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Old 02-21-2009, 03:24 AM   #1
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Big Star

U2 and Big Star are pretty much all I've been listening to lately, with some R.E.M. mixed in for good measure. For those who don't know, Big Star was essentially the prototypical power-pop band. Back in 1972, when everyone was trying to see who could play the most aimless guitar solo, Big Star were crafting the most catchy music of the era. They wore their influences on their sleeve, and turned out to be a major influence themselves for countless other artists years down the line.

Alex Chilton was the primary creative force behind the band, and their albums often reflected his mental state. Of the three they released in their original incarnation (they reunited in the early '90s and released an album in 2005), you can see the gradual fall from pop perfection to indulgent insanity as the band continued to fracture. All three of their albums are on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums list, and you can't go wrong with any of them, but all you really need to know is that their albums became more bizarre and challenging as they went. I adore their debut, #1 Record, while Radio City is more of a hodgepodge, and Third/Sister Lovers is a total mindfuck.

Here are a few particularly awesome songs to get you hooked:

YouTube - Big Star - Thirteen (Live)

YouTube - "In The Street" Big Star

YouTube - Big Star - September Gurls - live Stockholm

YouTube - Big Star - Back Of A Car

YouTube - Big Star - Thank You Friends

Thirteen...wow. Just wow. What a perfect song.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:37 AM   #2
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Some of the best songs of the '70s, but Third/Sister Lovers is the only good record, I'd say. A fucking stunner, too. Man, I love that record. And the new stuff, which is only debatably-at-the-very-best Big Star, is catastrophically terrible.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:43 AM   #3
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Because of the #1 Record/Radio City set, I tend to take those together as often as I do separately, which makes it easier to skip around and appreciate the classic songs on those two albums. There's undoubtedly a lot of filler, but Thirteen, Ballad of El Goodo, and Back Of A Car blow me away every time.

Third/Sister Lovers is just...wow. I'm still not sure what to think of that one. What I do know is that provides an excellent blueprint to making a simultaneously catchy and fucking scary record.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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September Gurls and Nightime are two absolutley classic songs. It's criminal that September Gurls was never a # 1 hit.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
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This is all you need. Big Star starts and stops right here:

YouTube - Big Star "Kangaroo"
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