I first heard of Big Star when every music journalist in the UK was using them as the barometer to describe the direction that Teenage Fanclub took with Bandwagonesque (which beat Nirvana’s Nevermind & Primal Scream’s Screamadelica in many end of year best-of lists). At the time I hadn’t a clue who Big Star were, and never bothered to find out till a few years ago.
Thirteen is the title track off of Big Star’s debut album, and if you’ve never heard it, boy have you got a treat in store. My favourite line from the song is this one:
Won’t you tell your dad, “Get off my back”
Tell him what we said ’bout ‘Paint It Black’
As to why the song is so wonderful, I’ll leave it to the more eloquent souls at Rolling Stonbe and Allmusic, who had this to say about it, respectively:
[Thirteen is] one of rock’s most beautiful celebrations of adolescence.
There are few songs that capture the aching innocence of adolescence as well. [It is a] perfect melancholy ballad
So, there you have it. Enjoy.