Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Roilin' in the years

Scott Miller's selection of songs from 1973 in his latest installment "Music: What Happened?" is really interesting. I created a companion mix for the first two installments (1966 and 2004), but would have trouble putting together annual mixes from the early 1970s.

I have a Time/Life "Hits of 1973" album that's pretty good, but the best songs ("Walk On The Wild Side","Hello It's Me", "Smoke On The Water") were released in 1972. The actual radio hits of 1973 were more hit and miss (mostly miss). "Tie a yellow ribbon round the playground in my mind, and send it on the midnight train to Georgia on the night that the Lights Went Out".

Scott's list did a pretty good job picking high points of 1973, but my mix from that year would include "I Wanna Be With You" and "Love Is In Motion". He said that he considers 1973 the peak of the classic seventies and one of his favorite music years, I'd be hard-pressed to assemble a full disc of songs from '73. It seems like a year when lots of artists followed up classic albums with less than classic albums, and when lots of bands from the 1960s lost their way. Here are a few examples.

The Rolling Stones: Exile On Main Street -> Goat's Head Soup
The Kinks: Everybody's In Show-Biz -> Preservation 1&2
The Who: Who's Next -> Quadrophenia
Led Zeppelin: Zoso (IV) -> Houses Of The Holy
Yes: Close To The Edge -> Topographic Oceans
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust -> Aladdin Sane
Badfinger: Straight Up -> Ass
T. Rex: Slider -> Tanx
Neil Young: Harvest -> Time Fades Away

Now I don't dislike the 1973 albums from column B, but they're all less "classic" than their predecessors from column A. It was like a year when everyone went in to a slump at the same time.

1973 trivia: Did you know that Jim Croce died just one day after Gram Parsons died?

In other Scott Miller news, he's recorded a cover of Chris Stamey's "Cara Lee", which will be available as soon as this project at is fulfilled. It's currently at 39% ($158 of $403) so get your philanthropic friends to contribute! The Loud Family had trouble getting 25 customer reviews on amazon, so $400 of contribution might be a challenge, but anything is possible. Do it for the kids!

1 comment:

B said...

I'd probably give Times Fades Away the edge and i'd probably argue that Aladdin Sane is every bit as good as Ziggy, but otherwise it is interesting to look at the comparisons. Song by song, though, i'd have a hard time picking one year over the other!