Chris Bell was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist born in Memphis, Tennessee. Along with Alex Chilton, he led the power pop band Big Star, which recorded albums during the early 1970s.
After co-founding Big Star, the world only received two tracks of new music from Chris Bell during his lifetime - a 1978 single on the Car Records label run by Chris Stamey (dB's, Sneakers) titled "I Am The Cosmos" b/w "You And Your Sister". He would tragically be killed in a car accident later that same year. However, those were not the only tracks Bell had recorded in his post-Big Star years.
In 1974-1975, Bell worked in the famed Château DHérouville near Paris, France, and later recorded at both Shoe Studios and Ardent Studios in Memphis. That material arrived in 1992 as I Am The Cosmos to great acclaim, and was issued on LP by Omnivore Recordings in 2017. Due to popular demand, the LP returns in a new pressing on translucent blue vinyl.
The packaging contains liner notes from set co-producer Alec Palao as well as Bob Mehr. All Chris Bell projects are being approved and overseen by Chris' estate run by his brother, David.
With renewed reverence for his work in Big Star, as well as a look back at his earlier work with a biography from Rich Tupica, the stars have aligned. This new vinyl edition of I Am The Cosmos arrives for long-time fans, as well of those who are just discovering the magic of Chris Bell.
I Am The Cosmos is his only solo album, having been recorded over a period of years during the mid-70s and eventually released in 1992, 14 years after his tragic death in an automobile accident at age 27. As with his work with Big Star, the album received highly favorable critical reviews. Giving the album an "A-", Robert Christgau wrote that it was "clear from Bell's very posthumous solo album...that Big Star was his idea."
According to Jason Ankeny of AllMusic, "Chris Bell was one of the unsung heroes of American pop music. Despite a life marked by tragedy and a career crippled by commercial indifference, the singer/songwriter's slim body of recorded work proved massively influential on the generations of indie rockers who emerged in his wake."
"Speed Of Sound" was used in the opening credits of the film Nick and Norah's Infinite Playist and was featured on a various artists compilation album compiled by The Flaming Lips. "I Am The Cosmos" has been played live by Big Star, Beck, The Posies, Gigolo Aunts, The Jayhawks, and The Drams, and has also been covered by This Mortal Coil, together with a version of "You And Your Sister". Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn recorded "I Am The Cosmos" for their 2009 collaboration, Break Up.
- Vinyl LP
- Translucent Blue Vinyl
- Vinyl cut by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl/Sam Phillips Recording Service
- Limited time download card
- I Am The Cosmos
- Better Save Yourself
- Speed Of Sound
- Get Away
- Make A Scene
- Look Up
- I Got Kinda Lost
- There Was A Light
- Fight At The Table
- I Don't Know
- Though I Know She Lies
- You And Your Sister