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Song of the Moment: Alex Chilton

"Alex Chilton, 59, who began his four-decade career in pop music as the teenage lead singer of the Box Tops and whose later band Big Star influenced 'power pop' bands such as the Replacements and Cheap Trick, died March 17 in a New Orleans hospital. An autopsy was pending," the Washington Post reports.

"The Replacements acknowledged Mr. Chilton's influence with their song 'Alex Chilton.' Perhaps in a nod to a career that often flew under the radar, the song describes Mr. Chilton as an 'invisible man who can sing in a visible voice.'"

Released: 1987

Length: 3:12

Label: Sire

Jacket: View image.

Wikipedia: The song is available as a playable track on Rock Band 2. Chilton was a guest musician on Pleased to Meet Me, playing guitar on "Can't Hardly Wait."

Songfacts: Alex Chilton was originally supposed to produce "Tim", and actually started working on the album until the studio thought they needed a "bigger name" and brought in Tommy "Ramone" Erdelyi - who was unfortunately going a little deaf by this time. Some of the Chilton produced demos are still floating around out there on bootlegs. - Mister Whirly, Minneapolis, MN

"Feelin' like a hundred bucks/Exchanging good lucks face to face" is a reference to two Kinks albums "Face to Face" and the rare bootleg "Good Luck"
- Andrew, Bergenfield, NJ

"checkin his stash by the trash at st. mark's place" is a reference to the first time Paul Westerberg met the subject, Alex Chilton.
- Dan, Tonawanda, NY

Lyrics:

If he was from Venus
Would he feed us
With a spoon
If he was from Mars wouldn't that be cool
Standing right on campus
Would he stamp us in a file
Hangin' down in Memphis all the while

Children by the millions
Sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round
They sing I'm in love
What's that song
I'm in love
With that song

Cerebral rape and pillage in a village of his choice
Invisible man who can sing in a visible voice
Feeling like a hundred bucks
Exchanging good lucks face to face
Checkin' his stash by the trash at St. Mark's Place

Children by the millions
Sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round
They sing I'm in love
What's that song
I'm in love
With that song

I never travel too far
Without a little Big Star

Runnin' round the house, Mickey Mouse and tarot cards
Fallin' asleep with a flop pop video on
If he was from Venus would he meet us on the moon
If he died in Memphis wouldn't that be cool

Children by the millions
Sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round
They sing I'm in love
What's that song
I'm in love
With that song

YouTube:

1. I'm in love. What's that song?

*

2. Westerberg live, '93.

*

3. Heard about your band.

-

Comments welcome.

-

Previously in Song of the Moment:
* Iron Man
* The Story of Bo Diddley
* Teach Your Children
* Dream Vacation
* When The Levee Breaks
* I Kissed A Girl
* Theme From Shaft
* Rocky Mountain High
* North to Alaska
* Barracuda
* Rainy Days and Mondays
* Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
* Baby, It's Cold Outside
* Man in the Mirror
* Birthday Sex
* Rio
* My Sharona



Permalink

Posted on March 19, 2010


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