As the members of Big Star fought and scratched at each others mental fragility, occasionally stooping to deliberately sabotage recording sessions for their third and final album Third/Sister Lovers, they were at the same time somehow turning out some of their most bittersweet ballads. Other songs from the album might be more harrowing (Holocaust), more chaotic (Kangaroo), or more loving (For You), but it’s in the closing three songs that you find the truest beauty. Nightime and Blue Moon could close any show on their own, but here they are like a one-two set-up to the sucker punch that is Take Care.

Although the tracklisting for Third/Sister Lovers was argued over, and disputed, and never fully agreed, that Take Care would be the album’s final track was the one decision everyone could agree on. It really feels like an end to everything: Alex Chilton sings it like a man waiting for his time to pass, drums crash in and echo out, total collapse doesn’t sound far away. But at its center, there’s a string arrangement that seems as though its been transported from a society ballroom, serenely holding the song together as it keeps its players apart. And then, with a calm farewell, it’s gone.

This sounds a bit like goodbye

In a way it is, I guess

As I leave your side

I’ve taken the air

Take care, please take care

Take care, please take care