Category: Albums of the 70s

Alice Cooper ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’

Posted 30 Oct 2013 in Albums of 1975, Albums of the 70s, Hard Rock

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#885 in the Series) is Alice Cooper, Welcome to My Nightmare Part Psycho Circus, part Jerry Springer show, part Quentin Tarantino shock-fest, Alice Cooper’s Welcome to my Nightmare album and subsequent tour was, depending on your point of view, either ridiculous or brilliant. The ultimate answer is of course given the benefit of historical perspective, that the album is ridiculously brilliant. Released in 1975, the album was Alice Cooper’s first post band break-up outing and is by far the best solo record of his decades long career. Giving up the comfort of a consistent touring band and going to ax person by committee was certain to be a calculated risk. It was going...

Manu Dibango ‘Soul Makossa’

Posted 03 Oct 2013 in Albums of 1973, Albums of the 70s, Soul/R+B

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango Hailing from Cameroon, Africa, Manu Dibango established himself as an in-demand saxophone player working with acts as diverse as Fela Kuti, Don Cherry, The Fania All-Stars and Sly and Robbie. “Soul Makossa,” Dibango’s signature disco smash, was originally released as the flip side to the 1972 single “Mouvement Ewondo” on the French independent Fiesta record label. The song probably would have sunk without a trace if it had not been for Manhattan socialite David Mancuso. Mancuso was known for throwing exclusive invitation-only loft parties in New York City that served as a precursor to the city’s thriving Disco scene of the 1970s. Mancuso found a copy...

Tommy James ‘Christian of the World’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Draggin’ The Line” by Tommy James Tommy James and the Shondells were one of the most commercially successful singles groups of the 1960s, selling millions of record and placing bubblegum classics like “Hanky Panky,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Mony, Mony,” “Crimson And Clover,” “Sweet Cherry Wine” and “Crystal Blue Persuasion” onto the upper echelon of the charts. However, things came to a dramatic end in March of 1970, when Tommy James and the Shondells played their last concert together in Birmingham, Alabama. As James was leaving the stage, he collapsed and was initially pronounced dead after suffering a bad reaction to drugs. The band continued to tour without James for...

Return to Forever Featuring Chick Corea ‘Hymm of the Seventh Galaxy’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy” by Return To Forever featuring Chick Corea Pianist extraordinaire, Chick Corea, got his professional start playing with the likes of Cab Calloway, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria. He went on to replace Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ band and played with him from 1968 through 1971 during a crucial time when Miles was moving away from straight-ahead jazz, and toward a more psychedelic rock sound. He appeared on Davis’ seminal albums Filles de Kilimanjaro, In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Black Beauty and Miles Davis At Fillmore. After leaving Miles’ ranks with Dave Holland, he formed Circle with Anthony Braxton and Barry...

Waylon Jennings ‘Dreaming My Dreams’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#882 in the Series) is Waylon Jennings, Dreaming My Dreams Carved in granite, right there alongside Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams on the country Music Mount Rushmore, and only two albums removed from virtually inventing the Outlaw Country movement with Honky Tonk Heroes, an album of stripped down honky tonk songs mostly penned by his friend Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon Jennings released Dreaming My Dream, which was to become his first number one record. Released in 1975, the record was in part a tribute album featuring “Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?,” a tribute to Hank Williams which was to become Waylon’s signature song and one of the few...

Judee Sill ‘Judee Sill’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#881 in the Series) is Judee Sill, Judee Sill A charter member of the “should have lived longer” Pearly Gates hall of fame, a musical muse to the Laurel Canyon cosmic cowboy congregation in the 70s’ with a tonal purity that would make Eva Cassidy blush, Judee Sill, an angel that flew too close to the sun also holds the distinction with her debut self-titled record of having the first proper full-length release on David Geffen’s Asylum label. Beating out musical luminaries the likes of Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt and Tom Waits, Closing Time was released on Asylum, Sill earned debut honors largely on the strength of her songwriting.  Her song...

Stevie Wonder ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “We Can Work It Out” by Stevie Wonder He was no longer little…but he was not yet big either… By 1970, Stevie Wonder had grown restless with the constraints that Motown Records put upon his creativity. Rather than continue to create commercial fodder that was sure to climb the charts, Wonder wanted to address social concerns with his music, and explore different instrumentation on his records. On his 1970 album Signed, Sealed & Delivered, he began to spread his musical wings and display a newfound maturity in his songwriting and his singing, particularly on songs like “I Can’t Let Heaven Walk Away,” “Something To Say” and “Never Had A Dream Come...

The Rolling Stones ‘Black and Blue’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Hot Stuff” by The Rolling Stones Today’s Song Of The Day comes from the Rolling Stones’ 1976 album Black And Blue. Next to Goats Head Soup, the album stands as one of the most maligned Rolling Stones releases of the 1970s. That assessment is totally unfair since the album actually is one of the most varied and forward looking records in their catalog, featuring two superb ballads, two terse rockers and several songs that add reggae, soul, funk and disco into the mix. Many of the record’s songs stemmed from studio jams that were recorded while trying out new guitarists to replace Mick Taylor, and guitarists Wayne Perkins and Harvey Mandel...

Bachman – Turner Overdrive ‘Not Fragile’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive In 1971 the rock godz gave us Fragile by Yes…and three years later, they bestowed upon us the riff fest known as Not Fragile by BTO! There’s something to be said about what I call “big dumb rock records.”  They’re the riff-crazy tracks that make you grab for your air guitar whilst rocking your head back and forth…oh, and don’t forget the obligatory pain-ridden facial expressions a la Carlos Santana. We’ve all been there and I still go there today from time-to-time.  Anybody who’s been to a concert with me can attest to this fact.  It ain’t pretty…but it’s the rock abandon that...

David Essex ‘Rock On’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Rock On” by David Essex It was the era of T. Rex’s Electric Warrior, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Lou Reed’s Transformer. Glam rock was all the rage as were Roxy Music, Mott The Hoople and The New York Dolls. And there was also a new brand of power pop taking the charts by storm at the same time with hits like “Little Willie” by Sweet, “Go All The Way” by Raspberries and later “Saturday Night” by Bay City Rollers. Enter David Essex…British actor and future glam rock pinup star. Essex had an acting career appearing in the musical Godspell in 1971 and later in the film That’ll Be The Day...

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