Friday, August 23, 2013

the last book I ever read (33 1/3: Big Star’s Radio City by Bruce Eaton, excerpt one)

from 33 1/3: Big Star’s Radio City by Bruce Eaton:

If you spend enough time looking at records, you develop a sixth sense about how good a record might be just from looking at the cover. On first glance, Radio City looked quite promising. The front cover featured a big photograph of a bare light bulb against a bright red room and struck me as being at least several notches above your typical album art. It would be a few years before I knew that the photographer—William Eggleston—was a world-renowned artist and a friend of the band. Curious—okay, desperate—I picked up the album. The sturdy cardboard cover sheathed a nice thick slab of wax. Like a vintage Blue Note jazz LP, it felt like a record made by people who cared about the music and knew what they were doing. On the back cover there was another cover photo—this one an informal shot of three guys—presumably Big Star—hanging out in a club (the original T.G.I. Friday’s it turned out). They had an air of cool and confident informality—a band that didn’t bother with rock star poses. Below the picture was some minimal information: song titles and a few credits. Nothing rang a bell except for the words “distributed by Stax,” a de facto seal of approval for any self-respecting rock snob.

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