Category b) Seventies [1970 – 1979]

1972 COUNTDOWN… #45 — #41

45  TULLY — SEA OF JOY Australia and beaches seem to go together. Probably something to do with being an island continent. With endless coast and hot summers come beach culture, including the beguiling but not-so-easy-to-master sport of surfing (read about the writer’s efforts here). In the early 1970s a number of iconic surfing films […]

1972 COUNTDOWN… #50 — #46

50  PENTANGLE — SOLOMAN’S SEAL The last album in Pentangle’s original run, Solomon’s Seal is not well regarded by critics who, in my opinion, are being too hard by half. Yes, this LP does seem a little light on the bubbling invention and restrained exuberance of earlier works, but it is solid and thoroughly enjoyable. […]


Soul and R&B music was strong in the early 1970s. Although the decade came to be dominated by the peerless Stevie Wonder, there were other great artists reimagining the sounds of black America. Take, for example, the transition of Marvin Gaye from pop heartthrob to urban story-teller with his timeless 1971 LP What’s Going On.  […]

1972 COUNTDOWN… #55 — #51

#55  ALICE COOPER — SCHOOL’S OUT Alice Cooper’s fifth studio album built on the success of the two 1971 LPs that preceded it. In fact, on the back of the title-track-single, the album made it to #2 on the US Billboard chart (and #5 in Australia). The stable lineup of Alice (Vincent Furnier to his […]

1972 COUNTDOWN… #60—#56

MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND — GLORIFIED MAGNIFIED The 1972 debut album by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band was a kind of rock ’n’ roll stew, with a range of styles. Country rock, blues rock, a ballad or two, AOR… it’s fine, but lacked focus. So it’s great to report that the follow up found the quartet […]

1972 COUNTDOWN… #65 — #61

65  BRIAN CADD — BRIAN CADD There may well be a sidebar post on 1972 Australian albums at some point, but this first album by all-rounder Brian Cadd deserves a special mention. He appeared here recently as a contributor to the fabulous soundtrack Morning Of The Earth (there may be a special ’72 soundtrack post […]

1972 COUNTDOWN… #69 — #66

69  NINA SIMONE — EMERGENCY WARD Part sermon, part social commentary, part lament on love, this odd semi-live LP is held in high regard. Certainly the first side, an extended melding of George Harrison’s “My sweet lord” with a poem by David Nelson, is an engrossing journey through soul funk to gospel refrain. The other […]

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 […]


The first inkling that scuba diving was perhaps not going to be my new favourite thing came when I experienced an anxiety attack in the training pool. Spending the rest of the lesson sitting in the shallow end staring through a thin layer of chlorinated water above my head and trying to breath slowly and […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #2—#1

2  MARVIN GAYE — What’s Going On Soul gets serious with Marvin Gaye’s ground breaking album. In a year full of turbulence and change, the golden voiced hit-parader found a new groove, eschewing fantasy to write about what was really going on. The result was one of the great albums of its era, one that—amazingly, […]