Tag Archives: 50th anniversary albums

FEBRUARY 1971 — PART ONE

We’re running late, by about two months, so let’s get into it. * FEBRUARY 1971 ALBUM RELEASES Simply the most infectious collection of straight-ahead electric boogie that you’ll ever hear. John Lee was a savvy veteran by the early 1970s, he’d witnessed the surge in interest following the British blues boom of the early 1960s […]

JANUARY 1971 — THREE LATE ARRIVALS

It is tempting to believe that the internet knows everything about everything. When it came to finding release dates for Vinyl Connections bushel of 1971 albums, it became clear that the www is not as all-knowing as you think. Sure, I discovered a number of errors in the VC spreadsheet, mostly albums where I had […]

JANUARY 1971—50 YEARS AND TWO MONTHS AGO

Even while the 70 FROM ’70 finalists were still being mentally debated by your correspondent, lists were being compiled and assessments made for the following year. This year, in fact. The one in which we are currently deep into March and sniffing the yellow-brown air of autumnal decline. Where is the spring in Vinyl Connection’s […]

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 […]