Ursa Major Friday

They’re not as lost as most, but lost more than they deserve. To my knowledge, Big Dipper records are out of print. Sporting alums of the Volcano Suns, the Embarrassment, and Dumptruck, Big Dipper’s never received the reissue treatment afforded those bands. After dropping two of the best mid-eighties indie pop records, the inimitable Heavens and the nearly equal Craps, they followed with the worst major-label debut ever, Slam, whose failure they couldn’t survive. They weren’t angst ridden or good looking enough. They didn’t break any new ground. They just wrote indeliable pop songs. And I don’t think any of the members are very invovled in musical endeavors anymore. Which makes them really lost. And sad to think about.

These are all from Heavens.

Big Dipper – When Men Were Trains

Big Dipper – She’s Fetching

Big Dipper – All Going Out Together

I envy those just discovering this stuff now.


10 thoughts on “Ursa Major Friday

  1. Always been a big fan of Big Dipper! Have Craps and Heavens on vinyl and still play them regularly… Please put “Ron Klaus Wrecked His House” on your blog and you will win thousand(s)of Dipperfans!!! Let’s bring ’em back together (or are they still playing..?)


  2. Funny how Big Dipper never really were considered part of the Boston scene. I recall seeing them in 1989 – they opened for Dinosaur jr at the 9:30 club and were really nice guys. As I recall, the club left the houselights on and Big Dipper played a fantastic set. They really grinded it out, sounding more like the Wedding Present then themselves. These guys simply missed the boat. And to be honest, Heavens was just so good that Craps seemed like a real let down, almost an afterthought. For what it is worth, my love for Big Dipper lead me to purchase a few Dumptruck records which are highly overrated.


  3. a truly great band and you nailed what was they did right and what they did wrong. since you give them credit as writers of great pop songs, it should be pointed out that one of the songs you posted, “when men were trains,” was actually written by michael cudahy from christmas, another great lost boston pop band.


  4. Mr. Parnell:Two albums that are lost and fantastic, but not quite at the level of Heavens are:The Times – Beat Torture (the only good alubm the Time ever made)Velvet Crush – first lpI am tempted to mention the first Volcano Suns album as well, but those guys played themselves into oblivion by changing the lineup every time it rained. Bands shouldn’t be held together by a drummer and a game of musical chairs.


  5. When Men were Trains is a cover – I am humbled. Short term memory out tha windah, to quote Mike Watt.Have the 1st Velvet Crush lp – while I like it, not equal to Heavens, no.Volcano Suns a personal fave; lps always worth $3. will check out Beat Torture.


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