The Ballad of El Goodo


Memphis-born Alex Chilton, one of rock music’s most influential musicians, has died aged 59 in New Orleans from a suspected heart attack. Chilton (pictured standing) first tasted success as the 16-year-old frontman of The Box Tops and their wonderful hit from 1967, The Letter. He then went on to form Big Star with Chris Bell, Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel. The band’s combination of ballads and power-pop numbers would be a huge influence of the American and British indie scene of the 80s. This influence can be heard in the early music of R.E.M., Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub and The Replacements and the latter include a tribute to Chilton on their 1987 album Pleased to Meet Me. An American sitcom, That ’70s Show, used Big Star’s In the Street as its opening tune. The always-brilliant Cover Lay Down did their own tribute to Big Star last September and you can check that out here. I’ve also included some covers of songs by The Box Tops, Big Star and Chilton solo as well as The Replacements tribute to the man


Alex Chilton – The Replacements

The Letter (Wayne Carson Thompson cover) – The Box Tops

We’re Gonna Make It (Little Milton cover) – Alex Chilton

Soul Deep (The Box Tops cover) – The Gin Blossoms

Blue Moon (Big Star cover) – Nada Surf

Feel (Big Star cover) – The Posies

Baby Doll (Alex Chilton cover) – The Duke Spirit

Don’t Lie To Me (Big Star cover) – Juliana Hatfield

Jesus Christ (Big Star cover) – Kristin Hersh

Back Of A Car (Big Star cover) – Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet

Free Again (Big Star cover) – Teenage Fanclub

Big Black Car (Big Star cover) – The Walkabouts

Thirteen (Big Star cover) – Wilco

Kangaroo (Big Star cover) – This Mortal Coil

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