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Big Star ‘Third’ deluxe box set coming in October — listen to “Like St. Joan (Kanga Roo)” demo

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Big Star‘s classic 1978 album, Third (aka Sister Lovers), is getting the deluxe reissue treatment as a box set due out October 14 via Omnivore Recordings. Ten years in the making, the three-CD, 69-track set features every demo, rough mix, alternate take and final master known to exist, plus extensive liner notes from original participants and artists deeply influenced by Big Star, as well as many previously unseen photos.

Twenty-nine of the tracks are previously unheard session recordings, demos and alternate mixes made by producer Jim Dickinson and engineer John Fry. Big Star drummer Jody Stephens says he’s very happy for these demos to finally see the light of day. “As Alex shared his acoustic guitar song demos, I would immediately think that they were complete feelings and performances, No additional production necessary. How do they evolve from here? Enter Jim Dickinson and John Fry in the production and sonic roles respectively.” We’ve got the premiere of one of those, a demo version of “Like St. Joan (Kanga Roo),” which you can stream below.

Each of the discs on the box set — “DEMOS TO SESSIONS TO ROUGHS,” “ROUGHS TO MIXES,” and “FINAL MASTERS” — will also be released as double LPs later via Omnivore.

Stephens contributes to the box set’s extensive liner notes, along with Mary Lindsay Dickinson (widow of producer Jim Dickinson), Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Adam Hill (Ardent staff producer), Elizabeth A. Hoehn, Susanna Hoffs and Debbi Peterson (The Bangles), Peter Holsapple (The dB’s), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Cheryl Pawelski (Omnivore Recordings), Pat Rainer (Memphis photographer/friend of band), Danny Graflund (Alex Chilton’s bodyguard), Jeff Rougvie (former Rykodisc A&R), Pat Sansone (Wilco), Chris Stamey (The dB’s), John Stirratt (Wilco), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star), and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate).

Track list, box set art and the “Like St. Joan (Kanga Roo)” stream are below.

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Big Star – Third Box Set tracklist:

VOL 1: DEMOS TO SESSIONS TO ROUGHS
1. Like St. Joan (Kanga Roo) * (Demo)
2. Lovely Day (Demo)
3. Downs (Demo)
4. Femme Fatale (Demo)
5. Thank You Friends (Demo)
6. Holocaust (Demo)
7. Jesus Christ (Demo)
8. Blue Moon (Demo)
9. Nightime (Demo)
10. Take Care (Demo)
11. Big Black Car (Demo #2/Acoustic Take 1)
12. Don’t Worry Baby
13. I’m In Love With A Girl *
14. Big Black Car (Demo #3/Acoustic Take 2)
15. I’m So Tired * – Alex & Lesa
16. That’s All It Took * – Alex & Lesa
17. Pre-Downs *
18. Baby Strange *
19. Big Black Car (Demo #1/Band)
20. Kizza Me * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal)
21. Till the End Of the Day * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal, Kept As Final Vocal)
22. Thank You Friends * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal)
23. O, Dana * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
24. Dream Lover * (Dickinson Rough Mix)

VOL. 2: ROUGHS TO MIXES
1. Big Black Car * (Dickinson Rough Mix/Alex Guide Vocal)
2. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
3. Take Care * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
4. Holocaust * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
5. Nightime * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
6. Thank You Friends * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
7. Nature Boy * (Dickinson Rough Mix)
8. After Hours * – Lesa
9. Stroke It Noel (Backwards Intro)
10. Lovely Day * (Fry Rough Mix)
11. Nightime * (Fry Rough Mix)
12. Blue Moon * (Fry Rough Mix)
13. Till The End Of The Day (Alternate Mix #1)
14. Big Black Car (Fry Rough Mix)
15. Holocaust (Fry Alternate/Rough Mix)
16. Downs * (Fry Rough Mix)
17. Kanga Roo (Fry Rough Mix)
18. Femme Fatale * (Fry Rough Mix)
19. For You * (Alternate Version/Alex Vocal)
20. Thank You Friends * (Fry Rough Mix)
21. Take Care * (Alternate Version/Alex Vocal)
22. Kizza Me * (Fry Rough Mix)
23. Till the End Of the Day (FRY Rough Mix #2) – Lesa
24. Nature Boy (Fry Rough Mix)
25. Mañana

VOL. 3: FINAL MASTERS
1. Stroke It Noel
2. Downs
3. Femme Fatale
4. Thank You Friends
5. Holocaust
6. Jesus Christ
7. Blue Moon
8. Kizza Me
9. For You
10. O, Dana
11. Nightime
12. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
13. Kanga Roo
14. Take Care
15. Big Black Car
16. Dream Lover
17. You Can’t Have Me
18. Till the End Of the Day
19. Lovely Day
20. Nature Boy

* Previously Unissued

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