Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Barring the discovery of more golden eggs, the four CDs of Keep an Eye on the Sky are the last word on Big Star's first, ultimately glorious lifetime.
  2. In summation, though, there is not much you could ask for in a Big Star box set that is not included here.
  3. Spanning the years 1968-75, this exquisitely designed four-disc boxed set gathers a treasure trove of rare gems.
  4. These four discs ultimately do what any good box set should do: In tracing the band's trajectory from power-pop progenitors to post-pop tinkerers, Keep an Eye on the Sky presents a history of the band that could not be gleaned from the albums themselves, using finished studio tracks along with demos and rarities to give a fuller picture of the musicians, their dynamic, and their songs.
  5. The songs here represent more than just a band; they represent the myth, the sound of “beautiful losers,” as Buck describes them, making good on the promise their sound always presented.
  6. [They were a creature of the studio and it] resulted in alternate mixes and instrumental scraps, the stuff that enthralls fetishists, sometimes justifiably so. Those are the listeners who will find Keep an Eye on the Sky most rewarding, but anybody who has loved the band will find something to cherish here.
  7. 80
    These commercial frailties have come to be seen, quite rightly, as cultish strengths. But it all goes to make Keep An Eye On The Sky much more than a repository of extraordinary music; it acts as the most thorough and articulate explanation of why Big Star never became superstars.
  8. Authoritatively illustrating why, the 4-CD Keep an Eye on the Sky might be considered compilation overload on this admittedly obscure Memphis quartet for the newcomer, but cultists and anyone interested in some of the purest guitar pop ever made will find lots and lots to love.
  9. The spare demos, crystal-clear concert recordings, and handsomely produced liner notes are a fan's delight, but it's the three original albums included here--38 haunting ballads and fist-pumping anthems, some in unreleased mixes, each one a gem--that still shine brightest.
  10. Rhino’s new Big Star box set Keep an Eye on the Sky seems like it was put together as much to please Big Star fans as it was to introduce newcomers to the band.
  11. It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to declare Keep an Eye on the Sky an indispensable cornerstone of any serious music fan’s collection, and one of the greatest box sets ever assembled. Finally, Big Star get their due chance to shine.
  12. Keep an Eye on the Sky--which expands Big Star's three early-'70s albums with a bevy of demos, alternate takes, and a complete 1973 live set--shores up the band's legend for a new generation.
  13. With only three official albums to its name, Big Star doesn’t seem like a natural for the box-set treatment, but Keep An Eye On The Sky has plenty to offer both neophytes and longtime fans, dropping demos, alternate mixes, and selections from Bell and Chilton’s pre-Big Star work alongside album tracks and the two stunning sides of the only solo work Bell saw released before dying in a car accident in 1978.
  14. 100
    This 4-CD box is the monument to both the cult and the art. And it's great. [Oct 2009, p.117]
  15. This exemplary boxset tells the whole, rather sorry saga of how a band who seemingly had everything going for them ended up with precisely nothing. [Oct 2009, p.122]
  16. 93
    This box mingles an abundance of demos, alternative takes and other previously unreleased iterations of Big Star tunes amid sparsely retained original album versions. [Fall 2009, p.92]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. RobertL.
    Oct 3, 2009
    This superbly compiled collection proves once and for all that Big Star truly were the most under-rated band in Rock history. The music here has endured throughout the decades thanks to it's timeless quality. An essential collection for any serious music fan. Full Review »
  2. RichardL.
    Sep 28, 2009
    this is the best box set i've ever listened to. if i had to choose a box set to play right before committing suicide, this would be it. i would slit my wrist with a smile on my face. Full Review »
  3. TiagoA.
    Sep 27, 2009
    It's amazing album.Everybody should hear this.