THERE WAS A LIGHT is an oral history containing new and archival interviews with those closest to Chris Bell and the Big Star circle: their friends, family, former bandmates—even some fans, exes, classmates and co-workers.
The varied cast of voices, many from the band’s hometown of Memphis, comprises all the members of Big Star, including: Chris Bell, the iconic Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens. In the following decades after its 1975 breakup, the obscure group somehow reached and inspired some of rock’s most important bands, including R.E.M., the Replacements, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Beck, and Wilco.
With Chris Bell at the center of the Big Star universe, this book carefully reveals the production of Big Star’s masterful 1972 debut LP, #1 Record, for Ardent/Stax Records. Despite stellar reviews in music magazines, the record saw abysmal sales. Soon after, toxic personality conflicts and turmoil tore Big Star apart while Bell battled drug abuse and clinical depression.
There Was A Light then delves into Big Star’s second and third albums, while recounting Bell’s second act as a struggling solo musician and devout born-again Christian. During several trips to Europe, he ambitiously recorded songs and pitched to record labels—even crossing paths with Paul McCartney. From this productive era arose Bell’s lone solo album, the posthumously released I Am the Cosmos LP—his swan song and masterpiece.
There Was A Light details the pop culture phenomenon that made Big Star legends and divulges how its staunch fanbase saved the band from obscurity.
Featured in RECORD COLLECTOR Magazine
Featured on PERFECT SOUND FOREVER
Featured on SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW
Featured as one of the Top Music Books of 2018 by MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL
Featured in UNDER THE RADAR Magazine
Featured Interview with the author on POP DOSE
Featured in BILLBOARD Magazine
400+ pages, oral history, paperback
FIRST EDITION of 500 copies: SOLD OUT
SECOND EDITION of 500 copies: SOLD OUT
AVAILABLE HERE from our distributor while supplies last!
back to Hozac Records Store