The Chilton record I go to first nowadays is Like Flies on Sherbert, which I feel is his masterpiece. Yeah, it's a fucked-up record, but that turns me on. I think the record is more produced than most people think, but that the idea of primitive musical chaos is played up to incredible effect. I don't think it's easy to make a record that sounds like Like Flies on Sherbet, one that is compelling and listenable...To my mind, this coincides with the point where his true musical personality begins to surface.
- Ric Menck (Velvet Crush, The Tyde)
It was a speculative project. No record label had given us any money to do the thing up front...I just thought I needed to make a record.
When I conceived of doing the record, I thought maybe Jim and I, and maybe one or two other people, would record. When I turned up for the session, Jim had his whole band there, like Lee Baker and Mike Ladd on guitars and me on guitar, too. Ross Johnson was on drums, there was a bass player and a few other people. I thought, Hmm, this isn't what I had in mind, but I didn't say anything. I just thought we should try it and see how it goes...I was out there playing it, I wasn't in the control room listening to it, so I thought, Man, that must sound terrible. But when I went in and heard what we had done, it was just incredible-sounding. I like that album a lot still... Most of it was recorded in three nights. "Hey! Little Child" was written and recorded right before the final album mix-down. I re-recorded "Girl After Girl" then too, because I didn't feel I had a sufficient take of it from before.
Alex had been exploring all kinds of music since he was a kid and that's his exploration of old-timey country, honky-tonk, Cajun, R&B, and soul and his interpretation of roots music. Also, it represented the complete opposite recording technique that was used on #1 Record. Rather than seek perfection via overdubs and re-dos, he tried to catch lightning in a bottle.
- Holly George-Warren (A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton)
The listed quotes are excerpts from There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of Big Star (Hozac Books) By Rich Tupica
Also available on orange vinyl from Rough Trade UK!
Boogie Shoes • My Rival • Hey! Little Child • Hook Or Crook • I've Had It • Rock Hard • Girl After Girl • Waltz Across Texas • Alligator Man • Like Flies On Sherbert