Big Star

Big Star
Big Star

Big Star

The Short Life, Painful Death, and Unexpected Resurrection of the Kings of Power Pop
By Rob Jovanovic


352 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95)

ISBN 9781556525964

Rights: US

Chicago Review Press (Sep 2005)

Price: $16.95
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"Amazing music . . . beautiful records." —Dan Wilson, Semisonic
The formation, music, and break-up of Big Star, a band that for many was the embodiment of the 1970s, is detailed in this definitive history. Even though Big Star was together for less than four years and had limited commercial success, the legacy of their three groundbreaking albums has influenced artists as diverse as R.E.M., the Bangles, Wilco, Jeff Buckley, and Garbage culminating in their song, "In the Street," as rerecorded by Cheap Trick, becoming the theme song for That '70s Show. The band's music and romance made Big Star a holy grail for the post-punk generation. This book recounts how band leader Alex Chilton put his heart and soul into the music and believed that he would become a big star—and how when he didn't, he engaged in a fascinating sort of musical self-sabotage. Also described is the tragic story of his coleader on their first record, Chris Bell, who after leaving the band recorded "I Am the Cosmos," a devastating adolescent love song, and then died in a car crash just months later. Featuring new interviews with the band, family members, friends, and the major players at Ardent Studios in Memphis, this book offers the complete story of this incredibly influential band.


"Entertaining and informative."  —Time Out Chicago

"Too fascinating to pass up."  —Ruminator Review

"[Will] satisfy even the most knowledgeable Big Star fan."  —Harp Magazine

"Goes some way toward clarifying the story of the band."  —Nashville Scene

"Big Star served as a Rosetta stone for a whole generation of musicians."  —Peter Buck, R.E.M.

"The range of Alex's stuff, from sweet to nasty . . . and always interesting melodically, really inspired me to write."  —Matthew Sweet, musician

"Perhaps, the definitive Big Star biography . . . illustrates the band's history with fanatical devotion and a historian's drive for objectivity."  —Rockpile

Author Biography

Rob Jovanovic is the author of Beck! On a Backwards River, Nirvana: The Complete Recording Sessions, and Perfect Sound Forever: The Story of Pavement. He contributes to Mojo, Q, Record Collector, and Uncut.