Unlike that Velvet Underground saying, everyone who heard Big Star didn't go out and form a band. They just became critics. Or critic-practitioners like Greg Dulli, the dB'S, and the Bangles. Revisionists insisting that "September Gurls" was pop's summit, and not the jangly equivalent of learning calculus. ( On Live, taped after Radio City, a DJ asks, "Does it feel anachronistic to be playing this kind of music in the mid-1970s?" Just wait, fella.) For his admirers, Alex Chilton almost single-voicedly created a subcultural and highly theoritical ideal of sloppy/exquisite rock that sustained indie romantics throughout the middling '80s.
Without Bell, Radio City features Chilton's more typically enervated sensibilities on "Daisy Glaze," "You Get What You Deserve," and "What's Going Ahh," while bassist and new cowriter Andy Hummel anchors the harder-bottomed funky rock of " O My Soul" and "Mod Lang."  "I'm In Love With a Girl" and "Way Out West" have as much winsome charm as anything Brian Wilson did with the Beach Boys. "Back of a Car" and "September Gurls" are power-pop immortals; listen to how the riffs and lyrics simultaneously approach orgasm. An all-but-perfect album, it sold diddly in its day.


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