• Big Star: Keep an Eye on the Sky

It’s appropriate that one of the two essays in the hundred-page, photo-crammed book that comes with Keep an Eye on the Sky (Rhino), a four-CD set of music by Big Star, is devoted to the Memphis band’s cult following. Written by former Reader columnist Bob Mehr, it tells how the criminally overlooked combo, fronted by Alex Chilton, grew into a legend in the decades after its dissolution in 1975 (a reconstituted version of the band has been active sporadically since 1993). Indeed, these days Big Star is the classic guitar-pop avatar—a crucial inspiration for hordes of postpunk bands, from the dB’s to R.E.M. to the Replacements, as well as an indirect influence on the countless groups that followed in the footsteps of those 80s outfits.