Chris Bell was an immensely gifted songwriter, performer and producer. As a founding member of Big Star and as a solo artist he struggled to have his songs heard. Sadly, the Memphis-born artist did not live long enough to see the enormous impact his music - both with Big Star and as a solo artist - would have on future generations. Bell's influential legacy grows thanks to the release of his solo album I AM THE COSMOS - DELUXE EDITION, The two-disc deluxe edition of I AM THE COSMOS contains more than a dozen unreleased recordings.
I AM THE COSMOS - DELUXE EDITION contains a remastered version of the original 1992 Ryko compilation on one disc, plus a second disc of rare and unreleased music recorded between 1970 and 1976. On the second disc, all but two of the 15 tracks are previously unreleased. Among the wealth of unissued recordings are eight alternate versions and mixes of album tracks, including "You And Your Sister" with Mellotron in place of the original's string arrangement, and a later version of "Get Away" featuring Big Star's Alex Chilton on guitar, Ken Woodley on bass and Richard Rosebrough on drums.
Revisiting the original 1992 release of I AM THE COSMOS, Rhino Handmade's deluxe edition includes the previously released acoustic version of "You And Your Sister." The original also featured a "Slow Version" of the title track, which is heard in its entirety for the first time on this double-disc set.
The collection also gathers up a number of unreleased songs Bell recorded that did not appear on I AM THE COSMOS, including two songs by Icewater (a precursor to Big Star); collaborations with Memphis songwriter Keith Sykes ("Stay With Me") and singer Nancy Bryan ("In My Darkest Hour"); and "Clacton Rag," an instrumental recorded in 1976 that features Bell solo on guitar.
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