Listening to a little bit of #1 Record and a little bit of Radio City and a little bit of Third/Sister Lovers reminds me how varied Big Star were from record to record, and how vague it can be to describe their influence. To say they inspired the "power pop" genre is true enough, but also takes a narrow view of the band—one that begins and ends with Radio City, if not simply "September Gurls." What about all those 70s rockisms of the first album? What about the gentleness of a song like "Thirteen"? What about the morose, sometimes bizarrely morose, songs that crop up over and over on Third?
Here are eight songs that I pulled out of my iTunes library that, to me, contain the spirit of some element of Big Star. There are tons more, but here's what I got so far.