Alex Chilton, Like Flies on Sherbert

Alex Abramovich

By Alex Abramovich

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The first record to take Big Star’s collapse as a starting point

A bookend, of sorts, to Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers, Like Flies on Sherbert (1978) — was made with the same producer, Jim Dickinson, and featured many of the same Memphis studio musicians. The results reached back to Southern slave songs (on a manic cover of "No More the Moon Shines on Lorena") and Sun Records rockabilly (on the Jerry Lee Lewis-isms of "Girl After Girl" and "She's the One That's Got It"), scraped away the refuse, and forced a dark, anarchic vein of Southern music through the narrowest of apertures — punk rock, as it was played by the Ramones and Modern Lovers. Flies was the first record to take Big Star's collapse as a starting point, and to set about the difficult task of building again. It was Chilton's roughest, most revealing work.