Big Star # 1 - Ardent 1972
The original 4 piece band also had another great song-writer in guitarist Chris Bell, and Chilton and Bell together wrote the majority of the songs on their 1972 debut album.
The fine hard-rocking opener “Feel” almost sounds like Led Zeppelin. The extraordinary beautiful next track “Ballad of El Goodo” is one many highlights - jangling guitars, haunting melody very “Byrds-like”. Another song in the same vein is the equally beatiful “Thirteen”.
Two up-beat songs “When My Baby´s Beside Me” and “Don´t Lie to Me” were taken from the album as singles, but they were largely unsuccessful, as indeed was the album itself. The label´s distribution system was simply insufficient, so it´s no wonder that frustration and tension was growing within the band.
Chris Bell left the band in late 1972 with the others continuing as a trio but soon the band split up. Later they reunited to do another album for Ardent Records; original member Chris Bell were also back for a brief period of time, but it´s uncertain how much he contributed to these new recordings.
Chilton and Bell were shortly reunited ,when Chilton helped Bell with his solo-album, which was never released in his own lifetime. Bell tragically died in an accident in 1978. The blend of Chilton´s and Bell´s voices on Bell´s “You and Your Sister” is so heartbreakingly good, and this album “I Am the Cosmos” is as close to sounding like the first two Big Star albums as you can get.