Hear a really big star

Before the complete series DVD collections brought appreciation to unwatched television masterpieces (see: Freaks and Geeks , the CD box set regularly gave great, overlooked and commercially unsuccessful bands a final chance at notoriety. Such is the case now with Big Star, whose newly released lifetime-achievement-award box set, Keep an Eye on the Sky (available 9/15), is a nuanced, angst-ridden, and lovely argument that the band belongs in the pantheon of America’s most influential, if underappreciated, bands.

The four discs contain 98 songs from the early days, from 1968 to 1975, and include alternate recordings and a previously unreleased concert from the quartet’s home city of Memphis, Tennessee. While their sound, a combination of the blues-infused riffs they admired in British Invasion bands and the more laid-back, harmony-focused style of their compatriots like the Beach Boys, influenced many of their peers, Big Star reached few outside the cognoscenti. Now, after some inevitable band breakups, a fatal car crash, and much middle-aged touring, Big Star gets their proper due with this pristine collection.

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