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R.I.P. Alex Chilton

Alex Chilton


I know we’ve already had two RIP’s recently but I figured it’d be a crime not to pay homage to Alex Chilton, the leader of Big Star, one of my favorite bands of the ’70s and probably of all time. Chilton died from a heart attack earlier today, just a few hours before Big Star was about to perform at the SXSW music festival.

Chilton started his music career as the lead singer of The Box Tops, who are probably best known for their 1967 number one single, “The Letter”. After the break-up of The Box Tops, Chilton formed Big Star with Chris Bell who co-wrote most of Big Star’s debut, #1 Record with Chilton. After Bell’s departure, Chilton led Big Star through two more superb albums before breaking up in 1974. The band would reunite in 1993 and had been playing together off and on since then.
Big Star’s record sales were very modest, but their influence has been incredibly significant, as their sunny guitar-driven sound has given them a reputation as one of the key groups in the power-pop genre, and in my opinion there is no finer example of the genre than the work Chilton did with Big Star. So if you haven’t yet delved in to their precious few albums, I’d say there’s no better time to check out one of America’s great cult bands.


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