Friday, 28 March 2014

Top 5 Albums of 1972

I think 1972 is the first year I have any vague recollection of. I was four and I remember driving a red plastic pedal-racing car in the back garden while my Gran & Grandad came to visit. I also remember being grumpy a lot of the time and my Mum asking why I didn't smile more, a possibly pivotal moment in my upbringing.

1972 was the year the British government declared a state of emergency over a miners' strike, I remember the regular power cuts though back then I didn't have many toys that needed electricity. In other news The Godfather was released in cinemas and the Watergate scandal broke.

1. Nick Drake "Pink Moon" - It took me while to really click with Nick Drake. I had Bryter Layter & Five Leaves Left for some time but hadn't really fallen in love with either. My pal @rich_thyer got me to reconsider and championed the sparse instrumentation of Drake's 3rd & final LP. It's a beautiful album made poignant knowing Nick took his own life a year or so later and had been too depressed to do any more arrangements after the piano on the title track. I love those earlier albums now as well but Pink Moon is astonishing and a record I don't think I could ever tire of.

2. Genesis "Foxtrot" - Hot on the heels of Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot was another step up for the band. I love every note from start to finish. Can-Utility & The Coastliners is probably my favourite track though it is run close by opener Watcher Of The Skies & the seriously epic Supper's Ready. Now I've seen the classic Quo line-up reform, Genesis with Peter Gabriel & Steve Hackett are my next big reunion wish.

3. Deep Purple "Machine Head" - This is the best album Deep Purple ever made. Recorded during December 1971 in Montreux, Switzerland which as anyone who has heard Smoke On The Water will know is "On the Lake Geneva shoreline". Smoke might be a hard song to really enjoy having heard it a few million times but I still love the lyrics a lot and you can't deny that riff is a bit special. Album opener Highway Star is probably my favourite Purple song but Lazy, Space Truckin' and Maybe I'm A Leo are all corkers too.

4. David Bowie "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" - I'd been steadfastly ignoring Bowie for most of my life. I'm not entirely sure why but in the last few years I've been gradually dipping into his back catalogue. The @LPGrp listening sessions have helped with this, Ziggy won the poll for best concept album and that was the final push I needed to really enjoy the album.

5. The Rolling Stones "Exile on Main St." - Similarly Exile was the album that finally broke the Stones for me. Prior to hearing this album I only really knew their singles and, good as they were, wasn't massively interested in getting the albums. Exile is a collection of songs that work really well together though probably none are amongst the bands best known. I think it's an album that works really well as a collection, possibly a record that's greater than the sum of it's parts.

Near misses; ZZ Top Tres Hombres, Lou Reed Transformer, Status Quo Piledriver, Pink Floyd Obscured by Clouds, Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Clear Spot, Jethro Tull Thick As A Brick, Black Sabbath Vol. 4, ZZ Top Rio Grande Mud, Yes Close to the Edge and Hawkwind Doremi Fasol Latido.

Albums to try; Rory Gallagher Live in Europe, Wishbone Ash Argus, Roxy Music Roxy Music, Aphrodite's Child 666, Tim Buckley Greetings From LA, Faust So Far, Neil Young Harvest, Yes Close To The Edge, Curtis Mayfield Superfly, Big Star #1 Record, Sandy Denny Sandy, Aretha Franklin Young, Gifted and Black, Slade Slayed?.


Anonymous said...

Some good stuff in there - you mention a few in your also-rans that would be contenders for my own top five of '72 (Yes, Roxy, Curtis Mayfield, Aphrodite's Child). It was a really good time for music - I was ten at the time and just starting to become aware there was more beyond the charts.

Chopper said...

Comment above from Tony which I accidentally deleted during moderation.