In the Street

Big Star

About In the Street

"In the Street" is a song by the American rock band Big Star. It was written by Chris Bell and Alex Chilton. The song was featured on the 1972 album #1 Record. The song was the B-side of their first single, "When My Baby's Beside Me." Lead vocals on "In the Street" were handled by Chris Bell.


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Hanging out, down the street 
The same old thing we did last week 
Not a thing to do, but talk to you 

Steal your car, and bring it down 
Pick me up, we'll drive around 
Wish we had a joint so bad 

Bust a street light 
Out past midnight

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Big Star

Big Star was an American rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1971 by Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel. The group broke up in 1974, but reorganized with a new line-up nearly 20 years later. In its first era, the band's musical style drew on the work of British Invasion groups including The Beatles and The Kinks, as well as The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and other US acts. To the resulting power pop, Big Star added dark, nihilistic themes, and produced a style that foreshadowed the alternative rock of the 1980s and 1990s. Before it broke up, Big Star created a "seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations" in the words of Rolling Stone, as the "quintessential American power pop band" and "one of the most myt… more »

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Written by: Alex Chilton, Christopher Bell

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

22 facts about this song

Song Origin
"In the Street" was first featured on Big Star's debut album '#1 Record', which was released in 1972.
Band Member
The song was written by the band's co-founders, Alex Chilton and Chris Bell.
Album Recognition
Although '#1 Record' was not a commercial success upon its initial release, it has since been recognized as a milestone in the power pop genre.
Song Version
The most well-known version of "In the Street" is probably Cheap Trick's cover, which was used as the theme song for the popular television show 'That '70s Show'.
Song Inspiration
The song is believed to be inspired by the band members' experiences growing up in Memphis, Tennessee.
Song Lyrics
"In the Street" is seen as a teenage anthem, with lyrics about hanging out, driving around, and not having anything to do.
Musical Structure
The song is noted for its use of twin guitars, which was a characteristic feature of Big Star's sound.
Cult Following
Despite initial commercial failure, "In the Street" has gained a cult following and is now considered a classic of the American power pop genre.
Lyrics controversy
There has been some controversy regarding Cheap Trick's version of the song as it changed some of the lyrics, replacing a reference to smoking cigarettes with a line about listening to a favorite song.
Song Influence
"In the Street" has influenced many artists over the years, including The Replacements who wrote a song in tribute to Alex Chilton.
Live Performances
The song is often included in live performances by Big Star's former members and has been covered by numerous artists.
Song Legacy
Rolling Stone magazine ranked 'In the Street' as one of the top 500 songs that shaped Rock n Roll.
"In The Street" was composed by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, the founding members of Big Star.
Release Details
The song was first released in 1972 as part of Big Star's debut studio album "#1 Record".
Television premiere
A cover version of "In the Street" by Cheap Trick was adapted as the theme song for the popular American television series "That '70s Show".
Cover Versions
Apart from Cheap Trick, "In The Street" has been covered by other musicians including Wilco and The Posies.
Chilton and Bell reportedly wrote the song as a teenage anthem to represent the aimlessness of youth.
The notable lyric "Wish we had a joint so bad" was changed to "Wish we had some cash so bad" for the Cheap Trick version used in "That '70s Show".
Critical Acclaim
The single, despite not charting significantly at the time of its release, has been hailed in retrospective reviews as a classic piece of power pop.
Alex Chilton
Prior to co-forming Big Star, Chilton was previously a member of the blues-rock band The Box Tops.
Underappreciated Genius
Despite its present status, "In The Street" did not garner commercial success, similar to many of Big Star's songs.
The song, after getting featured in "That '70s Show", gained wider recognition decades after its initial release, showcasing the enduring appeal of Big Star's music.

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    In the Street

    • That '70s Show Rockin' Album