Rolling Stone - 11/25/93, p.1174 Stars
- "...there's none of the reverence of tentativeness [on LIVE AT MISSOURI] that sometimes occurs when acolytes jam with their heroes: [Big Star] click in as a band...Big Star avoid the nostalgic preciousness that marred 'reunions' of other legends..."
Spin - 11/93, pp.131-132
"...nothing deters [Big Star's] rabid, risky power....Guitar solos commute from lysergic non-nostalgia to pass-the-Prozac anxiety--lovely, unchartable trajectories..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/8/93, p.54
"...The vibes are loose, the playing spirited, and the selections from Big Star's songbook show why Chilton is patron saint to alternative geeks..."
Q - 11/93, p.1144 Stars
- Excellent - "...[LIVE AT MISSOURI] is a sparkling occasion..."
Alternative Press - 11/93, p.64
"...Big Star reformed for one perfect concert last spring and the resulting album is a gem of white-hot pop glee..."
Melody Maker - 8/28/93, p.34
"...captures perfectly the disjointed classicism evident on Big Star's sadly few records...."
Stereo Review (1/94, p.119) - "...What puts COLUMBIA across is the raw, romping freedom with which they attack their legacy...Big Star make pure pop with claws that scratch beneath the surface...."
NME (Magazine) - 8/28/93, p.36
7 - Very Good - "...thank your lucky Big Star, because this really is a fine old thing..."
Personnel: Alex Chilton, Jonathan Auer (vocals, guitar); Ken Stringfellow (vocals, bass); Jody Stephens (vocals, drums).
Recorded live at Missouri University, Columbia, Missouri, April 25, 1993. Includes liner notes by Robert Palmer and Karen Shook.
Big Star: Jody Stephens, Jon Auer, Ken Stringfellow, Alex Chilton.
Although Big Star had been defunct for nearly 20 years by 1993, when radio station KCOU (in Columbia, Missouri) asked singer/guitarist Alex Chilton if he'd be interested in performing a set as Big Star, he surprisingly accepted the invitation. On hand was original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, while the Posies' Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer filled in for departed members Chris Bell (who died in 1978) and Andy Hummel. While it may not be on par with such other live Big Star releases as 1992's BIG STAR LIVE and 1999's NOBODY CAN DANCE, COLUMBIA: LIVE AT MISSOURI UNIVERSITY 4/25/93 is still a strong effort.
You can tell that the newly reunited band is having fun playing together in front of an audience, as evidenced by such classics as "In the Street," "When My Baby's Beside Me," "The Ballad of El Goodo," "Back of a Car," "September Gurls," and "Thank You Friends." Also included are lively coves of T. Rex's "Baby Strange" and Todd Rundgren's "Slut," as well as a version of Chris Bell's solo gem "I Am the Cosmos."