Tag Archives: 1971 Albums

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, […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #4 — #3

4  ROLLING STONES — Sticky Fingers Sticky Fingers is the most consistent collection of quality songs and most satisfying overall album by the Rolling Stones. Discuss. Well, it was certainly no tossed off blues-rock pastiche. The songs on the Stones ninth (UK) studio album were laboured over across a two year period and show clear […]

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 […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #10 — #8

10  KING CRIMSON — Islands Perhaps the most misunderstood album in the King Crimson catalogue, Islands signalled a change in direction for Robert Fripp’s merry band. With Keith Tippet on piano and compositions that took elements of the band’s live improvisational style into the studio, the pieces on Islands stretch and search, incorporating woodwinds and […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #15 — #11

#15  FLEETWOOD MAC — Future Games Mick Fleetwood described Danny Kirwan as “an exceptional guitar player”, and so he was. Kirwan joined the band in August 1968 and appears on the albums from Then Play On to Bare Trees, contributing many excellent songs. One of his absolute best opens Future Games, the shimmering, mesmeric “Woman […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #20 — #16

#20  FUNKADELIC — Maggot Brain One listen to the brief opening monologue and you know you are entering a different world… “I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe…” One look at the cover and you know you are not dealing with production line funk here. Still confronting half a century on, […]

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 […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #29 — #26

#29  FOCUS — Moving Waves The second album from the Dutch progressive rock band contained their surprise hit “Hocus Pocus”. Who knew yodelling could be cool? The side-long “Eruption” suite is a highlight in the Focus catalogue and the album is consistently inventive and entertaining as the music dances between Jan Ackerman’s mercurial guitar and […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #34 — #30

34 TANGERINE DREAM — Alpha Centauri In some ways the most psychedelic of the early Tangerine Dream albums, Alpha Centauri is as powerful as a neural freight train and as spacey as a black hole. This is powerful cosmic music. It starts with a brief preamble, “Sunrise in the third system” before launching into the […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #39 — #35

39  EMERSON LAKE & PALMER  — Tarkus The twenty-one minute “Tarkus” suite is the best side of vinyl in the EL&P catalogue. Powerful, cohesive, with brilliant playing and a suitably dramatic sci-fi-ish story about warlike robot-animal hybrids, it is one of the pinnacles of progressive music. Co-written by Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, this second […]