While I personally prefer Radio City, #1 Record contains many extraordinary vocal melodies as well. It's just that the level of greatness, in my opinion at least, is a *tad* less impactful compared to the majority of tunes from Radio City.
Radio City is flawless from beginning to end. Not quite so with #1 Record. I think this has to do with the noticeably less energetic and more folk rock style of #1 Record. This band was definitely destined to specialize in the power pop genre.
What's most amazing to me about #1 Record is, of course, the sparkling clean and beautiful sound the way the album was recorded, along with the bands distinctive and WAY ahead of its time refreshing style (along with the marvelous production techniques). These two things combine to create a classic album. Big Star doesn't really sound like anyone else when you listen to them carefully, however comparisons to the Beatles and Badfinger would make perfect sense.
"Feel" actually receives some radio play from time to time. I HAVE in fact heard this song played on classic rock radio at one point.
Of course nowadays radio has sunk to an even DEEPER low so the odds of hearing Big Star on the radio these days is, well, nearly impossible odds. Even a healthy resurgence thanks to the younger generation isn't nearly enough to keep Big Star permanently secure in the minds of radio followers.
It's true, and this is because time is moving on even as we speak, which means the older artists are gradually fading away from peoples memories, and when that happens, the music stops being played on the radio. I hate it more than you will ever possibly know, but that's how life is.
"The Ballad of El Goodo" benefits by having a really emotional vocal melody, and "Try Again" falls under the same category. These are probably my favorite songs on the album.
"My Life Is Right" is pop/rock perfection. It would fit in easily on the Radio City album. "The India Song" has a really tasty flute melody before breaking out into a really gorgeous vocal melody. Another excellent song.
"In the Street" is of course popular for being the theme song to That 70's Show. It's a good song, and this original version is easily better than the version from the show (which sounds loud and obnoxious in comparison- stick to the Big Star version).
"Watch the Sunrise" is one of those "moment of hope" type songs. You immediately feel refreshed and thankful when you hear a vocal melody as beautiful as this one. I wouldn't be surprised if this song was created with that thought in mind.
"Thirteen" sounds like "Danny's Song" by Loggins & Messina, and that's a good thing.
"Try Again" makes me cry in a way where I feel completely hopeless. This makes the song very depressing in my opinion. I love it though, that's what makes it so darn hard to listen to it. Do I want my fragile emotional state toyed with just for the sake of enjoying a splendid vocal melody? Well yes!
"Don't Lie to Me" is the weakest song here by FAR. It reminds me of KISS or Twisted Sister. Not good. "Give Me Another Chance" is a pretty standard pop song in comparison to the rest of the material featured on the album, but I still love it to pieces regardless of that.
Big Star = big win. The first two albums really ARE pop/rock classics. Talk about guitar and vocal hooks galore. Just awesome.