1971 COUNTDOWN: #25 — #21

#25  GENESIS — Nursery Cryme

After their initial 60s album and the exploratory but not-quite-there-yet “Trespass”, Genesis started to define and grow into their own sound with this third LP. The eccentric Englishness (particularly in Peter Gabriel’s theatrics) sparkles, while the ambition of the compositions makes for music twists and turns that would be further refined on their next outing. Highlights: “The Musical Box”; “Return of the Giant Hogweed”. [Released November 1971]

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#24  T REX — Electric Warrior

Slight yet catchy tunes, unselfconscious silliness, good-time rock and roll and ushering in glam while Bowie was still warming up to the idea… Marc Bolan’s T Rex nailed the emerging scene with gleeful irreverence. There’s something almost punk about Bolan’s utter disregard of meaning in his lyrics. He doesn’t give a damn about substance, he just wants us to have a good time. And we do, with the immortal trash of “Bang a Gong (Get it On)” leading the boogie children onwards towards satin flares and perms. The following year the cheeky elf was driving a Rolls Royce because it’s good for his voice. Highlights: “Cosmic Dancer”; “Jeepster”. [Released September 1971]

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#23  THE WHO — Who’s Next

A very solid album by the ‘orrible ‘oo. ‘Very solid’ seems like damning with faint praise, doesn’t it? So why is Who’s Next so high in the Top 71 list? Because of a trio of Pete Townshend songs that are powerful and memorable. Highlights: “Baba O’Riley”; “Behind Blue Eyes”; “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. [Released August 1971]

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#22  YES — The Yes Album

This is the album where Yes really hit their stride and, like Genesis, it is their third. With Steve Howe bringing his unique guitar stylings over an energised rhythm section of Chris Squire and Bill Bruford, the band wrote all the material and headed for the stars. Highlights: “Starship Trooper”; “Your Move / All Good People”. [Released February 1971]

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#21  VAN MORRISON — Tupelo Honey

Sometimes romantic, always lyrical, often injected with a shot of Caledonian soul, Van Morrison’s 1971 album is wonderfully crafted and infused with life. A confident record by an artist at the peak of his powers that has stood the test of time. Highlights: “You’re my Woman”; “Moonshine Whiskey”. [Released October 1971]

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Which leads us into the Top Twenty…

23 comments

  1. I’m not a huge Who fan, but I’d take Who’s Next into the top ten I think. A pretty well-known set of five today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To me, The Who have always been at their strongest with the singles, rather than the albums. But this is a good one for sure.
      Yes, G, more well known albums in the upper echelons!

      Like

  2. ’71 was a good year wasn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bet. And plenty of corkers to come!

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  3. Never liked T Rex but Nursery Cryme and the Yes Album launched me into prog rock fandom. Those two are timeless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a huge Bolan fan; quite like the singles however. And a big YES to Yes and Genesis. Still have a Yes album to come; the one that launched my own prog journey. 🙂

      Like

  4. 3 excellent picks here and one Van Morrison one! I’m sure he’s excellent too but I just don’t know any of his stuff really. Apart from the tune about ringworm. That’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Try the live album ‘It’s Too Late To Start Now’.
      Take something for the ringworm.
      Don’t turn into a grumpy old fuck like Van.
      Ignore advice from music bloggers.

      Like

      1. Ignoring advice from music bloggers. Sounds like the sort of thing he’d write a song about.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. …also including slagging off the music press and whining about how hard life is for a millionaire musician!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Some fine ones on the outside looking in – I’m keen to see what made the top 20 cut!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quite a few you’ll recognise, I’ll predict Geoff.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nursery Cryme is an underrated one I think, worth it for that terrific cover alone – especially the cracking and the dead flies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dead insects enhance any album cover, don’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Every time. It just upsets me looking at Sgt Peppers, they could have made it so much better by adding a dead insect. Fools.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Again another very good foursome. That Bruford/Squire combo does it for me. Howes playing is something that just keeps sounding better. I was listening to ‘Relayer’ the other day and he stood out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love Relayer. I reckon having Patrick Moraz on board spurred then on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That whole record is so good. Moraz and White didn’t hurt.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No indeed. It seemed like a much needed burst of new energy. Don’t know about you, but Relayer didn’t always seem the masterpiece I consider it now. So dense, so… Mahavishnu.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s kinds where I dropped off from the band. You hit the nail on the head. Not to be contrary I liked it from the get go, maybe it was that Mahavishnu vibe. I need a new copy, mine is pretty banged up. They really were a special band when it clicked like it did on the albums we are discussing.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Note. I have a friend who does the Roots Rock thing. He’s a musician and has his own internet radio show. Leans towards the Clapton, Allmans and other related stuff. Pretty eclectic actually with newer music.
            I have recently exposed him to some of that stuff we listen to. He is really gravitating to the Yes material.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. A Prog Convert? Praise Be!!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. He asks me to send him 3 to 5 minute tunes for his show. Ive managed a few from the Prog stable which lead him to a deeper dive. I might have helped create a progaholic. That side two of Relayer just grabs me right from the first notes and doesnt let go..

              Liked by 1 person

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