It’s a little disgusting when you think about how much talent these guys had. But I’ve come up with a surefire way to make myself feel less envious: I repeat “Their best work was behind them by the time they reached 30” over and over again until I fall asleep, or until someone on public transportation tells me to shut up — whichever comes first — and suddenly I’m all better. See if it works for you.

Over the past two weeks Bootleg City has revisited Big Star’s first two albums. In college I had a poster that showed the Big Star “family tree,” listing all the bands they influenced in the ’80s and ’90s (Let’s Active, the Posies, Matthew Sweet, etc.) as well as bands who influenced them, with the Beatles right at the top. But then, who haven’t the Beatles influenced? They changed pop music forever. They were the biggest band that ever was and ever will be. They created all-time classic songs in the time it’s taken me to write this tiny amount of text. They– … deep breath … their best work was behind them by the time they reached 30, your best work is still ahead of you, their best work was behind them by the time they reached 30, you should actually do some work instead of looking for ways to criticize musical legends– hey, subconscious, you’re supposed to be on my side!

There seem to be a couple different versions of “The Alternate Abbey Road” floating around, one of which is considered a “fake,” though I’m not sure why. Is it really a Stars on 45 bootleg? Did the original cast of Beatlemania record their own version of the Beatles’ 1969 album? Were the Rutles involved somehow? I don’t know, but if you do, feel free to explain in the comments section. Of special interest here are the demos of “Come and Get It,” a song that Paul McCartney eventually gave to Apple Records labelmates Badfinger, and “All Things Must Pass,” a George Harrison composition that became the title track of his first solo album a year later.

Come Together [Take 1]
Something [Demo]
Something [Take 37]
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer [Early Mix]
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer [Take 5]
Oh! Darling [Early Version]
Octopus’s Garden [Take 2]
Octopus’s Garden [Take 32]
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) [Mono Mix]
Here Comes the Sun [Mono Mix]
Because [Take 16]
You Never Give Me Your Money [Unreleased Take]
Sun King [Early Mix]
Mean Mr. Mustard [Mono Mix]
Polythene Pam [Mono Mix]
She Came In Through the Bathroom Window [Mono Mix]
Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight [Early Take]
The End [Early Instrumental Mix]
The End [Take 7]
Her Majesty [Take 3]

Old Brown Shoe [Demo]
Ain’t She Sweet [Outtake]
Come and Get It [Demo: 7/24/69]
All Things Must Pass [Demo]

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

View All Articles