Reviewed by Luc in Brunswick

This month Fantasy Records remastered and re-released Big Star’s first two albums “#1 Record” and “Radio City” on one CD. These albums, originally released in the between 1972-74 are a must have for music geeks and record store clerks everywhere.
You’ll recognize the teen anthem “In the Street” as the theme song for That 70’s Show and “Thirteen” as covered by Elliott Smith shortly before his death. In fact Big Star is more popular today than they ever were during their short run. This may be due to the numerous and amazing artists Big Star has influenced over the years or it could the generations of indie record store clerks and college radio dj’s who have obsessed (and name dropped) over them. It might just be the timeless songs they left behind.
Big Star hailed from Memphis, the birthplace of rock n’ roll- and it showed. It was in their bones. They soaked it all in… southern soul, early rock, the 60’s folk revival, rockabilly and especially the sounds of the british invasion LP’s they mail ordered as teens. They had two stellar singer songwriters in Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, a great rhythm section and sweet, raw guitar hooks that would sound as good in a stadium as they would in the garage.
Big Star has been a staple for me for years. I discovered them because of the Replacements tribute song “Alex Chilton”, a power pop classic in it’s own right. I’ve been listening to Radio City a lot lately after reading Bruce Eaton’s awesome review for the 33-1/3 series. “Way out West” and “September Gurls” still blow me away every time i hear them. If you are a fan of British Rock, power pop or newer indie rock you owe it to yourself to check this collection out.

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