Starring Michael Stipe, Norman Blake and more...

A new tribute album to Big Star has been arranged with Michael Stipe, Norman Blake and more due to take part.

In their initial incarnation, Big Star were almost untouchable. Blessed with not one but two sensational songwriters, the band's effortless harmonies hinted as a mis-spent youth analysing the British Invasion.

Fragmenting after the release their second album, lead singer Alex Chilton led the band through tortured recording sessions. Eventually emerging in 1978 'Big Star's 3rd' has gone down in rock history as a truly affecting text.

Adjusting to the failure of his career, Chilton poured his feelings into a series of traumatic songs. The sessions were notoriously confused, resulting in a flood of incoherent music which drew on influences such as The Velvet Underground.

Alex Chilton passed away last year, and now a label has arranged an all star tribute to Big Star. Focussing on their distraught third album, it demonstrates the esteem in which Chilton is held by his fellow artists.

Containing sixteen tracks, the initial tracklisting (via Daily Swarm) features some promising cuts. Michael Stipe has recorded a version of 'Kanga Roo' the open-tuned fantasy so loved by the late Jeff Buckley.

R.E.M. band mate Mike Mills has produced a version of 'Jesus Christ' while Big Star drummer - and sole surviving band member - Jody Stephens has contributed 'For You'.

Meanwhile Teenage Fanclub singer Norman Blake has recorded a version of 'Stroke It, Noel' while other covers have been completed by Matthew Sweet, Ira Kaplan from Yo La Tengo and Matt McMichaels.

The full tracklisting has yet to be confirmed, although a special performance has been announced. Due to take place in New York later this Spring, it will apparently feature performers from the new tribute album.

Tickets are on sale now.

'Big Star Third' will be released this summer.

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