Big Star "#1 Record/Radio City"

Listening to this record for the first time in about a year, I'm left to wonder: Is this one of the greatest records ever made? I'm also left to wonder how a band THIS GOOD weren't huge! Alex Chilton and Chris Bell were a lesser Lennon/McCartney. Ok, maybe they weren't as influencial (thought there's an argument here) and their career as a band was clearly much shorter, but what an amazing collection of songs. Whenever I hear "My Life Is Right", I can't help but feel good about things, regardless of the state of things around me (or inside me).

Similar to Gram Parsons and Nick Drake, Chris Bell's early passing was one of the biggest losses in singer/songwriter history. If you're familiar with Big Star or Bell, you're well aware of Bell's battles with depression. I can't remember where I read it, but one of the most heartwarming stories I've ever read was Bell's brother (David?) writing about the last days of Chris' life. Evidently David took him on a trip overseas, which rendered the photo on Bell's amazing "I Am the Cosmos", in hopes of lifting his brother's spirits. I believe David said that this was the happiest he'd ever seen Chris. I guess that happiness was short-lived as Chris Bell died not long thereafter. His mark lives on.