Category: 1970

1970, 1971, Music

Little Feat (1970)

I love Sailin’ Shoes. And I generally enjoy the albums that came after it (though not as much as Sailin’ Shoes, which is definitely a favourite of the ’70s). So this first record, the one everyone gets to after they become fans, came as a bit of a shock. (As it always does. Yes, I’m …

1970, Music

Kingdom Come (1970) by Sir Lord Baltimore

I spent some time in a weird corner of the internet where people argued that this record and Warpig’s self-titled debut were just as important as music by Zeppelin, Purple and Black Sabbath. Before I get to the actual music on this record I do want to point out the following:

1970, Music

Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1970) by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

There are people out there who are going to tell you that this is superior to Trout Mask Replica. And from an aesthetic perspective, I can see the case they’re making. (I mean, it’s more listenable for one.) But albums exist in time, as everything else does, and there’s just no getting around that this …

1970, Music

H to He Who Am the Only One (1970) by Van Der Graaf Generator

This has got to be the best-produced Van Der Graaf Generator record, at least among the albums of their first few eras. It’s clear and there are fewer instruments – or, rather, fewer effects on the instruments, I guess – and things don’t bleed together like they do on basically every other record this version …

1970, Music

Plastic Ono Band (1970) by Yoko Ono

Lennon’s half of this record is my favourite post Beatles album and I think one of the great singer songwriter records of the 1970s. The fact that they recorded this (with one exception) at the same time is a tribute Lennon’s versatility in addition to being a great testament to Yoko Ono’s musical talent. (What, …

1970, Music

Starsailor (1970) by Tim Buckley

I guess this is the logical end of Tim Buckley’s pursuit of jazz – a record that has basically nothing in common with his debut or any of his early music, and which feels really mislabeled if the term “singer songwriter” or “folk” is used.

1970, Music

Tea for the Tillerman (1970) by Cat Stevens

At his worst, Cat Stevens is like a sappier James Taylor (which is really saying something). But, at his best, he’s more musically interesting and ambitious than his bloodless contemporaries. My problem with this record is that he’s at his worst far more than he’s at his best.

1970, Music

Stephen Stills (1970)

Though I became kind of obsessed with Manassas’ debut album and Super Session back in the day, Stills is the last of CSNY for me, in terms of listening to proper solo albums. Some of that is accidental (or technical, depending upon how you feel about Manassas). But some of that is also because, though …

1970, Music

Van Morrison, His Band and the Street Choir (1970)

Imagine you were so talented you could come up with an album concept, have it fall apart completely, and then have your record company release some of the tapes against your will and you still end up with this great album. The more I get into Van Morrison the more I am just in awe …

1970, Music

Tumbleweed Connection (1970) by Elton John

Try as I might, I cannot fall in love with Elton John’s music. I have listened to many of his records at this point – basically only from the ’70s – and I have quite liked one of them. The others don’t really connect with me yet and this one is just another of those.

1970, Music

Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

I honestly had no idea this was an album first. I think because it has been so successful as a property I just assumed it had to have been a musical. But, instead, it was an album. And, as a result, it got reviewed as an album. (And, hilariously, it was banned in some countries …

1970, Music

Sex Machine (1970) by James Brown

One of the things you discover when you start wading into Jame’s Brown’s immense discography is that there is just so much stuff; it is kind of overwhelming and very hard to really evaluate. Is record 15 way better than record 25 or record 35 or record 45 or record 55? Who’s listened to even …

1970, Music

Spirit in the Dark (1970) by Aretha Franklin

This is particularly bluesy Aretha record, at least based on my very slight knowledge of her catalogue. Though it produced two hits, it infamously did relatively poorly as an album and, listening to it, it’s fairly easy to see why.

1970, Music

Close to You (1970) by Carpenters

I know the Carpenters by reputation and a few of their hits, only. The title track and a few other songs of theirs were big enough to find their way into pop culture. (For example, the title track has been used on The Simpsons.) Rockist orthodoxy has it that they are not very good – …

1970, Music

Osmium (1970) by Parliament

Recorded by the same people who made Free Your Mind…, this particular version of Parliament is basically just Funkadelic moonlighting. The record actually feels like the outtakes – the stuff that was just too weird – for Free Your Mind… if you listen to both of them at the same time. Parliament would be relaunched …

1970, Music

Free Your Mind…and Your Ass Will Follow (1970) by Funkadelic

Over the last 20 years my tolerance of directionless jamming and freakouts has gone from very high to relatively low. (I say relatively because I still have a much higher tolerance than, say, your average pop listener.) And this is my biggest problem with some Funkadelic as, in the early days in particular, they could …

1970, Music

12 Songs (1970) by Randy Newman

With virtually every Randy Newman album I’ve yet encountered my problem with him has in part been the aesthetic – a unique and not particularly compelling singer singing acerbic is often backed by extremely slick arrangements. But that’s not the case here as Newman has abandoned the massed arrangements of his debut for members of …

1970, Music

Yeti (1970) by Amon Düül II

The older I get, the lower my tolerance for directionless jamming. If I listened to Yeti when I first listened to Tanz der Lemminge I imagine I would have loved it as much as I love that album. But I’m not a lot older and these endless jams and snippets wear on me in a …

1970, Music

Elton John (1970)

Elton Johns self-titled second album

Elton John’s second album is an interesting combination of contrasting styles, with some of it sounding like classic Elton John and some of it sounding like he really doesn’t know what he wants to sound like. It sounds a lot like a debut to me in that it feels like he hasn’t quite found his …

1970, Music

First Step (1970) by Faces

Full disclosure: I love this band. I have an irrational love of their next two albums, both of which I have listened to way too many times. So even though this record is acknowledged as a bit of a mess I knew I wanted to listen to it anyway and I knew I would like …

1970, Music

Sweet Baby James (1970) by James Taylor

I don’t like James Taylor. But I’m not sure I knew that before listening to this album. I don’t think I’d ventured much of an opinion about him before, because he never seemed very interesting to me. I have a friend who likes him, and I think tried to get me into him at one …

1970, Music

Shazam (1970) by The Move

This is a bonkers record which, had I discovered it when I was in my late teens or early 20s, I might be telling you is one of the great unknown masterpieces of the early ’70s. However, time has dulled my tolerance for the “anything goes” approach of this band, especially given how scattershot the …