Chris Bell – You and Your Sister

When people think of Big Star…when people do think of Big Star…Alex Chilton comes up more often than anyone else. That is not an over sight really because he was on all of their albums. The sound Big Star had largely originated from founding member Chris Bell. Alex and Chris wrote most of the first album and they modeled themselves after Lennon and McCartney. Their first album  was praised by practically everyone but not distributed…people wanted the album but the album was not in the stores so it failed. Chris left the band not long after that failure.

Chris went into a depression but Alex carried on with Big Star making two more albums.

Chris visited and stayed in England off and on and recorded some solo material but a record deal never materialized while he was there. He brought some recordings over that he made in Memphis and Geoff Emerick mixed it for him. Geoff was the engineer for the Beatles. The song that he mixed was I am the Cosmos. Chris would continue to record some in Memphis through the mid to late seventies.

In fall of 1978 he got a call from Car records and they wanted to release a single with a song called  I am the Cosmos with You and Your Sister as the B side.  It was the only solo release Chris would see in his lifetime. Unfortunately, Chris didn’t get to enjoy it long. He died in a car wreck on December 27, 1978. He was only 27 years old.

When he recorded You and Your Sister he got Alex Chilton to sing harmony vocals with him.

By the way…if you haven’t heard I Am The Cosmos give it a listen. It’s a layered, lush,  almost perfect pop song. I hope you enjoy this song.

14 years after his death in 1992  Rykodisc released Chris Bell’s solo album from the songs he recorded including the two songs on this single.

You and Your Sister

They say my love for you ain’t real
But you don’t know how real it feels
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
Your sister says that I’m no good
I’d reassure her if I could
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
Plans fail every day
I want to hear you say
Your love won’t be leaving (Run run, run run)
Your eyes ain’t deceiving (Run run, run run)
Fears will soon fade away
Smile now, don’t be afraid
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
And let me whisper in your ear
Don’t you worry, they can’t hear
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

41 thoughts on “Chris Bell – You and Your Sister”

  1. I shall definitely check this out, thanks. I’ve had Alex Chilton’s Flies on Sherbet on heavy rotation all week! What a brilliant album! I fell in love with the ramshackle production, false starts, studio chicaneries and vibe, immediately. 1978. How brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading. I was listening to Alex’s Girl After Girl off of that album yesterday. It’s some great stuff on that album…I guess ahead of his time.
      I do wish Bell and Chilton would have wrote more together…they were the opposite and it brought out the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you’re right. It is sort of ahead of its time. It has a ‘punk’ feel to it in the lo fi production and has been quite a revelation to me these last few days! I liked the story that AC perhaps felt that it (the recording) was all a bit sun par and scrappy, but was enthused by the production – which I love as I say. It’s playful and classic sounding and out-there, without being up its own arse.

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      2. He carried over some production from what Jim Dickinson produced over from Big Star 3/Sister Lovers… He was beginning that process on that album. Songs like Kanga Roo would have fit the Sherbet album.
        One thing about him…he never sat still.

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  2. I quite like that… don’t think I’ve heard any of his solo stuff before. His voice might get a little offputting maybe for a whole album, but the song sounds pretty decent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I Am the Cosmos is his best song to me…but he is the original singer to “In The Street” the Big Star song on That Seventies Show…their version anyway. Which I’ll never know why they didn’t use that version.

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  3. I have this on CD – one of the highlights of the album. I read that a bunch of stuff from I Am The Cosmos and Radio City was co-written by Bell and Chilton. When Bell left Big Star he kept some songs for his solo career.

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    1. I’m reading a book now “There Was a Light” about Bell and Big Star. It’s a shame he didn’t get much recognition in his lifetime. One surprising thing was that he met Paul McCartney when mixing I Am The Cosmos.

      Bell tried to regroup Big Star a couple of times because of interest in Europe. Chilton was yes/no… A few very good power pop artists came out of Memphis at that time. The Scruffs, Tommy Hoehn, and Van Duren.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It shined a new light on things. Along with the Replacements…them being that young…they did some stupid things but it wasn’t as sad as I thought it would be.
        All of the Memphis power pop guys grew up together and helped each out. I really like some of their music. Some of them had free rein of Ardent Studios…that helped.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and listening to it. I Am The Cosmos is his best song but this one is good….he had a knack for pop songs.

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    1. I just finished a book on him and Big Star. The good thing is he was happy at the end of his life. I just wish he could have seen his music loved by their fans. Thanks for listening Lisa…it was fun to feature an non hit.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In the 80s and 90s most of the alternative bands sought his and Big Stars music out…it is sad but I’m happy he was heard. Thanks for listening Jeff.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That whole scene in Memphis at that time had some good power pop records…just no mass audience. Chilton and Bell complimented each other really well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be cool dude…There is a good book out on Chris Bell and Big Star called “There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of Big Star”
      and yes they have an audio version

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ….and it’s on scribd! Just checked. Ha nice one. Will check it out for sure after my polar expedition fascination wanes. Looks substantial at 700+ pages. Have you read it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I finished it up two days ago. Now I’m checking out every power pop band from Memphis from the early 70s… I liked it…they did some dumb things but they were very young.

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