Thirteen (song)

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For the Anthrax song, see State of Euphoria. For the Danzig song, see 6:66 Satan's Child.
Song by Big Star from the album #1 Record
Published 1972
Released 1972
Recorded 1971
Genre Rock
Length 2:34
Label Ardent
Writer Alex Chilton and Chris Bell
Language English
Producer John Fry

"Thirteen" is a song by the American rock band Big Star. Rolling Stone describes it "one of rock's most beautiful celebrations of adolescence", and rated it #406 a list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.[1] It was written by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell.

Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom writes in his Allmusic review of the song, "There are few songs that capture the aching innocence of adolescence as well" and calls it a "perfect melancholy ballad".[2]

The song was originally featured on the 1972 album #1 Record. It was never released as a single by Big Star.


"Thirteen" has been covered by several notable musicians. They include:

Artist Album
Evan Dando Live at the Brattle Theatre
Deus Sister Dew
Garbage Version 2.0 (Japanese edition), "Push It" single
Albert Hammond Jr. Cool For School: For the Benefit of The Lunchbox Fund
Happy Flowers Lasterday I Was Been Bad
Håkan Hellström Nåt gammalt, nåt nytt, nåt lånat, nåt blått
Kind of Like Spitting The Thrill of the Hunt
Mary Lou Lord Live City Sounds
Magnapop Magnapop
Rose Melberg September
Elliott Smith New Moon
Wilco Big Star, Small World
Kathryn Williams Relations

When asked if there was a Big Star cover he was especially fond of, lead singer Alex Chilton mentioned Garbage's version of this song.[3]

Use in popular media[edit]


  1. ^ "Thirteen: Big Star". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  2. ^ Janovitz, Bill. "Thirteen - Big Star". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Alex Chilton Set to Go". Rolling Stone. February 28, 2000. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Thirteen > Overview )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 

External links[edit]