Sunday, November 03, 2013

My Favourite Albums of the 1970s

I was nearly 13 by the time the 1970s ended but my "record collection" - played on my dad's Sanyo Music Centre (soon to be mine!) - consisted of children's music, odd presents, and Greatest Hits. Yet the seventies seems now to have been the golden age of the album. How I came to it was secondhand though (literally so in some cases, though "midprice" might be the best word to describe why I got so many seventies records so early on.) So artists such as Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Joni Mitchell were still making just-about-acceptable music by the 80s, or I'd hear an old track - say, by Neil Young - and investigate further. I was a little young for punk, so most of the punk and post punk records I've got - like my 60s collection - are on CD - so came along later. That's why you won't find "The Ramones" or "Never Mind the Bollocks" in this list - I get the feeling you had to be there to truly love them. It was such a fecund decade that a top 50 wasn't enough - after all how do you encompass reggae, disco, funk, punk, early electronica, prog rock (in small doses), heavy metal, glam, singer songwriters etc etc? It was also the golden age of the album really - and even minor artists would release at least an album a year. More recently I've been picking up things from secondhand record shops and I'm amazed at the decades diversity. A few artists - Joni, Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Marvin, Neil Young, Steely Dan - could probably have filled a top 50 on their own so I've been relatively selective there, but it still required a top 100 to do it justice - and I've still missed things out! My number one might come as a surprise, but its been pretty much my all time favourite albums since I first heard it in the mid-80s.

1 Rock Bottom Robert Wyatt
2 Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust David Bowie
3 Blue Joni Mitchell
4 After the Goldrush Neil Young
5 Horses Patti Smith
6 There's a Riot Goin' On Sly and the Family Stone
7 Innervisions Stevie Wonder
8 Unknown Pleasures Joy Division
9 Funhouse Iggy and the Stooges
10 For Your Pleasure Roxy Music
11 A Wizard a True Star Todd Rundgren
12 Fear of Music Talking Heads
13 Mott Mott the Hoople
14 Superfly Curtis Mayfield
15 Loaded Velvet Underground
16 Whos Next The Who
17 Here Come the Warm Jets Brian Eno
18 Solid Air John Martyn
19 I am Earth Wind and Fire
20 Entertainment Gang of Four
21 Headhunters Herbie Hancock
22 Trouble Man Soundtrack Marvin Gaye
23 Berlin Lou Reed
24 Bitches Brew Miles Davis
25 Diamond Dogs David Bowie
26 Aja Steely Dan
27 Rust Never Sleeps Neil Young
28 Luxury Liner Emmylou Harris
29 Court and Spark Joni Mitchell
30 Low David Bowie
31 Exodus Bob Marley and the Wailers
32 Stretchin Out in Bootsys Rubber Band Bootsy Rubber Band
33 Motor Booty Affair Parliament
34 B-52s B-52s
35 Travelogue Human League
36 Live at the Counter Eurovision 79 Misty in Roots
37 That’s the way of the world Earth Wind and Fire
38 Man Machine Kraftwerk
39 1st Big Star
40 Rufusized Rufus and Chaka Khan
41 Here, My Dear Marvin Gaye
42 A nods as good as a wink Faces
43 Another Green World Brian Eno
44 Hunky Dory David Bowie
45 Hell James Brown
46 Pearl Janis Joplin
47 Handsworth Revolution Misty in Roots
48 Desire Bob Dylan
49 All Day Music War
50 Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs Eddie Hazel
51 John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
52 Tumbleweed Connection Elton John
53 Tapestry Carole King
54 Hissing of Summer Lawns Joni Mitchell
55 Harvest Neil Young
56 Risque Chic
57 The Placebo Syndrome Parliament
58 Tusk Fleetwood Mac
59 Back in the USA MC5
60 Marquee Moon Television
61 Wish You Were  Here Pink Floyd
62 Lark Tongues in Aspic King Crimson
63 The Payback James Brown
64 Parallel Lines Blondie
65 Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy) Brian Eno
66 The Royal Scam Steely Dan
67 Clear Spot Captain Beefheart
68 The Captain and Me Doobie Brothers
69 Electric warrior T. Rex
70 Machine Gun Commodores
71 Fly Like an Eagle Steve Miller Band
72 All Things Must Pass George Harrison
73 Talk of the Town Rod Stewart
74 Roxy Music Roxy Music
75 Radio City Big Star
76 Roxy and elsewhere Frank Zappa
77 Sister Lovers Big Star
78 Psychedelic Shack Temptations
79 Rickie Lee Jones Rickie lee jones
80 Stranded Roxy Music
81 The End Nico
82 Holland Beach Boys
83 Music of the Mind Stevie Wonder
84 Lick my decals off baby Captain Beefheart
85 Performance Soundtrack Various Artists
86 Slow Dazzle John Cale
87 Neu 2 Neu
88 Grievous Angel Gram Parsons
89 Todd Todd Rundgren
90 Something/Anything Todd Rundgren
91 Station to Station David Bowie
92 Approximate Infinite Universe Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
93 Sunflower Beach Boys
94 Zuma Neil Young
95 Argus Wishbone Ash
96 Hejira Joni Mitchell
97 Blows Against the Empire Jefferson Starship
98 You Can Tune a Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish REO Speedwagon
99 Sunfighter Paul Kantner & Grace Slick
100 Exposure Robert Fripp

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