Listen to an Early Mix of Big Star’s ‘Downs’ from ‘Complete Third’ Box
Big Star fans eager to catch another early glimpse of the band's upcoming Complete Third box now have a chance to hear a previously unreleased alternate mix of the album track "Downs."
As previously reported, the box is due out Oct. 14 via Omnivore, and expands the original track listing by adding a pair of extra discs — one of demos and another of rough mixes — to the final mastered LP. As drummer Jody Stephens recalled in the press release announcing the project, Third came together during trying times for what remained of the band, due in large part to the chaos consuming frontman Alex Chilton's life at the time.
"At the time of the recording, everyone’s emotions were forefront," said Stephens. "Is uncertainty an emotion? We were responding to Alex’s mood both in song and conversation. All my time spent in the studio for Third was in the company of John [Fry, engineer] and [producer Jim Dickinson] as well as Alex. I heard stories of maudlin scenes that happened after hours but never really witnessed them. But I did witness Alex, Jim, and John, and the sometimes easy and sometimes uneasy interaction among us all. Through it all, Jim and John were brilliant and reassuring."
The "Downs" alternate mix premiere comes courtesy of Dangerous Minds, who also offer an in-depth look at the recording of a track Dickinson accused Chilton of deliberately ruining after Fry made the mistake of saying the song sounded like a hit. Chilton, disenchanted with the record business and — in his own words — "getting pretty crazy and into some pretty rotten drugs and drinking a lot" at the time, set about deconstructing the arrangement into the hazily off-kilter number it became.
Listen to Big Star's "Downs"
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