The Bangles, Cheap Trick, Teenage Fanclub, Foo Fighters, the Replacements, Weezer, Matthew Sweet, the Posies, the Pixies. Those are just some of the bands that owe a huge debt to the group that invented power-pop.
I’m not a musician, so I didn’t form a band, but Big Star certainly changed my life, maybe even saved it. They, and some of their acolytes, have given me more un-alloyed, un-adulterated joy - then anything else poured into my ears by someone I never, ever met.
The Replacements wrote a song called “Alex Chilton”,
“Children by the million
Sing for Alex Chilton
When he comes ’round
They sing, ‘I’m in love
What’s that song?
I’m in love with that song’”
More than once, I’ve been a little late for work because I had to hear “September Gurls”, “In The Street”, “I’m In Love With A Girl”, or “Ballad of el Goodo”, ...just one more time.
Here’s “September Gurls”, which AllMusic rightly calls, the “quintessential power-pop classic”.
Watch the video carefully at the 2:30 mark.
Now go play some Big Star, and be late for work, too.