Category: Albums of the 70s

Elton John ‘Caribou’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Grimsby” by Elton John To use the title of one of the songs included on this album, Elton John’s Caribou is indeed a “Stinker.” That said, this beautiful turd of an album, his first to be recorded in the U.S., captures Elton John at his commercial apex and at the height of his creative powers. The fact that it contained two of his most indelible singles, “The Bitch Is Back” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” was just the icing on the cake of a very hectic year. By the release of Caribou in 1974, Elton John’s career was so white-hot he could do no wrong. His previous...

Joni Mitchell ‘The Hissing of Summer Lawns’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Harry’s House/Centerpiece” by Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell was coming off of Court And Spark, her most commercially successful studio recording to date, sporting several hit singles including “Free Man In Paris,” “Raised On Robbery” and “Help Me.” So by 1975 interest was very high as critics and fans alike awaited her next record which was believed to be the one that would take her to the next level of super stardom. Would she rock out like she did with the L.A. Express on the tour that resulted in the live double album Miles Of Aisles? Would it be a return to the voice-and-guitar folk roots of Ladies Of The Canyon? Would...

Stevie Wonder ‘Fulfillingness’ First Finale’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Creepin’” by Stevie Wonder Today’s Song Of The Day is from Stevie Wonder’s 1974 album Fulfillingness’ First Finale which was released shortly after a car accident that almost took his life, making the album an all-the-more-important part of his canon. While on tour in North Carolina in August of 1973, Wonder’s car smashed into the back of a logging truck, and the bed of the truck crashed into the windshield of his car. Wonder suffered head injuries that left him in a coma for four days. He also partially lost his sense of smell and temporarily lost his sense of taste. The brush with death had a great impact on the...

Jethro Tull ‘Heavy Horses’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “No Lullaby” by Jethro Tull By 1978, Jethro Tull had been an entity for ten years and they were at the brink of irrelevancy due to the onslaught of punk rock. One would have thought that a veteran band like Tull would have either thrown in the towel, or tried its best to keep up with the times (and they did a few years later on the album A). But ever the contrarian, Ian Anderson and company dug their collective heels in and returned to the English countryside for musical and lyrical inspiration, making a somewhat ornate British folk album that made them completely out of step with the musical climate....

Ian Hunter ‘Overnight Angels’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “(Miss) Silver Dime” by Ian Hunter After the demise of Mott The Hoople, Ian Hunter’s solo career got off to a strong start with his 1975 eponymously titled debut album. Not that the album was by any means a hit upon release, however it did have standout tracks like “Once Bitten Twice Shy” (brought to the charts x years later by Great White), “It Ain’t Easy When You Fall” and “The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nothing But The Truth” that are some of Hunter’s best-loved tunes. But his second solo record All American Alien Boy was poorly received and sold minimally. As a result, his third album Overnight Angels didn’t even...

David Bowie ‘Young Americans’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Win” by David Bowie Plastic soul…on a plastic record. Shifting gears was nothing new for David Bowie who seemingly shedded skin during the 1970s like others took out the trash. So when Bowie booked time in Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios during a two-week break during the Diamond Dogs tour, it should not have come as a surprise to anyone that he would emerge in the guise of a suave and sophisticated soul man, sans costumes, make-up and theatrics. The signs were already there. Bowie had begun to work on an album called People From Bad Homes for his protégé, Ava Cherry And The Astronettes who consisted of his friend Geoffrey...

Chicago ‘VII’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Aire” by Chicago By the time of the sessions for their sixth studio album (and seventh overall), Chicago had dozens of hits behind them and had grown restless and unhappy with the concise nature of their previous two records. Sure the albums established the group as a hit making machine, but the band began to feel that their credibility was at stake. To that end, Chicago decided to use some of the leeway their many hits had bought them to stretch out and make the jazz album they always wanted to. Not all of the members were on board with the idea, especially Peter Cetera and producer James William Guericio...

The Jackson 5 ‘Get it Together’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Dancing Machine” by The Jackson 5 They were growing up…and the world liked their Jacksons young. By 1973, The Jackson 5 were becoming somewhat of a spent force around Motown. It had been a few years since the group scored a bona-fide top ten hit, and there was plenty of dissatisfaction to go around. Brother Michael was no longer the pint-sized dynamo that he once was. He was now a pimply 15 years old geek with a much deeper voice. Motown had been grooming him as a solo star much to the detriment of his singing brothers, and between 1971 and 1973 he scored several substantial solo hits including the top...

Emerson, Lake and Palmer ‘Brain Salad Surgery’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Karn Evil 9 1st Impression” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer There was a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. I’m not talking about the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Hadrosaurus, or even your garden variety Pterodactyls. These dinosaurs wore coats of proggy sounds typified by 20 minute epic-length, multi-movement suites of music. These were dinosaurs that went by names like King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Genesis, PFM, The Moody Blues and Yes. There was no pretention in what they were doing, yet many of them were very, very pretentious. And if you were a rock fan of the 1970s, you ate it up. You loved it. There was nothing better. But a funny thing happened...

Dionne Warwick ‘I’ll Never Fall in Love Again’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Knowing When To Leave” by Dionne Warwick “Walk On By,” “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “You’ll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart),” “Message To Michael,” “Alfie,” “”Do You Know The Way To San Jose,” “I Say A Little Prayer” — the list goes on and on, making an argument for the notion that the songwriting partnership of Burt Bacharach and Hal David was one of the most important in the history of pop music on par with Lennon and McCartney. Add the sophisticated stylings of Dionne Warwick into the mix and you got recordings that resulted in pure pop perfection. It was a marriage made in heaven, but...

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