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Nobody Can Dance

So named after the instructions given to the good people of Memphis attending this 1973 benefit concert, this LP is not so much evidence of Draconian prance-prohibition, as why bums on seats makes goo

So named after the instructions given to the good people of Memphis attending this 1973 benefit concert, this LP is not so much evidence of Draconian prance-prohibition, as why bums on seats makes good protest. The gig sit-in. Like, who would want to dance?



Oh yes, Big Star were an incandescent glow in the firmament of early-'70s rock music, their balletic, heartbroken yarns a testament to rock, soul and youth. But troubled, and clearly not arsed to be pushing the same set of (admittedly classic) songs around by this point - the intermission between the departure of bassist Andy Hummel and the dark gestation of the 'Third/Sister Lovers' LP - Big Star weren't just tired, but bored as well.



This 'new find' (one half rehearsal, one half live show) is an often beautifully-played shrug in the face of widespread indifference. You hear Alex Chilton sigh deeply at the end of an otherwise frenetic rehearsal of eight of their most classic songs, saying, "I... guess... that's... it." He could be talking about the practice. He could equally be talking about his failed ambitions. By the time the crowd at the live show are baying for 'The Letter' - a hit Chilton performed with his previous band - you'd understand if he was going to pack it all in there and then.



Whether you need more insight into Chilton's depressing magnetism for failure is debatable when it sounds as flat as this. Otherwise, insight is restricted to finding out why bassist John Lightman never made it past this point. As the sleeve shows, he looked like one of the Nolan Sisters.
5 / 10

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