It’s almost a crime that most people only know the music of Big Star through the theme song for That ’70s Show. Many viewers probably never realized the song is a re-recording of ‘In the Street‘ from Big Star’s first album ‘#1 Record.’ (The show initially used a cover of the song by Todd Griffin, but for seven of the eight seasons opened with a cover by Cheap Trick.)

That first album by Big Star is, in a word, glorious. Songwriters Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, who as teens saw the Beatles perform in Memphis, wrote the album in a back and forth fashion that honed the twelve tracks into brilliant pop gems. The record was never distributed well, and so despite widespread acclaim, it became one of those artifacts that music enthusiasts revere and the public at large missed. The band (without Bell) made two more albums, both of which are also excellent, but they never really made it.

Some of those enthusiasts are now in the position to make films, and so we have the doc Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. The film charts the formation of the band, and its fate as a near-obscurity, with a redeptive final chapter that has taken almost 20 years to play out as more and more people finally hear the record that everyone should have had in 1972. Read More »