Catch a Fire was the major label debut for Bob Marley and the Wailers, and it was an international success upon its release in 1973. Although Bob Marley may have been the main voice, every member of the Wailers made valuable contributions and they were never more united in their vision and sound.
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic showed several significant changes in King Crimson’s sound. Having previously relied on saxophone and flute as significant melodic and textural instruments, the band had replaced them with a single violin. This is Prog-jazz-metal-rock that gets us going and was a delightful surprise.
Ziggy Stardust wrote the blueprint for David Bowie’s hard-rocking glam, and Aladdin Sane essentially follows the pattern, for both better and worse. A lighter affair than Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane is actually a stranger album than its predecessor, buoyed by bizarre lounge-jazz flourishes from pianist Mick Garson and a handful of winding, vaguely experimental songs. -Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Incredible Bongo Band was the brain child of prolific film and record producer Michael Viner, put together in 1972 to supplement the soundtrack to the virtually anonymous B-Movie film The Thing With Two Heads. They went from a loose studio collective to an instrumental pop covers consortium, interpreting classics of the day in their own inimitable percussion-heavy fashion. Viner recorded ‘The Incredible Bongo Band’ at MGM studios during down time assembling line-ups from whoever was available at the time.
Apache, originally made famous by The Shadows, is simply legendary in the worlds of dance music and hip hop. One of the most sampled tracks of all time it has been used by Nas, Beastie Boys, Moby, Kanye West, Sugarhill Gang, Jay-Z, Aphex Twin, DJ Shadow, Goldie, Double Dee & Steinski, Faith Evans, Ultramagnetic MC’s, Leaders Of The New School, UNKLE, IBM Nation and DJ Spinna, The Bizzie Boyz, Schoolly D, LL Cool J, 2 Live Crew, 4 Hero, Godfather Don, Diamond D, Luke Vibert, Sway & King Tech, Rebel MC, to name a few…
Apache was a staple for the likes of Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash as they invented the art of DJing at the Bronx block parties of the ‘70s. Over the years it has become a hip hop and breakers anthem and is revered as the break of all original breaks, with the rhythms of this LP even helping to coin the term ‘breakbeat’
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on the Who’s Quadrophenia tour in the United States. Their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, featuring King, Collins and Rossington all collaborating with Van Zant on the songwriting, cemented the band’s breakthrough. Its single, “Sweet Home Alabama”
In the spring of 1971, nine years into their existence as the world’s greatest rock & roll band, the Rolling Stones learned to their great dismay that they were not only broke but would also have to leave England to avoid paying high British income tax. They decamped to the French Riviera and began recording their new album in the basement of Villa Nellcôte, Keith Richards‘ impressive mansion by the sea. The result was the Stones’ only double album, the classic Exile on Main Street. Rock out to this classic album!
A wonderful album showcasing Green’s dynamic soul singer whispers, animated cries, and riffing to enhance his already stirring delivery. Prior to this album, Al Green never had a number one song. The title track, “Let’s Stay Together,” achieved that status and held it for nine consecutive weeks.
War’s third album as an act separate from Eric Burdon was also far and away their most popular, the group’s only long-player to top the pop charts. The culmination of everything they’d been shooting for creatively on their two prior albums, it featured work in both succinct pop-accessible idioms as well as challenging extended pieces such as the 13-minute “City, Country, City” and the title track, and encompassed not only soul and funk but elements of blues and psychedelia. – AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
Described as a rock opera and also a loose concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is about Bowie’s titular alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a fictional androgynous bisexual rock star who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings that would like to save the world but only have a limited time to do so. The narrative of the story quick dissolves but our love of this album does not.
School’s Out catapulted Alice Cooper into the hard rock stratosphere, largely due to its timeless, all-time classic title track. But while the song became Alice’s highest-charting single ever (reaching number seven on the U.S. charts) and recalled the brash, three-and-a-half-minute garage rock of yore, the majority of the album signaled a more complex compositional directional for the band.
Falling halfway between musical primitivism and art rock ambition, Roxy Music’s eponymous debut remains a startling redefinition of rock’s boundaries. Simultaneously embracing kitschy glamour and avant-pop, Roxy Music shimmers with seductive style and pulsates with disturbing synthetic textures. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If any musical justification were needed for the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, it could be found on this striking collection, Paul Simon’s post-split debut. From the opening cut, “Mother and Child Reunion” (a Top Ten hit), Simon, who had snuck several subtle musical explorations into the generally conservative S&G sound, broke free. -AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
By 1970, Nick Drake had lost his passion for life and music. Island Records decided to stop paying him and he turned to prescription drugs and pot. His management said Drake smoked “unbelievable amounts of marijuana” and by 1974, the singer was completely out of the public eye. The last song Nick Drake wrote was called “Black Eyed Dog,” supposedly written about Winston Churchill’s description of depression. In 1974, Drake was found dead in his room at age 26, apparently from an overdose of antidepressant medication.
Buckley fans are split on this album but we aren’t. There are plenty of soul/ funk albums that would seem to be more appropriate than another Tim Buckley album that want’s to be a Blaxploitation soundtrack. but that is what the book has.
“Tim Buckley: Greetings from L.A. (Warner Bros., 1972) Perverse as it may seem, Buckley’s mannered, androgynous moan has real erotic appeal for some, and here it turns a trick. This is rock pornography if anything is, complete with whips, foot fetishes, meat racks, and salacious gasps, and while I wouldn’t call the band hard-core, it definitely fills the groove.” – Robert Christgau
Balance is the key element of the Eagles’ self-titled debut album, a collection that contains elements of rock & roll, folk, and country, overlaid by vocal harmonies alternately suggestive of doo wop, the Beach Boys, and the Everly Brothers. – AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
The years have only been kind to the album considered David Ackles’s masterpiece when it was released. Ackles combined an early ’70s singer-songwriter sensibility with a theater music background that placed him as much in the tradition of Brecht-Weill and Jacques Brel as Bob Dylan. Not only are his songs fully realized, dramatic statements, but Ackles proves himself a warm, accomplished singer. When this album got no higher than #167 on the charts, Ackles’s fans were heartbroken. Decades later, American Gothic remains one of those great albums that never found its audience. It waits to be rediscovered. – William Ruhlmann, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995
Buoyed by two U.K. number one singles in “Telegram Sam” and “Metal Guru,” The Slider became T. Rex’s most popular record on both sides of the Atlantic, despite the fact that it produced no hits in the U.S. The Slider essentially replicates all the virtues of Electric Warrior, crammed with effortless hooks and trashy fun.
From the Steven Stills website
By 1972, what we call classic rock was pretty much peaking – though nobody at the time knew it. Except maybe Stephen Stills. The band and double-album he piloted and released that year—both named Manassas—now seem pivotal. Manassas brilliantly summed up the remarkable 1960s creative surge that revitalized rock’s roots and encouraged experimentation just when it was at its crest.
After releasing two records during 1970-71, Stevie Wonder expanded his compositional palette with 1972’s Talking Book to include societal ills as well as tender love songs, and so recorded the first smash album of his career.
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.
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 .
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.
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.