Content tagged '70s'
Back in the U.S.A. (Album of the Day)
Some of the most exciting music made in America at the end of the 1960s came from Detroit, thanks to bands like The Stooges, The Alice Cooper Group … and the MC5. The “Motor City Five” had already kicked out the jams on a live album before heading into the studio with producer Jon Landau to see if they could capture their high-energy attack in a more controlled setting. The resulting 1970 album, BACK IN THE USA, answered that question with a resounding “yes.” Along with nods to rock's raucous past (like the Chuck Berry-penned title track) and the MC5's revolutionary roots (“The American Ruse”), the set provided a template for the punk rock to come with such driving songs as “Tonight” and “Shakin' Street.” Packed with incendiary power, BACK IN THE USA was named one of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone.
Bloodshot (Album of the Day)
Years before their 1980s pop breakthrough, The J. Geils Band had paid their dues as Boston's top blue-rockers, and the sextet's 1973 studio album, BLOODSHOT, lives up to the group's reputation. Future Eagles producer Bill Szymczyk is behind the boards, but that group's meticulous mystique is far removed from the raucous energy bursting from these grooves. Along with a couple of well-chosen covers (such as The Showstoppers' “(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party”), keyboardist Seth Justman and frontman Peter Wolf came up with a batch of originals that could pass for R&B classics themselves: “Don't Try to Hide It,” “Make Up Your Mind” and “Give It To Me” are but a few of the scorchers here. BLOODSHOT was justifiably a Top 10 hit, and we'll give the Atlantic collection another spin in memory of guitarist Geils, who passed away a year ago today.
Aladdin Sane (Album of the Day)
From its iconic cover shot to the final notes of “Lady Grinning Soul,” ALADDIN SANE captures David Bowie near the peak of his glam rock powers. Once described by the performer as “Ziggy goes to America,” the 1973 collection was recorded with the classic Spiders from Mars lineup (guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Mick "Woody" Woodmansey) and reflects Bowie's experiences on the road in the U.S. the preceding year. Ranging from the fractured jazz of the title song to such tough rockers as “Panic in Detroit” and hit single “The Jean Genie,” these 10 tracks brim with invention and self assurance. Released 45 years ago today, ALADDIN SANE has been cited by Pitchfork as one of the greatest albums of the 1970s, and we couldn't agree more.
A Brand New Me (Album of the Day)
On the heels of her landmark IN MEMPHIS album, Dusty Springfield made a pilgrimage to another U.S. soul capital, Philadelphia, for 1970's A BRAND NEW ME. Once again the British vocalist was ahead of the curve, working with producer-songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and arranger Thom Bell a couple years before their credits would become ubiquitous on R&B hits. Consequently, the Atlantic collection has a little more urbane funk than the Southern grit of its predecessor, but Springfield proves just as well-suited to the sleeker style on such singles as “Silly, Silly Fool,” “I Wanna Be a Free Girl” and the titular Top 40 hit. Dusty Springfield was born on this day in 1939, and we'll celebrate the birthday with one of her best albums, A BRAND NEW ME.
Desperado (Album of the Day)
With Eagles' second longplayer, DESPERADO, the band millions around the world would come to know and love begins to emerge more clearly. Likening the rock and roll life to that of Wild West outlaws the Doolin-Dalton gang, this concept album speaks to the ambitious reach that would become a hallmark of the group's releases. And the set's most famous songs - “Tequila Sunrise” and the title track - were collaborations between drummer Don Henley and guitarist/keyboardist Glenn Frey, a partnership that would eventually define the group. Yet with Bernie Leadon's masterful picking prominent throughout, the set will appeal to country and folk listeners as much as to fans of the band's later arena rock. Released 45 years ago today, DESPERADO sold more than 2 million copies and kept Eagles flying high.
Enter the Dragon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album of the Day)
Released in the summer of 1973, box office smash Enter The Dragon launched countless martial arts knock-offs and turned Bruce Lee into a star (though posthumously; Lee died of acute cerebral edema days before the film's premiere). With its suspenseful crime-busting story, an Asian setting and some blaxploitation elements, the movie evokes a variety of moods when its fists aren't flying, and composer Lalo Schifrin is largely to thank for that. Famous for the “Mission Impossible” theme and scores to such hits as Dirty Harry, Schifrin blends jazz, traditional Chinese music and funk on a set sure to please beat heads, library aficionados and film fans alike. The ENTER THE DRAGON SOUNDTRACK is available tomorrow in a limited edition picture disc as part of Record Store Day.
Up In Smoke Motion Picture Soundtrack (40th Anniversary Edition) (Album of the Day)
In 1978, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their big screen debut in UP IN SMOKE, playing wannabe musicians who unwittingly smuggle a van made of marijuana from Mexico to L.A. Inspired by their now-legendary routines of the early '70s, the film was a smash hit that established the pair as the reigning comedy duo of a new generation. Retaining surprising cultural relevance, the stoner comedy classic now celebrates its 40th anniversary, and Rhino has just reissued its soundtrack. The original album featured songs like “Earache My Eye” “Framed” and the title track along with high-larious dialogue from the movie; the 40th anniversary edition of UP IN SMOKE adds a new recording of the title song and a previously unreleased version from 1978 with an additional Spanish verse by Cheech.
Bananamour (Album of the Day)
Kevin Ayers was the first member of legendary Canterbury group Soft Machine to launch a solo career, and his four albums for Harvest remain unheralded progressive rock gems. The last of these, BANANAMOUR, filters some of the singer-songwriter's most accessible material through his relentlessly diverse approach; the 1973 collection shifts effortlessly from psychedelia to glam to punchy R&B and beyond. Gong guitarist Steve Hillage and former bandmates Mike Ratledge and Robert Wyatt can all be heard here, while a couple of Ayers' other musical friends helped inspire songs: Syd Barrett (single “Oh! Wot A Dream”) and Nico (the ethereal epic “Decadence”). BANANAMOUR turns 45 this month, and ranks among the British eccentric's crowning achievements.
Double Vision (Expanded) (Album of the Day)
Though half the band was British (hence the name), America embraced Foreigner with open arms in the late 1970s. Founded by journeyman guitarist Mick Jones and powered by Lou Gramm's strong vocals, the group was an immediate smash, their debut album going multi-platinum. Foreigner's follow-up was even more successful; 1978's DOUBLE VISION ruled the U.S. Top Ten for half a year thanks to the hit singles “Hot Blooded,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day” and the title number. The Expanded Edition of this arena rock classic adds swaggering live versions of “Hot Blooded” and rare song “Love Maker” to the original 10 tracks. In honor of Gramm's birthday, we'll give DOUBLE VISION another spin today.
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (Album of the Day)
After seeing Devo's first New York show, David Bowie declared that “this is the band of the future,” and as usual, he was right. Produced by Brian Eno, the band's debut, Q: ARE WE NOT MEN? A: WE ARE DEVO!, was playfully subversive from the smiling image of pro golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez on its cover to the herky-jerky version of “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” in its grooves. Though the principles of de-evolution would be further described on future releases, the Ohio quintet lay the groundwork for their skewed vision of reality on such songs as “Mongoloid” and “Jocko Homo.” The critical stature of the 1978 Warner Bros. collection has only risen with time, and both Pitchfork and Rolling Stone have cited the set as one of the decade's greatest. Today we'll give the gold-certified Q: ARE WE NOT MEN? A: WE ARE DEVO! another spin to wish co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh a happy birthday.