By many considered to be the very first album of the genre, this next essential powerpop album is a true gem that everyone should be aware of. The importance of Big Star‘s debut album “#1 Record” from 1972 can hardly be ignored, influenced, as it has, bands like The Posies (whom I focused the last issue on), Teenage Fanclub and Matthew Sweet to mention a few. Big Star is a band that didn’t get its deserved recognition back when they started out in the early 70’s, but has gained some interest in later years – much like Nick Drake.
This is yet another of those albums that, in my opinion, doesn’t have a single weakness. Not a bad track. It’s got the real rocker tracks like “Don’t Lie To Me”, “In the Street” and “Feel”, as well as beautiful ballads such as “Thirteen” and “The Ballad of El Goodo”, which might be one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
Big Star disbanded in the mid-70’s but reformed in 1993, adding Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow from The Posies to the lineup. They also contributed to the 2005 album “In Space” which is a fine piece of work, although it doesn’t even come close to the debut.
Here’s a YouTube clip from The Tonight Show with the new lineup performing “In the Street” (which you might recognize from That 70’s Show, for which Cheap Trick recorded their own version)