Radio City is one album I have a love/hate relationship with as I find that, unlike their #1 Record, Radio City demands the listener's attention. Occasionally, I'll want to listen while performing some mundane task, yet I find myself underwhelmed and bored. Yet if I sit, with no other distractions, with my eyes closed, I am blown away by the musicality present on Radio City. Yes, it is a bizarre dichotomy that I am at a loss to fully explain. Perhaps one could point to the fact that in the 70s you would sit and listen, therefore it could be said that the music from this era presents a more complex composition, thereby demanding one’s attention. While there is certainly some validity in this aforementioned statement, one could also suggest the songs are too similar, thereby causing them to blend into a wall-of-sound rather than distinctly unique songs. I may never get to the bottom of my love/hate relationship with Radio City, but I do love that it continues to challenge my thoughts and appreciation of music.
O My Soul is a great song that sets the tone of the album. You will feel the need to move as your soul will intertwine with a song that is beautifully recorded and mixed. There is a lot to love here, and this is only the first song on the album. Amazing!
Life Is White has a fantastic rhythm. Sometimes that is all you need for a great song.
Way Out West is one of my favourite Big Star songs. Actually, it would be in my Top 100 songs from the 70s if I had such a list. Way Out West is musical perfection in every sense of the word and is the true definition of power pop.
What's Going Ahn is a rather melancholy composition and it is only after dedicated, repeat listens, that the song comes into its own and can be seen as truly revolutionary. It’s stunningly beautiful and one of the best songs of the 70s.
You Get What You Deserve has a gorgeous musical twang. I love it!
Mod Lang has a grungy feel that works well as an independent song, but I feel is not suited to the album. It is, however, a solid B-side.
Back Of A Car returns us to a style that I feel is more characteristic of Big Star. It reminds me of the tonality and rhythm that would be adopted by many bands such as Crowded House. You can also hear a little of The Beatles in this song. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the influence musicians have on each other, regardless of era.
Daisy Glaze is stunningly beautiful, due in part to the slow tempo throughout much of the song. Yet as the tempo increases, the incredible performance does not falter and frankly only gets better. Absolutely amazing!
She's A Mover has a great rhythm. You'll be toe tapping and head bopping from the first note. The song is raw in its musicality, but that style was very common in the era and reminds one of numerous Beatles and Rolling Stones tunes.
September Gurls is a solid song. Nothing to write home about, but not all songs have to be noteworthy in order to create an exceptional album experience.
Morpha Too is short, unique, and intriguing. I adore it, but I can't explain why. Take a listen and see what you think. Does it leave you speechless?
I'm In Love With A Girl is gorgeous. A perfect love song!
O My Soul (Single Mix) is excellent as it drastically shortens the album version. However, it isn't that the length of the original was problematic, I just feel the condensed version enhances the song. Interestingly, this edition has some major clipping issues as if it has been pushed too far. It’s a shame considering this isn't present in the original mix. Regardless, I'm glad this edition exists as it does compel me to listen to the album again and stay within Big Star’s catalogue. For reference, the re-issued vinyl release maintains the original tracking and I feel I’m In Love With A Girl would also close the album out perfectly.
For this review, I listened to the 2009 remaster on TIDAL Hi-Fi. Sonically, it was beautiful, despite the clipping on the final song. As a result, I look forward to ordering a vinyl copy from mataurecords.com.au. That said, I wasn't overly pleased with the vinyl re-issue of the #1 Record as I referenced in my January 2017 review. Alas, the collector within will likely find a way to justify the acquisition as Radio City is worth adding to my collection – especially for dedicated vinyl listening sessions.
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