Friday, August 30, 2013

Song #30 On My MP3 Player - Back Of A Car by Big Star

Song #30 on my MP3 player is 'Back Of A Car' by Big Star, which is the seventh track on the band's 1974 album Radio City.

Big Star was a band that formed circa 1971 with a lineup that featured Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel. Alex Chilton was the lead singer of The Box Tops, a band that had hits during the 1960's with 'The Letter' and 'Cry Like A Baby'. Big Star released three albums from 1971 to 1974: #1 Record, Radio City, and Third/Sister Lovers. The music was good, but their record labels were either poorly managed or just not interested in distributing their albums. The history of Big Star is very interesting, and take some time to read Need A Big Star Primer? by Mark Hinson for a more complete history.

The first time I heard Big Star was during the summer of '95 or '96 when my good friend Ryan Dellwood played 'September Gurls' when he was a guest DJ with me at a college radio station in Ohio. I really liked the song, but Dellwood informed me that their music was hard to find. A few weeks later I found #1 Record and Radio City on the same CD at a local music store. Dellwood was thrilled I found their music.

Big Star is loved by the hipsters, indie rockers, and this Lost Soul of Rock & Roll. They have some damn good songs, but they also have some songs that have me hitting the fast forward button on my cd player. When they're good, they are on fire. Big Star is classified as power pop, which means they are inspired by bands like The Beatles and The Kinks, but they also have a nice touch of early 70's rock. What's nice about Big Star is that they can produce and absolute rocker or make a beautiful ballad.

'Back Of A Car' is one of my favorite Big Star songs because there are great harmonies, cool lyrics, and a wonderful guitar sound. Big Star has some songs that really connect with young people, and the story of 'Back of A Car' is pure teen angst. This is one of those songs that should have been a hit, but wasn't. It did inspire a bunch of musicians to form their own bands and maybe that's better than having a hit. Enjoy.  

TonyDoug Wright is the Lost Soul of Rock and Roll. 

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