Back in the 70′s, there were a handful of records you just couldn’t get away from. They were everywhere: on the radio, in your car’s 8-track player, on your best friend’s stereo.
This was a good thing if you liked the particular record. If not, well, you were kinda screwed…and god forbid your girlfriend/boyfriend had something on your “hate list”…bad scene there. Heck, I spent the better part of one year putting up with my girlfriend’s Shaun Cassidy album. Why? (C’mon, you know why!)
So here are the records I remember being important to us. There’s no order…and I’m sure I left several out. It would be interesting to see if today’s kids have similar groups of recordings.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
Sure, “Stairway To Heaven” was the song (ok, overplayed as well). “Black Dog” and “Rock and Roll” also got tons of airplay. The rest of the record I really didn’t care for…I probably didn’t think it rocked hard enough or something. On second thought, I bet it was just too subtle for me…all those acoustic guitars and mysterious ramblings.
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon
OK, so this one is actually full of subtlety…but I liked it. Dark Side is a lot weirder than Led Zeppelin IV too. I’ve read a ton of stuff about the 30th anniversary reissue (and gawd does the 180gram vinyl pressing sound gorgeous): about how it’s the perfect rock album. I dunno…I still don’t think that “Money” belongs on it.
Eric Clapton – Slow Hand
Everyone had this for “Cocaine” and “Laydown Sally”. Me Too. There was something cool about it in a 70′s burnout kind of way.
Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell
Man, oh man, did I ever hate “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”. “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth”….icky. I bet I had a danged funny look on my face when I found out that Meat Loaf was the guy singing on my Ted Nugent record. Ironically, I went to one of his VH1-Storytellers shows a couple of years ago and kinda liked it.
Cheap Trick – Live at Budokan
Silly multi-necked guitars, an accountant for a drummer…plus a sense of humor and a way with a hook. I’m pretty sure that some of the damage done to my hearing came from listening to “Surrender” cranked to obscene levels.
V/A – Saturday Night Fever
This I did not “get”. Sometimes (if the music gods were against me..and my girlfriend wanted to torture me) I would get to hear this back-to-back with that Shaun Cassidy record. It’s too bad that the Bee Gee’s are linked so strongly to this album ’cause they really did put out quite a few great pop tunes before the disco era.
Billy Joel – The Stranger
It had ballads that I didn’t know what to do with (“Just The Way You Are”), songs that sorta rocked (“Movin’ Out”) and sentiments that I was just too immature to deal with (“Everybody Has A Dream”). But it also had “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” – I ended up knowing a lot of Brenda & Eddie’s.
Boston – Boston
Symphonies of guitars. Nothing else sounded like this. At the time it seemed almost revolutionary. Plus…”no synthesizers”….so cool (why we thought that was cool….I have no fricken’ idea).
The Who – Who’s Next
Just recently I pulled out my original Decca LP of Tommy…the one my sister gave me (or the one I swiped from her…can’t remember). It was the only Who record I owned when I first heard “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. It was late at night and the book I was reading fell to the floor as I sat up in bed and waited for the DJ to give me the particulars. I went straight for that Tommy record…dang, no “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. I bought it the next day. Now this might be the perfect rock record.
(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)