Big Star, NOTHING CAN HURT ME soundtrack

Big Star was an artistically infleuntial and commercially unsuccessful music group that was recently examined in the documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me.  To go with the docuemntary, the Nothing Can Hurt Me soundtrack collects demos and new muixes of songs from the band's three albums, plus a few tunes from Alex Chilton and Chris Bell after the band broke up.

Nothing Can Hurt Me is a bit of an oddity.  This isn't exactly a greatest hits collection, as several of the band's bigger songs are missing (such as "Watch the Sunrise" and "Thanks You Friends").  And while none of these songs are the original studio recordings, the songs aren't that different from the originals that die-hard fans will need to hear the different versions.

What Nothing Can Hurt Me does is remind the listener of how amazing Big Star really was.   Big Star could disaplay the rocking feel of the 1970s when they were recording, but they also captured the angst of teen romance (on songs like "September Gurls" and "Thirteen") and they had a musical feel that foreshadowed the college alternative music scene of the 1980s.  The songs are mostly in chronological order, which shows the band's steady movement to both experimentation and disillusionment (the latter highlighted by Alex Chilton's "All We Ever Got from Them Was Pain").  Nothing Can Hurt Me is a great look at a band whose music never took off like they wanted -- but was loved by so many.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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