Named after a phrase in a Shakespeare sonnet, Those Pretty Wrongs is a collaboration between Big Star founding member and drummer Jody Stephens and Luther Russell of roots rockers the Freewheelers. Together they create music that shows the influence of Stephens' former group, though their airy melodies look to the gentler and sadder side of their catalog. The duo's mature brand of pop was defined on their self-titled 2016 debut album, while 2019's Zed for Zulu added a few more uptempo numbers to the mix.
The duo got together when Stephens asked Russell to join him in performances of his former band's songs at screenings of the 2012 documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. They soon began writing songs together, signed with Burger Records, and released a 7" in the spring of 2015; the nostalgic jangle ballad "Lucky Guy" was recorded in Memphis using late Big Star co-leader Chris Bell's guitars from the band's 1972 debut album. It was accompanied by the B-side "Fool of Myself." Their eponymous full-length debut arrived on Ardent in 2016, with Burger Records handling the vinyl release. Stephens and Russell returned to their other pursuits but resumed their collaboration to write and record 2019's Zed for Zulu, which was also released by Burger.