Yesterday, I started my first major series of Keller’s Top 40 Albums for each year between 1970 and 2017. Now, yesterday, I spent nearly half of my blog crying around about my love of basketball and the Indiana Pacers, which probably just made many of you suffer from reverse peristalsis, commonly known as barfing, ralphing, puking, spewing, vomiting, regurgitating, honking or casting the demons. Whatever you call it matters not. I am simply giving you more terms to aid you in the description of my writing. Oh, sure, I may have an inspired entry once, maybe even twice, a month. Yet, we all know that the rest tends toward drivel.
Anyway, I never did explain why I started with 1970. Well, the year is not really some magically chosen year, except it was the year in which I finished first grade. So, for some reason, I chose to recognize first grade over kindergarten since the latter was only a half-day immersion in public education. Plus, with first grade came the social immersion that comes only from the school bus. On the school bus, I learned the proper uses for every curse word from the older kids, while I also discovered one of my favorite pastimes: the female. And, thank goodness for all the false information I learned about that other sex of the human condition. The school bus in the 1970s was a forerunner to all the false news sites pushed by Facebook. But, if you cast aside the Cheech & Chong topics, the first exposure to Playboy magazine and the worldly sixth graders who for some reason held all of the secrets of the world, the school bus did possess true information about one thing that continues to follow me: a great basis for my musical knowledge. From the older kids on the bus, I was exposed to Alice Cooper, the Doobie Brothers and so many other rock artists that continue to haunt my collection to this very day.
So, I decided to begin my countdowns to correspond with half of a school year on the school bus as the starting point for my annual Top 40 Albums countdown. And, that, my friends, is the WHOLE story. Additionally, I would love to thank my babysitter’s older kids for the foundation to my musical knowledge, followed by the older kids on that school bus, Bus #17, for their input. And, finally, I would like to thank my classmates for helping me build this knowledge base as I listened to their opinions and arguments concerning popular music.
Today, I wish to cover 1971. I think 1971 will go down in the annuals as another strong year for rock and soul music. But, was it one of the transcendent years? Not really, but it was very close. Still, many of the albums listed in this countdown as still being played on Classic Rock radio to today. With that said, let’s get this countdown underway. Buckle up!
- The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
- Led Zeppelin – IV
- Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
- The Who – Who’s Next
- Carole King – Tapestry
- Todd Rundgren – Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren
- Elton John – Madman Across the Water
- John Lennon – Imagine
- Joni Mitchell – Blue
- Sly & the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On
- T. Rex – Electric Warrior
- Laura Nyro – Gonna Take a Miracle
- Bill Withers – Just as I Am
- The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up
- The J. Geils Band – The Morning After
- The Allman Brothers Band – At Fillmore East
- The Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies
- Badfinger – Straight Up
- The Flamin’ Groovies – Teenage Head
- David Bowie – Hunky Dory
- Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
- Traffic – Low Spark of the High-Heeled Boys
- Alice Cooper – Killer
- Janis Joplin – Pearl
- Isaac Hayes – Shaft
- Santana – Santana III
- Don McLean – American Pie
- Leonard Cohen – Songs of Love and Hate
- Nilsson – Nilsson Schmilsson
- Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story
- Flamin’ Groovies – Teenage Head
- The Band – Cahoots
- Jethro Tull – Aqualung
- The Doors – L.A. Woman
- Paul & Linda McCartney – RAM
- Yes – Fragile
- Black Sabbath – Master of Reality
- Cat Stevens – Teaser and the Firecat
- Al Green – Al Green Gets Next to You
- The Chi-Lites – (For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People
Maybe this WAS a classic year for music. It sure appears that 1971 was a great year for albums. Check it out, but nine of the Top 10 albums were created by members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, while 30 of the Top 40 albums were done by Hall of Famers. Realistically, 1971 appears to be a classic year. And, it may end up being recognized as such. But, for now, let’s simply say that it’s a really, really, really good year.
Go Pacers! Shock the world!