Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I Am the Wind

Chris Bell : I Am the Cosmos

In 1978 Chris Stamey's Car Records released "I Am the Cosmos"b/w "You and Your Sister", a single  by former Big Star member Chris Bell that sold about 700 copies. In his memoir A Spy in the House of Loud, Stamey says it was Bell's bandmate Alex Chilton who turned him on to the song.

The thing was, Chilton didn’t have any sonic evidence to back up this opinion (in that era, the evidence would have been a cassette tape). So he grabbed my guitar from the corner and sang me the song, starting with its first sad, lovelorn lines: “Every night I tell myself, ‘I am the cosmos, I am the wind,’ but that don’t get you back again.” Then Alex stopped cold and laughed out loud at how perfect and yet pitiful, how “Bell-like,” that couplet was. He said he thought it was Chris’s crystallization, his “River Deep, Mountain High,” his highest achievement.

Stamey picked the beautiful acoustic ballad  "You and Your Sister" as the B side which features harmonies by Chilton. Before the year was over, Bell would die in a car accident.

 Stamey remembers:

Big Star’s producer, John Fry, told me that this little record was one of the two things in the world most precious to Bell right before his fatal auto accident later that year, a kind of validation for him after his dismay over the relative obscurity of the first Big Star record. It’s a powerful, unforgettable, angst-filled landmark track that has since cast a wide shadow. There’s really nothing quite like it.

Listening to these songs, some critics have come to the conclusion that Big Star's influential sound mainly came from Bell.

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