Big Star - September Girls - 1974


Big Star - September Gurls - 1974 Big Star, a band often hailed as one of the pioneers of the power pop genre, released the song "September Gurls" in 1974 on their album Radio City. Despite not achieving commercial success during the band's active years, Big Star and "September Gurls" have since been recognized as significant influences in the music industry. The song showcases a blend of melodic hooks, jangling guitars, and heartfelt lyrics, characteristics that have inspired countless artists in the power pop and alternative rock genres.

History and Influence

Big Star, formed in Memphis in 1971, consisted of Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens, and Andy Hummel. The song "September Gurls" is often considered one of their most enduring and influential tracks. Despite its initial commercial failure, the band's work, including "September Gurls," gained critical acclaim and a cult following in the years following their disbandment.

Lyrics and Composition

"September Gurls" is known for its poetic and evocative lyrics, which are open to interpretation but often seen as a reflection on fleeting youth and lost love. The song's structure, with its catchy chorus and jangling guitar work, is a quintessential example of the power pop sound.


Over the years, "September Gurls" has been covered by various artists and has featured in many 'greatest songs' lists. It is frequently cited as an influence by later power pop and alternative rock musicians.

  1. More about Big Star
  2. Understanding Power Pop
  3. Alex Chilton's Career
  4. Music in the 1970s

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "September Gurls" released? (1974) (!1969) (!1980) (!1972)

Which album features "September Gurls"? (Radio City) (!#1 Record) (!Third/Sister Lovers) (!Columbia)

What genre is "September Gurls" often associated with? (Power Pop) (!Psychedelic Rock) (!Punk Rock) (!Blues Rock)

Which band member primarily wrote "September Gurls"? (Alex Chilton) (!Chris Bell) (!Jody Stephens) (!Andy Hummel)

How was the commercial success of "September Gurls" during Big Star's active years? (Limited commercial success) (!Top 10 hit) (!Unreleased during their active years) (!Critically panned)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In what city was Big Star formed? (Memphis) (!New York) (!Los Angeles) (!Chicago)

Which year did Big Star form? (1971) (!1969) (!1974) (!1970)

Who was not a member of Big Star? (!Alex Chilton) (!Chris Bell) (!Jody Stephens) (Andy Hummel)

Which Big Star album was released first? (#1 Record) (!Radio City) (!Third/Sister Lovers) (!Columbia)

What happened to Big Star's initial albums in terms of commercial success? (They were commercial failures) (!They achieved gold status) (!They topped the charts) (!They were never released)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is a central theme in the lyrics of "September Gurls"? (Youth and lost love) (!Travel and adventure) (!Political protest) (!Celebration and partying)

The phrase “September Gurls” can be interpreted as symbolizing: (The fleeting nature of youth) (!A specific group of women) (!A historical event) (!A season change)

What element is prominent in the song's composition? (Jangling guitars) (!Heavy drum beats) (!Synthesizers) (!Brass section)

Which of these lines is from "September Gurls"? ("September gurls do so much") (!"April skies are in your eyes") (!"Dancing in the moonlight") (!"Summer days drifting away")

The song's lyrics are known for being: (Poetic and evocative) (!Direct and straightforward) (!Humorous and light-hearted) (!Political and controversial)


Alex Chilton Lead singer and primary songwriter
Power Pop Genre associated with "September Gurls"
1974 Year "September Gurls" was released
Radio City Album featuring "September Gurls"
Memphis City where Big Star was formed

Open Tasks


  1. Research Big Star's early career: Explore the formation and early years of Big Star. What challenges did they face?
  2. Create a Playlist: Create a playlist of power pop songs influenced by Big Star and "September Gurls."
  3. Cover Art Analysis: Analyze the cover art of Radio City and discuss its artistic elements.


  1. Write a Song Review: Write a detailed review of "September Gurls," focusing on its musical composition and lyrics.
  2. Compare and Contrast: Compare "September Gurls" with another power pop song from the 1970s. What similarities and differences can you find?
  3. Musical Influence Map: Create a map showing how Big Star's music influenced other artists and genres.


  1. Analyze Big Star's Legacy: Analyze the legacy of Big Star and their influence on the music industry. Why are they considered important?
  2. Create a Documentary Script: Write a script for a short documentary about Big Star, focusing on the creation and impact of "September Gurls."
  3. Critical Reception Over Time: Research how critical reception of Big Star and "September Gurls" has changed over the years.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Power Pop Genre: How does "September Gurls" exemplify the characteristics of power pop? What makes this genre unique?
  2. Big Star's Influence: Discuss how Big Star's lack of commercial success during their active years contrasts with their later recognition and influence.
  3. Interpreting Lyrics: What are different ways to interpret the lyrics of "September Gurls"? How do the lyrics contribute to the song's overall impact?

OERs on the Topic


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