In 1977, I finished up my middle school career, began my four-year stay in high school and spent my first year without my dad in the house to buffer my relationship with my mom. The academic portion of school was easy to navigate, but the social aspect was a disaster. All of a sudden, many of my so-called friends and peers were off doing God-knows-what, while I felt even more isolated from others. You see, I have always been one to walk to the beat of my own drummer which often made me misunderstood by my peers. Whenever Mom asked me why I was home yet again, I would give her the same reply, “No one really talks to me about social gatherings.”
So, due to this awkward situation, which Mom assured me would change in college (I have to endure this for FOUR years?!?!), I dove more inward instead of outward. Now, I do have trouble reading body language, so this situation could have been my fault, but, hell, few people were communicating with me. Hell, as I discovered later on, even my so-called “sister” down the street was not telling me about any parties happening either! Since I was iced out on a high school social life, I spent my time reading books on Ivy League reading lists, memorizing sports stats and diving into rock music full tilt.
So, I have never looked back upon my high school days particularly in a good light. I think I have developed better relationships with my former classmates as adults than as a teen. Of course, not many high schoolers would get up in the morning to run before school (only a two-mile shakedown), shoot 500 baskets and practice my ballhandling skills, but that became my life after I realized it was futile to try to develop friends in high school. So, what many probably saw as aloofness was simply a defense mechanism in order not to get burned by “friends.”
Let’s just say that things made a 180-degree turn in college, and I developed many close friends during those four years that remain to this day.
Appropriately enough, 1977 was a transitional year musically speaking. All of a sudden, just as many were becoming bored with arena rock, whose popularity would not peak until the early-80s, punk rock popped up in the clubs first in New York City, then after Patti Smith’s and the Ramones’ tours of the UK, in London. It was very exciting to see and hear newer artists such as Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam, Devo and others getting on SNL, Tomorrow, the radio and other outlets. Plus, the scenes seemed to be the exclusive coverage of Creem magazine, who’s writers seemed to be born to cover these exciting artists.
After reading about the seeming excitement of these scenes, I began to eschew the traditional Kansas or Black Sabbath albums in order to hear these newer artists and their exciting sounds. Now, I was obsessed with punk, disco and funk, while also discovering that these sounds were truly part of the rock & roll movement that started when black artist first began twisting gospel, blues, jazz, hillbilly, Cuban, salsa, ska, R&B and folk musics into this new energetic sound called rock & roll, which was the term was appropriated from African-Americans’ slang for the act of sexual intercourse. So, if the term rock is based upon black culture slang and the subsequent music is an amalgamation of many American and foreign sounds, how can we not celebrate all forms of music in a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? But, once again, I digress.
So, let’s get the ball rolling with the exciting sounds of 1977.
50. Kansas – Point of Know Return
49. Brian Eno – Before and After Science
48. Wire – Pink Flag
47. Foreigner – Foreigner
46. Bootsy’s Rubber Band – Ahh…The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!
45. Eddie & the Hot Rods – Life on the Line
44. Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express
43. Rush – A Farewell to Kings
42. Blondie – Plastic Letters
41. Richard Hell & the Voidoids – Blank Generation
40. Pink Floyd – Animals
39. The Damned – Damned Damned Damned
38. The Heartbreakers – L.A.M.F.
37. The Alan Parsons Project – I Robert
36. Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (I)
35. Electric Light Orchestra – Out of the Blue
34. AC/DC – Let There Be Rock
33. Heart – Little Queen
32. Bob Marley & the Wailers – Exodus
31. Eddie Hazel – Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs
30. Suicide – Suicide
29. Dennis Wilson – Pacific Ocean Blue
28. Ramones – Leave Home
27. Commodores – Commodores
26. David Bowie – Low
25. Iggy Pop – The Idiot
24. Jackson Browne – Running on Empty
23. Kiss – Love Gun
22. Randy Newman – Little Criminals
21. Queen – News of the World
20. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Street Survivors
19. Television – Marquee Moon
18. Styx – The Grand Illusion
17. Iggy Pop – Lust for Life
16. The Jam – In the City
15. Parliament – Funkentelechy vs. Placebo Syndrome
14. David Bowie – “Heroes”
13. The Clash – The Clash
12. Billy Joel – The Stranger
11. Cheap Trick – In Color
10. Steely Dan – Aja
9. Chic – Chic
8. Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick
7. Meat Loaf – Ball Out of Hell
6. Ramones – Rocket to Russia
5. Talking Heads – Talking Heads: 77
4. Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
3. Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True
2. Bee Gees & Others – Saturday Night Fever OST
1. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours