Big Star

Nothing Can Hurt Me - Omnivore Records 2013

Tracks: 1. O My Soul / 2. Give Me Another Chance / 3. In the Street / 4. When My Baby's Beside Me / 5. Studio Banter / 6. Try Again / 7. My Life Is Right / 8.The Ballad of El Goodo / 9. Feel / 10. Don't Lie to Me / 11. Way Out West / 12. Thirteen / 13. You Get What You Deserve / 14. Holocaust / 15. Kanga Roo / 16. Stroke It Noel [Backward Intro, 1974] / 17. Big Black Car / 18. Better Save Yourself / 19. I Am the Cosmos / 20. All We Ever Got from Them Was Pain / 21. September Gurls


"Nothing Can Hurt Me" is the music soundtrack for the documentary of the same title. All tracks are previously unreleased on CD, although there are no "new" songs that have not been previously released in any form. In short, these are alternative versions of well-known Big Star numbers; mostly new mixes of the known versions. It may be difficult to decide precisely what is new, but the sound of all tracks is great and it's a real pleasure to listen to these songs again. There are, however, also track where you are not in doubt that you listen to something for the first time. Examples of this could be the demo version of "O My Soul", which is different but almost as fine as the album version. Rock City, which was the group which later evolved into Big Star ", contributes a fine version of "Try Again "and the two Chris Bell releases "Better Save Yourself" and "I Am the Cosmos" sound significantly better than on the Ryko CD. The highlight for me probably is the early Alex Chilton song "All We Ever Got From Them was Pain". This is Alex Chilton songwriting at its very best. The song has previously been released in a different mix on Alex Chilton album "Free Again - The 1970 Sessions". Here is the sound significantly improved and it is a completely different mix, without harmony vocals. The song would have fitted nicely into the Big Star's first album.

You may notice that almost all the songs from "# 1 Record" here are found in "new" versions, while "Radio City" and "Sister Lovers" each contribute four songs. Perhaps this is because the movie has a bigger focus on the time when Chris Bell was with the band.

In any case, it's great to hear new Big Star material, even if it is only marginally different from what you have heard before; but most pleasing is of course that there are still audiences for these kind of releases; also at a time when CD market in general is in dire straits. I look forward to seeing the documentary and hope that it will soon be released on DVD.

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