EXHUMED: Alex Chilton - Ocean Club '77

posted Friday Nov 13th, 2015

So good to have these recordings keep surfacing from Alex Chilton, one of the 20th century's finest songwriters and one that embodies more facets than most original souls can muster in one short lifetime. After the dissolution of Chilton's second and most widely-celebrated formal band, Big Star had officially disseminated into the ether with the shambolic Third Sister Lovers album, a hapless Chilton joined up with Jon Tiven and embarked on the next stage of his faltering career. The results were the legendary 1975 recordings known as the Bach's Bottom LP, (released later in 1981) which showcased the most unhinged side of Chilton's persona the world had quite seen yet. The sloptastic foundation of these mid 70s recordings would bleed over into the next stage of Chilton's life, where his relocation to New York City would land him right in the center of the blooming punk movement, with profound effects.

The always philanthropic Norton Records has blessed us with this impressive double LP of one of Alex Chilton's most serene and focused live sets from The Ocean Club circa 1977, with longtime admirer Chris Stamey on bass, which showcases the mid 70s set that best encapsulated Chilton's headspace at the time, including five Big Star songs as well as his 1967 smash "The Letter" as well as a handful of incredible covers. From classic reinterpretations of The Seeds, The Beach Boys and even the somewhat obscure Nelson Slater, Chilton & crew nail down a collection of collaborative songs he'd been honing with fellow songwriter Tommy Hoehn back in Memphis a couple years earlier, namely some of the main tracks that would, along with Jon Tiven and Chris Bell encapsulate the mysterious and legendary Ardent studio project known as PRIX. The 2LP set is bookended with two PRIX tracks "All Of The Time" and "She Might Look My Way" that would continue to keep this oft-forgotten side project alive, and combined with the rest of the material on this intimate yet slightly insane live set, you can't sell yourself short on owning this one, a majorly impressive slice of prime Chilton right as his deep influence was about to set in across the underground for the next generation.

STREAM "She Might Look My Way" and "All Of The Time" right here and keep your eyes and ears peeled for the 14-track PRIX Historix LP/CD to add to your Memphis underground rock shrine, out soon on HoZac Archival.

Pick up a copy of Alex Chilton Ocean Club '77 right HERE, or where fine records are sold.