Song of the Day #4,812: ‘September Gurls’ – Big Star

Diving back into my Decades series, and specifically the year 1974, brings me to Radio City, the sophomore album by American power pop band Big Star.

This album was one of only three released by the pioneering act, who recorded between 1972 and 1978 before breaking up. Their work was hugely influential on the alternative movement, with R.E.M. and The Replacements among their biggest fans.

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Song of the Day #3,539: ‘Thirteen’ – Elliott Smith

As soon as I decided to blog about ’31 Numbered Songs’ I knew #13 would be Big Star’s ‘Thirteen.’ It’s one of my favorite songs, named after a number or not. The only problem is I’ve already featured it.

But that problem turned into a blessing when I discovered this cover version by Elliott Smith. Who better to capture the melancholy ache of this adolescent anthem?

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Song of the Day #2,525: ‘The Ballad of El Goodo’ – Big Star

big_starBig Star’s debut album, #1 Record, didn’t make much of a splash when it was released in 1972 — in fact, it sold fewer than 10,000 copies — but it eventually found favor with a generation of indie rock acts. Band leader Alex Chilton, who died five years ago at only 59, has been cited as an influence by many of my favorite artists.

I bought this album, along with the band’s sophomore effort, Radio City, in a 2-for-1 package a year or so back, but I haven’t listed to it enough to give it a spot on my list of the best albums of 1972.

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