Alex Chilton


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1970 comprises the sessions that would have formed Alex Chilton's first solo album. As the title suggests, Chilton recorded these songs after he left the Box Tops but right before he joined Big Star -- appropriately, the music sounds caught between the Box Tops' blue-eyed soul and Big Star's jangly power pop. In that respect, it has more in common with his numerous solo recordings than either of his bands. And like his solo records, 1970 is wildly uneven and lacks focus. It careens between charming tributes to R&B and pop (a medley of the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar" and James Brown's "There Was a Time"), and his originals, which only hint at the heights he would reach with Big Star. If 1970 does anything, it illustrates that Chilton needs a strong collaborative force like Chris Bell to bring out the best in his music.

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