Stevie Wonder Fulfillingness First Finale

1970s Album Reviews

The 1970s are beloved by music nerds; artists in a variety of genres cranked out a 40-minute album every year. The late 1960s staked out the territory for many genres; the 1970s was when they were explored fully.

Artists like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder broke free from the Motown singles machine and made album-length statements. Solo genii like Joni Mitchell and David Bowie followed their own idiosyncratic paths through the decade. Monstrous rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Yes roamed the earth.

As a result, the 1970s are full of great records. I’ve covered a lot of 1970s acts, but there are plenty of omissions – Marvin Gaye, Black Sabbath, Curtis Mayfield, Kraftwerk, and Earth, Wind and Fire are among notable acts on my to-do list.

Note that there’s a separate punk and new wave section for acts like The Clash and Talking Heads.

ABBA Album Reviews

ABBA Album Reviews
As a young aphorism, ABBA were one of the first pop bands I was aware of. My first impressions weren't positive - the Swedish quartet's reputation was at a low...

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Syd Barrett Album Reviews

Syd Barrett Album Reviews
Syd Barrett was the creative force behind the original lineup of Pink Floyd. When his behaviour became too erratic, often attributed to schizophrenia and the use of psychedelic drugs, the...

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Big Star Album Reviews

Big Star Album Reviews
Formed around former Box Tops lead singer Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, Big Star existed for a brief period of time in the early 1970s. They were spectacularly unsuccessful during...

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David Bowie Album Reviews

David Bowie Album Reviews
Born David Jones, and changing his name to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees, Bowie pottered around as a solo artist in London with unsuccessful material like 'The...

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Jackson Browne Album Reviews

Jackson Browne Album Reviews
Jackson Browne is perhaps the archetypal 1970s singer-songwriter - a Californian who wrote sensitive, eloquent songs. Browne was involved with everyone from the Eagles (he wrote their breakthrough hit 'Take It...

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Vashti Bunyan Album Reviews

Vashti Bunyan Album Reviews
English folk-singer Vashti Bunyan has enjoyed a unique career trajectory, starting when she recorded a Jagger-Richards composition in the mid-1960s. Her early singles failed to gain much attention, and Bunyan...

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John Cale Album Reviews

John Cale Album Reviews
While his former Velvet Underground bandmate Lou Reed enjoyed a larger public profile, John Cale has always been like an invisible hand guiding the alternative music scene. Cale started his...

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Can Album Reviews

Can Album Reviews
The experimental band Can were formed in Cologne in 1968. Keyboardist Irmin Schmidt and bassist Holger Czukay came from avant-garde classical backgrounds, studying with Stockhausen. Schmidt's mind was opened to...

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Crosby, Stills & Nash Album Reviews

Crosby, Stills & Nash Album Reviews
David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash all started their careers in other notable 1960sbands. Crosby left The Byrds after disagreements over counter-cultural songs like 'Triad' and 'Mind Gardens', Stills'...

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Nick Drake Album Reviews

Nick Drake Album Reviews
A gentle-sounding English folk-artist, Nick Drake hardly made a ripple during his short lifetime. He was too shy to play live and barely sold a record. Posthumously, his small catalogue...

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Eagles Album Reviews

Eagles Album Reviews
The Eagles achieved stratospheric success in the 1970s, effectively bridging the country rock and soft rock styles that were popular in the early 1970s. Songwriting team Don Henley and Glenn...

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Brian Eno Album Reviews

Brian Eno Album Reviews
Brian Eno started his musical career as a member of Roxy Music, where he used his synthesiser to treat Phil Manzanera's guitar and Andy Mackay's saxophone and oboe. After leaving...

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Fleetwood Mac Album Reviews

Fleetwood Mac Album Reviews
Fleetwood Mac formed as a blues band in 1967, when Peter Green recruited Mick Fleetwood and John McVie as his rhythm section. The band went through a large turnover of...

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Genesis

Genesis
In the mid-1980s, Genesis and its spin-off projects - Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, and Mike and the Mechanics - were enjoying hit singles galore, with hits like 'Sledgehammer', 'The Living Years',...

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Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris started as a folkie - born in Alabama, she dropped out of college to perform folk songs in Greenwich Village. She recorded an unsuccessful debut album, 1969's Gliding...

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Billy Joel

Billy Joel
As he helpfully informs us in his song ‘Leningrad’, Billy Joel was born in ‘49, a Cold War kid from Long Island, New York. As a teenager he enjoyed the...

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Elton John

Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, in London. He learned the piano as a child and started his career in the R&B band Bluesology as a teenager....

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Carole King

Carole King
Born Carol Klein, Carole King was the most successful female songwriter of the second half of the 20th century in the U.S., writing more than 100 Billboard 100 hits. King...

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King Crimson

King Crimson
Originating from an unsuccessful 1968 album, The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp, guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles enlisted vocalist and bassist Greg Lake, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald,...

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Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were hastily formed by Yardbirds' guitarist Jimmy Page in order to tour to fulfil contractual obligations - he grabbed another session veteran, John Paul Jones, on bass, and...

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John Martyn

John Martyn
John Martyn was born Iain David McGeachy, the son of two opera singers - a surprising lineage given his characteristic slur. Martyn spent most of his childhood in Glasgow, playing...

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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell isn't always given the respect she deserves. In her prime she was often labelled in terms of her famous boyfriends; Rolling Stone infamously labelled her the Queen of El Lay in...

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Van Morrison

Van Morrison
Van Morrison began his career as the vocalist for the Belfast garage-rock band Them, scoring hits with 'Gloria' and 'Here Comes The Night'. After Them disbanded, Morrison's career stalled with...

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Randy Newman

Randy Newman
L.A.'s Randy Newman was born into the music business - his grandparents, uncles, and cousins all worked as film score composers. Newman's also best-known for his film scores, such as...

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Gram Parsons (and The Flying Burrito Brothers)

Gram Parsons (and The Flying Burrito Brothers)
Gram Parsons, or as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die describes him, "Keith Richards' citrus-heir drug-buddy", is remembered as a country-rock pioneer. While this description is certainly apt,...

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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Rock and roll's perpetual underdog, Thomas Earl Petty was born in Gainsville, Florida, in 1950. His interest in rock and roll was sparked when he met Elvis Presley in 1961,...

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Pink Floyd Album Reviews

Pink Floyd Album Reviews
Pink Floyd are one of classic rock’s most renowned bands. Several generations have appreciated the studio wizardry of 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon and the themes of alienation...

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Queen Album Reviews

Queen Album Reviews
Bassist and vocalist Tim Staffell quit trio Smile, but not before introducing his flatmate Freddie Bulsara to the band, joining astronomy student and guitarist Brian May and dentistry student and drummer Roger...

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Roxy Music Album Reviews

Roxy Music Album Reviews
Roxy Music were formed in 1971 by vocalist and keyboardist Bryan Ferry who, along with several of his band-mates, came from the same English art school background as The Who...

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Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren
Philadelphia born Todd Rundgren is outrageously talented. He's a skilled musician on multiple instruments, a strong vocalist with a hint of blue eyed soul, a gifted studio technician who's produced landmark albums...

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Judee Sill Album Reviews

Judee Sill Album Reviews
1970s singer-songwriter Judee Sill was the first artist signed to David Geffen’s Asylum record label. But she had a troubled life; after her father died, her relationship with her stepfather...

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Paul Simon

Paul Simon
It wasn't surprising that Paul Simon launched a successful solo career after leaving Simon and Garfunkel, given that he wrote all of the group's original material. There's definitely a school of thought...

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Bruce Springsteen Album Reviews

Bruce Springsteen Album Reviews
Based on his radio hits I once classed Bruce Springsteen as a lame rocker, responsible for lowest common denominator anthems such as 'Born in the U.S.A.'. But of course, there’s a...

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Steely Dan

Steely Dan
Steely Dan were the quiet achievers of the 1970s, recording an excellent series of meticulously written and arranged albums with jazzy chord changes and dark, sarcastic lyrics. The group was...

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Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens
His birth certificate says Steven Demetre Georgiou and he later went by the name of Yusuf Islam, but he's best known by his stage name Cat Stevens. He started his...

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James Taylor

James Taylor
With his warm voice, pretty guitar-picking, and introspective song writing, James Vernon Taylor was the figurehead of the singer-songwriter movement in the early 1970s. His 1968 debut album on The Beatles' Apple...

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Richard and Linda Thompson

Richard and Linda Thompson
Richard Thompson left Fairport Convention after 1970's Full House, his reputation secured as an excellent songwriter and guitarist. He released a spectacularly unsuccessful solo album, Henry the Human Fly, in...

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Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt
Born into a high profile Texas oil family, Townes Van Zandt was groomed as Texas governor, but inspired by songwriters like Bob Dylan, he dropped out of college in the...

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Tom Waits

Tom Waits
In New Zealand we have a sporting cliche, "a game of two halves". This certainly applies to Tom Waits' musical career too. For the first ten years of his recording...

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Jimmy Webb

Jimmy Webb
Jimmy Webb wasn’t the only prominent songwriter to enjoy success in the 1960s, then launch his own solo career; Isaac Hayes, Carole King, and Neil Diamond all followed similar paths....

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Bill Withers

Bill Withers
It's difficult to discuss this enduring 1970s acoustic soul singer without referencing one of my favourite jokes, so let's get it out of the way first, shall we? How do you...

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Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder is one of the most outrageously talented figures to emerge from the popular music era. His first song to hit number one was recorded when he was 12...

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Yes Album Reviews

Yes Album Reviews
With their dazzling instrumental chops, lengthy songs, and lush harmonies, London's Yes perhaps defined 1970s progressive rock better than any other band. At their peak, Jon Anderson's high pitched vocals...

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Neil Young

Neil Young
Neil Young was born in Canada in 1945, where his father was a notable sports broadcaster. Before fame he played in the Mynah Birds, with a young Rick James, before...

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1970s Miscellany

1970s Miscellany
This page collects odds and ends from the 1970s: AC/DC | Aerosmith | Bread | The Carpenters | Eric Clapton | The Doobie Brothers | Roy Harper | Janis Joplin | John Lennon | The Modern Lovers | John Phillips | Rush | Carly Simon | Rick Wakeman AC/DC Let There...

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