SOME OTHER CLASSIC POP AND ROCK ALBUMS OF THE 1970's
There's a certain cadre of great albums that have been made omnipresent by both the narrow scope of Classic Rock radio and
the repetitive nature of contemporary music criticism. Thus, while I will provide links to sites that discuss such obvious
masterpieces as DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, MARQUEE MOON, NEVER MIND THE BOLLACKS..., WHO'S NEXT, etc., I choose not to waste space
on them here. No disrespect to the masters, but there is nothing I can add to the reams and reams and reams which have already
been written about LED ZEPPELIN II, and would rather use my limited space to cast light on some less all-pervasive vinyl.
The albums listed below fall, roughly, into five catagories:
1) Albums which are typically ignored in favor of other albums by the same artist. Everybody knows DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
by heart, but how many know MEDDLE on as intimate terms? Much has been written about Dylan's excellent BLOOD ON THE TRACKS,
but few of his other albums of the seventies are given the same scrutiny. Similarly, the Stooges' RAW POWER is a regular fixture
when classic punk albums are listed, but the far superior FUN HOUSE is often ignored.
2) Albums that have, inexplicably, failed to make their way onto Classic Rock radio. How Uriah Heep's DEMONS AND WIZARDS
failed to make the cut, I have no idea.
I fudge a great deal on this category to include albums that are, in fact, played on the radio, but are only represented
by the worst song on the record. For instance, Free's FIRE AND WATER is a wonderful blue-eyed soul album, but you would
never know this from listening to Classic Rock radio, which has hammered "Alright Now" into the ground without
delving any further into this record's more sublime delights.
3) Albums not usually discussed in the context of the era in which they were released. Wire's post-punk classic, CHAIRS
MISSING, for example is practically never discussed alongside other seventies rock albums. Neither are iggy Pop's THE IDIOT,
Talking Heads' FEAR OF MUSIC or a host of other albums that, at first glance, seem too futuristic to have been released alongside
HORSE WITH NO NAME and RUMOURS. Still, if you are going to really understand what made the seventies so special, you have
to approach the era as a unique time in music history - an era which could give the world the Eagles and the Doobie Brothers
on one hand, Suicide and the Residents on the other.
4) Albums a lot of music fans still like, but which music critics and coolies typically hate. Boston's debut album, as
well as great albums by bands like Bad Company, Kansas and Lynyrd Skynyrd, are still well-loved by fans, but have been written
out of the formal history of rock by the intelligentsia. The inclusion of these albums is a direct violation of my stated
intention of avoiding the established classics, but it is in the interests of re-evaluation that I step outside the box.
5) Good albums by artists who used to be brilliant, but who now suck, and whose ratio of shite to shineola obscures their
initial value to folks too young to remember the good times. This is directed towards those of us who grew up with "Sad
Songs Say So Much" rather than "Madman Across the Water." Again, I violate my own rule regarding the avoidance
of shopworn grooves, but I'm doing it for the kids.