1972 COUNTDOWN… #72 — #70

A new year, another trawl through some favourite fifty-year old albums, records that still have some pep in their step and are worth a listen for more than nostalgic reasons. Not to denigrate nostalgia, of course. Perfectly valid reason to look up an old friend.

The VC holding from 1972 is edging towards the three hundred mark, making for some difficult decisions. I was getting all frowny about the six dozen limit until I discovered that there were actually well over 50k album releases for the year. So this task should be a doddle.

Nonetheless, I have planned some tricksy ways to jam in extra records that are worth your time. Posts on 1972 live albums, a jazz feature, something on compilations, and other detours are on the cards. 

Thanks to those who encouraged pursuing this endeavour once more. Off we go.

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72  RY COODER — BOOMER’S STORY

Musicologist and Americana archeologist Ry Cooder explored many styles on his third solo album, all of them with deep roots. Choosing songs by Sleepy John Estes and Skip James as well as traditional tunes, Cooder’s voice may be not everyone’s cup of tea but it is honest and authentic and informed by his deep love for American music. There’s also his fabulous guitar playing, featured in several instrumentals. Highlights: “The dark end of the street”; “Boomer’s story”. [Released November 1972]

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71  TRIUMVIRAT —  MEDITERRANEAN TALES

The truth is, a top 72 progressive rock albums from 1972 could be easily compiled from the Vinyl Connection collection. The attempt to cover other, less interesting, genres as well means that we must content ourselves with some exemplars. Triumvirat were a German symphonic prog trio from Köln who released half a dozen albums in the 70s. This is their debut and it’s a thoroughly entertaining example of ‘classically informed’ prog. Being a trio with keyboard based compositions, comparisons with The Nice and Emerson Lake and Palmer were unavoidable but they do have their own European sound. Highlight: The side one suite “Across the waters”. [Month of release unknown]

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70  LES McCANN — INVITATION TO OPENNESS

With three tracks across the whole LP, you just know you are in the land of the groove. And what a groove it is. Laid back but funky, soulful and jazzy, keyboard player Les McCann directs one of the most sensual sets of the Seventies. Lay across my big brass bed? Why, when there are satin sheets and velvet pillows to make things super sexy? Why, when you have Yusef Late on sax, oboe and flute? 

David Spinoza and Cornell Dupree contribute their excellent guitar chops while the drumming skills of Bernard Purdie and Al (sic) Mouzon keep things in the pocket. 

Highlight: “Beaux J. Poo Boo” [Month of release unknown]

There was a lot of excellent jazz released in 1972. Some will appear in the main draw while further selections will get their due in a dedicated 72 From ’72 jazz post, which is also a sneaky way to list more than seventy-two albums.

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Generally speaking, better known albums appear in the upper reaches of lists such as this. Having said that, do share your own secret treasures from 1972 as we go along.

Hope you enjoy what will doubtless be a long strange trip.

27 comments

  1. I wasn’t around in ’72, but my contribution might be keeping a running estimate, in square feet, of the big hair displayed on these album covers. So 3.5 sq.ft. so far.
    I momentarily puzzled by the title “Boomer’s Story,” since the dismissive “OK Boomer” meme only became popular in 2019, but I listened and read the lyrics, and realize the song is referring to itinerant railroad workers, moving between boomtowns to find work. It’s a great tune, wish The Band had covered it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh heck, that last sentence seems to slight Cooder’s version, didn’t mean to imply that, it’s terrific.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Isn’t context a wonderful thing? Thanks a lot for contributing some background research Robert. Nice connection with The Band’s rootsy sound too.

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  2. The Les McCann outing with Yusef Lateef will be my first search later today – looks at watch – maybe now.. This will probably be followed by Triumvirat.

    I’m predicting that I won’t be able to afford to.retire this year,based on the quality that’s kicking in at #72.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you try “Invitation“, DD, do report back. I’ll enjoy getting a bead on where you are with the funkier side of jazz life. Especially as an upcoming album is “On the corner” which I’m enjoying right now.

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      1. A listen in the car might be unfair: Invitation…via Phone for YouTube to car’s Bluetooth, plus traffic distractions. Initially, I’m feeling the shadow of Shaft but after a while I’m thinking that the dominant beat is a bit too insistently metronomic for me. This is well remedied by the last track when the drummer cuts free with some fine drumming and there is some very enjoyable synth and guitar noodling, IMO. I wish Yusef had felt free to cut loose; I would love to have heard that throughout this album. Too much the gentleman?
        Anyway, I’ll revisit for a proper listen later.
        Looking forward to On the Corner review too. Later in the year perhaps?
        Thanks
        DD

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my, 72 albums. What are you going to do when you get to 1999? 🙂

    When I just went through my own 1972 studio albums exercise, I thought it was pretty good to identify 30, of which I called out six, each of which I’m planning to further cover around their actual 50th-anniversary date – we’ll see what happens.

    Ry Cooder is an excellent slide guitarist. I recall having seen the cover of “Boomer’s Story” but don’t believe I’ve actually listened to the album. Once again, you impress me with your knowledge of German bands. Well, at least I’m happy to report I’ve heard of Triumvirat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mate, I’ll be delighted to be alive in 2049, let alone blogging! But if I am breathing and not totally deaf, some Deutsch 70s indie rock is sure to be on the menu. A goodly handful still to come in 72 From ‘72, some of which are amongst my “krautrock” favourites.

      Please drop in a comment when you post on a 1972 album. I’m not getting around the blogs very efficiently at present.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Triumvirat: A rollickingly good bit of ‘manic musical fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the attitude, DD! 👏🏻

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  5. Kudos to you for taking on yet another Herculean effort, Bruce. I know Ry Cooder’s name, but am not familiar with much of (er…*any of*) his music, and your other entries are completely new to me. Like Christian, I’m impressed by your fluency in German progressive rock…ausgezeichnet, mein Freund! I suspect–hope!–I’ll have more to add as the countdown reaches higher ranks…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you will, JDB. And perhaps some *shocking• rankings will stir comment! And yes, the lower reaches are an opportunity to present some lesser known artists/albums. Alles gut!

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  6. Never heard the debut by Triumvirat but have a couple others I enjoyed. Going to give the Les a spin. Dont know that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Les is very ‘Bitches Brew’ like on a lot of this. I like it, Last cut he changes it up, Little more funky. A good listen today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it a wonderful hot evening record, CB. So I hope maybe it warmed you up little! 🔥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. Hit the spot perfectly.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. As long as you don’t forget what the most important event of 1972 was – 50 years ago next Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Big advertising budget for this one, I can tell. Is the street parade ready to roll?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure, although it was very nice of Paul McCartney and Ringo to offer to play Happy Birthday for me. I declined as was a bit worried Ringo wouldn’t have time to learn the drum part.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. No, that’s a Rutles track!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. And a good one, too! We were b-b-q-ing some snags last night and I found myself singing “Cheese and Onions” to Ms Connection. She looked suitably bemused. “You’re mad,” was her assessment.

              Liked by 1 person

  9. I was raised on Ry Cooder but the Les McCann is the one that interests me most here, I shall check it out.

    By the way are you looking forwards to the 0 from ’00 series eventually? you’ll need a rest after the previous year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this issue has been raised a couple of times already. I quite like the idea of getting through the Seventies (both musically and corporeally) but after that all bets are off.

      Fascinating idea, however, to be doing Vinyl Connection at 95 and I’d ruled it out until your acute observation. I defs reckon the ol’ bastard could manage naught from the Naughties.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not familiar with any of those albums. But thoroughly enjoyed them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool, Phil. There a whole lot of variety in that trio!

      Like

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