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My VERY subjective list of MY fave albums from....


marvin

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the 1970's

So before anyone starts raining on my parade, this is MY list, and meant just as information for anyone out there who is curious. I don't make any claims that these albums are classic (some probably are), but they're ALL classic to ME. Hope you enjoy reading. This is in order of release date.

1. What's Goin' On? - Marvin Gaye

When first released, Motown boss Berry Gordy was displeased with the un-commercial nature of the music. Marvin had something to say, and “What’s Goin’ On†was his statement. Of course Gordy’s tune changed when the title track hit #1 on the Singles charts and the album went on to become Motown's biggest seller at the time. The perfect example of Marvin's inner battle between religion and sex. Released in 1971.

2. Fresh - The Raspberries

IMO the most under-appreciated band of the 1970’s. For the most part “Fresh†features acoustic guitar but in no way does that take away from the power of the songs. From the opening blast of “I Wanna Be With Youâ€, to the album closer, “Drivin’ Aroundâ€, this is melodic pop music at its finest. Released in 1972.

3. American Graffiti - Various Artists Soundtrack

Though the soundtrack is a pastiche of late 1950’s early 1960’s rock’n’roll, that is not it’s strength. It’s the way that music is used in the movie to accentuate the plot and story-line, which gives it its strength. No soundtrack has done it better than “American....†Released in 1973.

4. Side 3 - The Raspberries

It is a tough limiting the ‘berries to one album on this list. As a result, three of their four albums made it. “Side 3†is a great collection of Who / Small Faces-styled rockers such as “Tonight†and “Ecstasyâ€, and the country-rock of “Should I Waitâ€, shows another diverse side. Released in 1973.

5. Band On the Run - Paul McCartney

Has there ever been a group whose members carried more pressure on them with every one of their solo releases? With this extra baggage, it appeared that McCartney could never live up to his historic past. His first few solo releases though commercially successful, were critically lambasted. With "Band...", he made the album everyone was waiting for. For the most part only McCartney and Denny Laine played / sang on the album, showing that sometimes less is more. Released in 1973.

6. Yesterday Once More - the Carpenters

“Yesterday...†makes this list because of the innovative suite on Side 2. Side 1 focused on new material whereas Side 2, led by the hit title song, “Yesterday...â€, linked a radio station DJ with the Carpenters performing songs from the past. It seemed that one time this album never left the turntable in our house. Released in 1973.

7. Full Sail - Loggins & Messina

By the time of this release, the duo was starting to explore the option of each artist going solo. The original plan when they had first met was, Loggins the artist, Messina the producer. The strong point of this album is the variety of styles on it, and the great musicianship. Highlights include “Watching the River Runâ€, “Vahevalaâ€, and “You Need A Man/Coming To You.†Released in 1973.

8. Starting Over - the Raspberries

Led by lead singer/songwriter Eric Carmen and guitarist Wally Bryson, “Starting Over†was released after a personnel change within the band. The addition of new bassist/vocalist Scott McCarl was a major positive move. The lead single “Overnight Sensationâ€, along with “Play On†and “Party’s Overâ€, are stand-out tracks. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before “Starting...†suffered the same fate as the other ‘berries albums before them, leading to the breakup of the band. Released in 1974.

9. Stand Back - April Wine

From beginning to end, a pretty consistent album with some big (Canadian) hits: “Oowataniteâ€, “I Wouldn’t Want To Lose Your Love†and “Tonite Is A Wonderful Time.†Lead singer-songwriter Myles Goodwyn’s knack for writing strong ballads and songs with catchy melodies, is on display here. Released in 1974.

10. Eldorado- A Symphony by - Electric Light Orchestra

Jeff Lynne's goal was to put together a rock band that could do what the Beatles had done on "I Am the Walrus" - combine classical orchestration with rock music. "Eldorado" was his band's piece-de-resistance. Lynne proved himself to be a master tunesmith on songs such as "Can't Get It Out Of My Head", and "Boy Blue." The entire album plays like a symphonic suite, testament to Lynne's original model. Released in 1975.

11. Main Course - The Bee Gees

With the help of Atlantic Record boss Arif Mardin, the Brothers Gibb returned from semi-obscurity and resurrected their career. Thanks to the burgeoning dance music scene, the brothers hit the top with the lead-off single "Jive Talkin.'" from front to back, probably the brothers strongest album and proof positive to the non-believers of the songwriting skills of Barry, Robin & Maurice. Released in 1975.

12. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

The opening track, "Thunder Road", set a theme that is carried right to the majestic closing track, "Jungleland." Springsteen brings story-telling and character study to new heights. As far as Columbia Records was concerned, this was the album that was either going to make or break Sprigsteen’s career. Released in 1975.

13. Venus & Mars - Paul McCartney & Wings

Lost in the aftermath of the mega sales and success of the previous release “Band On the Run.†The “Venus & Mars /Rock Show†suite gets the album off to a great start. Fellow bandmates Jimmy McCulloch and Denny Laine also contributed fine material such as “Medicine Jar†and “Spirits Of Ancient Egypt.†Released in 1975.

14. One Of These Nights - The Eagles

With this release the Eagles tried to slowly break away from their Country image. This album featured guitarist Don Felder’s only lead vocal, “Vision.â€Released in 1975.

15. A New World Record - Electric Light Orchestra

Featuring the hits “Telephone Lineâ€, “Do Yaâ€, “A Living Thingâ€, and “Rockariaâ€, Lynne was starting to hit his peak when it came to writing accessible, radio-friendly music. It wasn’t as obvious on this record as the ones to follow, but slowly the “orchestra†part of the group was being phased out, and the band was becoming just another rock group. Released in 1976.

16. Hotel California - the Eagles

"Rumours" and “Hotel California†were two albums that many who grew up in the 1970’s owned. The sound of the band started changing when Don Felder joined, and now with Joe Walsh, they were becoming a more guitar-oriented band. Eventually this album would become an albatross around the band's neck as they knew they would never be able to match its creativeness or its success. Original member / bassist Randy Meisner' swansong. Released in 1976.

17. Russian Roulette - the Hollies

In a perfect world, this album should have done for the Hollies what “Main Course†did for the Bee Gees - i.e. resurrect their career. Unfortunately “Russian...†went largely ignored in North America. The core of the band, Allan Clarke, Terry Sylvester and Tony Hicks, had their harmonies as tight as ever and the band was clicking. A hit single would’ve taken the band and the album over the top. Released in 1976.

18. Sincerely - the Dwight Twilley Band

Oklahoma’s gift to the Power Pop. Twilley and band mate Phil Seymour entered the scene with the ultra-perfect single “I’m On Fire.†A stronger initial offering you’d be hard-pressed to find. Released in 1976.

19 Songs In the Key Of Life - Stevie Wonder

Stevie takes in everything he has learned in music and life, combines it with a world-weary vision, and then brings the listener on a spiritual journey. The many musical styles that were featured such as big band ("Sir Duke"), funk ("I Wish"), gospel ("Love's In Need Of Love"), pop ("Ebony Eyes"), all showcased the incredible talent of the artist. Released in 1976.

20. Boston - Boston

The debut album that set the standard for all freshmen albums with its record sales. When the lead single, “More Than A Feeling†exploded onto AM and FM airwaves in 1977, it was with a sound that had not been heard before. The other hits, “Peace Of Mindâ€, “Rock And Roll Bandâ€, and “Long Time†also became radio staples. Released in 1976.

21. What’s Wrong With this Picture? - Andrew Gold

For many years Gold had been Linda Ronstadt’s guitarist and musical arranger. His first solo release had met with some success, however it was “What’s Wrong With this Picture†and it’s powerful single “Lonely Boy†which brought Gold out of the background and into the limelight. Great cover art and extremely witty liner notes. Released in 1976.

22. Rock And Roll Love Letter - The Bay City Rollers

Ok maybe later releases (i.e. “Elevatorâ€) were more interesting and serious, but as far as catchy Pop music goes, “R’n’R Love..†does the job for me. Still not being taken seriously by the masses even though tunes such as “I Only Want To Dance..â€, “La Belle Jeanneâ€, “Shanghai’d In Loveâ€, and the title tune have hooks that grab on to you so tightly. Released in 1977.

23. My Aim Is True - Elvis Costello

An album that should be in every Pop / Rock fan's collection. Costello came out of nowhere on the heels of the New Wave / Punk movement with this incendiary release, and his ability to write acerbic lyrics was a welcome change to the mundane. Released in 1977.

24. Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

It's influence on 70's rock is undeniable. Just about everyone growing up in the late 70's owned this album. The band was drifting farther away from its original blues leanings, and now becoming a showcase for Lindsey Buckingham. The group members were going through personal upheaval, yet they used this turmoil as a positive outlet (e.g. “Go Your Own Wayâ€, “The Chainâ€). Each song became a radio staple and continues so 35+ years later. Released in 1977.

25. The Stranger - Billy Joel

Joel hit the big time with this release, thanks to the triumvirate hit singles "Just the Way You Are", "She's Always A Woman", and "Moving Out." With “The Strangerâ€, and songs like “Scenes From An Italian Restaurantâ€, Joel showed that his songwriting and storytelling ability had reached a new level of maturity. Released in 1977.

26. Running On Empty - Jackson Browne

Browne re-defines the meaning of a live album. Featuring all new music (that in itself was extremely out of the ordinary for a live album), and recorded in arenas to buses, to hotel rooms. An adventurous release, it would turn out to be his most successful commercially. Released in 1977.

27. Darkness On the Edge Of Town - Bruce Springsteen

With “Darkness...â€, Springsteen was slowly moving away from the long story telling song form that he had exhibited on his previous three releases. The ensuing tour sealed Springsteen’s reputation as the live performer of his time. Released in 1978.

28. Some Girls - the Rolling Stones

The Stones entered the 1970's still holding on to the title the "world's greatest rock and roll band", and this effort was their most consistent release in years. Released in 1978.

29. Hearts Of Stone - Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

The best album Bruce Springsteen never made. In Southside Johnny Lyon, Springsteen and Miami Steve Van Zandt found the perfect vehicle for their R&B songs. With the wonderful Miami Horns in tow, Southside is in excellent vocal form. Released in 1978.

30. Excitable Boy - Warren Zevon

After years of providing material for other artists, Zevon hits the big time. Thanks to the hit single, “Werewolves Of Londonâ€, “Excitable ..†brought new listeners to Zevon. He gets a lot of assistance on this disc from the California Mafia: Ronstadt, Henley, Browne, etc. Released in 1978.

31. Damn the Torpedoes - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

After two moderately successful releases, and the FM staple “Breakdownâ€, Petty hit the big time with this his third release. Featuring the hit singles “Don’t Do Me Like That†and “Refugeeâ€, as well as “Here Comes My Girl.†Released in 1979.

32. You’re Only Lonely - J.D.Souther

Souther is better known for the hits that he has co-written (“New Kid In Townâ€, “The Heart Of the Matter†and “Heartache Tonight†among many others) than for his own material. “You’re Only...â€, his second solo album is as good as anything that he has written for others. Released in 1979.

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Marv- that's a heck of a list. I'd take most of those for mine. Just for fun, I went to my personal collection to see how many more I could find from the 70's. I eliminated 'best of' collections- which numbered dozens of albums! I listened to a lot of top 40 stations, so 'greatest hits' collections were a natural for me, but don't have a place on this list. Another third of my collection is contempory Christian albums. Lots of 60's, some 80's...hmmmm, I guess I don't have much to add from my collection from the 70's. Well, maybe a couple:

Boz Scaggs- Silk Degrees

George Benson- Breezin'

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Marv- that's a heck of a list. I'd take most of those for mine. Just for fun, I went to my personal collection to see how many more I could find from the 70's. I eliminated 'best of' collections- which numbered dozens of albums! I listened to a lot of top 40 stations, so 'greatest hits' collections were a natural for me, but don't have a place on this list. Another third of my collection is contempory Christian albums. Lots of 60's, some 80's...hmmmm, I guess I don't have much to add from my collection from the 70's. Well, maybe a couple:

Boz Scaggs- Silk Degrees

George Benson- Breezin'

Thanks, Kirk. I have both the albums you mention, and not sure how I missed putting "Silk Degrees" on my list. A phenomenal album indeed.

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Outstanding list Marvin. I mirror Bernie's remarks regarding the varied stylings of albums that have truly stood the test of time. Many of my faves are on your list as well (You are dead-on with your assessment of "Main Course".

My list would include:

"Goodbye YellowBrickRoad" - Elton John (lots of filler but a commercial GIANT with varied musical tastes).

"There Goes Rhymin' Simon" - Paul Simon

"All Things Must Pass" - George Harrison (monster album ...would have been better with less filler songs).

"Innervisions" - Stevie Wonder

"Deja Vu" - CSNY

This promises to be a very active thread. Thanks Marvin!

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GREAT list, Marv! So many extraordinary artists—unique and original—and so many landmark albums that have stood the test of time. Imagine someone making a list in 40 years of their favorite music from the 2010's?!?

Bernie

Hey thanks, Bernie. I've tried to push this forward and compiled a 1980's, 1990's and 2000 list.

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Outstanding list Marvin. I mirror Bernie's remarks regarding the varied stylings of albums that have truly stood the test of time. Many of my faves are on your list as well (You are dead-on with your assessment of "Main Course".

My list would include:

"Goodbye YellowBrickRoad" - Elton John (lots of filler but a commercial GIANT with varied musical tastes).

"There Goes Rhymin' Simon" - Paul Simon

"All Things Must Pass" - George Harrison (monster album ...would have been better with less filler songs).

"Innervisions" - Stevie Wonder

"Deja Vu" - CSNY

This promises to be a very active thread. Thanks Marvin!

Great choices, John. On my 1960's list, I put the first CSN album on there.

As far as Stevie goes, I had a very tough time narrowing it down, so I chose "Songs In the Key..." just because it's such an incredible double-album.

"Goodbye Yellow.." made my initial list - but then I whittled it off. Probably should still be there.

And for Paul S, "Rhymin'" is an excellent choice. I chose "Graceland", and put it on my 1980's list.

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Interesting list Marv...

Wont quarrel of course about the 3 Berries albums...

Embarrassed to say that for many of these Lp's, I dont know them well enough to comment...

Never cared at all for Springsteen, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Souther, Jackson B or Wonder so never listened to much of their stuff...

Like the Hollies,Rollers and Elo enough to listen to these completely now and hope that I will enjoy them as much as your ravings...

The Carpenters lived in the same neighborhood as me and we were in a K-8 school at the same time...Richard was 7 grades ahead of me while Karen was 3...The school and neighborhood were small enough that everyone was familiar to each other...After they moved to Calif., everyone was quite surprised at their success as neither showed anyone enough to predict their meteoric rise...Sadly, although Karen came back to the neighborhood quite often, I was never interested enough to listen to their proper albums although their singles were sparkling...Time to visit...

Agree with Band on the Run, although I like Ram better than Venus...

Liked Twilley Dont Mind better than Sincerely...

On my list would be Straight Up by Badfinger, Pezband's 1st, In Color by Cheap Trick, Killer, by Alice Cooper, Something/Anything by Todd Rundgren, Ziggy Stardust-Bowie, Who's Next-The Who and probably many more that I havent thought of...Great topic, Marv...

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Hey Lew.

Regarding the Carpenters, their singles certainly were 'sparkling.' I loved the concept behind "Now And Then", and it was an album that our family literally wore out on the turntable.

Pezband: I bought the first album based on many positive reviews, and the music did nothing for me. I don't even know what I did with the vinyl copy, but likely sold it back to the store. Have been meaning to pick it up again on cd and give it another shot.

the Who: "Who's Next" was on my list. I whittled it off for something else.

So I know the 1980's were a dead decade for many of us, but nevertheless, there was some good music, and I'll put out my 1980's list soon.

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Marv,

Pezband is definitely worth another listen. My favorite LP was their second, "Laughing in the Dark." Rolling Stone picked it as one of the best albums of 1978! Some really great power pop along with Mimi Betinis' spot-on Lennonesque vocals.

Bernie

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What I don't get is - it seems like most discussions here about 70s music somehow wind up in Big Star bashing! I think there are one Hell of a lot more similarities between them and Raspberries than differences. Both had deep roots in the 60s/Byrds/Beatles. . . .with Raspberries wearing their UK influences more on their sleeves, and Big Star tossing Memphis r&b/soul into their mix. Both had labels which did atrocious jobs in promoting them, Big Star more so, as Ardent, owned by Stax, wasn't used to putting out rock & roll records. The critics loved both bands, but they were pretty much the only ones who did. . . although Eric & company had the advantage of the hit singles, which never happened for Big Star, but certainly not due to a lack of commercial material.

Yes, some critics, 40 years later, do prefer Big Star over Raspberries. . . . .but a scam perpetuated on the public? Sorry. . . I love both bands, and it certainly wasn't due to any kind of hype from back in the day! Critics also loved the Flamin Groovies II, Shoes, Plimsouls, Paul Collins, The Records, and a lot of other similar bands. They, however, don't seem to draw the ire of members of this board.

PS - Truth be told, being over 60, aside from bands like Raspberries, Cheap Trick, Big Star, The Stooges, Ramones, Groovies II, I don't remember the 70s nearly as fondly as I do the 60s. . . . . .if I were younger, I probably would.

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Rich - If I recall, we have very similar tastes in music. If you believe that all Big Star had going for them was their hype, well. . . .different strokes for different folks. I had a local record store that played literally anything before I bought it upon request. I don't remember buying anything based solely on hype. . . .but I can see where a lot of people did. . . .primarily because the radio stations refused to play anything remotely new, unless their palms were greased by the big labels. Take Raspberries off of a big label like Capitol, and all they would have really had was word of mouth among critics and fans to get their product across.

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JohnO

For the record, I wasn't serious about that scam statement. But it sure felt that way when critics were tripping over themselves to praise Big Star. And you are correct, John. You and I have very similar taste in music. I love all the bands you mentioned as well as most of the bands on Marvin's list.

A couple of years ago, I tried re-listening to Big Star. Thinking maybe I missed the mark on this band, but I swear, John, I heard nothing that made me want to change my original opinion.

Call me a Philistine if you must, but where this band is concerned, we'll have to agree to disagree.

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There was NO hype. I bought the record on the advice of a fellow music lover. I bought #1 Record, which had the three songs i posted, and is as far from unlistenable as you can get.

Am I the only one who can't hear the power or the pop in any of Big Star's recordings? Cheap Trick's cover is WAY more in my power pop sweet spot than Big Star's original.

Bernie

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I like a lot of the albums mentioned, but for me I would include KISS "Alive", Supertramp "Crime of the Century", Starz "Starz", Angel "Helluva Band", Raspberries "Raspberries", Foghat "Fool For The City", Aerosmith "Get Your Wings", Heart "Dreamboat Annie", Journey "Infinity", Kansas "Leftoverture", Black Sabbath "Paranoid", Toto "Toto", Van Halen "Van Halen"...there are many more! For ME, the '70's was the best decade of music! smile

Tim

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