I Am the Cosmos

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I Am the Cosmos
Studio album by Chris Bell
Released February 21, 1992 (1992-02-21)
Recorded 1974-1975
Genre Power pop[1]
Length 53:30
Label Rykodisc
Producer Chris Bell
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Pitchfork Media 7.9/10 [1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars link
Spin 9/10 stars Nov. 2009 Pg. 82

I Am the Cosmos is the only solo album by the American pop-rock musician Chris Bell, eventually released in 1992 by Rykodisc, having been recorded over a period of two to three years during the mid-1970s. Bell had previously been a member of Big Star.

In 2009 the album was remastered and re-released in a deluxe two-CD version by Rhino Handmade with alternate versions and additional tracks, and three songs by Bell's pre-Big Star groups, Icewater and Rock City.[2] Some copies included a bonus 7" single of "I Am the Cosmos" / "You and Your Sister", a replica of the original single.[3]

The booklet notes for the album were written by Bell's brother David, who also took the photographs used on the cover and in the CD booklet.

Cover versions and other uses[edit]

"Speed of Sound" was used over the opening credits of the Peter Sollett film Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. This song also featured on the various artists compilation album compiled by The Flaming Lips, Late Night Tales: The Flaming Lips.

"I Am the Cosmos" has been played live by Big Star, Beck, The Posies, Gigolo Aunts, The Jayhawks and The Drams, and has also been covered by This Mortal Coil, together with a version of "You and Your Sister". Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn recorded "I Am the Cosmos" for their 2009 album Break Up.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Chris Bell.

  1. "I Am the Cosmos" – 3:46
  2. "Better Save Yourself" – 4:25
  3. "Speed of Sound" – 5:11
  4. "Get Away" – 3:26
  5. "You and Your Sister" – 3:11
  6. "Make a Scene" – 4:09
  7. "Look Up" – 3:14
  8. "I Got Kinda Lost" – 2:42
  9. "There Was a Light" – 3:19
  10. "Fight at the Table" – 3:41
  11. "I Don't Know" – 3:22
  12. "Though I Know She Lies" – 3:35

Single CD bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "I Am the Cosmos" (slow version) – 3:40
  2. "You and Your Sister" (country version) – 2:56
  3. "You and Your Sister" (acoustic version) – 2:53

2009 deluxe 2CD bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Looking Forward" – 3:39 by Icewater
  2. "Sunshine" – 1:45 by Icewater
  3. "My Life Is Right" – 3:08 by Rock City
  4. "I Don't Know" (alternate version) – 4:18
  5. "You and Your Sister" (alternate version) – 3:03
  6. "I Am the Cosmos" (extended alternate version) – 5:07 (full length version of the above-mentioned "I Am the Cosmos" (slow version))
  7. "Speed of Sound" (alternate version) – 5:13
  8. "Fight at the Table" (alternate mix) – 4:11
  9. "Make a Scene" (alternate mix) – 4:11
  10. "Better Save Yourself" (alternate mix) – 4:29
  11. "Get Away" (alternate version) – 4:21
  12. "You and Your Sister" (acoustic version) – 3:00
  13. "Stay with Me" – 2:49 with Keith Sykes
  14. "In My Darkest Hour" – 3:01 with Nancy Bryan
  15. "Clacton Rag" – 3:30


Track 5 recorded at Ardent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Tracks 1, 8 & 11 recorded at Shoe Studios & Productions, Memphis, Tennessee by Warren Wagner.
  • Digital mastering – Dr. Toby Mountain at Northeastern Digital Recording, Inc., Southborough, Massachusetts
  • NoNoise Processing on selected tracks by Scott Leviton at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
  • Package design – Steven Jurgensmeyer
  • Photography and booklet notes – David Bell


  1. ^ a b http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/13498-i-am-the-cosmos-deluxe-edition/
  2. ^ Klein, Joshua (2009-09-29), Album Reviews: Chris Bell: I Am the Cosmos [Deluxe Edition], Pitchfork, retrieved 2010-03-24 
  3. ^ "I Am the Cosmos at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 16 April 2012.