Showing posts with label Big Albums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big Albums. Show all posts

Big Albums from October 1973: Elton John, David Bowie, the Who and More!

LPs released 50 years ago this month. Click the links to order from Amazon.

Not just a big album of 1973, but a HUGE one. I was a kid then and it seemed like everyone's older sibling owned a copy. It's the one with  "Bennie and the Jets," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and, oh yeah, "Candle in the Wind," along with much other good stuff.

The King sort of gets back to his roots at Stax in his homebase of Memphis. Musicians include Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr., from the MGs.

Linda Ronstadt - Don't Cry Now
The hit album that marked Ronstadt's successful association with producer Peter Asher. Tunes include Ronstadt's covers of "Love Has No Pride," "Silver Threads and Golden Needles," "Sail Away" and "Desperado."

Lou Reed - Berlin
Fun songs about drugs, depression and doomed relationships! Disparaged at the time, it's not considered one of Lou's best works. I couldn't say. I own copy but have only played it once.

Bryan Ferry - These Foolish Things
Roxy Music's frontman sings Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones, the Beach Boys, Lesley Gore and much more on his high-charting (in the UK) solo debut.

The Band - Moondog Matinee
Bryan Ferry wasn't the only one doing cover albums in 1973. Hear the Band sing Fats Domino, Frogman Henry, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke and more.

David Bowie - Pinups
The Band wasn't the only one doing cover LPs in 1973. Hear Bowie sing the Who, the Kinks, the Yardbirds and the Pretty Things, among others.

Pete Townshend's mod opera contains some of the Who's most dynamic playing and one of their greatest ballads, "Love Reign Over Me," with Roger Daltrey in top form. Like the band's Tommy, the storyline isn't terribly clear without reading Townshend's explanations or seeing the film, but the theme's of insecurity, identity crisis and finding your way in a crowd come through (sometimes very) loud and clear. The original vinyl came with a nice book of black-and-white photos.

Big Albums of September 1973: Mothers, Raspberries, Faust and More!

A look some of the biggest LP releases from 50 years ago this month. Click the links to order from Amazon.

The Mothers - Over-Nite Sensation
The LP that best exemplifies Frank Zappa's mix of lewd lyrics, sophomoric humor and sophisticated music, whether you like it or not. Highlights if you like 'em include "I am the Slime" and "Montana."

The Raspberries - Side 3
A fine slice of 70s power pop from Eric Carmen and crew, featuring singles "Tonight," "I'm a Rocker" and "Ecstasy."

Art Garfunkel - Angel Clare
Artie's best-selling solo debut includes his only Top 10 single, "All I Know," along with "I Shall Sing" and "Traveling Boy." Paul Simon and Jerry Garcia play guitar on country cover "Down in the Willow Garden," with Paul adding vocal harmonies.

Hailed as a Kraut Rock classic, this is also considered one of the band's most accessible releases, and well worth a listen.

Kool & the Gang - Wild and Peaceful
The one with "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood Swinging." Good stuff.

Big Albums from July 1973: Funkadelic, New York Dolls, ZZ Top, More!

Classic LPs released this month 50 years ago. Click the links to order from Amazon.

Slop was a flop at the time of its release, but it was the first LP from George Cinton's groove collective to feature a cover by afro-futurist artist Pedro Bell and the title track attracted attention from the Hip Hop generation.

Dylan's soundtrack to the Sam Peckinpah film of the same name, in which Bob co-starred as "Alias." It includes instrumentals from the film, along with the classic "Knockin' On Heaven's Door."

A late-period million seller for the King, this one includes covers of Gordon Lightfoot ("(That's What You Get) for Lovin' Me") and Dylan ("Don't Think Twice it's All Right"), along with "Fool," the Top 20 single that gave this LP the nickname "The Fool Album" to differentiate from his same-named 1956 LP.

Ian Hunter and comrades' sixth LP, featuring "All the Way to Memphis," "Honaloochie Boogie" and more.

Two master guitarists pay tribute John Coltrane. Whole lot of shredding going on.

Fantastic first from U.S. punk pioneers. Kicks off screaming with "Personality Crisis" and never lets up. Produced by Todd Rundgren.

The Texas trio's third as their big breakthrough, featuring radio hits "La Grange," "Waitin' for the Bus," "Jesus Just Left Chicago" and more.

Big Albums from June 1973: Willie, Waylon, Nilsson and More!

A look at some key LPs released this month 50 years ago. Click the links to order them from Amazon.

The album that marked Willie's breakthrough into the pop/rock audience and which helped spark the outlaw country movement. Includes the title track and classic "Whiskey River."

His solo breakthrough, featuring Top 10 hit, "Rocky Mountain Way."

The other important outlaw country album released this month. Many of the tunes are co-writes by Waylon and the great Billy Joe Shaver. Tunes include the classic "We Had it All," "Old Five and Dimers Like Me," "Omaha" and "You Ask Me To."

A great album that sadly marked the beginning of Sly's downward spiral. It was the last Sly and the Family Stone LP to hit the Top 10. Includes "If You Want Me to Stay," "Babies Makin' Babies" and Sly's cover of "Qué Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)."

Along with Ringo Starr's Sentimental Journey, this is one of the earliest "pop stars sing standards" LPs. It features one of our all-time greatest vocalists lending his pipes to "It Had to Be You," "Makin' Whoopee," "As Time Goes By" and more over arrangements by Sinatra collaborator Gordon Jenkins. A treasure.

Big Albums from May 1973: Paul Simon, Hawkwind, Carpenters, More!

Here's a look at some classic vinyl released 50 years ago this month. Click the links to order from Amazon.

A collection of well-crafted, catchy tunes in an eclectic array of styles. Leading off with "Kodachrome," other tunes include "Something So Right," "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," and "Love Me Like a Rock."

A double LP of hard-driving 70s space rock. Close your eyes and you can imagine the stage spectacle, which must've been intense, what with flashing lights, Stacia and all.

A much different from Space Ritual. Features the "Sesame Street"-derived "Sing" and "Yesterday Once More," which tops off a long medley or rock'n'roll oldies. Karen's voice amazes.

An amazing feat of musicianship by the artist who, 19 at the time, played nearly everything on it. But it may creep you out if you've seen "The Exorcist," which used a bit of it on its soundtrack.

The much-anticipated followup to All Thing Must Pass didn't disappoint. Lead-off track "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" is a Harrison classic. Other highlights include "Sue Me, Sue You Blues," "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long," and the title track. Hare Krishna.

Big Albums from April 1973: Beatles! Bowie! Marley! More!

The Beatles 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 aka "Red" and "Blue" Albums

The release of these two-LP compilations not only scratched a nostalgic itch for first-wave Beatles fans, but helped spawn a second generation of listeners who fell in love with the group and its music, including yours truly. 

I was just a toddler during most of the Beatles' career. Their music and influence was very much in the air, and I'm sure I heard plenty of their songs at the time via the radio and being in public spaces, but my parents, being from pre-rock era, didn't own any Beatles music, nor have any interest it. But I turned 8 at the end of the 1973, and I remember friends' older siblings owning and playing these records and coming to think that the Beatles must be cool.

 I never owned either of these comps, but starting getting Beatles albums a few years later, when I had allowance and lawn-mowing money to spend on things. Still, without this early- to mid-70s resurgence of the Beatles' music, which carried over to interest in the group members' various solo LPs, who knows what might happened? Maybe the torch wouldn't have been passed so successfully.

Bob Marley and the Wailers - Catch a Fire

Rated one of the best Marley, and reggae, albums ever, this was the band's first on the Island Records label and the one featuring "Stir it Up." Not sure what they were hinting at with the Zippo-like cover, which opened up light a real lighter...

Eagles - Desperado

The one with, um, "Desperado" on it. Interestingly, though, the song wasn't a hit at the time. Linda Ronstadt's cover of it on her "Don't Cry Now" LP released later in the year helped draw attention to it, and it's now ranked among the Eagles' best, if you like the Eagles, which I don't.

Roger Daltrey - Daltrey

The Who vocalist's first foray outside the fold did better than some might have expected, given that he was singing tunes not written by Pete Townshend. It hit the top 50 and single, "Giving it All Away," hit the UK Top 5. Daltrey co-wrote most of the songs with Leo Sayer, who hadn't yet made a name for himself.  Fun fact, portions of the album were recorded and mixed at Apple Studios, and Roger sang the vocals to "One Man Band" on the roof, where the Beatles had recorded portions of Let it Be.

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane

The follow-up to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars continue in the same vein, which isn't a bad thing at all. Features the hit "Jean Genie" and Bowie's cover of the Rolling Stones' "Let's Spend the Night Together."

Paul McCartney and Wings - Red Rose Speedway

Wings follow-up to tossed-off debut is a more ambitious affair, although still wildly uneven. Single "My Love," of course, became a McCartney standard, but casual listeners would be hard-pressed to name any other tunes off the album, although some of them -- "Big Barn Bed," "Little Lamb Dragonfly" -- aren't bad. It would take until their next LP for Wings to finally hit their stride.

Big Albums from March 1973: Pink Floyd! Led Zeppelin! Alice Cooper! More!

Classic albums released this month, 50 years ago. Click the links to order from Amazon.

Maybe you've heard of it. This is the LP that finally made the Floyd a household name, accompanied a zillion basement bong sessions and, strangely, works as a soundtrack to the first bit of "The Wizard of Oz" (something that was likely discovered during a basement bong session).
    The albums with Syd and Meddle are better in my book, but Dark Side is obviously a special album and worth an anniversary spin this month.

The critically acclaimed and likely best-known and most accessible LP from the Velvet Underground co-founder. Backing musicians include Lowell George and Wilton Felder.

Todd gets weirdly psychedelic in the wake of the commercial success of Something/Anything. Rolling Stone called it "his most experimental, and annoying, effort to date" but Patti Smith loved it.

The band's third LP spawned some of its best-known tunes, including "Long Train Runnin'", "China Grove" and "Without You."

The gravel-voiced singer-songwriter's debut barely hints at the bizarre brilliance to come, but is pretty brilliant in its own right, featuring tunes later covered by Tim Buckley, Bette Midler, Meat Loaf and, suitably enough, Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

The group's second LP is the last to feature Eno and the one that features "Do the Strand," all pointing to glammer and more commercial pastures.

The debut of the Fripp, Bruford, Wetton, Cross, Muir lineup remains one of the band's biggest LPs. A landmark of prog rock, for better or worse. The title track is 13 minutes long and, as a meal, tastes terrible.

After playing Dark Side of the Moon, liven up your basement bong party with this one. Featuring "The Song Remains the Same," "The Rain Song," "D'Yer Maker," "The Crunge" and "Over the Hills and Far Away" it doesn't get more green shag carpet than this.

The band's fourth and final album is the one with "Cindy Incidentally," "Borstal Boys" and the lovely title track, sung by Ronnie Wood.

The bestest-selling Alice Cooper album ever. "No More Mr. Nice Guy."

Big Albums from February 1973: Elvis! Iggy! Temptations! More!

Here's a look at some of the big albums released 50 years ago this month. Click the links to order them from Amazon.

The #1 charting soundtrack to the King's groundbreaking TV special, which was filmed in January and beamed worldwide from space in April. The original double LP features performances of "See See Rider," "Burning Love," "My Way," "Suspicious Minds" and "American Trilogy."

The classic third LP by Iggy and crew, co-produced by David Bowie and featuring "Search and Destroy," "Gimme Danger," "Shake Appeal" and the lovingly titled "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell."

Produced by Norman Whitfield (overseer of Temps' classics "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Ball of Confusion") this LP was heavy on long-form tunes that stressed instrumental passages over vocals, which attracted some criticism at the time, but still sold incredibly well and stands up as one of the group's bests. Songs include "Hey Girl (I Like Your Style)," "Plastic Man," "Hurry Tomorrow" and the 13-minute-plus title track.

The Night Tripper really broke through on this, his sixth and all-time bestselling album. The title track was a Top 10 single and the LP features instrumental backing from the doctor's New Orleans colleagues the Meters and the legendary Allen Toussaint, who produced the platter.

The eighth record by British singer/songwriter/guitarist Martyn is now regarded as a classic, weaving in elements of folk, blues and jazz into a gentle, spacey, contemplative sound that's quite unique. The title track is dedicated to Martyn's late friend, Nick Drake. Backup musicians include fellow British folksters Richard Thompson, Danny Thompson, David Pegg and Dave Mattacks.