Monday, March 17, 2008

September Gurls

Last night whilst doing the washing-up I heard a beautiful song on the radio. Lovely timeless guitar pop, with a soaring melody, it was. It felt like years since I last heard it, yet it was as familiar as an old friend. That’s mainly because I’ve spent a lot of time, years ago, listening to it and the album it comes from.

The song is September Gurls by Big Star, and the album is Radio City. This album is a bit of a special one for me, since the combo of Radio City and Big Star's debut #1 Record was the first ever CD I bought, back in 1992. At that time, the Big Star revival was in full swing, having been given an extra boost the previous autumn when Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque album was released to mass acclaim, and no little accusation in some quarters of heavy borrowing from Big Star – in particular the TFC song December was said to be a dead ringer for September Gurls.

The response to this from me (and no doubt a good few others) was to ask “Big who?” and immediately go to check them out. Sure enough, there is a fair degree of musical kinship between the Fannies and Big Star, which was pretty fine by me. I subsequently listened to #1 Record and Radio City an awful lot, but that was mostly over 10 years ago now, and listening again through them this morning brought it all back. These are songs which for me will be forever Glasgow. A particular time and place. The mid-90s. Good times. Memories which added to the fact that these are very, very good albums make quite a potent mix. I’ll always go back to these with pleasure, and no tune more so than September Gurls.

Download: Big Star – September Gurls

Buy Big Star albums. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

Big Star are actually playing a gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 28 August. I’m almost intrigued enough to go.

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