255 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will the Circle Be Unbroken

It took the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band until this album to come up with a merger of rock and country music that worked for both sides and everyone involved. Not only did this album result in exposure to a new and wider audience for the likes of Mother Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, and others, but this was the first real country album that a lot of rock listeners under the age of 30 ever heard.

254 Todd Rundgren – Something Anything

After two albums, Todd Rundgren had one hit and a burgeoning cult following, plus growing respect as a hitmaking record producer. There’s no question he was busy, but as it turns out, all this work only scratched the surface of his ambition. He had decided to abandon the Runt pretense and recorded a full double album by himself .

253 Milton Nascimento E Lô Borges – Clube Da Esquina

1972 saw Brazil controlled by a repressive military regime, but it was also a watershed moment for Brazilian pop music, or as it’s often called, MPB. Tropicália heroes Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso had found success outside of Brazil and had already stirred the flames of inspiration for the corner music collective and people from the Minas Gerais state called Clube Da Esquina.

252 Hugh Masekela – Home Is Where the Music Is

Home is where the music is , marked a sharp detour from Hugh Masekela’s more pop-oriented jazz records of the ’60s. Masekela was chasing a different groove altogether. He was looking to create a very different kind of fusion, one that involved the rhythms and melodies of his native South Africa, and included the more spiritual, soul-driven explorations.

251 Lou Reed – Transformer

Being Lou Reed in 1972 was a raw deal: two years after walking away from one of the greatest and most influential bands in rock history, he found himself a penniless, strung-out wreck, with a career suddenly and seriously on the wane. To make matters worse, his self-titled solo debut, released earlier that year, was a monumental flop, a hastily thrown together collection of second rate re-recordings of Velvet Underground outtakes that lacked the intensity and focus of his earlier music. Reed was at a crossroads, unsure of which direction to take his newfound independence.

250 Yes – Close to the Edge

Close to the Edge comprised just three tracks that represented the musical, lyrical, and sonic culmination of all that Yes had worked toward over the past five years. We are now in heavy prog.

249 Deep Purple – Made in Japan

Recorded over three nights in August 1972, Deep Purple’s Made in Japan was the record that brought the band to headliner status in the U.S. and elsewhere, and it remains a landmark in the history of heavy metal music.

248 Slade – Slayed

Crank the volume up and the whole world will be going crazee all over again.  A very fun record that inspired everything from , hard rock, to glam to 80’s hair metal.

247 Curtis Mayfield – Superfly

Mayfield, along with several other soul and funk musicians, spread messages of hope in the face of oppression, pride in being a member of the black race and gave courage to a generation of people who were demanding their human rights, without abandoning the struggle for equality. He has been compared to Martin Luther King, Jr. for making a lasting impact in the civil rights struggle with his inspirational music. This album works not only as a soundtrack but as a stand alone album.

246 Neil Young – Harvest

Graham Nash — of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — has a story about his friend, Neil Young, that has been almost too perfect to believe for nearly three decades.

As the myth goes, Nash was at Young’s ranch just south of San Francisco when Young asked him if he wanted to hear something. (That something would become Young’s now famous 1972 “Harvest” album, which features the track “Heart of Gold.”) Nash, of course, said yes and suggested going into Young’s studio. That wasn’t Young’s plan.

“He said, ‘Get into the rowboat,'” Nash explained on NPR’s Fresh Air in 2013. “I said, ‘Get into the rowboat?’ He said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to go out into the middle of the lake.'”

The two row out on the lake, with Nash assuming Young brought a cassette player and headphones with him.

“Oh, no,” said Nash on NPR. “He has his entire house as the left speaker and his entire barn as the right speaker. And I heard ‘Harvest’ coming out of these two incredibly large loud speakers louder than hell. It was unbelievable. Elliot Mazer, who produced ‘Harvest,’ came down to the shore of the lake and he shouted out to Neil, ‘How was that, Neil?'”

As Nash explained, “I swear to God, Neil Young shouted back, ‘More barn!'”

245 Steely Dan – Can’t Buy a Thrill

Most rock & roll bands are a tightly wound unit that developed their music through years of playing in garages and clubs around their hometown. Steely Dan never subscribed to that aesthetic. As the vehicle for the songwriting of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Steely Dan defied all rock & roll conventions.

-Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

244 Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath, Vol. 4

Often overlooked by the general public and stories of studio insanity can’t keep this album from showing Black Sabbath create something interesting.. “The recording was plagued with problems, many due to substance abuse. In the studio, the band regularly had speaker boxes full of cocaine delivered.[2] It’s no secret the band consumed Scarface-like piles of powder and other substances at the time Ward said. There was one point where Ozzy had spray-painted my private parts,And then I read on the spray paint it was poisonous and do not apply to the skin, so in fear of my private parts, I panicked and went kind of crazy.” (Osbourne, in his 2010 memoir I Am Ozzy, wrote that it was Iommi who spray-painted Ward’s junk.)

243 Big Star – #1 Record

A classic record that went unnoticed on it’s release but has seen a huge influence on artist with each re-release. Sit back crank it up and enough this power pop masterpiece.

242 Deep Purple – Machine Head

Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, and Deep Purple’s Machine Head have stood the test of time as the Holy Trinity of English hard rock and heavy metal, serving as the fundamental blueprints followed by virtually every heavy rock & roll band since the early ’70s. –  AllMusic summery by Eduardo Rivadavia

241 Randy Newman – Sail Away

Randy Newman’s third studio album, finds the singer/songwriter at the beginning of a great career with a beautiful blend of orchestrated pop,  stripped-down insight and humor.  You listen to Randy and you are going to learn something.

240 David Bowie – Hunky Dory

Bowie has arrived with Hunky Dory, a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie’s sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class. Another classic.  This is going to be a good year.

239 T. Rex – Electric Warrior

The most iconic band of the U.K. glam rock scene of the ’70s, T. Rex were the creation of Marc Bolan, who started out as a cheerfully addled acolyte of psychedelia and folk-rock until he turned to swaggering rock & roll with boogie rhythm and a tricked-up fashion sense. For a couple years, T. Rex were the biggest band in England and a potent cult item in the United States. – Artist Biography by Mark Deming .  This album defined many of our parties and still does today. Such a  great time.

238 Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Schmilsson

When the Beatles famously said Nilsson was their favorite artist. He went from a great songwriter to a world renown stardom. Nilsson was one of the few major pop-rock recording artists of his era to achieve significant commercial success without ever performing major public concerts or undertaking regular tours. The craft of his songs and the defiant attitude he projected remains a touchstone for later generations of indie rock musicians. We talk to the biggest Nilsson fan that I know and I feel like she could be in the running for biggest fan in the Midwest!

237 John Prine – John Prine

One of the most celebrated singer/songwriters of his generation, John Prine is a master storyteller whose work is often witty and always heartfelt, frequently offering a sly but sincere reflection of his Midwestern roots. While Prine’s songs are often rooted in folk and country flavors, he’s no stranger to rock & roll, R&B, and rockabilly, and he readily adapts his rough but expressive voice to his musical surroundings. And though Prine has never scored a major hit of his own, his songs have been recorded by a long list of well-respected artists, including Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, George Strait, Bette Midler, Paul Westerberg, and Dwight Yoakam. Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny

236 Gene Clark – White Light

Clark took time to hone his songwriting to its barest essentials. The focus on these tracks is intense, they are taut and reflect his growing obsession with country music. I think it sounds a little too much like Bob Dylan, but as far as influences you could do worst.

235 Flamin’ Groovies – Teenage Head

While they first rose to fame in San Francisco in the late ’60s, they had little interest in the psychedelic music that was all the rage in the Bay Area and instead focused on pure roots rock and Rhythm and Blues. It’s simple straightforward and fun as hell.

234 The Faces – A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse

There are few records that feel like a never-ending party like A Nod.  When you consider that the band also had Long Player to their credit and had their hands all over Every Picture in 1971, it’s hard to imagine another band or singer having a year more extraordinary as this.

233 Fela Kuti and the Afrika 70′ With Ginger Baker – Live

Originally released in 1971, this LP had Fela Kuti solidifying the format that would take him into international visibility in the years to come: extended tracks with grooves that mixed African and funk rhythms, punctuated by rudimentary lyrics.  –  AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger

We can’t stop grooving to this album! its great.

232 Janis Joplin – Pearl

One last great album for the troubled singer songwriter. This one cooks.
She left $1500 in her will for a funeral party. It was held at The Lion’s Share in San Anselmo, California, on October 26, 1971. The Grateful Dead performed.