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“It’s Only Teenage Wasteland” Pete Townshend

November 9, 2013

I haven’t posted in a while as the U.S. public policy arena has been very depressing lately. Instead, I will turn my attention to music which always cheers me up. (and hopefully you too!). First, apologies in advance, this will be a very long post, so I hope it will keep you interested.

This past summer Entertainment Weekly came out with its top 100 list of albums. As with any subjective list, I had real problems with it . For one, there were many albums from the post 1990 era, hip-hop, rap etc. , which I don’t like or follow. Also, I couldn’t really figure out what the list was for. The best pop albums? The best rock/soul/R&B albums? The best of all albums? Finally, I don’t really like the “critics” views which seems to predominate the EW list. These same critics have kept deserving groups out of the rock ‘n roll hall of fame (e.g the Moody Blues and Yes) while allowing many lesser groups in, simply because they don’t measure up to their subjective views about what constitutes good music.

So naturally this got me thinking about my own list of favorite albums ever. So I created a top 10 list. But with a few ground rules :

– No greatest hits albums— These aren’t true albums but just compilations of past hits from groups. I love a lot of them ( Four Tops, Supremes, Four Seasons etc.) but they aren’t on this list.
-No music after 1990 or before 1963— I didn’t start listening to albums til 1964 and stop buying or listening to new albums much after around 1990 so I won’t have any of these on my list.
– No rap or hip hop music – I just don’t like it or get it. I’m sure some of it is good. Just not for me .
– No classical music or musicals- I love many classical pieces and musicals but this is about my favorite rock/folk/ soul and pop music.

Finally, I applied one caveat, which is that in my top 10, no artist could have more than one album. I applied the “desert island” rule here, which is if I were shipwrecked on a desert island and had only a phonograph and 10 record albums, I would probably want a lot of variety in those ten albums. (Don’t ask why I would happen to have a phonograph on a desert island, when I don’t even have a functioning turntable today!).

So with the caveats in mind , here is my top 10, in rough order:

10. Sittin’ In’ – Loggins and Messina-There aren’t many groups that came together solely by accident, but that was the case with Loggins and Messina. Kenny Loggins wanted to record his first solo album and his friend Jim Messina from Poco agreed to “sit in” on the sessions. The result was one of pop/ folk/ rock enduring duos which recorded five albums and toured together until 1978. “Sittin’ In” is clearly their best album. There is not a single “weak” track on the album and there are several that became folk/ rock classics including the only single “Vahevella”, the beautiful slow ballads and often covered ” House at Pooh Corner” and “Danny’s Song” and the great uptempo ” Back to Georgia” and “Nobody But You” . The album also features one of my favorite album cuts ever – the trilogy  “Lovin’ You/ Make a Woman feel wanted/ Peace of Mind”. While the song writing on the album is mostly Loggins, Messina did pen the political protest song “Same Old Wine” which is eerily prescient regarding Watergate and its fallout  which came to light only months later and is also one of my favorites.

9. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road- Elton John – Elton John has had many good record albums but none of them matched the consistent excellence of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.There is little question that this album was Elton’s best with a nice blend of slow rock ballads and up tempo rockers and Elton’s excellent use of piano, organ and synthesizer. Most memorable songs to this day includes all of Side 1 ( “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” “Candle in the Wind” and “Bennie and the Jets” ) as well as  “Saturday’s Alright for Fighting” ” Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” “All the Girls Love Alice”  “I’ve Seen that Movie Too” and “Harmony”.

8. Bookends- Simon and Garfunkel – Simon and Garfunkel had four great albums so  it was hard to pick one. However, “Bookends” has many of my favorite songs by them including most notably “America”, “Mrs. Robinson”, ” Fakin’ It”, “Hazy Shade of Winter” and ” At the Zoo”. Further, the other songs on the album are also quite good  “Save the Life of My Child” , “Old Friends”, “Overs”, “Punky’s Dilemma” and the “Bookends Theme”. The songwriting is excellent, both music and lyrics, and the singing and harmonies are exquisite.

7. In Search of a Lost Chord-Moody Blues  – I love the Moody Blues, so I had a hard time choosing among their seven great thematic albums that were released between 1967 and 1972. These include “Days of Future Passed” (The Day); “In Search of a Lost Chord” (The Inner Self ), “To Our Children’s Children” (Outer Space); “Question of Balance” (Nature), “On a Threshold of A Dream” (The Subconcious); “Every Good Boy Deserves Favor” (History and Evolution) and “Seventh Sojourn” (Life’s Travels and Travails).  “In Search of the Lost Chord” is my close choice because it includes several of my favorite Moody Blues songs most notably “Legend of a Mind” (“Timothy Leary’s dead”), “Ride My See Saw”,  “Dr. Livingston I presume”, “Voices in the Sky” ,”The Actor”, “Visions of Paradise” as well as “The Best Way to Travel”.  It is the songwriting of Hayward, Lodge, Thomas and Pinder, the vocals of Hayward, and the rich instrumentation including flute and sitar that makes this album just a little better than the other six.

6. Rumours- Fleetwood Mac–Good songs often come out of breakups. In the case of “Rumours”, great songs came out of  the breakup of John and Christine McVie’s marriage as well as the end of the long running affair between Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. This was a great album with emotional and catchy songs by each of the three main artists/song writers (Nicks, Buckingham and Christine McVie) ranging from the optimistic/happy  “Dont Stop” ( “thinking about tomorrow”)  and “You Make Loving Fun” , angry such as “The Chain” ( “you don’t love me now , you’ll never love me again , I can still hear you saying you’d never break the chain!), “Blue Letter”  and “Go Your Own Way” (‘you can call it another lonely day”) , melancholy songs such as “Dreams”, “Songbird” and “Never Going Back Again”. The album features excellent song melodies, compositions, guitar playing by Lindsay Buckingham, and a number of beautiful vocals by Christine McVie.

5. Fragile- Yes – Yes recorded three great studio albums all in a row “The Yes Album” “Fragile” and ” Close to the Edge” during 1971 and 1972 and they represent the pinnacle of the group’s music compositions and craftmanship. “Fragile” like the others is built around several long songs like long movements in a rock symphony. It gets the nod over the other two primarily because the four songs “Roundabout”, “South Side of the Sky” “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish” and “Heart of the Sunrise” are easily among the best songs Yes has ever done. In between, the album provides short solo showcases for each of the 5 members of which are both musically interesting and excellent short pieces. This includes Rick Wakeman’s keyboard solo in his arrangement of the classical “Cans and Brahms”,  John Anderson’s vocal ” We Have Heaven” , Chris Squire’s solo bass playing in “The Fish” and Steve Howe’s acoustic guitar solo “Mood for a Day”.

The album begins with “Roundabout” which is one of my top 10 favorites of all time. In its 8 minutes, this song features just about everything musically, Wakeman’s complex organ and synthesizer, Squire’s intricate and unique rhythmic bass guitar (who I believe was the best bass player in rock history) , Howe’s acoustic and electric guitar, and Anderson’s multi-layered (and multi-tracked) vocals. This song is simply great in every respect. Almost as good as “Roundabout” is the album’s finale “Heart of the Sunrise” which even at 10 minutes+ always keeps you interested. All in all, “Fragile” is a musical tour de force. Most importantly, it is one of only few records that I bought a second copy of , because the first one became so scratched up and warped. A certain sign that I liked it a lot!

4. Back in the High Life – Steve WinwoodSteve Winwood is one of my favorite artists ever from his earliest days as a 18-year-old with Spencer Davis Group playing keyboards and belting out “Gimme Some Lovin’ “, to his rock-jazz fusion days with Traffic and in particular the albums “John Barleycorn Must Die” and “Low Spark of the High-Heeled Boys” or his days of collaborating with Eric Clapton on the “Blind Faith” album. However, when he released “Back in the High Life” album, he hit the pinnacle of his career. The album combines Winwood’s excellent musicianship (he plays just about everything: keyboards, bass and guitar), songwriting, very soulful and heartfelt singing and a distinctive upbeat religious theme. The lyrics and music with the exception of the last track on the album are happy and upbeat throughout and it is hard to listen to this album without smiling and singing along (or at least it is for me!). The songs are outstanding and there are no mediocre cuts on the album.

The first side starts with “Higher Love” a very catchy tune (and a #1 song)  which features backup singing from Chaka Khan and a distinctive rhythm arrangement followed by “Take it as it Comes” another excellent song and arrangement. “Freedom Overspill” the third track was also the second of four singles released from the album and another great arrangement. The first side ends with my favorite song on the album -the slower tempo but optimistic title track “Back in the High Life” (the third single from the album) which features the backing vocals of James Taylor and a beautiful melody and excellent acoustic guitar. As great as side one is, side two comes close to equalling it starting with the beautiful “The Finer Things” (the fourth hit single from the album) followed by “Wake Me Up on Judgement Day” another soulful song. “Split Decision” a little heavier rock song (not surprisingly co-written by Joe Walsh who also played guitar on the album) marks a departure from the album’s theme and starts with a crescendo of electric guitars. Finally, the album ends with “My Love’s Leavin’ “, the only melancholy and slow song but sung beautifully by Steve Winwood. While I never truly owned the vinyl record (so I can’t apply the “did I wear it out” test) I would bet I played the CD (or the taped version that I had in my car) more times than any other CD I owned during the 1980s

3. Let it Bleed- Rolling Stones The Stones have many good albums, but “Let it Bleed” is the best of them all. It features a great fusion of blues and rock music with great guitar playing by Keith Richard , Mick Jagger vocals and three of the best rock songs ever, “Gimme Shelter” , “Midnight Rambler” and the finale “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. However, the other six songs are quite good as well and include the rock/bluesy “You Got The Silver” and “Love in Vain”, the original country version of Honky Tonk Women called “Country Honk” (which I now like almost as much as the more popular rock version), and the rockers “Live With Me” , “Let it Bleed” and “Monkey Man”. “Monkey Man” is notable for its great piano introduction and guitar work by Richard.

Thematically, “Let it Bleed” conveys the Stones bad-boy image convincingly. It is clearly about touring and being a world-famous rock band, with drugs and sex the most common themes. In other words, this album is about the Rolling Stones themselves and musically it is their very best.

2. Abbey Road- Beatles – In reality, there are 5-6 Beatles albums that are my favorites depending on my mood. The “White Album” has the most great material the Beatles have ever done. “Sgt. Peppers” is a landmark achievement with its own unique sound and thematic feel. “Rubber Soul” best exemplifies the Beatles song writing talents and vocal harmonies. “A Hard Days Night” and “Help” ( British versions) evoke memories of the earlier Beatles with great and infectious melodies and the excitement I felt hearing them even as a 10-year-old. But if forced to choose I have to pick Abbey Road, the Beatles last album that they recorded together. ( “Let it Be” was actually recorded before “Abbey Road” but lawsuits over recording rights delayed its release until after “Abbey Road”) .

Abbey Road Side 1 begins with the unique avant-garde “Come Together” which has an infectious guitar/bass line and Lennon vocal. This is followed by George Harrison’s “Something” which is beautiful love/lust rock ballad. Next are three from McCartney. Two tuneful melodies which are upbeat and fun: Maxwell’s “Silver Hammer”.”and “Octopuses Garden” ( sunk by Ringo), with ” Oh Darling” sandwiched in between. “Oh Darling” showcases McCartney’ s rough rock voice and a bluesy ballad at that, which has grown on me over the years. Side 1 climaxes with the emotional and lustful “I Want You ( She’s So Heavy)” which features Lennon’s heartfelt rock/primal scream vocal and an extraordinary electric guitar/ bass ending which ends abruptly ( and appropriately) with no fade out.

Side 2 of Abbey Road is the Beatles best album ‘side’ with each song blending seamlessly together. It starts with the upbeat “Here Comes the Sun” Harrison greatest composition with the Beatles and the best song on the album. Then with the exception of Lennon’s “Because” and “Sun King” two excellent short compositions, the rest of the side is all McCartney starting with one of my favorites “You Never Give Me Your Money” and finishing fittingly with thoroughly enjoyable “The End” which includes a Ringo drum solo and dueling guitars from Lennon, Harrison and Eric Clapton.

Fair to say that “Abbey Road” was an album that I wore the grooves out. It certainly was one of the best things about the fall of 10th grade in prep school.

1. Who’s Next – The Who

I have many favorite songs and albums by the Who, particularly “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia”.  However, “Who’s Next” is in my humble opinion the greatest rock album ever recorded. What is amazing is that it came about as an amalgamation of songs from Pete Townshend’s “Life house” rock opera project ( which was to follow “Tommy” but was abandoned ) and other songs that Townshend largely penned separately. But despite this lack of thematic unity, the album has a beautiful musical unity with excellent songs throughout. The playing of Townshend (guitars, keyboards, and synthesizer) , John Entwistle on bass and Keith Moon on drums is particularly noteworthy throughout the album.

The album begins with one of the best Who songs “Baba O’Riley” (‘its only teenage wasteland”) which showcases Daltrey’s vocal talents, Townshend use of an infectious synthesizer background and an unforgettable  three chord guitar/piano sequence. “Bargain” follows , another beautiful rock ballad by Townshend which features synthesizer, great guitar work and drumming. “Love Ain’t for Keeping” the third track is edgier with Daltrey (and Townshend) reinforcing the title message thru their emphatic vocals. “My Wife” follows both written and sung by Entwistle is a great rocker with interesting tongue in cheek lyrics such as “I ain’t been home since Friday night and now my wife is coming after me…gonna buy a fast car put on my lead boots and take a long long drive. I may end up spending all my money, but I’ll be alive”. (My friend Robbie Carey and I once spent most of an afternoon just trying to figure out all of the lyrics by playing this song over and over). Side 1 finishes up with the beautiful and haunting  “The Song is Over” which always made me happy/sad (particularly if I was going thru a relationship breakup) and was one of the songs from the abandoned Life House. Side 2 fittingly starts with “Gettin’ in Tune” (another Life House song) which is another excellent rock melody which is followed by Townshend’s “Goin’ Mobile” a more up tempo tune which features a very unique use of synthesizer with guitar. “Behind Blue Eyes” follows  and is another beautiful rock song which quickly alternates between the slow acoustic guitar of Townshend along with the cherubic voice of Daltrey  to the more upbeat and violent electric guitar of Townsend along with the more evil sinister vocals (“when my wrist clenches crack it open…”). Finally the album concludes with the rock classic the 8 minute “Wont Get Fooled Again” which may be the best single song that the Who ever did.


In addition, to the many other albums above there are many artists/albums which are very close to my top 10. Here are the honorable mentions:

(1) Dark Side of the Moon- Pink Floyd – a ground breaking progressive rock album and one that I played constantly  (2) Graceland- Paul Simon – easily his best solo album and a CD that I played almost as much as Back in the High Life during the 80s. However, it’s not on the list because Simon and Garfunkel is.(3) Led Zeppelin IV– by far their best, with “Stairway to Heaven”, “Black Dog”, Rock N Roll” and “Going to California” (4) Tapestry-Carole King– a great collection of songs including her early compositions written for others such as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “A Natural Woman” (5) Sweet Baby James-James Taylor – Taylor’s best with his two of his best songs “Fire and Rain” and “Country Road”(6) Disraeli Gears – Cream – with Cream’s three best songs “Strange Brew” “Tales of Brave Ulysses” and of course “Sunshine of Your Love” (7) Innervisions- Stevie Wonder – Stevie’s best featuring “Higher Ground” “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing” and “Living for the City” (8) Blind Faith – with rock classics  “Presence of the Lord” and “Sea of Joy” and the excellent “Had to Cry Today” “Can’t Find My Way Home” and “Well All Right”. Only the overly long and meandering “Do what you like” keeps it off the island. (9) The Captain and Me-The Doobie Brothers – their best album with “South City Midnight Lady” “China Grove” “Long Train Runnin’ ” “Rockin’ Down the Highway” and “Cold Rain and Snow”.

OK your turn, what are your favorites?

From → Music 60s70s

  1. Neil from Vermont permalink

    Tough to argue with your choices, but for me Carole King and Doobie Brothers make the top 10.

    • It was very tough to choose. I love the Captain and Me and Tapestry is a classic.

  2. Ok, this is tough. For one thing I will have to limit this to Rock. If I include R&B, Blues, Jazz, Folk, or Reggae I will be lost. I am not a Rap fan, but I found some releases intriguing – notably Welcome To The Terrordome by Public Enemy.

    I am also going to have to distinguish between a top ten list, a desert island list, and a list of albums that had a strong impact on me at the time of their release. In some ways I think this would be better as a spidergram or mind map than as a list, but I am not going to go there…

    I have a functioning turntable. It has USB out. I have a similar cassette player. Their purpose is to render themselves obsolete. (This from someone who just released a vinyl double album.

    I am also going to start by commenting on your list.

    10. Sittin’ In’ – Loggins and Messina

    For me, Loggins and Messina fall into the category of artists whose records I never owned, partially because there was no need. So many people I knew had them and they got so much airplay that I heard them regularly.

    9. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road- Elton John

    If I were going to include an Elton John record I would probably pick Madman Across the Water. I generally don’t like orchestration in Rock music, but this album is an exception. It is unique.

    7. In Search of a Lost Chord-Moody Blues

    I like some Moody Blues hits, but I never owned their albumns and I never seem to be able to remember the names of the songs.

    6. Rumours- Fleetwood Mac–Good songs often come out of breakups. In

    Probably won’t surprise you to know that I prefer Fleetwood Mac when they were led by Peter Green. My favorite thing about Rumours is that The Rumour followed it up with a record called Max. Kind of like David Bowie putting out a record called Low, followed by Nick Lowe’s putting out an EP called Bowi.

    5. Fragile- Yes

    I liked this album, but it is too dated for me now. On the other hand, that means it brings back a certain time and place really vividly for me.

    4. Back in the High Life

    Amazingly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this one. I will have to check it out. I may know material from it… I would probably vote for Low Spark or Traffic’s first album.

    3. Let it Bleed- Rolling Stones
    2. Abbey Road- Beatles – In reality, there are 5-6 Beatles albums that

    Oh, man. The Stones and the Beatles present all kinds of complications. I will talk about them in my list. By the way, it is Keith Richards with an S. Turns out Andrew Loog Oldham is responsible for the dropped letter on a lot of the album listings.

    1. Who’s Next – The Who

    Can’t argue with Who’s Next. I remember spending most of an afternoon and evening with you deciphering the words to My Wife. They don’t sound that difficult to me now, but at the time on whatever equipment we had handy it wasn’t easy.

    All right. I am going to start with a list of things I had to consider and then, I promise, I will actually come up with a list. I have not looked at my CD collection. I tried to come up with a list from memory. Everytime I thought I was pretty much done I came up with one more group I could not ignore.

    The Pretenders – these guys came close to kicking someone off the list. They, and The Cars, turned up just in time to prove Rock was far from dead. Nick Lowe and Ian Dury belong in there somewhere as well.

    I can’t believe I am leaving Bob Dylan off the list, but I guess I can pretend he belongs under blues or folk. Ditto for Tim Buckley. And John Prine. And Michael Hurley. And the Holy Modal Rounders.

    What about The Byrds? Ah, I can write them off as underappreciated by me at the time.

    And Robert Wyatt and the Soft Machine. Maybe they are jazz…

    I might add Jethro Tull because I have come to appreciate them in recent years, but I didn’t listen to them when they were popular, so I am leaving them off.

    T-Rex’s Tanks and The Slider really belong on any list of this kind, but I didn’t really discover them for myself until the 90s. Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust belongs there as well, but I didn’t have room. And Neil Young. OK I am going to allow Neil Young to bump The Band off the list. But I shouldn’t.

    Hell, if I include the list of everyone I considered no one will read this. I’ve probably lost you all already.

    One more. I dropped Hoboken Saturday Night by The Insect Trust because it has major flaws. But it also captures something of genuine Hippie bands of the period that, as far as I am concerned, no other recording comes close to.

    The list

    1 Lick My Decals Off, Baby – Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

    Ok, This tops my list. I love Beefheart. Trout Mask Replica was an earthquake. I think they had the potential to be one of the best straight rock bands going (if they’d headed further in the direction Clear Spot pointed). However, “Decals” goes a step further than Trout and some of the stuff (Peon, Bellerin Plain) sounds like it could not be performed live by any human beings. They played it live.

    2 Freak Out – The Mothers Of Invention

    This is dated, but I don’t think any other album ever affected me as much as this one. It was unlike anything I had ever heard before.

    3 Piper At The Gates of Dawn – Pink Floyd

    I love early Pink Floyd. Much stronger guitar sound and solid song writing. Barrett had an ear for lyrics like no other songwriter I can think of. To me proof comes in The Word Song – released much later on a compilation. It sounds like a free associated list of words, but somehow it just works. Rats on one of his solo albums is similar. If you can do that with just timbre and rhythm you can do anything.

    4 After Bathing At Baxters – Jefferson Airplane

    Another record that captures an era for me. I probably should have selected Electric Music for Mind And Body by Country Joe and The Fish. To my ears the most psychedelic album ever released. But I didn’t.

    5 The Kink Kronikles

    I am cheating. This is a compilation. But the Kinks have to be on this list. And I didn’t know most of the songs on it when it came out. And it is astonishing. Ok. It is a comp. So I will bump it for The Who Sing My Generation. I saw the Who at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC long ago. Just before Tommy came out. They were great. They were the opening band. The headliners were Herman’s Hermits.

    6 Real Life – Magazine

    Howard Devoto rivals Syd Barrett for coming up with perfect lyrics. “There isn’t much that I miss. I’m far too forgetful for that.”

    7 The Modern Dance – Pere Ubu

    I guess I am picking these guys as representative of the entire punk era. Very original. All of the instruments are essential. Everytime I try to say who is responsible for the sound I realize that with any personnel changes they’d be a very different band.

    8 Ragged Glory – Neil Young

    I like F*!#in’ Up. This is really a placeholder. Any strong Rock album by Young will do.

    9 Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles

    I would really have to select all the Beatles’ records. For some reason this one has real staying power for me. I remember when it came out – you and I spent about an hour on the phone going over it song by song.

    10 Between The Buttons – The Stones

    This is my favorite Stones album. They have all but disowned it. I don’t know why. I suspect Brian Jones has something to do with it. It has a sound and feel like no other album I know. That said, I would have to select all of the Stones albums.

    And then there’s Creedence, Poco, JJ Cale, John Cale, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, Stooges (and New Values by Iggy), Zombies, Yardbirds, Joe Jackson, The Doors, Moby Grape, Little Feat …) It is overwhelming. But I could live pretty happily with the list of 10 above.

    • As I expected a pretty different list, which as you realize is no surprise to me. That’s what makes this interesting. On Elton John, I agree with you regarding Madmen Across the Water ( particularly Side 1 which may be on of the best rock album sides ever). Yes and Moody Blues have been passions of mine since prep school so it was hard to choose only one album. Neil Young should have been on my honorable mention list at least. I love Harvest but for his harder rocking side I prefer “Everybody Knows this is Nowhere” which features “Down by the River” “Cowgirl in the Sand” and of course ” Cinnamon Girl”. I love the Kinks too, but I ruled out the Kronikles because as you note it is really a greatest hits compilation. I just listened to much of my Kinks collection yesterday on my iPod during an hour long walk and remember enjoying it all immensely.

  3. I keep thinking of other things. LIke Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. Probably not on my list, but definitely worthy of mention. And on a definite borderline between genres there is Maggot Brain by Funkadelic, if only for the guitar solo on the title tune.

  4. Rob Carey permalink

    Yeah, Cinnamon Girl. One of my favorite rock songs of all time.

  5. Rob Carey permalink

    Thinking about Pet Sounds got me on an odd track. Every so often a record comes out that dominates its world. Whether you like the record or not you have to admit that it is the record that defines that period. I think Pet Sounds was one of those. I think a few others are Sgt Pepper, The Band (The Band’s second album), Who’s Next, and Natty Dread. I am curious. Do you agree? And, if so, can you come up with some others?

  6. I agree, though it is tough to come up with a definitive list and again its pretty subjective. But a few come to mind. One is Disraeli Gears by Cream because it was such a unique sound and because it may have (arguably) started the more popular, progressive rock era. (Its the first non-Beatles, non-Stones that I remember listening to in its entirety) and of course because it was very good. Another is Are You Experienced by Hendrix (which I remember first listening too at your apartment) which came out about the same time and of course, was extraordinary. (though I admit I have only realized in retropect how extraordinary it was.) and when you think of guitar hard rock what else do you think of? The Cars first album was excellent too and may have been the first album that really brought the New Wave into popularity so I would put that on the list. In a completely different world, there is Sweet Baby James by James Taylor which dominated the folk-rock air waves in the early 70s and similarly Tapestry by Carole King. How bout Santana Abraxas which was the beginning of latin-rock and certainly dominated my dorm at prep school in 1970?

  7. Robert Carey permalink

    Sweet Baby James and Tapestry absolutely fit the bill. Disraeli Gears and Are You Experienced probably do as well. I’ll have to mull over the others.

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