1973 was a year during which I ended third grade and started fourth grade. Between those two school years were a summer of baseball and basketball, watching pro wrestling on a local TV station on Saturdays, watching game shows during rainy days, and the beginnings of my lingering interest in the whole Watergate debacle. It continues to interest me how one paranoid person in the highest position of power in our country can nearly topple the government built on a federalist democracy. Say what you want, at least Nixon put the country’s interests above his own one time when he resigned. We have yet been witness to moments of humility in the words and actions of current former President 45 and Russian leader Putin. Both appear to be willing to take down their whole country’s way of governing and well-being to appease their own egos.
1973 also represents the year in which I began to transition from a man who purchased 7-inch singles to one who preferred albums. This was the year in which I actually bought Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper with my own money. Buddy, you know how many weeks it takes to save your 50-cent allowance to afford a four-dollar album? Let’s say I began this quest shortly after my birthday and worked my way through April to earn this album. But, I was determined. And, did that album ever pay off for me? Not only did it open another dimension of music for me, the inner gatefold of the album contained photos of the band in concert, of which I knew my parents would disapprove. After this album, I was primed for everything that was to cross my path afterwards, from the New York Dolls, Sex Pistols and Marilyn Manson to the P-Funk Thang, David Bowie and Culture Club.
1973 was also the year in which The Dark Side of the Moon entered my consciousness, although it would be seven or eight more years before that album would join my album collection. Additionally, unbeknownst me at the time, Bruce Springsteen released his first two albums. In reality, I was still two years away from hearing The Boss’ music and another three years away from the purchase of one of his albums, 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town.
This year was also significant because Daryl Hall & John Oates’ sophomore release was a brilliant album that would go unnoticed until 1976, after “Sarah Smile” ran its course. On the other hand, Elton John was at his creative and commercial zenith just as Stevie Wonder was on the cusp of his.
All in all, 1973 was a fairly solid year, with many of the artists who would go on to dominate my musical interest and collection becoming forces unto themselves. It really wasn’t a bad year for a musical awakening in a boy.
With that said, let’s do this countdown!
50. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery
49. Lou Reed – Berlin
48. Brian Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets
47. Jackson Browne – For Everyman
46. Eagles – Desperado
45. Bachman Turner Overdrive – Bachman Turner Overdrive II
44. Genesis – Selling England by the Pound
43. Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
42. The Doobie Brothers – The Captain and Me
41. The J. Geils Band – Bloodshot
40. Al Green – Call Me
39. ZZ Top – Tres Hombres
38. Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly
37. Neil Young – Time Fades Away
36. Little Feat – Dixie Chicken
35. The Spinners – Spinners
34. Grand Funk Railroad – We’re an American Band
33. The O’Jays – Ship Ahoy
32. John Lennon – Mind Games
31. Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
30. Bob Marley & the Wailers – Catch a Fire
29. Todd Rundgren – A Wizard, a True Star
28. Raspberries – Side 3
27. George Harrison – Living in the Material World
26. Ringo Starr – Ringo
25. Aerosmith – Aerosmith
24. Gram Parsons – GP
23. Bruce Springsteen – Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
22. Elton John – Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player
21. The Rolling Stones – Goats Head Soup
20. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Pronounced lêh-nérd skin-nérd
19. Queen – Queen
18. Billy Joel – Piano Man
17. New York Dolls – New York Dolls
16. Steely Dan – Countdown to Ecstasy
15. Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure
14. David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
13. The Isley Brothers – 3 + 3
12. Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
11. Iggy & the Stooges – Raw Power
10. Roxy Music – Stranded
9. Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run
8. The Who – Quadrophenia
7. Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
6. Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
5. Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On
4. Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
3. Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle
2. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Abandoned Luncheonette
1. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon