293 Stevie Wonder – Innervisions

Stevie Wonder continues (or begins depending on what jerk is talking) what is the greatest back to back run of recordings ever put to wax with, Innervisions.

This album of the year winner has everything; weird whole tone solos, macking on ladies using fake Spanish,  a golden lady , and the continually prescient and horribly sad tale of a black man getting framed by dirty cops.

Rob, Birch, Ben, Solange, and Jon discuss.

291 Waylon Jennings – Honky Tonk Heroes

Waylon had always been looking, perhaps unintentionally, for a common ground between country and rock, and Shaver’s songs — sketching an outlaw stance with near defiance, borrowing rock attitude to create the hardest country tunes imaginable

290 Steely Dan – Countdown to Ecstasy

Can’t Buy a Thrill became an unexpected hit, and as a response, Donald Fagen became the group’s full-time lead vocalist, and he and Walter Becker acted like Steely Dan was a rock & roll band for the group’s second album, Countdown to Ecstasy.

289 Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

It was designed to be a blockbuster and it was spilling over two LPs, which was all the better to showcase every element of John’s spangled personality. It is good but is it double album good?

288 Todd Rundgren – A Wizard a True Star

Patti Smith was enthusiastic in her review : “Blasphemy even the gods smile on. Rock and roll for the skull. A very noble concept. Past present and tomorrow in one glance. Understanding through musical sensation. Todd Rundgren is preparing us for a generation of frenzied children who will dream in animation.”

287 Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells

Mike Oldfield’s groundbreaking album Tubular Bells is arguably the finest conglomeration of off-centered instruments concerted together to form a single unique piece. A variety of instruments are combined to create an excitable multitude of rhythms, tones, pitches, and harmonies that all fuse neatly into each other, resulting in an astounding plethora of music. – Mike DeGagne

286 Mott The Hoople – Mott

All the Young Dudes actually brought Mott the Hoople success, but you wouldn’t know that from its sequel, Mott. Ian Hunter’s songs are a set of road tales fraught with exhaustion, disillusionment, and dashed dreams, all told with a wry sense of humor so evident on Mott’s earlier work. -AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

285 Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters

I began to feel that I had been spending so much time exploring the upper atmosphere of music and the more ethereal kind of far-out spacey stuff. Now there was this need to take some more of the earth and to feel a little more tethered; a connection to the earth. … I was beginning to feel that we (the sextet) were playing this heavy kind of music, and I was tired of everything being heavy. I wanted to play something lighter.
— Hancock’s sleeve notes: 1997 CD reissue

284 Faust – Faust IV

Coming on the heels of the cut-and-paste sound-collage schizophrenia of The Faust Tapes, Faust IV seems relatively subdued and conventional, though it’s still a far cry from what anyone outside the German avant-garde rock scene was doing.

283 Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure

On Roxy Music’s debut, the tensions between Brian Eno and Bryan Ferry propelled their music to great, unexpected heights, and for most of the group’s second album, For Your Pleasure, the band equals, if not surpasses, those expectations.

281 Marvin Gaye – Lets Get It On

Serving as Gaye’s first venture into the funk genre and romance-themed music, Let’s Get It On incorporates smooth soul, doo-wop, and quiet storm. It has been noted by critics for its sexually suggestive lyrics, and was cited by one writer as “one of the most sexually charged albums ever recorded”. – Wikipedia

280 Genesis – Selling England by the Pound

Genesis proved that they could rock on Foxtrot but on its follow-up Selling England by the Pound they didn’t follow this route, they returned to the English eccentricity of their first records, which wasn’t so much a retreat as a consolidation of powers. – AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

279 Lou Reed – Berlin

Listeners felt the Berlin album was either a work or macabre genius or a an aural pit of despair – there was not much middle ground. As for critics, the underground press generally loved it, while the mainstream rock magazines trashed it. Lou Reed is trying something different.

278 CAN – Future Days

On Future Days, the band foregrounds the ambient elements they had begun exploring on previous efforts, dispensing largely with traditional rock song structures and instead “creating hazy, expansive soundscapes dominated by percolating rhythms and evocative layers of keys.

277 John Cale – Paris 1919

One of John Cale’s very finest solo efforts, Paris 1919 is also among his most accessible records, one which grows in depth and resonance with each successive listen. – AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny

276 Hawkwind – Space Ritual

Space Ritual is an excellent document of Hawkwind’s classic lineup, underscoring the group’s status as space rock pioneers. As the quintessential “people’s band,” Hawkwind carried ’60s countercultural idealism into the ’70s, gigging constantly, playing wherever there was an audience, and even playing for free on five consecutive days outside the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

275 Bob Marley and the Wailers – Catch a Fire

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.

274 King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues in Aspic

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.

273 David Bowie – Aladdin Sane

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

272 The Incredible Bongo Band – Bongo Rock

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’

271 Lynyrd Skynyrd – Pronounced (Lĕh-‘Nérd ‘Skin-‘Nérd)

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”

270 Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street

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!