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The Songfactors' Choice Top Albums of the Decade: The '70's


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1. Second Helping - Lynyrd Skynyrd

2. Night Moves - Bob Seger

I will attempt to pad my nominations with fantastical revelations and memories, and perhaps a photograph of the album covers, when my poor abused typing fingers feel that they have the energy.

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I will attempt to pad my nominations with fantastical revelations and memories, and perhaps a photograph of the album covers, when my poor abused typing fingers feel that they have the energy.

Maybe you should have S.W.I.M. do that for you.. :shifty:

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"Horses" - Patti Smith



"Transformer" - Lou Reed



...but of course, my first one will be Lucky's nomination... STICKY FINGERS :bow: :bow: :bow:

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1. Bridge over Troubled Water – 4:52

2. El Condor Pasa (If I Could) (Daniel Alomía Robles, English lyrics by Paul Simon, arranged by Jorge Milchberg) – 3:06

3. Cecilia – 2:55

4. Keep the Customer Satisfied – 2:33

5. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright – 3:41

6. The Boxer – 5:08

7. Baby Driver – 3:14

8. The Only Living Boy in New York – 3:58

9. Why Don't You Write Me – 2:45

10. Bye Bye Love (Felice and Boudleaux Bryant) (live recording from Ames, Iowa) – 2:55

11. Song for the Asking – 1:49

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Two great live albums.

Who. Live At Leeds (1970)

Track Listing.

1. Young Man Blues

2. Substitute

3. Summertime Blues

4. Shakin' All Over

5. My Generation

6. Magic Bus

Allman Brothers At The Filmore East (1971)

Track Listing.

Side one

1."Statesboro Blues" (Will McTell) – 4:17

2."Done Somebody Wrong" (Clarence L. Lewis, Bobby Robinson, Elmore James) – 4:33

3."Stormy Monday" (T. Bone Walker) – 8:44

Side two

1."You Don't Love Me" (Willie Cobbs) – 19:15 ("Soul Serenade"/"Joy to the World" medley in the ending portions)

Side three

1."Hot 'Lanta" (Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny Johanson) – 5:17

2."In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" (Betts) – 13:04

Side four

1."Whipping Post" (G. Allman) – 23:03

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I nominate "Alive!" by Kiss in the top albums of the 70's (even though Kiss later admitted they did doctor a lot of it in studio, it's still a great live album).

1. Deuce

2. Strutter

3. Got to Choose

4. Hotter than Hell

5. Firehouse

6. Nothin' to Lose

7. C'mon and Love Me

8. Parasite

9. She

10. Watchin' You

11. 100,000 Years

12. Black Diamond

13. Rock Bottom

14. Cold Gin

15. Rock and Roll All Nite

16. Let Me Go, Rock and Roll

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1. Moondance - Van Morrison


Track listing

All songs written by Van Morrison.

Side one

"And It Stoned Me" – 4:30

"Moondance" – 4:35

"Crazy Love" – 2:34

"Caravan" – 4:57

"Into the Mystic" – 3:20

Side two

"Come Running" – 2:30

"These Dreams of You" – 3:50

"Brand New Day" – 5:09

"Everyone" – 3:31

"Glad Tidings" – 3:13

Here's what Lester Bangs and Greil Marcus said about the album in Rolling Stone back in '70...

"Van Morrison

Warner 1835

Released: February 1970

Chart Peak: #29

Weeks Charted: 22

Certified Gold: 11/19/76

Long ago, Van Morrison reached that point where the influences on his music no longer mattered. It is as pointless to attempt to detect those influences as it would be for any musician to try to imitate him.

Van Morrison's music cannot really be imitated, because, as with Dylan's music, what one hears is not style, but personality. With each record -- Them Again, Astral Weeks, or Moondance -- one gets a sense that Van has achieved some ancient familiarity with his band and with his songs; no matter how the music changes, the long inventions of Van's singing, his full command of the musicians that play with him, and the striking imagination of a consciousness that is visionary in the strongest sense of the word, creat an atmosphere that instantly sets its own terms. Morrison's powers are clear: his strong gift for melody, his ability to move freely within virtually any sort of contemporary instrumentation, his verbal magic as inventive and literate as Dylan's, and most of all, the authenticity of his spirit.

Moondance is his first album in over a year. Unlike Van's masterful Astral Weeks, this one will be immensely popular; Van's picture already fills the windows of record stores and his new music is getting more airplay on FM stations than anything in recent memory.

Van's new album might send one back to the bright enthusiasm of "Brown-Eyed Girl" and the magic blues of Them Again; Van now sings with a magnetically full electric band, complete with piano, organ, vibes, and intricately controlled saxophones and flute. The band's performance has a stately brilliance; and if it recaptures some of the feeling of the earlier music, the past is serving as a rite of passage toward the celebrations of Moondance.

Van opens with "And It Stoned Me," a tale of boys out for a day's freedom, standing in the rain with eyes and mouths open, heads bent back: "Oh, the water, let it run all over me..." The sensuality of this song is overpowering, communicated with a classical sort of grace. "And it stoned me/To my soul/Stoned me just like jelly roll..." There is no strain for meaning in Van's words or in his voice. "Let it run all over me..." -- you feel the exhilaration almost with a sense of astonishment. The band, playing subtle, gentle rock and roll, surrounds the singer; here, as everywhere on Moondance, the horn arrangements are absolutely exquisite, as eloquent as a sermon in a backwoods chapel.

With "Caravan" one might begin to remember the early Impressions: the instantaneous aura of fantasy and desire that Curtis Mayfield created for "Gypsy Woman" tumbles down again as a fanfare on piano and the roll of drums and guitar open a composition of seductive grandeur. "Caravan" is a strange song; the images are easily real and the music is profoundly comforting, yet there's the edge of a story here that fades without ever revealing all it has to tell. "Now the caravan has all friends/Yes, they'll stay with me until the end...Gypsies...tell me all I need to know..." Woven between the fragments and framed by the textures of the horn with blazing imagination: "Turn up your radio/And let me/Hear the song/Turn on your electric light/So we can get down/To what is really wrong." The singer moves from the gypsy campfire to his lover and back again, with a lovely sort of affection. Van's singing is pure expression, pure sound; the band moves off and then forward again. A graceful soprano saxophone holds notes behind Van's words: "Now, the caravan is painted red and white/That means everyone is staying overnight..."

"It's a good thing he doesn't have much stage presence," said a friend after watching Van perform this song. "Otherwise it'd be too much to take."

"Into the Mystic" is the heart of Moondance; the music unfolds with a classic sense of timing, guitar strums fading into watery notes on a piano, the bass counting off the pace. The lines of the song and Morrison's delivery of them are gorgeous: "I want to rock your gypsy soul/Just like in the days of old/And magnificently we will fold/Into the mystic." The transcendent purity of the imagery seems to turn endlessly, giving back one's own reflection. Van's more abstract songs are mosaics of brilliantly chosen metaphors -- ambiguous and instantly recognizable. Morrison communicates directly even when he is most obscure; his visions have power, and the ambiguity of those visions is always unified by the sympathy of the music -- there is no "backup band" on Moondance any more than there is an "Lay Lady Lay." Something's been made; it stands, it won't be broken down.

Perhaps "Glad Tidings," which ends Moondance, is the song that most makes one want to come back to this album without even thinking about it. "Glad Tidings" is a vital, leaping promenade through the streets of the town; fast, clean rock and roll moves it along as striking horns guide the song, until they cue the chorus into an explosion of real joy: "Yeah, we'll send you glad tidings/From New York/DO DO DO DOOT DO DO/Open up your eyes that you may see/DO DO DO DOOT DO DO/Ask you not to read between the lines/Hoping that you come right in on time."

Moondance is an album of musical invention and lyrical confidence; the strong moods of "Into the Mystic" and the fine, epic brilliance of "Caravan" will carry it past many good records we'll forget in the next few years. Van Morrison plays on. "

- Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs, Rolling Stone, 3/19/70.


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1. Second Helping - Lynyrd Skynyrd

From Lynyrd Skynyrd History.com :

"Once in a while a musical force will burst on the scene and forever change that scene. Lynyrd Skynyrd was such a force. The power that rested in Allen Collins, Gary Rossington and Ronnie VanZant and the rest of the band can never be forgotten or underestimated. To this day, three decades after the tragedy that decimated the original Skynyrd band, millions of fans still buy the records, feel the songs, understand the power."


With their biggest hit, Sweet Home Alabama , leading off the album, the "second helping" of this Southern band truly defined their status as rock stars. Not only did they flip a collective middle finger at Neil Young (in response to his lyric in "Southern Man") with that song, but they paid homage to their record label on Workin' For MCA , and told the golddiggers spilling from every crevice to go screw themselves in Don't Ask me No Questions .

Pure brilliance. And just plain good times. Every song on this album is worth listening to, over and over and over and over and over and over...

1. Sweet Home Alabama

2. I Need You

3. Don't Ask Me No Questions

4. Workin' For MCA

5. The Ballad of Curtis Loew

6. Swamp Music

7. The Needle And The Spoon

8. Call Me The Breeze


2. Night Moves - Bob Seger

From Bob Seger's Official Web Site:

"There is a signature richness and power to the music that Bob Seger has been making for four decades, and as succeeding generations have discovered those qualities, his reputation as an artist and songwriter has only grown. His work represents the honest best of what rock & roll can be. It's passionate, unpretentious, uplifting and true to itself and its audience. Perhaps most of all it is distinctly American, a plainspoken testament to the dignity, hopes and aspirations of ordinary working people. In a time as obsessed with glamour, celebrity, fame and materialism as ours, his songs remain a bracing tonic, an emblem of the belief that everyone's life is a worthy subject of art."

The title track on this album marks one of the most indelible times in my life. And while I won't get into that, Seger says the setting for this song is definitely a scene out of his own autobiography.

I still have the vinyl LP for this, along with a cassette tape, and a CD, and they have all been played hundreds of times. Of the entire track listing, there is not a miss in the lot. Every song is top-notch, and obviously written from the soul, and heart, of this hero of blue collar America.

Track List

Rock and Roll Never Forgets

Night Moves

The Fire Down Below


Sunspot Baby


Come to Poppa

Ship of Fools

Mary Lou

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Because "Ziggy" is THE album. the other ones are good but Ziggy is more than good... it's an icon.

I was just asking, because for this thread I was reading a few 'Best Albums of the 70s' lists and saw the other two options as the 'best' David Bowie album too... eg Pitchfork has 'Low' on #1

That being said, I'm no expert when it comes to 70s music in general or David Bowie's 70s music in particular, so you can just disregard my comments :)

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That being said, I'm no expert when it comes to 70s music in general or David Bowie's 70s music in particular, so you can just disregard my comments :)

I'd never ever disregard your comments, my friend :bow: :bow: :bow:

But I think most of us will agree on the fact that "Ziggy" was the album that definetly set David Bowie as an icon and many would say it's his masterpiece... over other albums.

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^After all that I hope someone ends up actually nominating one of his albums. :P

Or maybe...

Groundbreaking post-punk: Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division

Classic mainstream rock: Damn the Torpedoes - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

One of the best break-up albums ever: Blood on the Tracks - Bob Dylan

The punk masterpieces:

- Entertainment! - Gang of Four

- Singles Going Steady - Buzzcocks

- Raw Power - Iggy and the Stooges

- My Aim is True - Elvis Costello

- Never Mind the Bollocks - The Sex Pistols

A reggae classic: Exodus - Bob Marley & the Wailers

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