Wednesday, 27 November 2013

He Was The Cosmos

 



Chris Bell was a founding member of the criminally overlooked Big Star, who were posthumously recognized as one of the absolute greatest bands of the 1970's, and hugely influential for many groups who followed after. The music of Big Star was catchy, but often druggy, ethereal, and tinged with sadness and longing. An unmistakable sound of their own, which was rooted in their Anglophile interests, and outsider status.


Bell left the group in 1972, mired in serious drug problems and mental health chaos. Despite these obstacles he managed to record some incredible solo material before his tragic death in 1978. His masterpiece 'I Am The Cosmos' is one of the most haunting pieces of music I've ever heard. The aching melancholy in his voice is beautiful in it's sincerity, and equally chilling in it's desperation.



If I've listened to this song once, I've listened to it a thousand times.



It never gets tired.





Every night I tell myself, 

"I am the cosmos, 

I am the wind" 
But that don't get you back again 
Just when I was starting to feel okay 
You're on the phone 
I never wanna be alone 
Never wanna be alone 
I hate to have to take you home 
Wanted too much to say no, no, 
Yeah, yeah, yeah 
Yeah, yeah, yeah 
Never wanna be alone 
I hate to have to take you home 
Want you too much to say no, no 
Yeah, yeah, yeah 
Yeah, yeah, yeah 
My feeling's always have been
Something I couldn't hide 
I can't confide 
Don't know what's going on inside 
So every night I tell myself 
"I am the cosmos, 
I am the wind" 
But that don't get you back again 
I'd really like to see you again 
I really wanna see you again 
I'd really like to see you again 
I really wanna see you again 
I'd really like to see you again 
I really wanna see you again 
I never wanna see you again 
Really wanna see you again



2 comments:

  1. Yes yes yes - Chris Bell is the muts nuts. His work, alongside Chiltons on #1 Record by Big Star has some of the most fantastic production and songwriting of the last 50 years in my opinion. Their singing on the b-side to 'I Am The Cosmos', the heartbreaking 'You & Your Sister', will always be one of my very favourite harmony vocal performances. One thing you've hit on the head: there was always a sadness, a certain melancholy to Bells tunes in particular(check ST100-6) that sticks with you. Haunting.

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    1. Couldn't agree more, Eamonn.
      I remember reading somewhere -I think it was in some liner notes- that when the writer first heard the 'I Am The Cosmos' album, he realized that Big Star's sound was clearly Chris Bell's original idea.
      However true that may be, it's certainly an interesting observation.

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