Big Star Story

A somewhat unnecessary greatest-hits for the Seventies power-pop band the three albums big star recorded during its poor-selling four-year run in the Seventies combined Beatles-style pop clarity with lovelorn fragility and a rhythmic propulsiveness derived from the R&B they heard growing up in Memphis. Radio City and #1 Record brim over with punchy songs that served as the blueprint for almost every power-pop band to follow, and the much darker Third/Sister Lovers is a depressive masterpiece. This compilation collects winners from all three albums, along with live cuts and a couple of tracks from solo records by co-founders Alex Chilton and Chris Bell. The uninitiated would do well to start with this solid sampler, though they'd do even better to pick up a copy of the 1992 reissue of Radio City and #1 Record, which collects both albums on a single disc and has long been one of the CD era's greatest bargains.