Friday, 28 November 2014


Sometimes I think that we who grew up in the 60's and 70's are a cursed generation. Cursed and blessed, in that we grew up in the most amazing period of creativity in popular music, ever, and nothing that has come after has ever been quite as good.

Now maybe it's true that every generation thinks the same, that it was the growing up that was so fantastic, and whatever music would have been around at the time would have been imprinted on impressionable adolescents.

Maybe any generation is predisposed to think that whatever they discover for themselves is going to be better than anything that came before, and better than whatever comes after. When we become immersed in work and family matters, maybe we no longer pay so much attention to the music around us.

Fair point, but still ... but still, has there ever been such time of eruption of popular music as we grew up in?

Take just one year, 1972:  Jazz was not really on my horizon, Prog Rock very much was ...  And of course this was pre-punk, which was again an explosion, and led to many good things, some of which I came to value, but it never really gripped me. So maybe this is a just a personal, biased, self-indulgent perspective of what was sinking into my brain when I was aged 14.   

Or maybe, just maybe, this was an utterly fantastic year for rock music.  See what you think ...

To pick just a few, it was the year of :
(links more or less randomly chosen)

(What, no Led Zeppelin?!  No, LedZep IV was released in Nov 1971, and Houses of the Holy, March 1973, so, sadly, no.  Similarly, The Who were between Who's Next and Quadrophenia.)

Folk/Soft Rock
  • Neil Young: Harvest
  • Joni Mitchell: For the Roses
  • Moody Blues: Seventh Sojourn
  • Steven Stills: Manassas
  • Eagles: Eagles
  • Carly Simon: No Secrets
  • Cat Stevens: Catch Bull At Four
  • Don MacLean: American Pie
  • John Denver: Rocky Mountain High
  • Neil Diamond: Hot August Night

Glam Rock
  • Bowie: Ziggy Stardust
  • Elton John: Honky Chateau
  • Roxy Music: Roxy Music
  • T Rex: The Slider
  • Alice Cooper: School's Out
  • Slade: Slayed?

Prog Rock
  • Genesis: Foxtrot
  • Pink Floyd: Obscured By Clouds and the movie Live at Pompeii
  • Yes: Close to The Edge
  • Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Trilogy
  • Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick and Living in the Past
  • Wishbone Ash: Argus
  • Uriah Heep: Demons and Wizards and Magician's Birthday
  • Focus: Focus III

AND ...

It wasn't a bad year for pop in general either ... hits that year included these memorable tracks (not always memorable for good reasons, but memorable nonetheless) ...

- Horse With No Name - Amazing Grace - Puppy Love - I'd Like to Teach The World To Sing - Mouldy Old Dough - My Ding-a-Ling - American Pie - Vincent (Starry Starry Night) - School's Out - Mama Weer All Crazee Now - You Wear It Well - Sylvia's Mother - Rockin' Robin  - Brand New Key - All the Young Dudes - Mother and Child Reunion - Long Haired Lover from Liverpool - Meet Me on the Corner - Layla (rerelease as single) - You're So Vain - Morning Has Broken - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face -    

All of that in ONE year! (And these lists barely scratch the surface.)  Is it any wonder we grew up obsessed with rock and pop?  It was a full time job just keeping up.

And now I come to think of it, 1973 wasn't too shabby either ... Dark Side of the Moon, Houses of the Holy, Quadrophenia, Tubular Bells, Band on The Run, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (I shouldn't have started).

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