Alex Chilton Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness
Alex Chilton rose to fame as a teenager in the mid-to-late '60s with the Box Tops, and cemented his status as a cult hero in the early '70s with Big Star. But his solo career is a different story, as you'll find out below where we've ranked his solo albums in order of awesomeness.
Following Big Star’s demise, Chilton released an odd assortment of offbeat, and often confounding, recordings until his death in 2010. Those expecting retreads of either the AM blue-eyed soul of the Box Tops or the hormonal power pop of Big Star are likely to be disappointed. Between the lack of artistic control in the former and the poor sales of the latter, Chilton largely remained indifferent to his own legacy. On the plus side, this allowed him to follow his muse wherever it led him, whether it was standards, blues or avant-garde music; but on the minus side, there was often a ragged, slapdash quality to his records, and even some of best records have lackluster performances or uninspired songwriting, as if he was engaging in an act of self-sabotage.
As a result, Chilton’s hodgepodge discography, now expanded by several posthumous releases, is seen as the work of an eclectic genius while others view him as just a wasted talent. Muddying matters further is that his albums, all issued on small (and now mostly) defunct labels, have been repackaged in various incarnations over the years.
Our ranking contains not only his full-length studio albums, but also his EPs and live recordings.