SEPTEMBER GURLS/THIRTEEN/THE BALLAD OF EL GOODO:
Alex Chilton, of Big Star and the Box Tops, died two days ago. Carrie Brownstein has a great recollection of his influence on contemporary music.
The first Big Star song I ever heard was "September Gurls," in my freshman year of college, thanks to the tail-end of the golden age of Napster. It's a great song, and a great example of why "pop song" needn't be derogatory: it's content to be a short, guitar-driven, sub-three minute exploration of what it's like to be in love with someone who doesn't quite reciprocate.
"Thirteen" has a (well-deserved) reputation as the prettiest Big Star song, but my favorite will always be "The Ballad of El Goodo":