Monday, December 28, 2020

The Year in Review - 1970: July - December


The last post highlighted those stellar LPs 1970 through June. 1970 was a year in which a new era of rock began with new bands like ELP, Gentle Giant and ELO, and while the progressive rock era had begun, 60s artists like Joni Mitchell would evolve to put out their finest work.
 

July 1970 gave us one of the biggest selling albums of the year, an LP that one could mistake for a greatest hits collection, CCR's Cosmo's Factory with hits like "Up Around the Bend" and "Looking Out My Back Door." 

August would bring a myriad of diversity but on the last day of the month came an LP we’ve only recently rated as an AM10, Neil Young's incomparable After the Gold Rush. But what diversity indeed, also released this month was the Carpenter's Close to You and Frank Zappa and the Mothers' Weasels Ripped My Flesh. 

September offers up diversity as well with Santana's Abraxas with their key hit, "Black Magic Woman," a cover of a Fleetwood Mac song from several years earlier. Curtis Mayfield hit the soul charts with one of the greatest productions of the era, Curtis. Black Sabbath, btw, would release their 2nd LP of the year, the stellar Paranoid.

In October I'm forced to break my promise of highlighting just one LP per month (I know, I've been doing that all along), but seriously, the debut from Emerson, Lake and Palmer, amazing, Pink Floyd's epic Atom Heart Mother, Led Zeppelin III, Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection, and Trespass from Genesis. Enough said; find a month that can top those five all released simultaneously. My allowance just wasn’t big enough. 

I should only talk about All Things Must Pass for November, but again, come on. Bowie's The man Who Sold the World, another LP from Grateful Dead, American Beauty, Derek and the Dominos' Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, Gentle Giant's debut, and Tea for the Tillerman…again, amazing. 

December we can focus again. Lennon's Plastic Ono Band is one of the year's highlights and Lennon's finest offering after the Beatles. Not a commercial LP by any means, Plastic Ono is raw and poetic. Imagine is more user friendly, but this is the Lennon he couldn’t be as a part of the world's most iconic pop band. 

And we're off to an unmatched decade. The years to follow would only get better, but 1970 had a number of AM10s and saw the formation of bands like Queen and ELP; the switch from Am radio to AOR (Album Oriented Rock) on FM had begun.

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