179 Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath’s debut album is the birth of heavy metal as we now know it. Compatriots like Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple were already setting new standards for volume and heaviness in the realms of psychedelia, blues-rock, and prog rock. Yet of these metal pioneers, Sabbath are the only one whose sound today remains instantly recognizable as heavy metal, even after decades of evolution in the genre.

-AllMusic Review by Steve Huey-

178 Spirit – Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus

An overlooked album that still has some great songs that should be heard. The band’s lowest charting album to that point, it peaked at #63 on the Billboard 200 in February 1971, spending only fourteen weeks on the chart. However, it sold well as a catalog item and became the band’s only album to ultimately attain a RIAA gold certification in the U.S., achieving that status in 1976

177 Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

One of the most revolutionary albums in jazz history to some.  We try and formulate our opinions for an album that is made to be all things and nothing at the same time.

176 Derek and the Dominos – Layla Other Assorted Love Songs

Formed by guitarist/singer Eric Clapton with other former members of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, in the spring of 1970. From late August to early October, they recorded the celebrated double album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs with guitarist Duane Allman sitting in. Powerful record but not everyone in the club is excited about more Clapton.

175 Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmos Factory

With the release of Cosmo’s Factory in July 1970, Creedence Clearwater Revival hit their commercial zenith. It was their fifth album in two years and became an international smash, topping the album charts in six countries. They sold millions of records, but never had a #1 hit. They did score five #2 hits on the Hot 100, the most of any act without a #1.

174 Frank Zappa – Hot Rats

Hot Rats’ genius lies in the way it fuses the compositional sophistication of jazz with rock’s down-and-dirty attitude — there’s a real looseness and grit to the three lengthy jams. Frank is out there but some of the group don’t know that they want to be there.  We also end with a Zappa True/False.

173 Alexander Spence – Oar

The album is sometimes called a “soundtrack to schizophrenia” and a “visionary solo effort,” but  became delegated to bargain bins shortly after its release in the spring of 1969. However, those who did hear it were instantly drawn into Spence’s inimitable sonic surrealism.

172 The Stooges – the Stooges

The Stooges soon gained a reputation for their wild, primitive live performances. Pop, especially, became known for his outrageous onstage behavior—smearing his bare chest with hamburger meat and peanut butter, cutting himself with shards of glass, and flashing his genitalia to the audience. Pop is sometimes credited with the invention or popularization of stage diving.

171 Scott Walker – Scott 4

Walker wasn’t on the chart with his fourth album, but the result was probably his finest ’60s LP.  The over blown production and his subversive non commercial friend lyrics stand by a relatively stripped-down approach that works in way that is unexpected.   It’s hard to pinpoint what was or wasn’t engaging about this album but we will try.

170 Fairport Convention- Liege and Lief

In the decades since its original release, more than one writer has declared Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief the definitive British folk-rock album. We are pleasantly surprised with this seminal Fairport Album.

169 Leonard Cohen – Songs From a Room

In the 1960s, Cohen lived on the Greek island Hydra with his girlfriend Marianne Ihlen, the woman depicted on the back cover of Songs from a Room. She has related how she helped him out of a depression by handing him his guitar, whereupon he began composing “Bird on the Wire”, inspired by a bird sitting on one of Hydra’s recently installed phone wires, followed by memories of wet island nights. Another classic from a poet of a musician.

168 King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King

In the Court of the Crimson King was the masterpiece that essentially launched progressive rock, which was the dominant genre in high-end British pop for the next seven years. Until The Dark Side of the Moon, it was the definitive prog-rock album. Also we find out what is really going on at the end of “Moon child”.

167 The Kinks – Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Kinks frontman Ray Davies constructed the concept album as the soundtrack to a Granada Television play and developed the storyline with novelist Julian Mitchell; however, the television programme was cancelled and never produced. The rough plot revolved around Arthur Morgan, a carpet-layer, who was based on Ray and guitarist Dave Davies’ brother-in-law Arthur Anning. Come along as we sing along to the Kinks.

166 Grateful Dead – Live Dead

The Grateful Dead’s fourth title was likewise their first extended concert recording. Spread over two LPs, Live/Dead introduced all to the world to what it was like to experience a dead show for better or worst.

165 Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul

Hot Buttered Soul set the precedent for how soul would evolve into a funky groove.  It remains an seminal record that many would consider the starting point for “baby making music”.

164 Youngbloods – Elephant Mountain

After their breakout hit “get together” the Youngbloods moved to Northern California and started blending affective pop/rock melodies and lyrics with their good time jug band roots, the Youngbloods were instantly embraced by the already blossoming Bay Area music community, but they won’t be embraced by our group.

163 Fairport Convention – Unhalfbricking

Considered one of the greatest English folk bands of the 1960’s  Fairport Convention drew upon traditional styles and combined them with contemporary sounds to great effect. News flash Rob doesn’t like folk music.

162 Chicago – Chicago Transit Authority

Few debut albums can boast as consistently solid an effort as the self-titled Chicago Transit Authority (1969). Although this was ultimately the septet’s first national exposure, the group was far from the proverbial “overnight sensation.” Does being the tightest band make you the best?  Let’s discuss.

161 Tim Buckley – Happy Sad

By 1969, Tim Buckley seemed bored with traditional acoustic folk. Happy / Sad marked the beginning of Buckley’s experimental period, incorporating elements of jazz by way of Lee Underwood’s – guitar, keyboards & David Friedman‘s vibraphone . Buckley also decided he wanted to take control of the songs and lyrics penning the entire album himself , and began to really use his voice with drawn out phasings so that they acted as another instrument blending into the songs instead of on top of the melodies. The album’s songs are a minimal tapestry that slowly draw the lister into Buckley mesmerizing visions about loneliness, love and loss.

160 Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!

“Stand!” is the pinnacle of Sly & the Family Stone’s early work, a record that represents a culmination of the group’s musical vision and accomplishment.

159 The Temptations – Cloud Nine

“Cloud Nine” is an album that would become one of the defining early funk examples, with songs that not only took Motown in a new direction, but helped to shape the genre as well, but only on the first half. The second half shows the temptations right back in their comfort zone, and that is not a bad thing.

158 MC5 – Kick Out the Jams

Rather than try to capture their legendary on-stage energy in a studio, MC5 opted to record their first album during a live concert at their home base, Detroit’s Grande Ballroom. From Brother J.C. Crawford’s rabble-rousing introduction to the final wash on feedback on “Starship,” Kick Out the Jams is one of the most powerfully energetic live albums ever made.

157 Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Recorded quickly during Led Zeppelin’s first American tours, Led Zeppelin II provided the blueprint for all the heavy metal bands that followed it. Since the group could only enter the studio for brief amounts of time, most of the songs that compose II are reworked blues and rock & roll standards. Some of the group fe3els like it was a rushed album and doesn’t have the same teeth as the first but still enjoyable.

156 The Band – The Band

The Band, the group’s second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort, partially because the players had become a more cohesive unit, and partially because guitarist Robbie Robertson. The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal, while the lyrics continued to paint portraits of 19th century rural life.