Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Year That Was - 1971

Originally, I was thinking of doing a retrospective on the year, but that would be either a huge blog entry or multiple entries (which I would have to write and I didn't want to do that).  So, I decided to focus on the most important category of any year, to me at least, music.  Again, I was going to focus on the entire year of great albums released (Led Zeppelin IV, Who's Next, L.A. Woman, Aqualung and Sticky Fingers) to name a few and bands formed (Queen, New York Dolls, Big Star and the Eagles).  Another huge task.  So, we'll still look at very successful musicians/albums/songs, but a little less known for the year.

The Yes Album was the first commercially successful album for the band, Yes.  That's a mouthful, say that five times fast.  Steve Howe had just joined the band and Rick Wakeman would join later in the year for this classic album.  They indeed released two albums in one year and classics at that.  Try it, I dare you.

Every Picture Tells A Story by Rod Stewart, was easily his most successful album at the time and still might be his best.  He was still a member of the Faces, in fact, the Faces would also release two albums in 1971.  Stewart wouldn't officially leave the band until 1975, but would continue to release solo albums the entire time (although the band would often play on the albums).   

And now for something completely different...Maggot Brain by Funkadelic.  You can't call this album a departure, since it came before most of the bands' heavy funk albums.  It's more like psychedelic soul.  Eddie Hazel was still playing guitar for them and is amazing on this record.  I can't recommend this album highly enough.  It really has everything.

My first exposure to "glam rock," Electric Warrior by T. Rex.  It took SIX albums for them to really hit it big.  Bands don't get to do that these days, you either hit it big or get dropped from the record label.  They are so much more than just "Get It On."  Just listen to Marc Bolan sing "Cosmic Dancer" or "Jeepster."  Sadly, Marc would die in a car accident in 1977.  (By the way, that was Elton John playing piano in the "Get It On" video)  I knew you were wondering...

Trafalgar by The Bee Gees has nothing to do with disco.  Most of their career has nothing to do with disco.  That's what really gets me.  A lot of people don't give them the credit and respect they really deserve.  The harmonies, musicianship and songwriting are really second to none.  Please listen to their early is really quite good.

Hunky Dory by David Bowie is actually the first album with all the members that would become, The Spiders From Mars, Ziggy Stardust's band.  Bowie is a chameleon, not only with his multiple looks and characters over the decades, but with the sound of his music.  "Queen Bitch" is a tribute to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.  This is the album just before his mega-stardom and a good jumping on point for new listeners.

Of course, we're wrapping this up way too soon, but there are just too many great albums.  Go explore this year in music, it's totally worth it.  Have Fun.  I'll be back to do more at another time.

1 comment:

  1. nice idea... and some great selections.