After the quiet holiday period, we return with our first new release feature of 2012. Today we have a gem with Alex Chilton’s solo recordings getting a nice reissue. While Alex fronted the Box Tops, he never had any creative input in the band. He was the equivalent of a hired hand, going on the road to promote the music and doing lip-sync performances while executives cashed the checks. In 1969 Alex was growing weary of the Box Tops and desperately wanted to record some of his own material, however he was contractually obligated to record what the record company (American Studios) wanted with the Box Tops. This led to Alex recording in secret at Ardent Studios. When Ardent released this music on CD in 1996, the year Chilton was released from his American contract, it was still titled “1970.” Now the collection has been updated with a new title, Free Again: The “1970” Sessions.
These solo recordings serve as a transitional period between the Box Tops and Big Star. Alex is exploring his creativity with great enthusiasm. You can tell he had so many ideas brewing at the time and when he was finally able to record them, he gave them life. While this may not have the sequencing some are accustomed to with the Big Star recordings, this material is full of spirit. This is some of the best music he would ever write and Free Again: The “1970” Sessions provides an intimate insight into the creative process of this talented songwriter finding his way.