1971 COUNTDOWN: #60 — #56

60   ALICE COOPER — Killer

The band really pulled their act together in 1971, releasing Love It To Death in March and Killer in November. Although the former had the bigger single, the enduring love letter to teenage angst “I’m Eighteen”, the latter edges it out for me. Amongst the schlock horror—check out the inner gatefold and imagine your fifteen year old placing it over their bed—there is a musical ambition to counterbalance the bad theatre. “Under my wheels” is a powerful opener, after which the record thunders along like a B-movie made after a few beers. Highlights: “Halo of flies”; “Be my lover”. [Released November 1971]

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59   GURU GURU — Hinten

More a German ‘jam band’ than anything glowingly progressive/krautrock, Guru Guru’s second LP continues the pounding neo-psychedelic explorations of the debut, with four tracks each a bit over ten minutes long. The trio make a glorious ramshackle noise and show that, yes, krautrock bands can have a sense of humour in addition to industrial grade trippiness. Research was unable to determine whose behind (Hinten, get it?) was featured on the cover. Highlights: “Bo Diddley”; “Electric Junk”. [Released July 1971]

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58   FLOWER TRAVELLIN’ BAND — Satori

Playing this album back to back with Hinton might be deleterious to your mental health. Satori is one serious head-fuck of an album. Psychedelic jams and spiralling freakout instrumentals take you on a trip you never knew you needed. Opening with a sine wave tone followed by a blood-curdling scream, the album settles into an energetic, sometimes ecstatic groove as guitars soar and scream and drums thunder. One of the most striking Japanese rock albums, ever. Highlight: “Satori Part IV”. [Released April 1971]

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57   SOLUTION — Solution

Since I scored a copy of this LP by Dutch band Solution early this year I’ve kept coming back to it, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the meteor shower of different styles—rock, jazz, progressive—maybe a peculiarly European approach to pushing the boundaries of rock music. Whatever. This self-title debut is a gem. Opening track “Koan” is a fine example of what you get. A galloping polyrhythmic opening gives way to a melodic break followed by a flute led reflection, leavened with distorted organ, eventually softening into a peaceful idyll. Five long-ish pieces make up the LP, a couple with vocals that remind me of strongly of After The Fire, a prog outfit featuring Peter Banks and the vocals/guitars of Andy Piercy. Great stuff if creative early 70s prog is your thing. Highlights: “Koan”; “Trane steps”. [Released August (estimate) 1971]

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56   MOODY BLUES — Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

It is astonishing to consider that in the middle of 1971 the Moody Blues released their seventh album. Seven! This extraordinary outpouring of creativity was, of course, partly due to the songwriting riches in the band. Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Graham Edge, Ray Thomas and Michael Pinder all contributed songs to EGBDF. The familiar lush melodies and sumptuous arrangements are fully present, as are the lyrical themes of connection, the journey, and the mystic nature of the universe. It’s a very strong album, containing my favourite Moodies song, “The story in your eyes”. Highlights: “The story in your eyes”; “You can never go home”. [Released July 1971]

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Next in this series: #55 #50

 

19 comments

  1. I only know the Moody’s album from this batch – seems about right for placement. Some good stuff but not their best.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Which is your favourite, Graham?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Childrens’ Children.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You impress me time and again with your knowledge of German bands I had never heard of before. “Hinten” (which means behind) really should have been titled “Hintern” (which means butt), given the charming cover! 🙂 Gotta check out that Moody Blues album!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wonderful Christian, thank you. The German independent artists of the 70s were a passion for quite a while back in the day. Still love much of it!
      EGBDF is a very fine Moody Blues LP.
      Cheers
      Bruce

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Finally, an album I actually have which is the Alice Cooper one. So many on the list I don’t know about so even more I need to check out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The early 70s saw an absolute explosion in styles, that’s for sure. Delighted you had some recognition pleasure, John. 🙂
      – Bruce

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, there’s one I recognize: EGBDF, as noted in a previous comment. And my God! That Alice Cooper gatefold is really…*creepy*…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ain’t it just? Alice was roaring into his rocky horror show phase.

      Like

  5. Perfect timing, Bruce, because I just heard Alice’s interview on the Rockonteurs podcast (Gary Kemp and Guy Pratt), and he gave the story behind his coming up with that whole look and vibe. “Eighteen” was such a great, punchy rock song. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Twin barrels of Alice, Marty. That should keep you howling at the moon for a while. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Killer is one of my favourite rock LPs ever – for once though I’m glad I have a crappy reissue rather than the original. Satori is a strange box of frogs too, I have a bootleg copy (sadly not a real one I found in a charity shop) but it is really poor quality.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the cover art on that Solution album. You just know that kid has ridden the tricycle off that edge before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You live in Amsterdam, you keep a stock of child life jackets!

      Like

      1. Fair enough. Venice too, I’d imagine.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You have me reaching for a couple of these. A couple I know and a couple I dont. The life jacket thing is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hadn’t heard of Solution before, but “creative early 70s prog” is very much my thing, and that one went down very well over here. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s super, Phil. Thanks for reading and reporting back!

      Like

  10. […] to my friend Bruce for his engaging & ongoing 1971 countdown – when he arrives at #s 36-1, I’ll be keen to see if we will have any exact ranking […]

    Like

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