Originally called Rock City and Ice Water, the group was formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1971, consisting of Chris Bell (vocals, guitar), Steve Ray (guitar), Andy Hummel (bass) and Jody Stephens (drums). Ray didn't last long, and was replaced by Alex Chilton (formerly of the Box Tops). Their first album, #1 Record was released in 1972 but distribution problems with their label (Ardent) meant the album barely sold any copies. Bell and Chilton developed personality problems, exacerbated by Chilton being treated as the frontman for the group because he already had some fame as a member of the Box Tops. Bell left the group in 1972 to form a solo career. Big Star soon disbanded for a brief period, but then reformed and released Radio City, the group's magnum opus. In spite of unanimous critical acclaim, the album did not sell well; Hummel quit and was replaced by John Lightman. After recording but not releasing an album, Big Star again disbanded. The third album was finally released overseas in 1978, as Third or Sister Lovers. As the 1980s dawned, a generation of new, alternative bands began citing Big Star as a major influence; Chilton and Stephens reunited at a Posies show in 1993 at the University of Missouri. This was followed by tours of Europe and Japan, as well as an appearance on The Tonight Show.