big star

big star on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - browse 18 items of content tagged as 'big star'.

Guster: Ganging Up On The Sun (Ryko/Elite)

Guster: Ganging Up On The Sun (Ryko/Elite)

Gentle pop with overtones of Crowded House, Brian Wilson, alt.folk and Paul McCartney? Is there still a place for it? On this their fifth album, which came out last year Stateside and gets belated release here now, this American quartet have honed their songcraft down to those key elements of acoustic-based pop: effortless chord changes, a...

BIG STAR: The Great Lost American Pop Band - found!

BIG STAR: The Great Lost American Pop Band - found!

The reputation and influence of some artists far outstrips their sales figures. Dylan – even at his various peaks – was hardly shipping out albums by the crate load and Van Morrison’s seminal/essential/classic (pick your own adjective) Astral Weeks clocked up sales of only a quarter of a million copies in the States. The...

Brendan Benson: My Old, Familiar Friend (Shock)

Brendan Benson: My Old, Familiar Friend (Shock)

Singer-songwriter Benson had already pumped out three albums under his own name before he came to greater attention as a member of the Raconteurs alongside Jack White. That profile will gain attention for this often hugely poppy outing in which he seems to channel the spirit (and sometimes the chord changes) of those old, familiar songs and...

THE POSIES, KEN STRINGFELLOW INTERVIEWED (2006): Power pop to the top

THE POSIES, KEN STRINGFELLOW INTERVIEWED (2006): Power pop to the top

For a man about to go on stage in Holland, Ken Stringfellow sounds as if he’s got his feet on the desk and thinking about getting home for a night in front of the tele. The relaxed Stringfellow has spent a large part of the past 25 years facing audiences: with the neo-psychedelic outfit Sky Cries Mary out of Seattle in the late 80s; in...

PETE HAM OF BADFINGER: Take a sad song and make it sadder

PETE HAM OF BADFINGER: Take a sad song and make it sadder

Put simply: Pete Ham was one of the singer-songwriters in Badfinger, the British pop band of the late Sixties and early Seventies which enjoyed the patronage of Paul McCartney. He gave them his Come and Get It (used in the Ringo-Peter Sellers movie The Magic Christian) on the condition they record it exactly as his demo. They did, it...

The Box Tops: I Met Her in Church (1968)

The Box Tops: I Met Her in Church (1968)

In later years Alex Chilton -- who died in March 2010 -- was mostly known for the legendary but short-lived Seventies power-pop band Big Star which was hugely influential across the generations and was paid tribute to by the Replacements in a song named after him. But before the pop of Big Star, Chilton out of Memphis was the singer in the...

Shoes: Tomorrow Night (1978)

Shoes: Tomorrow Night (1978)

In that great alphabet of power pop kicked off by the Beatles and which includes Badfinger, Big Star, Cheap Trick and so on, the Shoes out of Zion, Illinois are perhaps the least known today. That doesn't mean they are forgotten or won't be rediscovered however: the Elektra bio which came with their major label debut Present Tense noted that...

The Twitch: Time for Change (Rangi)

The Twitch: Time for Change (Rangi)

The album title is slightly misleading: if it is a time for change then acccording to Auckland's Twitch it is back to the future -- back to stabbing post-punk power-pop with a sharp New Wave delivery. Rock'n'roll Mirror could have come from any time in the past three decades: a touch of metal in the guitar chords, a boastful Joan Jett-style...

The Replacements: Tim (1985)

The Replacements: Tim (1985)

The swaggering, often drunk Replacements hold such a firm place in many people's affections that singling out just one of their eight studio albums for attention is bound to irritate someone. Maybe many someones. But this ragged outing was their last with the original line-up and first for a major label, Seymour Stein's Sire, which made them...

POWER POP: God's gift to guitars

POWER POP: God's gift to guitars

The perfect pop gig, no doubt about it. A tidy 40 minutes of three minute songs accompanied by lots of bouncing up and down -- then off. And back for a four-song encore. By my reckoning, that's the playing time of two sides of vinyl and an encore of EP dimensions. Perfect. And this was pop -- power pop more correctly – and...

BADFINGER (1968-73): The shop-soiled Apple band

BADFINGER (1968-73): The shop-soiled Apple band

There are two stories every young musician should read, the first is obvious. The Beatles story is full of magic and coincidence; McCartney's meeting with a drunk Lennon, Harrison getting in by playing Raunchy to them while on a bus, the Hamburg days and the death of Stu Sutcliffe, the firing of Pete Best and Ringo entering just before...

Holmes: Stop Go (Yellow Eye)

Holmes: Stop Go (Yellow Eye)

Okay, this album came out in 2007 -- which is of course an eon ago in the world of of pop -- but Elsewhere has an unashamed affection for power pop, and this album seems to have just been given distribution on New Zealand so . . . Holmes is a US indie band but really the work of producer Roy Shakked who made his name remixing tracks by Sarah...

The Baseball Project: High and Inside Vol. 2 (YepRoc/Southbound)

The Baseball Project: High and Inside Vol. 2 (YepRoc/Southbound)

A power pop supergroup of sorts -- Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Gutterball), Scott McCaughey (Fresh Young Fellows, REM), Peter Buck (REM) and Linda Pitmon (Golden Smog) -- here continue their passion for baseball after their similarly conceived debut project Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails. You probably don't need to know too much about the...

Peter Bjorn and John: Gimme Some (Cooking Vinyl)

Peter Bjorn and John: Gimme Some (Cooking Vinyl)

By giving themselves three thumbs up on the cover of this, their sixth album, Sweden's pop-friendly outfit are doubtless hoping for some similar critical consensus for their return to a more power pop sound after the rather more interesting but failed experiment of the darker Living Thing two years ago. Nothing here will rattle rafters or...

Gruff Rhys: Hotel Shampoo (Ovni)

Gruff Rhys: Hotel Shampoo (Ovni)

The singer for Wales' Super Furry Animals here delivers his third album and the reference points are pure Sixties melodic pop (the Vogues, Buckinghams, early Lennon-McCartney, the Beach Boys) and the LA singer-songwriters of the early Seventies (all those various Taylors, Dan Fogelberg etc). And a little mariachi trumpet. This makes for a...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Abba; 4 Original Albums (Polar)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Abba; 4 Original Albums (Polar)

To be honest, I didn't get the appeal of Abba (beyond the obvious pop hooks) until the darkness in some of their songs was explained to me by Chris Knox -- whom I had never taken to have had much interest in them. I was wrong and he was enthusiastic -- and I still don't fully get it. Certainly you can scan their song titles and get melancholy...

Urge Overkill: Rock&Roll Submarine (Redeye)

Urge Overkill: Rock&Roll Submarine (Redeye)

Possibly the most coolly knowing, confidently aloof band since Steely Dan, Urge Overkill out of Chicago were touring mates with Nirvana and Pearl Jam but their stylish and increasingly power pop sound (and cover of Neil Diamond's Girl You'll be a Woman Soon which was used in Pulp Fiction) took them to a mainstream, but small, audience....

The Dwight Twilley Band; Twilley Don't Mind (1975)

The Dwight Twilley Band; Twilley Don't Mind (1975)

The wonderful, and possibly apocryphal, story about this band is that Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour went to see the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night together in 1967 -- a bit late when you think it was released three years previous -- and immediately decided to form a band. It would be equally wonderful to report they were an overnight...

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