R.I.P. - Alex Chilton

Sad news tonight, as word of the death of underground rock legend Alex Chilton is making it’s way around the internet. For those who may not know, Chilton was the leader of 60’s pop group The Box Tops (for whom he wrote “The Letter”), but is better known today by music enthusiasts for his seminal work in the 70’s power-pop band Big Star. His influence over the following generations of bands has reached far and wide, touching either directly or indirectly on pretty much every group who has attempted to combine rock and pop music during the past 30 years. Though “September Gurls”, a blueprint for power-pop perfection, is perhaps (rightfully) his best known song today (I heard it in the supermarket just a few weeks ago and thought that was kind of strange), here are two of my other Big Star favorites. All three Big Star albums are essential, but these both come from their desperate, devastating final record, Third/Sister Lovers, a sonic document of what a great band sounds like when coming apart at the seams.

MP3 :: Thank You Friends
MP3 :: O, Dana
(from Third/Sister Lovers. Buy here)

And here’s a smattering of my favorite Big Star covers:
MP3 :: Thirteen (Wilco - from Big Star Small World. Buy here)
MP3 :: September Gurls (The Replacements, Live 1989)
MP3 :: O, Dana (Okkervil River - from the Overboard & Down EP)

And of course, a live version of The Replacements song named after the legend himself:
MP3 :: Alex Chilton (The Replacements, Live 1989)

“In The Street” live on The Tonight Show


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