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

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.

Big Albums from January 1973: Bruce! Elton! Yoko! Beach Boys! 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 debut album from the Boss, which leads off with his first big single, "Blinded By the Light" and featuring E-Street Band mainstay Clarence Clemons on sax.

Yoko (sort of) goes pop on a double LP on the Apple label. Co-produced by John Lennon (who also is credited as Joel Nohn for guitar and backing vocals) and featuring Mick Jagger(!) on guitar on "Winter is Here to Stay."

Celebrated in last year's excellent Sail On Sailor - 1972 box set, this one saw the band recording in the title-named nation for a change of scenery and, perhaps, new inspiration. Carl takes the lead producing, singing and writing, but Brian is spotlighted on the accompanying Mount Vernon and Fairway EP with all of his melodic charms and charming eccentricity on display. Drummer (and future Rutle!) Ricky Fataar and guitarist Blondie Chaplin from the great South African band the Flames are added as members and contribute their co-written tune, "Leaving this Town." Highlights include that song, the multi-part "California Saga," Brian's grooving "Funky Pretty" and, of course, "Sail On Sailor."

This also could be called the Great Lost Compilation Album, since it became hard to find once Ray Davies learned of its existence and RCA took it out of circulation. He'd had no notice the album was being assembled or released. I only managed to hear it back in the late 80s via a friend lucky enough to own a copy, which I duly copied onto a cassette. Until some of these obscurities started turning up as CD bonus tracks, it was the only way hear worthy tunes such as "Plastic Man," "Lavender Hill," "When I Turn Out the Living Room Light," "Mr. Songbird, "Where Did the Spring Go" and brother Dave's great "This Man He Weeps Tonight."

The first of two 1973 releases by Elton (the second is Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Maybe you've heard of it?) is highlighted by big singles "Daniel" and "Crocodile Rock," building on the huge success achieved by previous LP Honky Chateau. I remember being a kid in the early 1970s and Elton-mania. Seems like he, and his music, was everywhere.

Gram's first solo outing is one of those LPs that is likely far more influential now than it was upon release. Certainly this, and Parsons' work with the countrified Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers, informed and inspired the country rock sounds of the 70s, but his music remains an important touchstone to today's indy country musicians such as Margo Price and Sturgill Simpson. This is a beautiful recording, full of sweeping ballads and singing pedal steel guitars, plus, Emmylou Harris' incomparable harmony singing. Highlights include "She," "We'll Sweep the Ashes Out in the Morning" and "How Much I've Lied."

Any favorites? What were you listening to 50 years ago (if you were alive then!)? Please weigh in!