Published Sep 02, 2015Back in 1996, Big Star's Alex Chilton teamed up with Suicide's Alan Vega and singer-songwriter Ben Vaughn for a super-trio album called Cubist Blues. The LP is extremely difficult to come by — there are currently no vinyl copies on either Discogs or eBay — but that's about to change thanks to Light in the Attic/Munster Records, who will reissue the album on December 4. That same day, there will also be a new live album from the collaborators.
The short-lived team-up began in December 1994, when the three musicians convened for two all-night improv sessions at New York's Dessau Studios. An announcement calls the results a "long, mesmeric incantation built on Elvis-meets-Ian Curtis vocals, rockabilly guitar, growling synths, and metronomic drums."
For the new release, Vega penned the liner notes. "I showed up with lyrics for one song and figured we would see what happened," he wrote. "Little did I know, we would record for hours and hours. By the last song, my brain was burning up. I literally felt myself on fire. I was depleted. Yet, we could have gone on and on."
Hear the track "Fly Away" at the bottom of this page.
The trio only played two shows. One was in New York, and the other was at France's Trans Musicales festival; the latter gig will be getting released as a concert album called Live at Trans Musicales, Rennes, France, 7th December 1996.
Vaughn said in a statement, "The place went wild. It was a great reaction. Alan is truly famous in France, so they were going nuts. For the encore, Alex called out 'I Remember,' an old Suicide song. It immediately fell into place, and the vocal Alan delivered was astounding. The memory of listening to his voice through the monitors during that song still kills me. What a gift he has."
The albums are being co-released through Munster Records, the label that put out Cubist Blues back in 1996. They will each be released on double vinyl; Cubist Blues will be pressed in a limited edition on "Candy Man Red" wax, while the live album is coming out in a limited "French Blue" pressing. (Standard black versions are also available.) Both records have been remastered.
The albums can be pre-ordered from Light in the Attic's website. Cubist Blues is also available on CD, if you're into that sort of thing.
1. Fat City
2. Fly Away
5. Come On Lord
6. Promised Land
7. Lover of Love
9. Too Late
10. Do Not Do Not
11. The Werewolf
12. Dream Baby Revisited
Live at Trans Musicales, Rennes, France, 7th December 1996:
1. Fat City
5. Lover of Love
6. Too Late
7. Promised Land
8. Dream Baby Revisited
9. I Remember