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Big Star

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Memphis, Tennessee, United States (1971 – 1974, 1993 – 2010)

Big Star is an American band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1971 by Alex Chilton (1950 – 2010), Chris Bell (1951 – 1978), Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel (1951 - 2010). The group broke up in 1974. By the 1980s, they were recognised as one of rock music’s classic groups. After the death of Chris Bell in 1978 and the deaths of both Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel in 2010, Jody Stephens is the last surviving original member of the group.

Big Star’s albums are often cited as a prime example of . Drawing upon pop music traditions — especially The Beatles, The Byrds, The Kinks, The Zombies, Badfinger, The Who, Moby Grape, The Beach Boys and Free — Big Star’s music was lyrical, powerful, and at times melancholic pop for the post-1960s generation. Their approach not only recalled the British Invasion groups but the spare, relaxed style of Stax Records, the Memphis soul label, as well as the edgy rockabilly of early Sun Records. In an era of singer-songwriters and heavy-metal groups, they played melodic, concisely written songs. Their reputation, negligible in 1974 beyond a small coterie of admirers, has steadily grown, and they are today considered one of pop’s classic groups.

Big Star was formed in 1971 in Memphis, Tennessee, United States by guitarist/vocalist Chris Bell, bassist Andy Hummel, drummer Jody Stephens, and guitarist/vocalist Alex Chilton. All four at times contributed to the songwriting and lead vocals, with Chilton and Bell singing and writing the majority of the early songs as a team modeled after Lennon and McCartney’s collaborative style.

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