Big Star: The Short Life, Painful Death, and Unexpected Resurrection of the Kings of Power Pop

Overview


The formation, music, and break-up of Big Star, a band that for many was the embodiment of the 1970s, is detailed in this definitive history. Even though Big Star was together for less than four years and had limited commercial success, the legacy of their three groundbreaking albums has influenced artists as diverse as R.E.M., the Bangles, Wilco, Jeff Buckley, and Garbage culminating in their song, "In the Street," as rerecorded by Cheap Trick, becoming the theme song for That '70s Show. The band's music and ...
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Overview


The formation, music, and break-up of Big Star, a band that for many was the embodiment of the 1970s, is detailed in this definitive history. Even though Big Star was together for less than four years and had limited commercial success, the legacy of their three groundbreaking albums has influenced artists as diverse as R.E.M., the Bangles, Wilco, Jeff Buckley, and Garbage culminating in their song, "In the Street," as rerecorded by Cheap Trick, becoming the theme song for That '70s Show. The band's music and romance made Big Star a holy grail for the post-punk generation. This book recounts how band leader Alex Chilton put his heart and soul into the music and believed that he would become a big star—and how when he didn't, he engaged in a fascinating sort of musical self-sabotage. Also described is the tragic story of his coleader on their first record, Chris Bell, who after leaving the band recorded "I Am the Cosmos," a devastating adolescent love song, and then died in a car crash just months later. Featuring new interviews with the band, family members, friends, and the major players at Ardent Studios in Memphis, this book offers the complete story of this incredibly influential band.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Entertaining and informative."  —Time Out Chicago

"Too fascinating to pass up."  —Ruminator Review

"[Will] satisfy even the most knowledgeable Big Star fan."  —Harp Magazine

"Goes some way toward clarifying the story of the band."  —Nashville Scene

"Big Star served as a Rosetta stone for a whole generation of musicians."  —Peter Buck, R.E.M.

"The range of Alex's stuff, from sweet to nasty . . . and always interesting melodically, really inspired me to write."  —Matthew Sweet, musician

"Perhaps, the definitive Big Star biography . . . illustrates the band’s history with fanatical devotion and a historian’s drive for objectivity."  —Rockpile

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556525964
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 961,840
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Rob Jovanovic is the author of Beck! On a Backwards River, Nirvana: The Complete Recording Sessions, and Perfect Sound Forever: The Story of Pavement. He contributes to Mojo, Q, Record Collector, and Uncut.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2006

    A MUST READ FOR ANY ROCK MUSIC FAN

    This book is by far the best 'rock group biography' I have ever read. Rob Jovanovic has crafted the perfect history of rock music's greatest irony, Big Star. The author chronicles the band's underground momentum, fueled for years by a twisted combination of catchy songwriting, pristine recording, commercial disaster, erratic behavior, and the unfortunate death of a tortured perfectionist. The book's portrait of the Memphis recording scene, itself in shambles in the mid-70's, makes this book a must read for any music fan. Bravo!

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