500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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Big Star, 'Thirteen'

406. Big Star, 'Thirteen'

Writers: Alex Chilton, Chris Bell
Producer: John Fry
Released: April '72, Ardent

Chilton wrote this acoustic ballad about two kids in love with rock & roll, featuring the deathless couplet "Won't you tell your dad, 'Get off my back'/Tell him what we said about 'Paint It Black.'" It's simple musically; as Chilton said, "I was still learning to play and stuff." It never came out as a single or got any radio play, but "Thirteen" is one of rock's most beautiful celebrations of adolescence.

Appears on: #1 Record/Radio City (Fantasy)


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