11/30/2009

Mr. Jones' Top 25 Albums of the '70s

Fellow blogger, musician, and music geek GodIHateYourBand recently asked for our list of the 25 greatest albums of the 1970s.
We complained about there already being a pretty much agreed upon canon of Anglo popular music for that particular decade and, more importantly, that we're too lazy to objectively put together of a list of the 25 best discs of the '70s. He made us do it anyway, but we won't bum rush him and post it here. That wouldn't be cool. (We'll let you know what he eventually ends up doing with it.)

So, instead, you get the original list, with our favorites in alphabetical order by artist—many of which are tops, regardless. Anyway, here we go:

1. BIG STAR
#1 Record

[Ardent-1972]
One of those records that made us wonder where it had been all our lives when we finally discovered it.


2. BLACK SABBATH
Paranoid

[Warner Bros-1970]The first four Sabbath records are the metal blueprint. This one still rocks our world.

3. THE CARS
self-titled 
[Elektra-1978]
One of the great debut records of the ‘70s from a band with an unmistakable and influential sound.

4.
CHEAP TRICK 
At Budokan

[Epic-1979]
Ballsy, crunchy, tasty power pop; like it oughta be.

5. NICK DRAKE
Pink Moon

[Island-1972]
Pop music’s Vincent Van Gogh could be a bit twee at times, but his last musical statement was a haunting, powerful record ignored at the time but deserving of all the accolades it’s gotten in the 30+ years since its release.

6. EMERSON, LAKE and PALMER
Trilogy

[Atlantic-1972]
Love us some prog-rock. And this one, still…it turns us on.

7. PETER FRAMPTON
Frampton Comes Alive!

[A&M-1976]
Maybe a guilty pleasure for some but a significant part of our musical DNA and an album we listen to on a regular basis to this day.

8. GEORGE HARRISON
All Things Must Pass

[Apple-1970]
D
espite the filler, the best of all the Beatles solo albums is still awesome.

9. MICHAEL JACKSON
Off the Wall

[Epic-1979]
This, and not Thriller, is his main claim to fame for the “King of Pop” title in our book.

10. THE KNACK
Get The Knack

[Capitol-1979]
Catchy, sleazy, and rockin’.

11. LED ZEPPELIN
Physical Grafitti

[Swan Song-1975]
The record that proved to us that listening to Zep under the influence was no joke.

12. PAUL McCARTNEY
McCartney

[Apple-1970]
Band on the Run gets all the props, but despite the lo-fi production and laid-back approach, his first was Macca’s best.

13. STEVE MILLER BAND
Fly Like an Eagle

[Capitol-1976]
A stereotypically ‘70s disc. In a good way.

14. JONI MITCHELL
Blue

[Reprise-1971]
There are two kinds of ‘70s singer/songwriters: Joni Mitchell and the rest.

15. PINK FLOYD
Dark Side of the Moon

[Harvest-1973]

A masterpiece that still holds up.

16. THE POLICE
Reggatta de Blanc

[A&M-1979]

“White Reggae”, huh? Forget the faux translation of the title, this is the one on which their rep—and sound—is based.

17. TODD RUNDGREN
Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren

[Bearsville-1971]

Something/Anything? is impressive but there’s a bit of filler on there, whereas, IMHO this is Todd’s finest collection of songs.

18. ROLLING STONES
Some Girls

[Rolling Stones/Atlantic-1978]

As the ‘70s were coming to a close and the punks were painting a bull’s eye on the “dinosaurs” the Stones fought back and won.

19. SANTANA
Abraxas

[Columbia-1970]

You know what’s commonly referred to as an artist’s sophomore slump, right? Here’s the exact opposite: their single greatest achievement.

20. SEX PISTOLS
Never Mind the Bollocks…Here’s the Sex Pistols!

[Warner Bros-1977]

Not really a punk record, but a great bunch of hard rock tunes that sound a whole lot less dated than its contemporaries.

21. VAN HALEN
self-titled
[Warner Bros-1978]

An undisputed classic which also heralds the arrival of the six-string’s atomic punk.

22. THE WHO
Who’s Next

[MCA-1971]

We all might be somewhat tired of hearing ‘em, but these are Pete Townshend’s best dedicated batch of tunes.

23. STEVIE WONDER
Songs in the Key of Life

[Motown-1976]

He was huge during the ‘70s and this is the pinnacle of when Stevie was king.

24. XTC
Drums and Wires 

[Geffen-1979]
Franz Ferdinand, we’re on to you.

25. YES
Close to the Edge

[Atlantic-1972]

The quintessential prog-rock record and one of our all-time faves.

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