1971 COUNTDOWN: #7—#5

7  DAVID BOWIE — Hunky Dory

This is David Bowie hitting his straps. Looking outward, observing; turning inward, mining; drifting starwards, dreaming. Confidence growing, stature expanding, ambition exploding. This is a singer-songwriter straining against the leash, still with an arm around his folk-rock roots (“Song for Bob Dylan”) but also pointing towards the future with great fanfare (“Changes”). There are also a couple of naff but endearing moments for those who like David as a man of the everyday world (“Kooks”). As a support act for the next album, it is hard to fault. [Released December 1971]

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6  JOHN LENNON — Imagine

A song that has become totally subsumed into popular culture, some rockers, an odd love song or two and a couple of bile-fuelled rants. Perfect. [Released September 1971]

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5  CAROLE KING — Tapestry

Having tapped out quite a few words on this one in recent times (here, for example), I’ll just restate the obvious. Tapestry wrote the manual on how female singer-songwriters could be more than singers of plaintive love songs accompanied by acoustic guitar. This is, simply put, an essential album. [Released February 1971]

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15 comments

  1. Imagine all those albums…
    What a year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Twas indeed, DD. Seasons greetings to you and yours. 🎈

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      1. All the best for Christmas and the New year.
        Kind regards, DD

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve still never heard Imagine in full. Tapestry is a good start to the top 5 though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fascinating. More a Paul man than John?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a few Beatles solo albums (ATMP, Ram, Band on the Run, Plastic Ono Band) – probably need to hear a few more.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Those are all top class, of course, but I reckon you’d find more to enjoy. Imagine, natch, but also Walls and Bridges from John. The first McCartney has its charms, too.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I love #9 Dream from Walls and Bridges – is there more stuff like that?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Enough to warrant a listen.😉

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I listened to most of Imagine yesterday – more mellow than I was expecting following on from Plastic Ono Band.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Less emotional/psychological angst on Imagine. Which is part of what makes the Plastic Ono Band LP so compelling but Imagine more popular!
              If you give Walls and Bridges a go, let me know your thoughts.

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  3. I happened to be in the car on 17 December, the 50th anniversary of the release of Hunky Dory, and National Public Radio featured a nice piece on the album. It closed with a clip of Bowie saying, about the album, “We were creating the 21st century in 1971.”

    I like how the track “Life on Mars?” anticipates his next album, The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

    I would have been quite disgruntled had you not placed Tapestry in the top 5; thank you for not disappointing me..! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phew. I dodged a bullet there!
      Like you, I would have loved to ask Bowie about “Life on Mars”.

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  4. Those are three heavy, heavy, heavy hitters!

    Liked by 1 person

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