150 Best Albums of 1973

Hate to be a killjoy or spoilsport, but I’ve never much cared about circuses. Sideshows I can get with — P.T. Barnum invented American popular culture if anybody did — but those three Ringling Brothers rings not so much. And I can’t even blame cruelty to big cats and elephants; it’s more that the whole setup reeks of forced fun. Yet while you might think this puts me at a disadvantage for a certain bigtopped strain of early/mid ’70s pop, I’ve always quite liked Leon Russell’s “Tightrope” (1972) and Blue Magic’s “Sideshow” (1974), would have killed to see Mott the Hoople on their Rock and Roll Circus Tour (also 1972, memorialized in 1973’s “Ballad of Mott the Hoople”) and have nothing against Three Dog Night’s “The Show Must Go On” (1974) if only because I can never remember what it sounds like. But when it comes it comes to Emerson, Lake and Palmer welcoming back their friends to the show that never ends, we’ve got a problem.

For one thing, after finally getting around to listening to Brain Salad Surgery for I’m pretty sure the first time in my life last week, that damn song’s been lodged in my noggin, and not in a good way. It actually took me 48 years to finally figure out that “Karn Evil” (its four parts totaling just under half an hour) means “carnival,” gee how clever. In the first record review I ever got paid to write (of Bad Religion’s Into the Unknown in early 1984) I snarkily referred to “‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Dust in the Wind’ and that ELP song the radio used to play a lot,” then later complained about the “Welcome Back My Friends To the Show That Never Ends pomposity” of so much ’70s album rock. Nearly three decades later, I can hear how Keith Emerson wrenches some nutso noises out of multiple banks of Moogs, harpsichords, clavinets and whatnot. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.

Worship of gadgets, gewgaws and gimcracks also seems to be the primary appeal of Todd Rundgren’s 1973 album, which I also finally just got around to playing in its entirety, and which turns out to feel at least as cold, clinical and detached as ELP’s from the same year. No wonder so many indie-rockers love him. If Todd is both less outwardly serious and less long-winded than ELP (nine shorter-than-two-minutes “songs”), A Wizard, a True Star still has one of the most annoying album titles in rock history no matter how tongue in cheek he meant it, and the title of its most proto-punk track (“Rock & Roll Pussy,” ooof) is even more obnoxious. And yet, and yet….Todd Rundgren also produced my favorite album of 1973, regardless! Go figure.

The one overtly “gadgety” 1973 album I will cop to liking is I guess 10cc’s debut, rubber bullets and all. So it’s not like I have something against smart-asses — Alice Cooper, Blue Öyster Cult, Brownsville Station, Mogan David and his Winos, Pink Fairies, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa (a total porn-addict jerkface in “Dinah-Moe Humm” especially but “I’m the Slime” and “Dirty Love” riffed their sleaze and “Montana” dental-flossed jig on the cover of Fortune) and um National Lampoon would all fit the wiseguy bill. I’d call most of these class clowns “middle class,” at least in terms of image; Aerosmith and the J. Geils Band and Montrose, none of them humorless and all American, strike me as representing a more or less similar suburban tax bracket.

This would put them somewhere between the blue-collar proles (BTO and Thundermug in Canada, Coloured Balls in Australia, Grand Funk in the U.S., Slade and the Faces in the UK) and the aristocrats (ELP, maybe Pink Floyd, monarchists King Crimson and Queen even if the latter’s camp element went over most heteronormative middle-American heads at the time, Styx some might say though really cornfed middle-American yokels emoting about an “Earl of Roseland” lands them more in the tradition of Gene Chandler and Mark Twain’s Duke and Dauphin in Huckleberry Finn.)

By 1973, though, there were also self-conscious chroniclers of the working class who may or may not have been members themselves, at least not anymore — rookie Bruce Springsteen playing with words and rhythms like he’d never again, climber Bob Seger covering the Allman Brothers and Van Morrison while still trying his damnedest to huff and puff his way out of Detroit, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott trying to do the same out of Dublin, Pete Townshend recording a bloody opera about an angry young mod as was his wont, Elton John (on the album I heard more than any other in my early teenage years but not my own copy) forsaking the yellow brick road’s dogs of society for the howling plow in the woods humpin’ the horny-back toad while sanctifying dirty little girls and sweet painted ladies and social-diseased bulldog-owners who dress in smelly rags and juvenile products of the working class whose best friends float at the bottom of a glass. Several Southerners — Lynyrd Skynyrd and Tom T. Hall for dang sure, the Allmans probably, Marshall Tucker Band and Black Oak Arkansas maybe — were at least as convincing about it, sometimes more so.

Where glam-rock and prog-rock fit in this class schematic is an excellent question. (Not to create a dichotomy here; Queen, for one, were obviously both — maybe Roxy Music, too, or Genesis when Peter Gabriel dressed up as a flower.) Glam was as often as not about lonely planet boys and blockbusting hellraisers and runaway sons of nuclear A-bombs on New York subway trains and causing panic in Detroit; Pink Fairies’ Kings of Oblivion starts with a song called “City Kids” and ends with one called “Street Urchin.” Prog was more…well, whimsical, but not always as haughty as its rep suggests. Rock In Opposition (to big record companies, but still) founders Henry Cow allegedly had a left-leaning worldview, though I’m skeptical a Martian hearing their music could figure that out. (With their Kurt Weill-ish sister band Slapp Happy, inactive in ’73, it’d be easier.) And some of the weirdest prog of the year — i.e., most records listed as Italian, German, Swedish and French imports below — is recited in languages that make literal meaning moot to unilinguals. Hell, the Paris band Magma even invented their own language, which they called Kobaïan! An art-rocker without the rock, experimental composer Frederic Rzweski (who died last weekend at 83) read a letter from political bomber turned doomed Attica rioter Sam Melville in his powerful “Coming Together.” And if plenty of glam was more punk than punk would ever be, couldn’t you say the same about art-if-not-prog-rocker Yoko Ono’s “I Felt Like Smashing My Face in a Clear Glass Window”?

Here’s where I confess that I’m counting fewer women than usual on my 1973 list — Yoko, Esther Phillips, Gladys Knight, the Pointer Sisters, Philly soul girl group the Three Degrees, Christie McVie of post-blues-rock/pre-platinum-era Fleetwood Mac, Jenny Haan of Brit spaghetti-western progsters Babe Ruth, H. Ann Kelley of gospelly California proto-disco boat-rockers Hues Corporation. Not to mention badass lead guitarist and sometime singer April Lawton of heavy-boogie power-trio Ramatam, who was gender-designated male and christened Gregory Ferrara upon her Brooklyn birth in 1948, and thus might stand as rock’s first trans woman star if either of Ramatam’s two albums had, say, charted at higher than #182 on the Billboard 200.

And then there’s all the men in drag, starting with five New York Dolls at the top of my personal 150. I included Suzi Quatro’s debut (her first two albums, actually) on my 1974 list based on its U.S. release date; turns out it came out on most other continents in ’73. And the Runaways were Bicentennial babies, albumwise. But early on, at least, glam was paradoxically quite the male sport — not as male as prog maybe, but close. Also quite the white sport. So it’s notable that, unless Roxy Music preener Bryan Ferry counts, of all the artists on my ’73 list twice (others: BTO, Faust, Tom T. Hall, Manfred Mann, Nazareth, Springsteen, Styx), by far the glammiest is Sylvester (who, like Pink Fairies, receives exactly zero index mentions in Simon Reynolds’ definitive 687-page 2016 glam history Shock and Awe). Sylvester’s Hot Band played rock — rock’n’roll, really, often smoking hot stuff; his disco debut was still four years off. He also covered “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Southern Man,” which I’ll take as political statements.

Add in Stevie Wonder’s hardscrabble-Mississippi-to-desperate-New York-streets “Living for the City” and Watergate-timed Nixon protest “He’s Misstra Know It All” and the O’Jays’ almost-ten-minute Middle Passage slave journey “Ship Ahoy” and seven-minute capitalist critique “For the Love of Money,” and it’s pretty clear that Black artists were offering up the toughest (not to mention funkiest) editorials in 1973; self-explanatory-I-hope title tracks of then 38-year-old Esther Phillips’s Black-Eyed Blues and 48-year-old Roy Brown’s Hard Times suggest the trend, if it was one, was multi-generational.

Still, it’s worth reiterating how so many mostly palefaced eccentrics at the time — particularly British ones — seemed comfortable in a world of guttersnipes and deviants. Roger Chapman of Family, Peter Hammill fresh from Van Der Graaf Generator, prole art threat Kevin Coyne, droog-rocker Alex Harvey not to be confused with cabaret-rocker Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel (who you shouldn’t confuse with Cockney Rejects, and while you’re at it be careful not to mix up Steely Dan with Steeleye Span or Camel with Caravan or Incredible Hog with the Incredible Bongo Band.) America had its streetwise oddballs too of course — glam-folk rookie Elliott Murphy and reggae-folk rookie Garland Jeffreys, Stories’ Ian Lloyd, Black Oak Arkansas’ Jim “Dandy” Mangrum if you think of him more as a Double A league Beefheart than a prototype David Lee Roth, Single A league Beefheart Simon Stokes, the Sparks’ Mael brothers even if Owen Gleiberman worries he won’t be allowed to dislike them anymore now that there’s a documentary.

Being bugged by Sparks is nothing new, of course; they lost me after the ’70s ended. And here’s Billy Altman, Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1979: “Docked one star per album for being somewhat responsible for Queen.” And Queen, obviously is now the band you’re really not allowed not to like anymore. Which isn’t to deny “Liar” and “Great King Rat” and “Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll” ferociously kick some regal royal fatbottom. Or that it’s hilarious they got away with calling themselves what they did and naming a song “My Fairy King” without anybody who was fretting about Elton’s or Bowie’s or even Alice’s (or the Dolls’, if anybody even heard them) proclivities putting two and two together. Freddie, you get on my nerves a lot. But you go, girl.

Anyway, oh yeah, I meant to mention that somebody (I forget who, sorry) actually requested that I do a 1973 list, maybe a month or so ago when I was still busy working on 1979 and 1996/97. So somewhat belatedly, this post is me obliging. The requestor was certain he knew which two albums I’d put at the top; he just wasn’t sure in which order. He didn’t name the albums, but I’ll bet they finished #1 and #3 — Surprise! Always keep ’em guessing, that’s my motto.

  1. New York Dolls New York Dolls (Mercury)
  2. Mott the Hoople Mott (Columbia)
  3. Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power (Elektra)
  4. Soul Train Hits That Made It Happen (Adam VIII)
  5. Stevie Wonder Innervisions (Tamla)
  6. Pink Fairies Kings of Oblivion (Polydor UK)
  7. Lynyrd Skynyrd Pronounced ‘Lêh-nérd ‘Skin-nérd (MCA)
  8. Nazareth Loud ’N’ Proud (A&M)
  9. Pharaoh Sanders Wisdom Through Music (Impulse!)
  10. Miles Davis In Concert (Columbia)
  11. Slade Sladest (Reprise)
  12. Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy (Atlantic)
  13. Tapper Zukie Man Ah Warrior (Count Shelly Jamaica)
  14. Babe Ruth First Base (Harvest) 
  15. Amon Düül II Vive La Trance (United Artists Germany)
  16. Bohannon Stop & Go (Dakar)
  17. Brownsville Station Yeah! (Bell)
  18. Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (MCA)
  19. Blue Öyster Cult Tyranny and Mutation (Columbia)
  20. Super Bad is Back (K-Tel)
  21. Nazareth Razamanaz (A&M)
  22. Sparks A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing (Bearsville)
  23. The Sweet The Sweet (Bell)
  24. Roxy Music For Your Pleasure (Atco)
  25. Tom T. Hall For the People in the Last Hard Town (Mercury)
  26. Milton Nascimento Millagre Dos Peixes (Odeon Brazil)
  27. Guru Guru Guru Guru (Metronome/Brain Germany)
  28. Bachman-Turner Overdrive II (Mercury)
  29. The Art Ensemble of Chicago Bap-Tizm (Atlantic)
  30. Golden Earring Moontan (MCA)
  31. The O’Jays Ship Ahoy (Philadelphia International)
  32. Bruce Springsteen Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. (Columbia)
  33. The Isley Brothers 3+3 (T-Neck)
  34. Tom T. Hall The Rhymer and Other Five and Dimers (Mercury)
  35. Samla Mammas Manna Måltid (Silence Sweden)
  36. Kool & the Gang Wild and Peaceful (De-Lite)
  37. Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Babies (Warner Bros.)
  38. Sylvester and the Hot Band Sylvester and the Hot Band (Blue Thumb)
  39. Hawkwind Space Ritual (United Artists)
  40. Sonny Rollins Horn Culture (Milestone)
  41. ZZ Top Tres Hombres (London)
  42. Henry Cow Legend/Leg End/Henry Cow (Virgin)
  43. Styx The Serpent is Rising (Wooden Nickel)
  44. Willie Hutch The Mack (Motown)
  45. Funkadelic Cosmic Slop (Westbound)
  46. Al Green Call Me (Hi)
  47. 10cc 10cc (UK Records)
  48. Charles Bevel Meet “Mississippi Charles” Bevel (A&M)
  49. Embryo Rocksession (Brain/Metronome Germany)
  50. Kevin Coyne Majory Razor Blade (Virgin UK)
  51. David Bowie Aladdin Sane (RCA Victor)
  52. Styx II (Wooden Nickel)
  53. Aerosmith Aerosmith (Columbia)
  54. The J. Geils Band Bloodshot (Atlantic)
  55. War Deliver the Word (United Artists)
  56. Osanna Palepoli (Fonit Italy)
  57. Sun Ra Space is the Place (Blue Thumb)
  58. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band Messin’/Get Your Rocks Off (Vertigo UK/Polydor)
  59. Fela Ransome-Kuti & the Africa 70 Gentleman (Makossa)
  60. The Allman Brothers Band Brothers and Sisters (Capricorn)
  61. Steely Dan Countdown to Ecstasy (ABC)
  62. Bryan Ferry These Foolish Things (Atlantic)
  63. Elliott Murphy Aquashow (Polydor)
  64. Stories About Us (Kama Sutra)
  65. Area Arbeit Macht Frei/Lavoro Rene Libero (Cramps Italy)
  66. Buffalo Volcanic Rock (Vertigo Australia)
  67. Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band and Elephant’s Memory Approximately Infinite Universe (Apple)
  68. Neil Young Time Fades Away (Reprise)
  69. Tomasz Stańko Purple Sun (Calig Germany)
  70. The Who Quadrophenia (Track/MCA)
  71. Bruce Springsteen The Wild, the Innocent & the E-Street Shuffle (Columbia)
  72. Bachman-Turner Overdrive Bachman-Turner Overdrive (Mercury)
  73. Montrose Montrose (Warner Bros.)
  74. Budgie Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (MCA UK)
  75. The Mothers Over-Nite Sensation (Discreet)
  76. Magma Mekanïk Destructïw Komandoh (A&M)
  77. Lucifer’s Friend Lucifer’s Friend (Billingsgate)
  78. Peter Hammil Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night (Charisma)
  79. Faust Faust IV (Virgin UK)
  80. Frederic Rzewski Attica/Coming Together/Les Moutons De Panurge (Opus One)
  81. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band Solar Fire (Polydor)
  82. Esther Phillips Black-Eyed Blues (Kudu)
  83. The Marshall Tucker Band The Marshall Tucker Band (Capricorn)
  84. The Rolling Stones Goat’s Head Soup (Rolling Stones)
  85. Queen Queen (Elektra)
  86. Fleetwood Mac Mystery to Me (Reprise)
  87. Mandrill Composite Truth (Polydor)
  88. Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest)
  89. Black Oak Arkansas Raunch ’N’ Roll Live (Atco)
  90. James Brown The Payback (Polydor)
  91. Titanic Eagle Rock (CBS France)
  92. Hard Stuff Bolex Dementia (Phonogram)
  93. Lafayette Afro Rock Band Soul Makossa (Musidisc France)
  94. Caravan For Girls Who Grow Plump In the Night (London)
  95. Ripple Ripple (GRC)
  96. John Cage/Steve Reich Three Dances and Four Organs (Angel)
  97. Thin Lizzy Vagabonds of the Western World (London)
  98. Camel Camel (MCA UK)
  99. Joe Bataan Salsoul (Mericana)
  100. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Next (Vertigo)
  101. Tom Zé Todos Os Olhos (Continental Brazil)
  102. Gladys Knight and the Pips Neither One of Us (Soul)
  103. Dion & the Belmonts Live at Madison Square Garden 1972 (Warner Bros.)
  104. Steeleye Span Parcel of Rogues (Chrysalis)
  105. Semiramis Dedicato A Frazz (Trident Italy)
  106. Paul McCartney and Wings Band on the Run (Apple)
  107. King Crimson Lark’s Tongue in Aspic (Atlantic)
  108. Sly and the Family Stone Fresh (Epic)
  109. Donald Byrd Street Lady (Blue Note)
  110. Paul Simon There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (Columbia)
  111. Silverhead 16 And Savaged (MCA)
  112. Grand Funk We’re an American Band (Capitol)
  113. Dobie Gray Drift Away (Decca)
  114. Genesis Selling England By the Pound (Charisma)
  115. April Wine Electric Jewels (Aquarius Canada)
  116. Rick Derringer All American Boy (Blue Sky)
  117. Sylvester and the Hot Band Bazaar (Blue Thumb)
  118. Mogan David & his Winos Savage Young Winos (Kosher)
  119. Incredible Hog Volume 1 (Dart UK)
  120. Howlin’ Wolf The Back Door Wolf (Chess)
  121. Tony Conrad with Faust Outside the Dream Syndicate (Caroline UK)
  122. Thundermug Strikes (Epic)
  123. Gentle Giant In a Glass House (WWA UK)
  124. Bob Seger Back in ’72 (Palladium/Reprise)
  125. National Lampoon Lemmings (Blue Thumb)
  126. Neu! Neu! (Billingsgate)
  127. Granicus Granicus (RCA)
  128. Daryl Hall/John Oates Abandoned Luncheonette (Atlantic)
  129. Charlie Rich Behind Closed Doors (Epic)
  130. Coloured Balls Ball Power (EMI Australia)
  131. The Incredible Bongo Band Bongo Rock (Pride)
  132. Merle Haggard I Love Dixie Blues (Capitol)
  133. Faces Ooh La La (Warner Bros.)
  134. The Three Degrees The Three Degrees (Philadelphia International)
  135. Roy Brown Hard Times (Bluesway)
  136. Tucky Buzzard Allright on the Night (Passport)
  137. Stray Dog Stray Dog (Manticore)
  138. Gong Flying Teapot: Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1 (Virgin UK)
  139. Blue Swede Hooked on a Feeling (EMI)
  140. Family It’s Only a Movie (United Artists)
  141. Garland Jeffreys Garland Jeffreys (Atlantic)
  142. John Prine Sweet Revenge (Atlantic)
  143. Cockney Rebel The Human Menagerie (EMI)
  144. Capital City Rockets Capital City Rockets (Elektra)
  145. Ramatam In April Came the Dawning of the Red Suns (Atlantic)
  146. Simon Stokes The Incredible Simon Stokes & the Black Whip Thrill Band (Spindizzy)
  147. The Hues Corporation Freedom for the Stallion (RCA)
  148. The 24-Carat Black Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth (Enterprise/Stax)
  149. Blue Ash No More, No Less (Mercury)
  150. The Pointer Sisters The Pointer Sisters (Blue Thumb)

11 comments

  1. Ha, this is due to little ol’ me? Right you are that I figured the 1st Dolls and Raw Power to clinch the top two. I was surprised to see Mott sneak in between them, but maybe I shouldn’t have been, since this preserves the sequence you put them in in Stairway to Hell (though I think both Sladest and Houses of the Holy placed somewhere in between in that case). Funnily enough, I specifically remember being shamed by my high school peers for buying and listening to each of the top three when I picked them up c 1993, the first two for their covers and the Stooges for some especially scorching James Williamson lead two or three songs in. They were all like R.E.M. and Pavement fans, and anything with hairy dudes looking tough on the cover or masculine aggression within was impossibly gauche (too bad for them – the Dolls and Mott at least had plenty of wistful melancholy of the sort that I think would’ve appealed to their sensitive souls!). 1993 was a much less glam-friendly time for those of us into loud guitar music than was 1973 (evidently).

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  2. via facebook:

    Alfred Soto
    I hate circuses too!

    Alfred Soto
    Thanks for pushing me toward that Sylvester album — damn. Glad you dig Approximately Infinite Universe too, by far my most played Yoko.

    Edd Hurt
    In retrospect, Ze’s “Todos” seems way more important, predictive–pop as process–than the damned New York Dolls, completely overrated.

    Chuck Eddy
    No idea what you mean by “pop as process” here. (And the Dolls predicted a couple entire genres. Not that I care about “importance,” really.)

    Jaz Jacobi
    I’m not going to argue with SLADEST being a great record, but I was under the impression that compilations were disqualified from these lists?

    Jaz Jacobi
    Oops, I guess the K-tels are compilations, too.

    Jaz Jacobi
    And Adam VIII!

    Chuck Eddy
    We’ve talked about this before, Jaz. Those albums primarily all consist of songs that were more or less new in the United States, that year or so.

    Jaz Jacobi
    I got confused about “greatest hits” not tending to show up on these lists, I guess!

    Chuck Eddy
    They don’t. Though that might be different if the hits (or just the singles, going steady) were all overseas, while Americans remained oblivious. Brits would call that Sweet LP a comp, too.

    Jaz Jacobi
    My forgetful ways catch up with me, yet again!

    Jaz Jacobi
    We have the same favorite album of 1973. I’m not holding my breath on that happening any other year!

    Sara Quell
    Other than switching #150 and #1, yeah.

    Sara Quell
    Am I the only person who ever got something published in newsprint who never got the Dolls? I even like stuff like the Dictators and Velvet Underground and David Peel and Neil Sedaka but way way way out-of-town we’re sort of conditiined to believe that rock singers sound like this.

    Jake Alrich
    Funny how every one of these best of XXXX pieces always has a passage that leads me down a blind alley: “And some of the weirdest prog of the year — i.e., most records listed as Italian, German, Swedish and French imports below — is recited in languages that make literal meaning moot to unilinguals.” This plus the fact that you included Amon Duul 2, Guru Guru, Neu! and some other German Prog I’m probably forgetting made me POSITIVE that “Future Days” by Can would be on your list. Their second-best album (Tago Mago), and the last one with Damo Suzuki who famously sang “in the language of the Stone Age”!

    Chuck Eddy
    Alas, Future Days was an also-ran. Top 200 though? No problem. (Pretty sure my favorite is still Ege Bamyasi, especially for “I’m So Green.”)

    Like

  3. via facebook:

    Clifford Ocheltree
    There are times when I fear you’ve been reading my notebooks. But no room for the 1st Secos & Molhados LP? And, more obvious, Conference of the Birds? I’d mention The Well Below the Valley but you probably dislike bagpipes.

    Chuck Eddy
    Not always! Anyway, never heard of any of those. May well investigate.

    Clifford Ocheltree
    Secos & Molhados, group and album name (Brazilian). The title is the same for the 1st and 2nd album. 1st is ’73 and better. “Conference of the Birds” is Dave Holland with Altschul, Braxton and Rivers. WBtV is by Planxty.

    Chuck Eddy
    Gotcha. So what on my list *did* you agree with, then?

    Clifford Ocheltree
    Chuck, about 85% I have or used to have. To some extent our tastes are not THAT dissimilar. I probably have a stronger love of UK/Irish/Scot’s folk as I spent a lot of time in the UK. Summers from 60 through 73.

    Clifford Ocheltree
    Looking at the top 20 in the list. Nice to see someone bring up the Pink Fairies Kings of Oblivion. At the time I might have thought their ’72 LP What A Bunch Of Sweeties was the best of that year. Think I still have both in vinyl. Don’t think I ever saw Soul Train Hits That Made It Happen or Super Bad is Back. Think I had the Tapper Zukie. In ’73 Air Jamaica started flying into O’Hare. Mike and I got several free flights and came back with about 200 albums. I’m fairly certain that was one. I KNOW I had it by ’75 because my brother hated it and flung it off his balcony in Elizabeth NJ.

    Chuck Eddy
    He must have been a pork eater!

    Clifford Ocheltree
    Chuck, Chaz never did get into reggae in any form. More of a Latin ‘tasteful’ wallpaper music kinda guy.

    Sang Freud
    yay for #2. they try harder!

    Greg Morton
    Any 1973 list that favors A Woofer In Tweeter’s Clothing over Dark Side of the Moon, Berlin, and (gag) Piano Man or (double gag) Desperado is a winner to me, even if Fresh at 108 is waaaay too low. I’ll add Burnin’, Stranded, Birds of Fire, Dixie Chicken, Johnny Winter’s Still Alive and Well, and Curt Boettcher’s There’s An Innocent Face to your numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 19, 22, 53, 60, 61, 63, 71, 108, and 112 for my personal Top Twenty. Still can’t decide after all these years if Mott or BOC’s T & M goes first, but mainly I’m just frustrated that I can’t lay my hands on my copy of Lucifer’s Friend to attach as a picture.

    Chuck Eddy
    I almost posted that crazy Lucifer’s Friend cover myself! And I included Stranded in 1974 (when it came out in the U.S.) As for Little Feat, I assumed they’d make the cut. But upon relistening the past couple weeks, they didn’t.

    Chuck Eddy
    I almost posted that crazy Lucifer’s Friend cover myself! And I included Stranded in 1974 (when it came out in the U.S.) As for Little Feat, I assumed they’d make the cut. But upon relistening the past couple weeks, they didn’t.
    ·
    Steve Pick
    I remember a number of years ago I did something like 12 to 16 hours of radio over several weeks on music from 1973, with only one song from each artist played, and I think I could have kept on without letting the quality drop. And that was without even knowing about roughly half the records you list here – or maybe a third. I don’t know, there’s a bunch of things I haven’t heard. At any rate, 1973 was a very good year for music, another one where almost every genre was hopping at the same time. Heck, I might put Mott over the Dolls, but it would be close. The Stooges album, while fine, has never meant as much to me as their first two records. I’d probably put Springsteen in my top five, though – Rosalita alone might make the record go that high, even if it didn’t have Fourth of July Asbury Park and all the rest.

    Chuck Eddy
    Am I the only person ever who greatly prefers Springsteen’s first album over his second? (If anybody out there does, please let me know I’m not alone!)

    Roger Carter
    Great to see Stevie Wonder on your lists. I remember reading your discography in Accidental Evolution Of Rock n Roll and thinking there’s hardly a mention of Stevie. Maybe he thinks Wonder is the most overrated performer of the 1970s like Greil Marcus.

    Chuck Eddy
    Wow, wasn’t aware I’d neglected him in that book; nobody’s mentioned it before! Suppose I think he’s at least a *little* bit overrated — not interested in plants’ secret lives. But four or so ’70s albums are close to undeniable.

    Roger Carter
    I agree Journey through the Secret Life Of Plants which was a movie soundtrack is not essential Stevie Wonder but there are some great songs such on it such as Send One Your Love and Outside My Window. I know you thought Hotter than July was a notch down from those great 70s albums but it would have been on my 1980 list but great to see the Characters album from 1987.

    Chuck Eddy
    I actually think Hotter Than July is a better album than Characters, for whatever that’s worth. 1980 just had much stiffer competition than 1987!

    Peter Stenhouse
    Probably my least favorite year for albums between 1967 and 2012, maybe because I just haven’t listened to enough of them. Anyway, your 1-2-61 are my 1-2-3, in some order.

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  4. Your undeniable love for Dutch bands makes it easier for me to accept I haven’t lived in a musically more interesting place like the US or UK. Shocking Blue, Golden Earring, Herman Brood & his Wild Romance, Gruppo Sportivo, Pussycat, Luv. Boney M is part Dutch (the male singer, or rather dancer), and in later years lists we find the Ex of course and even Jumbo!!! Moontan is the best album by the Golden Earring, who have recently stopped (after 60 years) because of illness of the guitarist and singer George Kooymans. What is your favorite Dutch album?

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    1. You left out The Gathering! As for your question, wow, I honestly don’t have a ready answer. (I had never grouped all those Dutch bands together before, even in my mind.) Not counting Boney M, I wonder which one(s) I’ve ranked highest on these lists…

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  5. via facebook:

    Johnnie B. Zip
    I take it you revisited the ELP and Rundgren records, right? I myself never tire of A Wizard, A True Star, and plan to revisit Brain Salad Surgery soon.
    On the other hand, this was the year to skip Jethro Tull. I think. Another revisitation made difficult by record theft. But this one, I think I can let lie.

    Chuck Eddy
    Yeah, I figured the same about A Passion Play. And as my intro suggests, I did revisit Brain Salad and Wizard/True Star, to not much avail at all.

    Johnnie B. Zip
    On a whim, as we drove back from the river last month, when the kid offered to stream music, I asked for a seventies prog playlist. I was shocked at how many bands I didn’t like at the time, and bands I’d learned not to like later, sounded great now. I didn’t ever think I’d learn to like Yes. And I didn’t. It just happened.

    Johnnie B. Zip
    On a more careful re-read, I see that you did indeed give them their shot. I sure did love Passion Play at the time. The hare who lost his spectacles indeed.

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  6. Wow, are you sure you’re not partly Dutch, you must have had at least European ancestors. I was primarly focusing on the 70’s lists (two more to go to cover this great musical decade!), but indeed you mention the Gathering and even Junkie XL (in the 1998/99 list). Is there more to come? I can understand that you skip Focus, but no Bettie Serveert or Urban Dance Squad? Honorable mentions: the George Baker Selection (Tarantino), Candy Dulfer (Prince), DJ Armin van Buuren and dance acts 2 Unlimited and the Vengaboys.

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    1. Ha ha — Check my ’92/’93 list for 2 Unlimited. And I LOVE “Hocus Pocus”! Used to spin it back-to-back with “Bring Me Edelweiss” in bar DJ gigs during my New York days. Just not sure I’ve ever heard a Focus album that lived up to the immortal yodel-metal promise of that single. (And I’ve certainly *tried*, though I haven’t heard every album they’ve made by a long shot. I do love that they named a song “Hamburger Concerto.”) Listened to a Bettie Serveert album for the first time while working on one of the ’90s lists; seemed pleasant enough, but I didn’t quite get them. And I may have the George Baker Selection LP with “Paloma Blanca” on my shelf. Kinda doubt it would make the cut for these lists, though. Is the one with “Little Green Bag” better?) (And yes, definitely more lists to come — which may or may not feature more Dutchness; wait and see!)

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  7. “Hamburger Concerto” is really like a concerto (at heart they were prog rockers), 20 minutes divided in 6 movements. But these are named “Rare “Medium¨, “Well done”, so more about hamburgers then concertos after all. Properly not on your 1974 list, but check out Sylvia. Jan Akkerman was once voted best guitarist in the world by Melody Maker…

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