Here is my mix of a demo found on the new Big Star Box Set. A different version of this song, “Got Kinda Lost” also appears on Chris Bell’s posthumous “I am The Cosmos”.
Big Star happened when Alex Chilton, singer of the Boxtops, joined Chris Bell’s band, Icewater. The name, “Big Star” came from a local supermarket. Bell departed after the release of “#1 Record” (1971) which was already largely written and recorded when Chilton joined. When they began work on #2, “Radio City”, Bell rejoined briefly and is said to have contributed, but not participated. I’m guessing this refers to “Got Kinda Lost”.
This song is on the bootleg of studio outtakes that’s been around, mine’s called “What’s Goin Ahn”, and it is the only song not on either album. The bootleg version is frustrating because all the instruments are in one channel and all the vocals in the other. Just selecting “mono” doesn’t really help. I tried to turn it into something like stereo, added a little something to the voices. I just checked the Box Set on Amazon and listened to the preview and it’s mixed a lot harsher than mine, heavily compressed with the vocals way out front. Maybe it’s better. A great song in an imperfect form. At the end Alex askes,”How was that?”, after a pause, the reply, “It’ll do.”
I’ve included Chris Bell’s version of “I Got Kinda Lost” which is probably also a demo. His solo album, “I Am The Cosmos” (1992), was put together posthumously by his Brother, David, from whatever was left behind after his untimely death , in 1978. Chris Bell’s life fell apart with the unsuccess of “#1 Record” and Alex Chilton’s takeover of the band. It’s an album of staggering beauty, and an equally heartbreaking a document of missed opportunities and unfullfilled potential as Big Star. (I’m not counting “Third” as I consider it an Alex Chilton solo album, more than a Big Star enterprise)
wiki says: Big Star is an American rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1971 by Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel. The group broke up in 1974, but reorganized with a new line-up nearly 20 years later and is active today. In its first era, the band’s musical style drew on the work of British Invasion groups including The Beatles and The Kinks, as well as The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and other U.S. acts. To the resulting power pop, Big Star added dark, nihilistic themes, and produced a style that foreshadowed the alternative rock of the 1980s and 1990s. Before it broke up, Big Star created a “seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations” in the words of Rolling Stone, earning recognition decades later, according to Allmusic, as the “quintessential American power pop band” and “one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll”.