Category: 1972

1972, Books, Non-Fiction, Philosophy

Jumpers (1972) by Tom Stoppard

My favourite philosopher, Hannah Arendt, believed that space exploration, particularly manned space exploration, created a new paradigm for human beings. For the first time in history, humans could physically see what astronomy and math had only proved before, namely that we were just animals on a little planet in some little corner of the universe. …

1972, Music

Neu! (1972)

Neu!’s debut album finds them stuck somewhere between the early electronic explorations of Tangerine Dream – and, I presume, early Kraftwerk, the band Neu! split off from, which I have never heard – and the motorik of CAN and Faust and bands like that. It’s an odd juxtaposition that I might struggle with were it …

1972, Music

Talking Book (1972) by Stevie Wonder

Of all R&B artists, I have been familiar with Stevie Wonder about as long as any, because Wonder was acceptable to the Oldies station I grew up with to a much greater extent than most of his contemporaries. (There was Motown of course – just the hits! – and a few Ray Charles hits, but …

1972, Music

I’m Still in Love With You (1972) by Al Green

The first time I heard an Al Green record, I must say I was disappointed. I had heard so much about his music over the years that I guess I was bound to be disappointed. In addition to the hype, I think I was probably disappointed by the lack of variation in the record. I …

1972, Music

Greetings From LA (1972) by Tim Buckley

Ever since Tim Buckley embraced jazz and abandoned the more staid, more traditional singer songwriter approach of his earliest records, there is always been a bit of soul to his music, but that soul, such as it was, was always filtered through the lens of jazz.

1972, Music

Bustin’ Out (1972) by Pure Prairie League

I feel like one of the problems of getting into a genre through a progenitor of that genre is that later bands don’t hold up. If you manage to listen to the later bands first, they always sound better because you don’t know what came first, you don’t realize how derivative they are.

1972, Music

Vol 4 (1972) by Black Sabbath

Round about the time the piano opens “Changes,” we start wondering what is going on. Prior to this moment (or, perhaps, prior to “The Straightener”), Black Sabbath was the heaviest band in the entire world. There was no band louder or lower than Sabbath. And then we get a piano ballad backed with a fucking …

1972, Music

Superfly Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1972) by Curtis Mayfield

I understand that this record is considered a landmark in the “socially conscious” soul and funk of the early ’70s – it has completely outlasted the film it was ostensibly created for and (I believe) is often held up as Mayfield’s greatest achievement.

1972, Music

Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972) by Van Morrison

When Morrison is on he is like few other performers and songwriters – he creates this seemingly effortless blend of so many things that we never would have expected would go together and he makes it all sound organic, as if his genre-blending was the most normal (and obvious) thing in the world.

1972, Music

All Directions (1972) by The Temptations

I don’t know what to do with vocal groups. Most of my music-listening life I have been more impressed with the ability to play an instrument well than sing well. So when I listen to a record where the vocalists are all credited but the players aren’t really, I already get muddled, regardless of the …

1972, Music

American Gothic (1972) by David Ackles

Ackles has a really idiosyncratic style, combining the confessional storytelling of other songwriters of his era with a huge does of musical theatre, particularly cabaret and American musicals, with borderline novelistic lyrics. It’s a weird amalgam that mostly doesn’t just work but wows.

1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, Music

The Modern Lovers (1976)

This sort of compilation of “demos” is an early punk classic that lets the rest of the world know what probably only a few people in Boston and the music industry knew. The mix of straight ahead rock music and the laconic delivery is not quite bratty enough for punk but way more in line …

1969, 1972, 1976, 1982, 1984, 2003, Music

Mauricio Kagel (2003) by Alexandre Tharaud

This collection is a little confusing in part because of the confusing nature of Rrrrrrr…, which can apparently be performed independently. The disc appears to be a compilation of his piano-based music. Calling “piano music” would be a misnomer, as there are lots of other instruments on a number of the pieces. The pieces from …

1972, Movies

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

This adaptation of Fassbinder’s own play is rather radical in its content for a film of its era – the story of an ageing fashion designer who falls in love with another woman. Its all female cast is also rather unique to my knowledge. Fassbinder manages by some miracle (really, his typically inventive camera work) …

1972, Music

Facing You (1972) by Keith Jarrett

I don’t know if this is Jarrett’s first “spontaneously composed” solo piano record, but it sure sounds like it to my ears (even though it’s not live). Putting aside Jarrett’s claims about his process, I’ve always found his solo piano recordings of this type to be rather incredible. He manages to skirt between extremely inventive …

1972, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1994, Music

Miserere et. al (1994) by Henryk Gorecki, performed by John Nelson et al.

This is a collection of Gorecki’s choral music, mostly performed by choruses from Chicago. (Yet another release where the performers differ from track to track! I really need to get over this.) Fortunately, I wouldn’t have known that, if they didn’t tell me. So that’s something.

1972, Music

Lucia di Lammermoor (1972, 1999) by Gaetano Donizetti, performed by Sutherland, Pavarotti, Milnes, Chiarov, Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Convent Gardens conducted by Bonynge

So, as with any opera I have never heard before, I am stuck reviewing the opera more than the performance. I have no idea if this is a great performance of this opera, though I suspect it is, after all we have Sutherland and Pavarotti. The opera itself is a little over the top – …

1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1988, 2003, Music

The 50th Anniversary Collection by James Brown (Polydor 2003)

James Brown’s importance can not be understated. He is on The List of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century (along with Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Dylan, Duke Ellington, Schoenberg,¬†Stockhausen, Frank Zappa and maybe a few others). This compilation of his hit singles gives a very good idea of his progression …