For some reason, despite being very different bands, I always think of Big Star and The Replacements as playing in some bizarre league together. Perhaps it's just that they're two fantastic bands that never really got their due, Big Star especially. Most of my good friends are more fanatical about The 'Mats and while I adore both, I've always sided with Big Star.
Sometime in the early 90s, Big Star were essentially my introduction to power pop. Around this time, I recall going to an all-vinyl record store in a run-down Jersey town with my brother. As was always the case when we stepped into a record store, we both manically jumped from letter to letter trying to land that huge "find" before the other. On this day, I hit the jackpot with #1 Record and Radio City. I already had the CD, which included both records, but to have them separately, and on vinyl, well, I was sweating with excitement.
If you don't own a Big Star record, seriously, just buy the box set, and buy it tomorrow. This is a fantastic band, better than just about any active artist right now.