Big Star

One of music's great lost, cult bands, Big Star's hazy, jangling, pop melodies and Alex Chilton's bittersweet songwriting struggled for mainstream success in the 1970s, but went on to influence generations of US indie acts. Inspired by the British invasion beat groups, Chilton originally started out as a 16-year-old, fronting Memphis R&B group The Box Tops and had an international hit in 1967 with The Letter, before teaming up with old friend Chris Bell and starting the band. Cheekily named debut, Number 1 Record (1972) received rave reviews from Rolling Stone magazine for its dreamy melancholy and lush harmonies, but distribution problems hampered sales and it only sold around 10,000 copies. Follow-up Radio City (1974) was also well received, but with disputes between band members becoming increasingly violent, the group split soon after its release. Bell struggled with depression and heroin addiction before dying in a car crash in 1978, but the band's notoriety grew and became a key influence on a wave of late-1980s alternative rock acts that included REM, Teenage Fanclub, Flaming Lips and The Lemonheads. Chilton returned with a new line-up in 1993, enjoyed the new-found recognition and released In Space (2005) before his death from a heart attack in 2010.

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Stations Featuring Big Star

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