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Classic rock albums turning 50

33 Comments
By Philippe GRELARD

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'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars'. Bought it on its release and have bought many copies since. Still the album by which I judge all other. A timeless classic....

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Neil Young's Harvest was one of my favorite albums in 1972. Had it on both vinyl for the house and 8-track for my 1964 Dodge Dart GT convertible. Damn, how I wish I had that car now.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Wow! I'll have to give a pass on all of those!

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

The Rolling Stones have overstayed their welcome by at least 40 years. They should have bowed out like the Beatles. Can’t say anything bad about Eric Clapton though.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

Sorry, but I like it a bit louder.

Deep Purple - Machine Head

Uriah Heap - Demons and Wizards

Blue Oyster Cult - eponymous

Black Sabbath - Vol 4

Budgie - Squawk RIP Burke Shelley

7 ( +11 / -4 )

These albums only highlight the talent of the artists, especially when compared to the piffle that is produced today. Imagine recording without autotune, computer effects, a synthesized trap beat? Can't be done.

These days Youtube has a number of "music reaction" channels that showcase a lot of musical talent. Rick Beato in particular is a must for music nerds.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I don’t think 1972 was any better or worse a year than many others. Transformer and Harvest, sure, right up there with the best for those two artists, but the Stones did better with Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed, Elton did better with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and personally I’ve always hated Ziggy Stardust, and I liked just about everything Bowie did either side of it. One thing can’t be argued with, though - these were all absolutely major artists in music, whichever of their albums you think was their best (or worst).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes -- Close to the Edge

Jethro Tull -- Thick as a Brick

Allman Brothers -- Eat a Peach

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Classic Rock Albums, three of the most depressing words in the English language.

Ziggy Stardust and Transformer are great, Harvest is fantastic but a bit too cheery, Exile is muddy and very mixed. I've never listened to Honky Chateau.

1972 also gave us Neu!, Stevie Wonder's Talking Book, Ege Bamyasi by Can, Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything and lots of reggae like The Harder They Come and Funky Kingston. Plenty of fantastic music in a variety of genres that's stood the test of time; not a bad year at all.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Loading up the "dislikes"...

I get that The Rolling Stones are an iconic group, and they have skme great songs, but I don't get why they are so famous.

How much has longevity had to do with it?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Music is one of those fields, like beer, where people like to out-obscure others with their knowledge of the arcane and unusual. "You like....Corona?!? Don't know how you can drink that bilgewater. I prefer Moaning Idiot's Flaming Dragon Peculiar Belgian Trappist Ale...!"

I am with Bret about the Stones. Some great tunes (Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter), but yeah they have a huge library to draw on. My musical apostasy is that I am not a huge Beatles fan. A few good songs and I recognize their status in the music world, but they just didn't do it for me somehow.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Dire Straits anyone?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Alfie Noakes Read your comment and decided to put Ege Bamyasi on straight away. I've listened to it dozens if not hundreds of times, and yet I swear I notice something new every time I hear it.

1972 was a great year for music. A few other albums I didn't see get mentioned yet:

Alice Cooper - School's Out

Burning Spear - Screaming Target

Captain Beefheart - The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot

Curtis Mayfield - Superfly

Faust - So Far

Fela Kuti - Shakara

Funkadelic - America Eats Its Young

Joni Mitchell - For the Roses

Miles Davis - On the Corner

Nick Drake - Pink Moon

Paul Simon - Paul Simon

Randy Newman - Sail Away

Sun Ra - Space Is the Place

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Abba, Waterloo..

Showaddywaddy.. Greatest Hits

The Sweet..WIG-WAM BAM

Mud..... Tiger Feet

Mother, father danced to the above at there wedding.

There is a video to prove it.

Obliviously not born, the video now digitalized HD still exists every Christmas.

Scared for life

2 ( +3 / -1 )

David Bowie and Lou Reed albums are what I listened to. Neil Young's is what I carried around to attract the girls. (With little effect.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The reason these classic rock groups and albums are still popular today is because they're more attractive to young, middle-aged, and old than most of the new music today. Not saying that all new music is bad...there are some interesting acts but just not that many of them. The music is alright but has no staying power and after a few years, forgettable....much like many of today's films as well. As for live performances nowadays.......I go to concerts to listen to and see musicians play music not to watch a bunch of dancers or terrible live bands.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not just 1972, I think that whole era was pretty damn good.

Love the soundtrack to the movie dazed and confused.

Not all new music is bad, just hard to find.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fascinated by every iteration of Bowie.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Although not on Honky Chateau, loved “Tiny Dancer” in “Almost Famous” (2000) set in 1973. So, @MarcusClarke 9:31pm you might like Cameron Crowe’s 2021 updated 103-track compilation of ALL the music that inspired the film, ADDING in Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters for Honky Chateau:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/almost-famous-soundtrack-box-set-1170716/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't forget Pink Floyd's album 'Obscured by Clouds', written as musical accompaniment to the film 'La Vallee', followed by their greatest 'Dark Side of the Moon' which they were performing in '72 before its release the following year.

Been lucky enough to see them performing live around the release of all their major albums, all excellent pieces of music which have stood the test of time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Almost forgot the genius himself, 'The Songs of Leonard Cohen', probably ranks as the best he produced, which was also 1972.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hard to believe that crap was ever popular.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Martimurano:

If by “The Songs of Leonard Cohen” you mean his first album, that came out at the end of 1967, not 1972. I was listening to it (endlessly) by 1970. Still, since you described the great Mr. Cohen as a genius, you are forgiven.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I listen to Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull more than any other album from 1972. It was a great year for Rocknroll.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Alfie NoakesJan. 17  03:07 pm JST

Classic Rock Albums, three of the most depressing words in the English language.

That term usually implies 'corporate rock radio' in the US and it's a curse word to many of us.

DanielsanToday  05:36 am JST

Hard to believe that crap was ever popular.

I remember all the depressing Muzak of the time on the AM radio when I was just a kid. Yet WTH wants to remember the Carpenters, Associations, the Partridge Family and Climax (NOT to be confused with Klymaxx of the 80s)? The Eagles, monotones James Taylor and Jackson Brown, soulless insipid milquetoast 'adult contemporary' rubbish. Forget 'em all.

One positive note - there was the worldwide revolutionary Top 10 hit 'Popcorn' dominated by a Moog synthesizer. Pre-Kraftwerk. A harbinger of what was to come. And Roxy Music released their S/T debut. That would be a template for much of the music I grew up with. I remember seeing that album in Woolco stores as a kid, thinking that the woman on the cover was 'Roxy' and this was her music album. I was 6 years old. And ELO put out their second album, 'ELO II' f/ their ironic cover of 'Roll Over, Beethoven'. They also explored using the Moog synthesizer as well as orchestral instruments into their rock.

GaijinjlandJan. 17  09:08 am JST

The Rolling Stones have overstayed their welcome by at least 40 years. They should have bowed out like the Beatles. Can’t say anything bad about Eric Clapton though.

The Rolling Stones have never stopped being relevant. They have stayed with the times, yet they never compromised their famous 'Stonesy' sound. They never sold themselves out, never strayed from their roots. And their influence is so tremendous. Even now their albums still hit the Top 10 and it's not hard to see why.

..I go to concerts to listen to and see musicians play music not to watch a bunch of dancers or terrible live bands.

That's the only way for me. I want to see them sweat it out, give us all they got. No lip-synching! I want to see people playing instruments. I want it all or nothing at all. That's also why I will never pay to see a hologram show like the ones for dead stars like Roy Orbison, Amy Winehouse, George Clinton, 2Pac, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson or the one for ABBA that has recently debuted. Holograms are programmed with 'shows' that happened in the past, if you were to throw a rose at one of the ABBA 'ladies', 'she' couldn't pick it up. If it ain't real, no deal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not saying that all new music is bad...there are some interesting acts but just not that many of them. The music is alright but has no staying power and after a few years, forgettable....much like many of today's films as well. 

Even in 1972, most of the music was not great. We just remember the good stuff, and forget all the others. There is good music being created today, and good films, if one gets away from the blandest pop music and Hollywood "blockbusters" that dominate the market. At least we can find these musicians on YouTube and elsewhere.

That said, the 70s were unique in that it was really the first time popular music really fused with world music and was open to all kinds of ethnic influences. (What some miserable people today call "appropriation.") The world opened up in the 70s. Now that we are in a world where Starbucks can be found anywhere on the planet and all major cities from Bangladesh to Britain share many of the same shops and pop references and same internet, it's not that easy to come up with something new.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a Boomertastic article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even in 1972, most of the music was not great. We just remember the good stuff, and forget all the others. There is good music being created today, and good films, if one gets away from the blandest pop music and Hollywood "blockbusters" that dominate the market. At least we can find these musicians on YouTube and elsewhere.

In the 70s rock got more diverse. People remember the funk like George Clinton, the punk revolution that the Ramones kicked off a few years later, and Kraftwerk inventing electronica. David Bowie, Roxy Music, Alice Cooper all released music in 1972 that gets critical acclaim today. Look at the chart toppers of the time, where are they now? They're mostly forgorren and it's best that they stay that way.

it was that way in the 80s, yet MTV opened the door for several acts to be successful. Then the corporate media gods hijacked radio and video. Now, we have to sort our culture from our trash.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichiToday  10:41 pm JST

today, I would say

Meat Loaf

Bat Out of Hell.

I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That).

Agreed but sadly Meat Loaf's death has been announced today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hard to believe that crap was ever popular.

Even harder to believe that you ever will be.

American Pie by Don Mclean was also released in '72. America would now be a smoking crater of a nation without it, probably.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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