The three albums Big Star cut in the early '70s at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee were resounding commercial failures, but the rock group's output nonetheless infiltrated independent music over the next two decades. Big Star albums were traded like coveted club memberships between discerning musicians, including the members of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Michael Stipe, Matthew Sweet, and countless others. By the mid-'80s, such disparate groups as Primal Scream and the Replacements had publicly extolled the lost Memphis group's genius.
|The members of Big Star|
Over the last 10 years, exhaustive archival campaigns and the death of bandleader Alex Chilton boosted Big Star's profile to its proper place as a group of inimitable and indelible songwriters. So it's appropriate that Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, the definitive documentary on Big Star's trudge back from obscurity, begins with English songwriter Robyn Hitchcock declaring that "Big Star is like a letter posted in 1971 that arrived in 1985." His one-liner at once alludes to the band's tragic history and anticipates the artful way Nothing Can Hurt Me -- which opens at the Roxie Theater tonight -- shows how a once-lost band eventually found bittersweet vindication.More »