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Song of the Day: Big Star's "September Gurls"

Published April 10, 2012 11:48 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's telling that the most famous Big Star song is the rendition that served as the theme song for "That 70's Show."

The Memphis rock band never reached success with its three albums recorded in the 1970s, despite sweet, melodic songs such as "The Ballad of El Goodo," I'm In Love with a Girl," and "Thirteen," among others. The band received more attention when The Replacements put out their tribute song "Alex Chilton," which included the lines "I never go far / Without a little Big Star." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB9pdkfIoxI) Or pehaps it received more attention when Adam Duritz of Counting Crows would change a lyric from "Mr. Jones" from "I want to be a big star" to "I want to be Big Star."

The lead singer was Alex Chilton, who had reached fame a few years earlier when he 16 and sang with The Box Tops, whose song "The Letter" was a huge hit on the charts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQaUs5J2wdI)

I once heard Big Star's "September Gurls" described as the most perfect power-pop single ever recorded. It is hard to argue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNKSs1J38EA

Reportedly, Katy Perry's manager was a big fan of Big Star, and he convinced her to call the lead single off her most recent album "California Gurls," in honor of "September Gurls."