Tag Archives: 50th anniversary albums

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #2

2. SANTANA — Abraxas What keeps a half-century-old LP fresh? Lots of possibilities, but in the case of Santana’s second LP, it is the superbly blended mix of different styles and influences that propels the record like an eternal multi-cultural street festival. Many know the infectious blues-rock interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman” or […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #3

3.  MILES DAVIS — BITCHES BREW It shimmers, it growls. It moans and howls. There is glowing radiance and dirty work. With this double album—sometimes mesmerising and occasionally jolting—Miles Davis changed both jazz and popular music. Having done cool, modal and progressive (all that restlessness!), Miles and producer Teo Macero engineered this vast work from […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #4

4. CROSBY STILLS NASH AND YOUNG — Déjà Vu “Carry on” begins with purposeful strummed acoustic guitar before the voices enter, harmonising like a heavenly hippy chorus. Some slithery electric guitar creeps into the next bridge, instruments fall away for a sublime vocal refrain; here’s a little organ, a two word snap of Steven Stills’ […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #5

5. NEIL YOUNG — After The Gold Rush How did Neil’s nasal voice and the sparse country-ish feel of much of this album so capture the young man I was? Slumped under uncomfortable headphones in the Record Lounge of the Student Union Building day after day; lost, but listening. Neil’s voice is mixed way forward […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #6

6. VELVET UNDERGROUND — Loaded The idea of a polished, commercial VU record seems an oxymoron. But Loaded is both. It may not have been a chart success at the time, but over the years Loaded has gained status and regard in critical circles; Rolling Stone’s list of the best 500 albums of all time […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #7

7.  VAN MORRISON — Moondance With albums one has lived with for years, knows inside out, and sings along with, it can be easy to forget just how good the songs are; familiarity can obscure the craft. Then you notice you are singing—or at least humming—the whole damn thing and realise it’s because there isn’t […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #8

8.  SOFT MACHINE — Third Did my brain in, this one, the first few times I listened. Blasted a hole in my expectations of rock music. Of course, that is largely because Third is not a rock record. It is a progressive jazz-rock experimental break-the-mould throw-down-the-gauntlet challenge to pop-rock ears. Kind of like a prog […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #9

9.  TRAFFIC — John Barleycorn Must Die As Steve Winwood, a rock veteran at 20 years old, started work on his first solo album, he found himself accumulating members of Traffic to help out. First came drummer Jim Capaldi, then flute and woodwind player Chris Wood. The result was an album embodying both post-WWII angst and […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #10

10 — BLACK SABBATH — Paranoid   Rolling out of the speakers like sullen thunder, the second Black Sabbath album—also their second in 1970—provides both prototype and benchmark for heavy rock. Part of the wonder and richness of this LP is the contrast. After the opening fusillade of “War Pigs” and “Paranoid” we have the […]

70 FROM ’70—PART 2

20  VAROUS—Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack & More It is sprawling, patchy, frustrating, and incomplete yet the soundtrack to the film of the event of the decade (the 60s, that is) is essential. Held in August 1969 on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm just outside of the small town of Woodstock, the actual name of […]