My Top Ten Seventies Albums

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Post by Rowley on Mon 12 May 2014, 2:48 pm

After the roaring success of the sixties list was impossible not to continue the series. However is a bit tricky for me as most of the major musical trends of the seventies such as prog, disco and punk are largely lost on me. However faint heart ne'er won fair maid so on we plough. As with the sixties are in no particular order.

The Who - Who's Next - After the success of Tommy Pete Townsend was working on another concept album, but with him struggling to articulate the idea into a coherent piece of work. Under pressure from the record company he cobbled together what he had with ideas the rest of the band had kicking around to make Who's Next. The results way outstrip their humble beginnings, from the iconic opening of Baba O'Reilly to the closing epic of Won't Get Fooled Again this is one of the all time great bands at the peak of their considerable powers.

The Specials - The Specials - The late seventies were a tricky old time in the UK, The National Front was on the rise and unemployment was sky rocketing. Few bands captured the mood of the time with the precision and intelligence of The Specials. Of all the bands of the two tone and ska scene at the time The Specials are head and shoulders above their contemporaries.

Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run - Not sure it is particularly cool to admit a love of the Boss, but anyone who does not appreciate the mans brilliance is clearly an idiot whose opinion is worthless. Springsteen in the seventies was prolific and rarely made a misstep. As such picking his finest hour was tough, however given this album contains Thunder Road, Born to Run and Tenth Avenue Freeze Out it had to win the day.

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On - This captures a brilliant but troubled artist at the peak of his powers. By the 70s Marvin had outgrown his poppy Motown roots and was ready to tackle real issues and subjects in his songs. Whilst the title track is an obvious stand out there is not really a weak song on here, lyrically brilliant and beautifully arranged and sung, What's Going on is an absolute landmark soul record.

The Clash - London Calling - Was really undecided whether to choose this album or their debut, both are brilliant and have much to recommend them but eventually plumped for London Calling. As I said at the top of the thread, not a huge fan of punk but think the Clash always had enough about them to be better than their three chord contemporaries. Makes those of us of a certain age nostalgic for an age when bands actually had something to say for themselves.

Patti Smith - Horses - Often credited with being a forerunner for punk Smith's Horses is a brilliant album that has lost not of its power or impact nigh on 40 years on. Is apparently one of Morrissey's favourite albums, but please don't let that put you off. A raw but stunning album.

Lou Reed - Transformer - There are those that would say I only put this in because I forgot about The Velvet Underground on the Sixties list, I would say to those people, you're quite possibly right. However Transformer is a great album. More accessible than some of the Velvet Underground's work but still edgy enough to be instantly recognisable as the much missed Reed.

The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street - Not sure what to say about this record that has not been said countless times before. Despite the fact they have been going for 50 years the Stones rarely hit a run of form like they managed in the early 70's. From the opening bars of Rocks Off to the close some 18 songs later the Stones are on fire. Loving Cup and Shine a Light are personal favourites from an album that rarely gets tired or old.

Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life - Like Marvin Gaye, by the seventies Wonder had outgrown his little Stevie image and was emerging as a true talent of serious magnitude. There is always a fear over double albums that self indulgence and egos are out of control but that is not the case here. There is not a bad track on here. A decent indication of this albums ongoing influence is to listen to it and try and spot how much of it has been sampled in subsequent songs (the answer is nearly all of it)

David Bowie - Hunky Dory - Will confess I am not a Bowie obsessive but even I can acknowledge the sheer volume and quality of his seventies output is something pretty special. Am sure hardcore Bowie fans would disagree with this choice, but Hunky Dory has always been a personal favourite of mine. Love the song Life on Mars and Quicksand is a brilliant track.

Gutted I could not find a place for Marquee Moon, and am sure, as with the sixties, people will point out loads of ones I have missed, but got the tricky one out of the way. Can get on with the eighties now and eulogise at length about the Roses, and continue my ongoing but seemingly doomed mission to awaken people to the genius of Dexys.


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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:25 am

I don't do lists, Jeff. I didn't even have a top 11 films until a few days ago, but I feel desperately sad that even after 25+ views, no-one has commented. Especially after you were posting at gone 22:30 last night. Quite late for a chap of your advancing years.

Anyway, I like The Who, The Specials (a little bit) the Boss, Marvin Gaye, The Clash some Rolling Stones and some David Bowie.

Hope this cheers you up a little until the rest of the music snobs arrive to give you some more detailed responses.

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Post by Rowley on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:33 am

Cheers Tina. Usually supefly saves me from my zero response shame. However since he found out he is extremely popular round here he has changed, and not for the better.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:35 am

Rowley wrote:Cheers Tina. Usually supefly saves me from my zero response shame. However since he found out he is extremely popular round here he has changed, and not for the better.

He has gay friends over for dinner, and a proper job that requires intelligence.

He forgot his roots a long time ago.

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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:39 am

Can only comment on London Calling. Nicked my old mans Clash Greatest hits album when I was about 12/13. Bought London Calling a couple of years later.
Once heard Phil Jupitus describe them as a band with 3 frontmen. Think that was a great call. Brilliant backing vocals throughout. Spanish bombs is in my top 5 Clash songs.

Interestingly Joe Strummer hated Train in Vain and I think refused to play it live towards the end. Thought it was too Pop-y


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Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:46 am

Interesting list. Presumably all those are before your time, and you've discovered them since. My first LP was bought in late 1977, so I actually have some 'real-time' experience, although I never really went back and re-discovered the early 70s to any great extent. Was never too much into punk or new wave, probably because my older brother was, and I didn't want to be like him Smile

I'd probably have Born To Run on there, along with Rumours, Out Of The Blue, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and 2 LPs from The Move - Looking On and Message From The Country. Probably an early Tom Waits as well - Closing Time - and Captain Beefheart - The Spotlight Kid.

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Post by The Boss on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:51 am

Some great albums on there, Jeff.

Anyone who doesn't like Springsteen is an arse in my unbiased opinion. Backstreets is a fantastic song from the Born to Run album.

Think the Eagles would be worth a place with Desperado, Hotel California or One of these Nights.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:51 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:My first LP was bought in late 1977

I was born in late 1977.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Galted on Tue 13 May 2014, 2:59 am

Cold Fact - Rodriguez - quite possibly the greatest album ever recorded
Three Imaginary Boys - The Cure
Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd
The Wall - Pink Floyd
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Post by seanmichaels on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:13 am

NME's Top 50:

1. What’s Going On - Marvin Gaye ‘71
2. Never Mind The Love sacks - The Sex Pistols ‘77
3. The Clash - The Clash ‘77
4. Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division ‘79
5. Exile On Main Street - The Rolling Stones ‘72
6. London Calling - The Clash ‘79
7. The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust.. - David Bowie ‘72
8. Horses - Patti Smith ‘75
9. Blue - Joni Mitchell ‘72
10. Marquee Moon - Television ‘77
11. All Mod Cons - The Jam ‘78
12. Hunky Dory - David Bowie ‘71
13. Surf’s Up - The Beach Boys ‘71
14. Bryter Later - Nick Drake ‘70
15. Innervisions - Stevie Wonder ‘73
16. Parallel Lines - Blondie ‘78
17. Moondance - Van Morrison ‘70
18. Lust For Life - Iggy Pop ‘77
19. After The Goldrush - Neil Young ‘70
20. Grievous Angel - Gram Parsons ‘74
21. Who’s Next - The Who ‘71
22. Harvest - Neil Young ‘72
23. Metal Box - Pil ‘79
24. Low - David Bowie ‘77
25. The Specials - The Specials ‘79
26. John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band ‘71
27. For Your Pleasure - Roxy Music ‘73
28. The Idiot - Iggy Pop ‘77
29. Blood On The Tracks - Bob Dylan ‘75
30. There’s A Riot Goin’ On - Sly And The Family Stone ‘71
31. Pink Flag - Wire ‘77
32. Clear Spot - Captain Beefheart ‘72
33. Berlin - Lou Reed ‘73
34. Imagine - John Lennon ‘71
35. Saturday Night Fever - Original Soundtrack ‘78
36. Another Green World - Brian Eno ‘75
37. Setting Sons - The Jam ‘79
38. King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown - Augustus Pablo ‘76
39. Third/Sister Lovers - Big Star ‘78
40. The Kick Inside - Kate Bush ‘78
41. LA Woman - The Doors ‘71
42. Entertainment - Gang Of Four ‘79
43. Tonight’s The Night - Neil Young ‘75
44. Diana Ross Presents - The Jackson Five ‘73
45. Let’s Get It On - Marvin Gaye ‘73
46. If Only I Could Remember My Name - David Crosby ‘71
47. Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear ‘75
48. Funhouse - The Stooges ‘70
49. First Issue - Pil ‘78
50. The Undertones - The Undertones ‘79


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Post by Galted on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:30 am

The only albums I like from the top 50 are by The Clash and Joy Division. A lot of albums that I thought were from the 70s turned out to be early to mid-80s, guess the 80s wasn't all about synth and mullets.
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Post by Rowley on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:32 am

It's funny Galted I generally thought the 80's were dreadful, but when I think about it so many of my favourite albums are from that decade, which I would not have expected.

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Post by Galted on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:37 am

It's going to be impossible to restrict it to a top 10 for the 80s.
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Post by Rowley on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:38 am

Galted wrote:It's going to be impossible to restrict it to a top 10 for the 80s.

I know, Five Star alone released four albums.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:39 am

Rowley wrote:It's funny Galted I generally thought the 80's were dreadful, but when I think about it so many of my favourite albums are from that decade, which I would not have expected.

Serious question, Jeff. You're on record as saying (and forgive me for paraphrasing slightly) that modern music is rubbish.

When does 'modern' music start then? Where is the line that we have to cross before it becomes modern? You used to hate people drawing an arbitrary line in boxing's history when the sport became 'modern', but aren't you doing exactly the same thing?

If you can't find anything good about modern (current?) music then doesn't that say more about your reluctance to open your ears than a genuine reflection on how good or bad it is?

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Post by superflyweight on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:42 am

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:My first LP was bought in late 1977

I was born in late 1977.

I was born in early '78. Smoke it!

Some good albums up there, jeff. Have always preferred "Innervisions" to "Songs in the key of life" and would probably find a place in the top 10 for it.

Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" would also make my list. Would also try to find a place for "LA Woman" by the Doors and "Greetings from LA" by Tim Buckley (Jeff buckley's dad).

The latter is utter filth and could imagine Michaels soundtracking his love-making with it.

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Post by Rowley on Tue 13 May 2014, 3:48 am

I dare say your point is valid Tina, suspect a combination of grumpiness and nostalgia does play a part in my lack of enthusiasm for modern music. However I do try, if people suggest stuff I give it a go and we tend to have the radio on all day at work, however cannot remember the last time I heard a song that made me sit up and think I had to make the effort to find out who it was. Most make me want to pull my own ears off if I am brutally honest.

Should add I don’t dislike all modern music, The National are good (cheers to everyone who recommended them), as is Miles Kane and there is some quality stuff coming out on the Daptone label (how is that for obscure) just think proportionately the amount I like against what I dislike has never been lower.

My own completely unscientific theory is as most music is derivative in some way once you get to a certain age you just get old enough to remember the bands acts are inspired by/ripping off and nostalgically tend to favour the originals.

Can assure you if this series makes it makes it into the 00's it will be a blank page.

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Wed 04 Jun 2014, 11:30 am

Long post alert.  Sorry folks, I rather got into the subject and then just, kinda, ran with it.   Read no further if you don’t like long posts.




I’ve only just noticed this thread so make my offering late.  Apologies for that.   I’m listing my ten most enjoyed albums of the seventies in chronological order rather than order of preference.  

By the time the sixties passed into the seventies, I was on the cusp of majority age and had gone through all the adolescent and young manhood phases in the sixties.  By the 1970’s I was looking at music in a different, more thoughtful way.

Janis Joplin was already dead and it wouldn’t be long before Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, the other major sixties music icons would follow suit.  The Beatles were heading for self destruct and young people were being worn down by the stress and seeming futility of protesting the Vietnam War.  1968 had nearly torn America apart and now, after Woodstock, it seemed that all anybody wanted to do, as the new decade dawned, was to chill out.

The West Coast  influence was strong and we were soon relaxing to the mellow sounds of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell or Crosby, Stills and Nash.  It was all cool, man.

But it didn’t stay that way.  Popular music didn’t stand still for long in the seventies and within a couple of years we were rocking again.  Maybe we didn’t want to bring down the establishment any more, but rock still had something to say.

My ten albums are very personal selections but all in all, I think they cover a good span of the decade.  For one reason or another, I connected with them.  That’s what makes them great in my ears.


Bridge Over Troubled Water   (Simon and Garfunkel)  (Released:  January 1970)

This album closed the book on the 1960’s.  Its’ lyrical beauty, musical strength and that special poetic flavour that Paul Simon brought to everything he did just clicked on every level. The title track was said to fulfil at least five of the seven aesthetic requirements to be called a Masterpiece.   Art Garfunkel’s vocal on the title track completely dispelled allegations that he was little more than a makeweight in the duo.



The Madcap Laughs  (Syd Barrett)  (January  1970)

Syd Barratt was a flawed genius who fried his brain with acid and was unceremoniously dumped by Pink Floyd, the band he was the frontman, major songwriter and lead singer with.  It’s said it was several months before he noticed they weren’t calling for him any more.    Madcap was his debut solo album and no, it wasn’t quite a work of brilliance like Piper at the Gates of Dawn (with Floyd) was.   But those of us who knew Syd and appreciated him lapped it up eagerly.   The almost childlike qualities of his songwriting and delivery were almost addictive.  He was an enigma but his charm lay in the innocence and naivety of that seemed to pervade his work.  Sales of madcap were good enough for EMI to sanction a second album but it wasn’t as good and he eventually dropped out of music altogether, becoming a recluse in his native Cambridge.  He died in July 2006 aged 60 after many years of mental illness.  I still miss him.



Joy Of A Toy  (Kevin Ayres)  (November 1969)

OK, so technically it’s a sixties album, but it didn’t get any reviews or airplay or even  chart until the seventies (after Madcap).   For me, it’s a part of the 70’s.   Kevin Ayres had played guitar with Bob Wyatt and Soft Machine but quit the band to give up music altogether.  It was Wyatt who persuaded him to go solo and do his own thing instead.  Ayres sonorous delivery, avante garde songwriting and penchant for unusual instruments were reason alone to listen to the album, but it was songs like “Lady Rachel”, “Girl on a Swing” and “Eleanor’s Cake” that had all the hooks.  Indeed, his songs have been covered in more recent times by artists such as Candie Payne and Ladybug Transistor that speak for the enduring appeal of this much loved album.   Kevin Ayres died peacefully in his sleep in January 2013 aged 68.  




Tapestry  (Carole King)  (February 1971)

A tour de force of an album.  Carole King songs resonated throughout the sixties (she even co-wrote songs for the Monkees during their heyday) but this album was the definitive statement.   “You’ve Got A Friend”, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” are the stand out songs but every track on the album is a work of art in itself and it stands the test of time, being as relevant, beautiful and wonderfully warming now as it was when I first slipped it onto the turntable, closed my eyes and let it all wash over me.



School’s Out   (Alice Cooper)  (June 1972)

I saw Alice Cooper at the Rainbow Theatre in London during his 1971 tour of UK, where Tory politician Leo Abse tried to have him banned from entering Britain because of his so-called “shock horror” theatricals on stage.  It wasn’t as bad as everybody said.  I don’t know what all the fuss was about.  But that tour made Alice Cooper known in Britain and when the title track of School’s Out mainlined into the consciousness of every teenager in the country, it flew to Number One in the singles chart.  The vast bulk of the album owed more to West Side Story than Hammer Horror and for some odd reason, the packaging included a pair of paper women’s knickers stretched over the inner cover.  I have no idea why.   But although none of the songs were especially brilliant, the title track and “Alma Mater” did evoke memories of that final day at school…. The end of term… the exultation at hearing the going home bell and exhilaration of having the whole summer stretching in front of you.  Magic.



Dark Side of the Moon  (Pink Floyd)  (March 1973)

The Floyd’s magnum opus.  We all know it.  Most of us probably own it.  We all know the stats.   I had heard “Money” on the radio the night before it was released and knew I had to have this album.  I was waiting outside the record shop I favoured with my inestimable custom the next morning.  This is THE concept album to end them all and throughout my life, I’ve been able to relate to many of the phases as they have come and gone……”Time”…… “Money”…. “Us and Them”…..   I’m not quite ready to confront the “Great Gig in the Sky” just yet, but hearing Claire Torrey’s  vocal first soar, then soothe, somehow makes the thought of it less scary.   This album has now reached out to three generations.  More will follow, I have no doubt.



Goodbye Yellow Brick Road  (Elton John)  (October 1973)

It was the outstanding cover design that first brought this album to my attention.  I wasn’t a fan of Elton John, but I saw it in the record shop racks and asked them to play it just so I could sit in the booth and pore over the gatefold artwork.  By the time it had finished playing I was more than ready to shell out £3.50 of my hard earned to own a copy.  I still think this is the best thing Elton John ever did.


City to City  (Gerry Rafferty)  (January 1978)


I was serving on a Scotland based ship at the time and the Me’m Sahib was staying with her parents in London because of severe post natal depression following the birth of our first daughter.  I came home at every chance I could get, which wasn’t often, and it was a very difficult time for us.   Rafferty was living in London at the time and missing his own family in Scotland.  I was doing the same, only in the opposite direction.  “City To City”  “Mattie’s Rag”,  “Right Down The Line”,  “Home and Dry”…. All songs that resonated on a very personal level.   And then there was “Baker Street”, with Rafael Ravenscroft’s soaring saxophone solo.   Brilliant.  Thank you, Gerry.  Gerry Rafferty died in January 2011 aged 63.   When I heard he was dead, I phoned Radio Clyde and asked them to dedicate “Whatever’s Written in Your Heart” in his memory.  It seems that thousands of other people did likewise.  It was the most requested song called in to that station at that time.



The Kick Inside  (Kate Bush)  (February 1978)

The difficult thing to take in about this album was that it was completely self penned by a mere slip of a girl who wrote it all on piano despite having been trained, as a child, as a classical violinist.  She was only 18 at the time of its’ release, but most of the songs were written when she was an adolescent  (“Man With the Child in His Eyes” was taken from a poem she wrote about her father when she was only 13),    and it was recorded between ages 16 and 17.  It’s difficult to believe that she became, with “Wuthering Heights”, the first British female artist to have a number one single with a self-written song.  The classical subject matter, the strikingly (self) choreographed video and Bush’s top-of-the-register soprano vocal captured the imagination of a public that had quickly tired of the excesses of Sex Pistols-led punk.  The level of maturity displayed by this young woman was striking, indeed, some wondered at the level of sexual knowledge this barely legal teenager displayed in songs like “Feel It”, L’amour Looks Something Like You” and “Room For the Life”  (did her father know she was writing these songs..?).   As a debut album it was nonpareil and despite a 12 year sabbatical between The Red Shoes and Aerial, she’s never gone away, releasing album after album of sheer quality.   Kate Bush stands alongside the very greatest singer / songwriters, not just in Britain, but globally.



War of the Worlds  (Jeff Wayne)  (September 1978)


Jeff Wayne’s exceptional musical adaptation of HG Well’s presses all the buttons for me.  I loved the book as a kid, wowed at the original movie version, which won an Oscar for special effects, and when this album came out, I think I played it in full four or five times before the Me’m Sahib asked me to turn it off in a voice that suggested she wasn’t making a request.   It was the last thing Richard Burton did before his death and his deep voiced, perfectly pitched narrative was spot-on for the part.  The only disappointing part of the album was that of Phil Lynott who rather overdid the role of the Parson.   But as a piece of musical storytelling it grips the listener with the very first piece of narrative and then,  when that nasty, growling bass leads into “Horsell Common and the Heat Ray”, you know this album has got you by the throat and just won’t let go.  



Outlandos D’amour  (The Police)  (November 1978)

I’m not a particular fan of reggae-tinged pop, nor a lover of punk or even new wave but for some strange reason I enjoyed this album.  I heard “Roxanne” on the radio and was intrigued to hear more.  I was not disappointed.  It received mixed reviews, indeed, Miles Copeland (brother of drummer Stuart) had been quite derisive of what he heard when he dropped by the studio during recording sessions.  It didn’t even sell well until the BBC banned Roxanne because it was about a prostitute.  That did the trick.  Auntie Beeb banning a record has only ever had a beneficial effect on sales.  Bottom line:  This was another great debut album in 1978.  

Damn……… it was a great year for music.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 25 Jun 2014, 6:36 am

1. Meatloaf - Bat out of Hell..............Paradise by the dashboard, Bat out of hell, Praying for the end of time (My alltime fave track)......

2. The Doors - LA Woman.........

3. Pink Floyd - Wish you were here...

4. Bob Dylan - Blood on the tracks..

5. Pink Floyd - The dark side of the moon..

6. The Beach Boys - Holland

7. Kate Bush - The kick inside ....

Simply the best female singer/songwriter of alltime with wuthering heights my favorite video.......Be seeing her in a couple of months in London to pay homage..

8. Electric light orchestra - Out of the blue.....

9. The Clash - London calling...........

10. The Who - Tommy ..........Brilliant brilliant talent Peter Townsend.........

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Post by Rowley on Wed 25 Jun 2014, 7:18 am

Hate to be pedantic Truss, but Tommy was 1969 mate.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 25 Jun 2014, 7:20 am

Tommy the film soundtrack was 1975.............. 

My pedantic way of trying to save face..

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Wed 25 Jun 2014, 9:43 am

Not 10, but some of my faves:

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Led Zeppelin IV - LedZeppelin
Raw Power - The Stooges
Alladin Sane - David Bowie
Irish Tour '74 - Rory Gallagher
The Clash - The Clash
Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division
Highway to Hell - AC/DC


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Post by The Fourth Lion on Wed 25 Jun 2014, 11:47 am

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:1. Meatloaf - Bat out of Hell..............Paradise by the dashboard, Bat out of hell, Praying for the end of time (My alltime fave track)......

2. The Doors - LA Woman.........

3. Pink Floyd - Wish you were here...

4. Bob Dylan - Blood on the tracks..

5. Pink Floyd - The dark side of the moon..

6. The Beach Boys - Holland

7. Kate Bush - The kick inside ....

Simply the best female singer/songwriter of alltime with wuthering heights my favorite video.......Be seeing her in a couple of months in London to pay homage..

8. Electric light orchestra  - Out of the blue.....

9. The Clash - London calling...........

10. The Who - Tommy ..........Brilliant brilliant talent Peter Townsend.........

Hey.... I too have tickets to see KB at the Apollo on 26 August, which just happens to be my birthday (daughter got the tickets as a birthday prezzie).   I've not been to a gig in years but really looking forward to this.

Bring it on.
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Post by 88Chris05 on Wed 25 Jun 2014, 3:40 pm

Good stuff again, Rowley. Will chuck my two cents in, again (as it was for the sixties thread) with the disclaimer that I'm still digging good stuff out from the seventies!

Jim Croce - You Don't Mess Around With Jim

Didn't really get in to Croce properly until last year, but don't know how I got on listening to music without him now! It's his usual folk style but mixed with a bit of the blues on this record, and his lyrics better than ever, especially on tracks like 'A Long Time Ago,' 'Operator' and 'Tomorrow's Gonna be a Brighter Day.' As I said, didn't hear this record in its entirety until last year, but when I did I don't think I've ever known an idle forty minutes go by as quickly.

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On?

You've already hit the main points about what makes it such a great album, really. More introspective lyrics showing that Gaye was more than just a smooth seducer....And he was already pretty damn good when he was just that, anyway.

Off The Wall - Michael Jackson

I know, I know, a bit of an obvious one. Maybe not a particularly cool selection! But it's the perfect pop record of its time and I generally prefer it to the over-produced 'Thriller.' I don't think Jackson's voice ever sounded better than it did here, for instance. With an 18 months older sister in the house when I was a kid, who played Jackson full blast all day and every day (not literally of course, Jeff, I know you hate that!) I've maybe leaned towards this album rather than the bigger hits of the eighties for that reason....But nevertheless, a great album however you look at it.

Nevermind the Bol*ocks, here's the Sex Pistols - The Sex Pistols

Truly revolutionary album which inspired some of my favourite bands ever - the music I listened to as a teenager would have been very different had it not been for this record. Fair enough, they never followed it up and the musicianship isn't virtuoso stuff, but it's the lyrics matched with Lydon's energy which make it what it is. Set a standard for punk which hasn't been matched since. Loved it when I first heard it as a 14-year-old and still love it now.

The Jam - All Mod Cons

Hard to split this one and 'Setting Sons,' but 'All Mod Cons' gets it by a nose. I think the main reason I have to go with this one is because, for me, The Jam might well have petered out without it. 'This is the Modern World' gets left eating dust in terms of Weller's lyrics here and if they hadn't revived themselves with 'All Mod Cons' they'd have maybe remained a semi-popular underground act for the rest of their days, rather than the UK's biggest band since The Beatles.

Parallel Lines - Blondie

Not much I can say about this one that hasn't been said a million times before. I love the attitude ('One Way or Another'), the lyrics ('Sunday Girl') and the disco elements which combined so well with Blondie's punk backdrop ('Heart of Glass'). Their best album by a mile, for me.

Ian Dury - New Boots and Panties!!

Dury was just so, so clever with his lyrics, in my opinion. It's odd, a lot of people seem to think of him and The Blockheads as some kind of goofy novelty act, which does him a disservice. I remember as a teen having pre-conceived ideas about what I'd find when I listened to this album (at the time, my knowledge of Dury consisted of 'Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick' and nowt else!). Imagine my surprise when I came across songs like 'Sweet Gene Vincent.'

Some Girls - The Rolling Stones

Most would plump for Exile or Sticky Fingers as the Stones' best record of the seventies, but I tend to go with Some Girls. The first twenty-odd seconds of 'Some Girls' had me hooked. Hadn't listened to that song or this album for ages until they went in to it at Glasto last year (need that memory to get me through the misery of missing out this time around) - as soon as they did, it reminded me how much I love this album.

Rodriguez - Cold Fact

Was having a hard time deciding on a couple of spaces, but saw this one listed above and thought it was well worth a shout - great piece of work. The music is so relaxed but the lyrics sometimes so sharp and abrasive with it. Take a look at 'I Wonder' as an example. So many of the songs on it seem to have an air of mystery about them, as if I can't decide if they're happy or sad. A bit like Croce, just seems to flow so smoothly and effortlessly. A great album to have on in the car!

Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin

Have a hard time splitting the Zeppelin records, but this one stands out that little bit more for me. It's on IV that you can really feel Page's folk influence in his guitar, which made Zeppelin that bit more special than the likes of Black Sabbath, Motorhead etc. A superb album for the home or for the stadium in equal measure, methinks.
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