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What's the best year for Classic Rock and why!


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I vote for 1973!

-and why...

Dark Side of the Moon -Pink Floyd

We're An American Band - Grand Funk Railroad

Reeling In The Years - Steely Dan

Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple

Long Train Runnin' - The Doobie Brothers


Carly Simon - "You're So Vain"

Just to name a few. I think 1973 was the apex of classic rock. Everything built up to this year and then declined from then on.

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It's hard to beat 1971:

"Sticky Fingers"

"Zeppelin IV"

"Who's Next"

"Love It To Death"

(four of the top 10 albums ever)



"L.A. Woman"



"American Pie"


"Hunky Dory"


"Tupelo Honey"

"Muswell Hillbillies"

"Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys"


"Madman Across The Water"

(some of these actually came out in late 1970 but charted in 1971). Just try and beat that list! And I'm sure there are several more.

:afro: :afro: :afro: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

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I think I'd go with 1971.

Some that weren't mentioned above:

Black Sabbath - "Paranoid"

Deep Purple - "Fireball" (their breakthrough album, although the next 2 were better)

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - "Tarkus"

Rod Stewart - "Every Picture Tells a Story" (some of his biggest hits)

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I think I've made a thread like this before. It's really hard to pick one year. Most of my picks are not really based on the music that came out of the time, and whether it was the best, but the genres around the time. I have a hard time keeping the years straight.


To me, this year represents psychadelic music. Seargent Peppers, Are You Experienced?, and Bold as Love came out, I know for sure. I think The Doors did too. Also, it was the summer of love (or was that 68?).


Just for DSOTM. I'm sure other great albums came out then too.


I really have no idea why I picked this one. I know that Queen had an album out (Night at the Opera or Day at the Races) and that Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy came out. And although its not the best from the 70's, I really think that Jailbreak defines 70's popular rock.

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This poll brought back my belief every since 1966 that that was indeed the best music year I've lived through. It seems good music was ALWAYS on the radio in 1966. I did some research and the following list contains every number one hit, the artist and other songs from that artist that charted (not making it to number one) for that year:

The Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel (also charted in 66) A Hazy Shade of Winter, I Am a Rock, Homeward Bound

Turn! Turn! Turn! - The Byrds (also charted) Eight Miles High

We Can Work It Out - The Beatles (also charted) Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine, Rain, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer, Michelle, Day Tripper

California Dreamin? - The Mamas & the Papas

Monday, Monday - The Mamas & the Papas (also charted) Words of Love, I Saw Her Again

Good Lovin' - The Young Rascals (also charted) You Better Run

Paint It, Black - The Rolling Stones (also charted) Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?, Mother's Little Helper, As Tears Go By, 19th Nervous Breakdown

Strangers In the Night - Frank Sinatra (also charted) That's Life, It Was a Very Good Year

Hanky Panky - Tommy James & the Shondells (also charted) Say Say I Am

Summer In the City - The Lovin' Spoonful (also charted) Rain on the Roof, Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?, Daydream

You Keep Me Hangin' On - The Supremes

You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes (also charted) My World Is Empty Without You

Cherish - The Association (also charted) Along Comes Mary

Reach Out I'll Be There - The Four Tops (also charted) Standing In the Shadows of Love

I'm a Believer - The Monkees

Last Train to Clarksville - The Monkees (also charted) (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone

Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band

Lightnin? Strikes - Lou Christie

The Ballad of the Green Berets - SSgt Barry Sadler

See You In September - The Happenings

Except for the last 4 number ones, that is some strong music. Here is a partial list of titles which did not make number one in '66, but aired throughout the year. (The full list is staggering!) Note how many multiple hits the artists had. The prolific output of quality is astounding! Also note how many of these classics have been covered on more recent recordings, up until today. A sure sign of quality.

Good Vibrations, Sloop John B, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Barbara Ann - The Beach Boys

Let's Go Get Stoned, Together Again, Crying Time - Ray Charles

Blowin' In the Wind, Uptight (Everything's Alright), A Place in the Sun - Stevie Wonder

Hungry, Kicks, Just Like Me - Paul Revere & the Raiders

(I Know) I'm Losing You, Get Ready, Ain't Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations

Mustang Sally, Land of 1000 Dances, 634-5789 - Wilson Pickett

Ebb Tide, Soul and Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers

Sunny Afternoon, A Well Respected Man - The Kinks

A Sign of the Times, My Love - Petula Clark

Poor Side of Town, Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers

Pretty Ballerina, Walk Away Renee - The Left Banke

Stop All the Dancing, Bus Stop - The Hollies

Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman - Donovan

See See Rider, Don't Bring Me Down - The Animals

I've Got You Under My Skin, Working My Way Back to You - The 4 Seasons

I Want You, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan

Over Under Sideways Down, Shapes of Things - The Yardbirds

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield

It's a Man's Man's Man's World - James Brown

When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge

If I Were a Carpenter - Bobby Darin

Black Is Black - Los Bravos

A Groovy Kind of Love - The Mindbenders

Little Girl - The Syndicate of Sound

Dirty Water - The Standells

Gloria - The Shadows of Knight

Psychotic Reaction - Count Five

Sunny - Bobby Hebb

Wild Thing - The Troggs

96 Tears - ? & the Mysterians

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - B.J. Thomas

Time Won't Let Me - The Outsiders

You Baby - The Turtles

Flowers On the Wall - The Statler Brothers

Lies - The Knickerbockers

Cherry, Cherry - Neil Diamond

Wipe Out - The Surfaris

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted - Jimmy Ruffin

Gimme Some Lovin' - The Spencer Davis Group

These Boots Are Made For Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra

I Fought the Law - The Bobby Fuller Four

This Old Heart of Mine - The Isley Brothers

Love Is a Hurtin' Thing - Lou Rawls

1966 THE year for classic music!

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Well, faced with that lot...I'd have to say that...personally 1973 was an extraordinary year for music and certainly was my personal fave....but clearly 1966 exerted a huge influence on my life....I'd have to agree that pinning it down to one year is hard work...what if I said that the years 1966-1973 were the BEST EVER YEARS in musical history... :coolio: :bow: :bow: :jester:

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...what if I said that the years 1966-1973 were the BEST EVER YEARS in musical history...

... then I´d agree with you... Guess we just can´t narrow the selection to just one year... but make it 1965 too, that´s "Help" and "Rubber Soul"... and "Satisfaction"! :drummer:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I msu tinform you that 1967 is the best year for classic rock. There area a plethora od reasons why the Summer of Love profoundly impacted classic rock

Classic Rock Albums:

Surrealistic Pillow_Jefferson Airplane

This album was JA's breakthrough Lp yielding the two classic rock songs "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love" and the less successful "Embryonic Journey." This albums is amamzing from start ti finish and is a must have for any ardent classic rock fan.

Days of Future Passed_The Moody Blues

AFTER A DISMAL r&B career they shifted their efforts to a more progressisve direction. This albumn established the format for a "concept" album. It enlapsed a whole day and yielded the hits "Tuesday Afternoons" and "Nights in White satin"

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band_The Beatles

From begining to end it is impeccable. Best Beatles albums of all time.

Buffalo Springfield_Bufalo Springfield

you get the picture...

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  • 1 year later...

Like in some of the aforementioned posts, ‘71 was clearly one of the peak points during rock's prime stage.

1974 had a pretty solid set full of variety; it was also the same year that many bands made their debut into the recording industry.

Rush, Queen, Steely Dan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Yes, David Essex, Jimmy Buffet, Grand Funk, AWB, BTO, Genesis, Bowie, Clapton, & Elton John (to name a few) all had a significant mark / steady point in ‘74

Coincidentally, it was also the last solid year from the Stones, IMO. Their material started going downhill afterwards. I especially wasn’t very enthusiastic about Emotional Rescue, but Tattoo You was a sign of relief with their heavy radio airplay comeback a year later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tough decision, but I'll go with 1966 as well with 1971 close behind. I love the freshness and optimism that was in the air before music got a bit more serious, but I'm glad we opened up and explored where rock could go.

It's incredible how much music changed in those 5 years, especially if you compare it to the stagnation of today.

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I'll go with 1966 as well with 1971 close behind. I love the freshness and optimism that was in the air before music got a bit more serious

I agree, those were the best days of music, but I don't think it got "Serious" afterwards. More like Corperated & annoying with Sell-Out Fads; nowadays it's clearly 'Style over Substance' with little talent to show

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  • 4 weeks later...

Steel2Velvet said it all 1966. I would definitely have to vote for that year. Man I remember setting in my room playing Strato-Matic Baseball,for you old timers, and listening to The Spoonfull's "Summer In The City" and Bobby Hebb's "Sunny". Those two hits battled it out for number 1 on our local stations in the summer of '66.

For me music wise, 1966 was THE YEAR!!!!!!!


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1972 was pretty good. These albums were released that year.

Close to the Edge and Fragile - Yes

Exhile On Main Street - Stones

Thick As A Brick - Tull

Talking Book - Stevie Wonder

Machine Head - Deep Purple

School's Out - Alice Cooper

Trilogy - Emerson,Lake & Palmer

Smokin' - Humble Pie

Can't Buy A Thrill - Steely Dan

Eat A Peach - The Allman Bros.

Ziggy Stardust - Bowie

Bare Trees - Fleetwood Mac

Sail Away - Randy Newman

Roxy Music - Roxy Music

Harvest - Neil Young

I'd say that's a pretty good year for music.

Why? Because I can put any of these albums on today and it it still sounds good. That's why.

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