Without a doubt, 1972 was a great year for music. I could not believe the sheer number of great artists who released some of their definitive work that year. Stevie Wonder dropped not just one but TWO classics that year. Two of my favorite bands power pop bands of all time made their debuts in 1972. One, Cleveland’s Raspberries had success in the form of a Top 5 single, “Go All the Way,” while the other, Big Star, languished in anonymity until the mid-Eighties, when alternative bands began discovering their greatness, becoming one of the most influential cult bands of all-time, this side of the Velvet Underground.
Besides that, soul music was experiencing a peak year in 1972, as albums by Al Green, The O’Jays and The Isley Brothers had mainstream success, while soundtrack albums to “Blaxploitation” movies such as Shaft, Superfly and Troubled Man all became big hits, as did a reggae soundtrack compilation of artists such as Jimmy Cliff on The Harder They Fall was successful. And, rock music had a rich year with The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper and Steely Dan led the way, while David Bowie brought Glam Rock across the pond with Ziggy Stardust. And, those albums were just the tip of the iceberg.
So, let’s get the countdown going!
- Big Star – #1 Record
- The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
- Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968
- Alice Cooper – School’s Out
- Raspberries – Raspberries
- Todd Rundgren – Something/Anything?
- Jimmy Cliff and Others – The Harder They Come OST
- Steely Dan – Can’t Buy a Thrill
- David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
- Van Morrison – Saint Dominic’s Preview
- Elton John – Honky Chateau
- Raspberries – Fresh
- Randy Newman – Sail Away
- Stevie Wonder – Talking Book
- Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
- Stevie Wonder – Music of My Mind
- Marvin Gaye – Trouble Man
- Paul Simon – Paul Simon
- Neil Young – Harvest
- The Band – Rock of Ages
- Curtis Mayfield – Superfly
- Nick Drake – Pink Moon
- The J. Geils Band – “Live” Full House
- The O’Jays – Back Stabbers
- Eagles – Eagles
- Roxy Music – Roxy Music
- Lou Reed – Transformer
- Rex – The Slider
- War – The World Is a Ghetto
- Slade – Slayed?
- The Isley Brothers – Brother, Brother, Brother
- Jackson Browne – Jackson Browne [aka Saturate Before Using]
- The Allman Brothers Band – Eat a Peach
- America – America
- Chicago – Chicago V
- Deep Purple – Machine Head
- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will the Circle Be Unbroken
- Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes
- Focus – Focus III
- Doobie Brothers – Toulouse Street
Now, THAT is a classic lineup of great albums. In my book, anytime you have Stevie, Marvin, Big Star, Raspberries, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, War, Chicago, Deep Purple, The Stones and the rest in the same countdown, it HAS to be a great year. And, many of the albums from 1972 have stood the test of time.
Finally, tonight is the pivotal game five between my over-achieving Indiana Pacers’ game against the incomparable LeBron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA Play-Offs. If the Pacers have a chance to win this series, they must beat the Cavs tonight. Must See TV for Me…heeheehee! (My apologies! Again…)