 5.2.png Big Star - O, Dana (William Chilton) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B4 [03:37] 6.3.png Big Star - Big Black Car (William Chilton) Moodcore
B5 [03:55] 6.7.png Big Star - Holocaust (William Chilton) Songwriter
B6 [03:47] 9.8.png Big Star - Kanga Roo (William Chilton) Moodcore
B7 [03:05] 4.5.png Big Star - Thank You Friends (William Chilton) Soft Rock / A.O.R.

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