Friday, 2 May 2014

Top 5 Albums of 1977

The first thing that springs to mind about 1977 is the Queen's Silver Jubilee, the highlight of which (for me living in a small suburban village) was the massive Fayre on Giggs Hill Green. I helped out on the tombola stand run by my Cub Group and was rewarded with a special Silver Jubilee pen knife. I also won a Goldfish, who I named Oscar after the Six Million Dollar Man's boss, but he only lasted two weeks which made the effort it took to get a ping pong ball in a jam jar slightly wasted. Coincidentally the pen knife went rusty before a year had passed, I'm not sure what lessons to take from that though.

1977 saw the NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise make its first free-flight which made space travel seem like a genuine possibility, even if it did need a piggy back from a massive Boeing 747 to get there. The original Star Wars film opened in cinemas, this was a pretty cataclysmic event in my life and if nothing else ensured I spent most of the remainder of my youth collecting plastic models of characters from the film and trading bubble gum cards. This was also the year that Prog 1 of 2000 AD was launched. I did eventually get a copy of that first issue but not with the free "space spinner".

Musically it was a year of endings. EMI sacked the Sex Pistols, Glam rock pioneer Marc Bolan died in a car crash in Barnes and Elvis died in his home at Graceland. I had no idea who Elvis was before he died but I sure as hell did afterwards.

1. Television "Marquee Moon" - It took me three attempts, several years apart, to get my head around Marquee Moon but once I fell for it I fell hard. Those twin guitar sounds of Verlaine & Lloyd are spectacular and captivating. The album is superb from start to finish, one of the few I might consider perfect.

2. The Damned "Damned, Damned, Damned" - The band's debut album recorded in 10 days and one of the best collections of UK punk you're likely to find. It's everything punk was about; great tunes, packed with energy and recorded quickly & cheaply. I grew up with the less feisty 80s Goth version of the band and only discovered their earlier albums in the last few years but both this and follow up Machine Gun Etiquette are firm favourites now.

3. Rush "A Farewell to Kings" - Rush have been ridiculously consistent over their career (assuming you like the rockier end of the Prog spectrum, I certainly do) and released a lot of brilliant albums. 2112 may be better known but for me Farewell To Kings is their best seventies LP and one of my favourite of the band's entire catalogue.

4. The Clash "The Clash" - The Clash transcended punk but I've still not entirely fallen for their charms. Without doubt their debut is my favourite of their albums and the one I return to the most.

5. Blondie "Parallel Lines" - If you'd asked me what my favourite bands were when I was 12 I'd probably have said Madness, The Police & Blondie. Of that trio only Blondie are still a regular fixture on my playlists. I did a list of Top 10 Blondie songs for @jhoburgh recently and six tracks from this album made the list. Watching Debby Harry front the band on Top Of The Pops was something special, even for a nine year old.

Near misses; Ian Dury New Boots & Panties, Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd Animals, Ramones Rocket to Russia, David Bowie Low, Wire Pink Flag, Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel I, AC/DC Let There Be Rock and Motorhead Motörhead.

Albums to try; David Bowie “Heroes”, Dennis Wilson Pacific Ocean Blue, ELO Out of The Blue, Gary Numan The Pleasure Principle, Iggy Pop The Idiot, Iggy Pop Lust For Life, John Martyn One World, Richard Hell & The Voidoids Blank Generation, Stranglers Rattus Norvegicus, Suicide Suicide, Talking Heads 77, The Residents Fingerprince and Thin Lizzy Bad Reputation.



jho said...

Off the top of my head, I think 71, 77 and 79 are my favorite years for albums in the 70s. I'll have to research and see if that's true over the summer. Great list here mate!!!

Chopper said...

Thanks fella. I compiled the full top 50 first and have realised bu revisiting the individual top fives I've probably got the order a little wrong but also that I really love a LOT of seventies music.