A little Big Star

In a very sad year of losing important musicians, another lesser known musician quietly passed with little fanfare.  Andy Hummel, founding bassist of cult 70s power-pop band Big Star, died on the 19th of July.  Andy Hummel's death followed the March passing of Big Star's lead singer and main songwriter, Alex Chilton. 

Never achieving mainstream success, Big Star, in the words of Rolling Stone, released "a seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations".  Combining catchy pop with dark themes,  Big Star would directly influence and make fans of important 80s and 90s indie alternative bands such as REM, Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads, and The Replacements. 
Although critically acclaimed, Big Star's three records: #1 Record, Radio City, and Third/Sister Lovers were commercially unsuccesful.  It is only through word of mouth by these bands and their loyal fans that renewed interest in the 1980s and 1990s would follow in reissues of the band's catalogue.    Such devoted fans were The Replacements that they wrote and released a song called "Alex Chilton".  This is how I discovered Big Star.  Paul Westerberg sang that he "never travelled far, without a little Big Star".  Thank you Paul, because of you I don't ever travel far without Big Star on my iPod.

Although I own all of their records, you might want to take my advice and borrow Big Star's albums:

They may not change your life but they may change how you listen to music.


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