Album: Various Artists, Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story (Big Beat)

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The Independent Culture

The musical history of Memphis leans heavily on R&B, rock’n’roll and soul, but in the late Sixties, Ardent Studios was a lone outpost catering to the region’s burgeoning wave of Anglophile groups.

Set up by studio owner John Fry to provide an outlet for these bands, Ardent Records became famous as the home of Big Star, the power-pop group formed by Chris Bell and former Box Tops singer Alex Chilton.

Their history dominates the second of these two discs, but the first provides a fascinating insight into the impact of the Sixties British Invasion with lashings of psychedelic electric violin and fuzztone guitar.

However, it’s the second disc’s Big Star material, with select morsels such as “Kizza Me” and “Back Of A Car” accompanied by unreleased outtakes, that will have fans drooling.

"Big Star" from Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story features in this month's Independent Audio Player. CLICK HERE to listen.

To order any CD previewed here, call the Independent Music Service on 01634 832 789.