Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Vinyl Countdown: the 1970's

Originally this was going to be a list of ten 1970's albums that I would recommend you own. Well, I couldn't limit myself to ten so it grew to fifteen. So first my rules were no greatest hits, no live albums and only one album per artist. These are vinyl so the big cover means something so I first looked for cool music then I also considered the album cover as well. I have always been more a fan of the whole album rather than just individual songs and this probably has to do with the fact that I listened to albums more than the radio while growing up. So here they are and why they made the list.

15.Judas Priest- Sad wings of destiny
The riffs get heavier and Rob Halford finds his style. Great cover and just a real solid stripped down sound to the guitar at times.

Aerosmith at their all too short peak. Songs like Back in the saddle, Nobody's Fault and Sick as a dog showed how good these guys could be.

13.Thin Lizzy-Jailbreak
At times it sounds like the lyrics were made up on the spot, but the music is solid hard rock. Cool 70's comic book style cover as well.

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose released two solid rock albums before going off into jazz rock obscurity. It also featured a young singer named Sammy Hagar. This one is highly recommended although the cover is just the band standing there.

11.Sweet-Desolation Boulevard
This British glam rock band were a huge influence on 80's hard rock bands. They had solid music and some interesting lyrics as well.

10.Kiss-Dressed to kill
You can't mention the 70's without mentioning Kiss. Never the greatest musicians, but they never pretended to be either. Just solid, basic hard rock, but oftentimes very catchy. Four guys wearing kabuki make-up and suits on the cover is always a plus.

9.AC/DC-Let there be rock
All of the Bon Scott albums rocked, but this might be the most raw of the bunch. Angus Young showed that playing with energy makes all the difference in the world.

8.Ted Nugent- Cat Scratch Fever
The Nuge could throw out some monster riffs. By his third album, he was pumped and ready to show what a maniac he was.

7.Deep Purple- In Rock
One of the real pioneers of metal. These guys could start out a song in very basic fashion, but then it would into this great jam that just go off for a while before coming back. Awesome cover as well.

6.Rush- Fly by night
Rush began to settle in to a style that they were comfortable with and it worked. My favorite period of their career is their this album and Caress of Steel and 2112. Better album cover gives this one the nod over 2112.

5.Van Halen-s/t
This album was huge in saving guitar based rock and also launched a lot young guys to start learning the guitar. Van Halen also made it look like they were having a lot fun doing what they did.

4.Alice Cooper- Killer
Alice the man has been going for a long time, but his prime was with the original band that lasted from the mid 60's until 1974. I picked this album because it really showcases their brand of offbeat hard rock with even more offbeat lyrics. They managed to be brilliant and odd at the same time.

Amazing album with Ronnie James Dio delivering the best performance of his career and Ritchie Blackmore just letting the music flow from his fingers. Side two of this album is incredible. Also great artwork by Ken Kelley who also did artwork for Kiss-Destroyer, Lovegun and a whole lof of fantasy book covers.

2.Led Zeppelin-Houses of the Holy
This album shows how versatile Zeppelin could be and they are pretty strong with all the different styles represented here. Not as much hard rock as some of their other albums, but a very solid album.

1.Black Sabbath-s/t
Probably the most influential heavy metal band of all time. They created heavy and their serious slowness just added to the mood. Ozzy's nasal vocals were fitting, Tony Iommi could seamlessly go from one brilliant riff to the next, Geezer Butler's bass lines sludged along in the background and the criminally underrated Bill Ward pounded the tar of the drums. Their music could shivers down your spine one minute and make you glad that you were alive the next. The album cover is also fantastic with the women staring at you with those dark eyes. The cover is creepy and fascinating at the same time. This is an album where you just want to slap it on the turntable and just lay back and really let it soak in and not every album makes me want to do that.

The next post will be the 1980's version of the vinyl countdown. If you have records and a turntable then play them as vinyl week continues.


Blogger Bruce said...

Excellent list. I especially like the choices of Van Halen, Nugent, and Rainbow; I loved Ritchie Blackmore.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

Can't argue with your picks, and I think it's cool how you put Rainbow in, because in the UK they were regarded as a bit soft and mainstream. I thought they wrote some great hooks.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

"Street of Dreams" and "Stone Cold" are songs I should've included on my list of favorites. I wish Rainbow had been around longer.

2:17 PM  
Blogger whtfucover said...

Great list,maybe one day you can hit a top 100 list covering the 70's and 80's. I'm glad you included Rainbow, they were overlooked by a vast majority of people they had a great sound. And as always, Sad Wings rules

2:29 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Rainbow with Dio as the singer (75-78)were far more a metal band and not that different from what Dio did in Black Sabbath and later in his own band. Rainbow with Graham Bonnet and then Joe Lynn Turner (79-84) took a more pop oriented turn. It was almost like two different bands.

5:19 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

All excellent choices. One Question: Is this the Montrose album with the all time great stripper tune 'Hard, Sweet, and Sticky'?

5:27 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Fuzzbox- That song would be Rock Candy and yes it is on the album I listed.

7:53 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

One could do much worse than these 15 albums on a desert island.

Such as these 15 albums but no way to play them. What torture!

-- david

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:16 AM  

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