8/02/2016

BIG STAR - ISOLATED IN THE LIGHT

BIG STAR - ISOLATED IN THE LIGHT

First extensive photo monograph of the 1970's cult band, BIG STAR

Containing over 200 images, the limited edition book comes
in two formats and will be released in October 14, 2016

Pre-orders available now at www.firstthirdbooks.com


First Third Books announces the release of BIG STAR - Isolated In The Light, an authorized, limited-edition volume, showcasing images from photographers who chronicled, both Big Star's beginnings during the burgeoning 1970's Memphis music scene and later solo projects of songwriters Alex Chilton and Chris Bell in Memphis, New York and across Europe.

Five years in the making, this is a collaborative effort between graphic designer Fabrice Couillerot and photographer Donna Ranieri, working remotely from both Paris and New York.  

"Fabrice and I both share a love of music and photography and once we realized that we were both fanatical about the music of Big Star, the idea was hatched to create a first-ever photography monograph.  Here was a band, not well known at the time, surrounded by a constellation of talented, gifted photographers, many of whom are now major names in the photography world. When you have someone like William Eggleston taking your band photos, that elevates the imagery to a completely new level."

BIG STAR - Isolated In The Light features over 200 (many rare and previously unseen) color and black and white photographs by illustrious names in the Fine Art and Rock Photography world such as William Eggleston, Michael O'Brien, Maude Schuyler Clay, Carole Manning, David Bell, John Fry, David Godis, Stephanie Chernikowski... and historic images from the vaults of Ardent Studios Archives. All photos are lovingly re-scanned and restored from original negatives, transparencies and prints.

These photographers share their unique visual perspective along with memories of a band that went on to influence several generations of musicians. The book also features new interviews and Chris Bell's original handwritten letters and lyrics.

The publication coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Ardent Studios, the Memphis independent label and recording studio that became ground zero for all of Big Star's recordings. The book pays tribute to late Ardent founder John Fry, their mentor, producer and engineer extraordinaire.

The book includes exclusive new interviews with select photographers as well as Big Star drummer, Jody Stephens; David Bell, (the brother of guitarist Chris Bell) and an introduction by Bob Mehr, (author of Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements) an authority on Big Star and contributor to the Big Star career retrospective box set, Keep An Eye On The Sky.

photo credit: Maude Schuyler Clay

The book also features essays and anecdotes by fans and musicians: Ivo Watts-Russell, Founder of 4AD and producer of This Mortal Coil, whose innovative cover versions of Big Star songs helped introduce them to a new generation of listeners. Simon Raymonde - current director of Bella Union, formerly of the Cocteau Twins, and participating This Mortal Coil singers Kim Deal of The Breeders & The Pixies; Cinder of Cindytalk; and Dominic Appleton of Breathless. It also features commentary from various band alumni such as Tav Falco, Chris Stamey, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies/reformed Big Star.

"And so we have this gorgeous document. Make no mistake -- this is a fine art book that happens to have a popular music group as its subject. Discovering these photos for me is like finding a letter never sent, beautifully rendered, lovingly compiled. As much as Alex was uncomfortable with the edification of Big Star, a music project he considered a commercial & artistic (I kid you not) failure, I like to think that he would have approved of this monograph, because this collection is about the images, and the quality of the art is undeniable. We are lucky to have the art, and blessed that it's been compiled and catalogued here so lovingly and beautifully." -Ken Stringfellow- The Posies/Big Star

"Big Star were a guitar pop band from Memphis who, by their third album, were playing the heartbreakingly bleak and stunningly fragile songs that I first heard as covers on This Mortal Coil's It'll End in Tears. Apparently they were disappointed by their lack of commercial success. It's no mystery really: when they are good, they are way too good for that world." -Dominic Appleton - Breathless/This Mortal Coil

"Many years ago, shortly after I recorded "You and Your Sister" with This Mortal Coil, a woman named Lauren approached me.  She worked at One Little Indian.  She wanted to let me know what happened the other night while she was listening to the song.  As she was feeding her newborn baby in the middle of the night she broke down, utterly, when this song began to play.  Broke down crying with such joy and happiness and love, with her baby in her arms and this song playing.  And me singing,  "all I wanna do...is to spend some time with you so I can hold you." She specifically wanted me to know that she was overcome with love while this song was playing. It's the best compliment I ever got from any song I've ever sung."
-Kim Deal - The Breeders/The Pixies

BIG STAR - Isolated In The Light is a unique document of the band's career that will be published October 14, 2016 as a hardback limited edition of 1000 numbered books. Two options are available - a standard version of 500 copies retailing at £40 (approx. $53) and the Signature Edition of 500 copies which will include a previously unpublished signed and numbered 10"x7.5" print from Michael O'Brien and 2 posters.  The book retails at £75 (approx. $100), sold exclusively via First Third Books website.

Previews are available at www.firstthirdbooks.com

Pre-orders are now being taken at www.firstthirdbooks.com

photo credit:© Eggleston Artistic Trust

About First Third Books:
With offices in London and Paris, First Third Books is an independent publisher of high quality photo books on alternative music and subcultural life. Previous collaborations include volumes of Sheila Rock's photos of the early London punk scene, the UK bands FELT and Saint Etienne; enfant terrible Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Marc Almond and the Ramones.

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