365 Things to Do in Memphis #197: Listen to Big Star

Posted by Holly Whitfield | July 15th 2012 1071 19

Updated July 2017

You don’t have to be in Memphis to complete assignment #197 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis, but I’m convinced that Big Star sounds better in the city that they’re from.

Big Star's "Radio City"

Big Star’s original line-up only played together for three years (from 1971 – 1974), but they managed to put out three records that pretty much define American power pop. The band reunited in the 90s with a few new members, but never really returned to the greatness of the original combination of Chris Bell, Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens.

All three of Big Star’s records were included in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, so no matter which one you pick up first, it’s going to be good. If you’re not sure where to start, though, here are my required tracks:

– “Thirteen” (#1 Record) is the perfect love song.

– “Thank You Friends” (Third/Sister Lovers)

– “September Gurls” (Radio City)

– “O Dana” (Third/Sister Lovers)

– “The Ballad of El Goodo” (#1 Record)


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. Evil says:

    I have to say, listening to Big Star in those sad days when I have lived away from my city has always been a great time to listen to them as well. It always put back in a Memphis frame of mind.

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