Content tagged '70s'
CANDY-O (EXPANDED EDITION) (Album of the Day)
Following the massive success of The Cars' multi-platinum debut, the quintet teamed up once again with producer Roy Thomas Baker (Queen) to record CANDY-O. The album was released in the summer of 1979 and became a huge hit, peaking at #3 on the Billboard album chart and eventually earned quadruple-platinum certification in the U.S. alone. The 11 tracks include such favorites as “It's All I Can Do,” “Dangerous Type” and “Let's Go,” which was the band's first Top 15 hit on the Billboard singles chart. The new CANDY-O: EXPANDED EDITION adds seven bonus tracks; among the highlights are unreleased alternate mixes of "Let's Go" and "Lust For Kicks," as well as the previously unissued song "They Won't See You (The Northern Studios Version)."
Earth, Wind & Fire (Album of the Day)
Earth, Wind & Fire had a long string of R&B and pop smashes for Columbia in the 1970s and 1980s – so long, in fact, that many forget the band started out on Warner Bros. Drawing their name from leader Maurice White's astrological sign (Sagittarius), the group and its 1971 debut EARTH, WIND & FIRE served up humanistic lyrics and an inclusive musical vision well-described by those three elements. Featuring a 10-piece lineup including top Chicago and L.A. instrumentalists, these seven songs hew closer to raw funk than the group's later output, but “Fan The Fire,” minor hit “Love Is Life” and closer “Bad Tune” show EWF's playing was already sublime. The band received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on this day in 1995, and anyone interested in their work beyond a best-of ought to give EARTH, WIND & FIRE a listen.
I Got A Name (Album of the Day)
By the time of I GOT A NAME, Jim Croce's name was well established as a hitmaker and storyteller par excellence. Unfortunately, this fifth album would prove to be his last - the beloved singer-songwriter died in a plane crash on this day in 1973, a few months before the collection's release. While the tragic circumstances may have influenced sales of the Cashman-West-produced set (which reached No.2 on the Billboard chart), the high quality of the 11 tracks were sufficient to ensure success. The classic title number (originally recorded for the film The Last American Hero), “I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song” and “Workin' At The Car Wash Blues” were all Top 40 singles, and even the deepest album cuts shine with humanity and fine craftsmanship. As we remember Jim Croce, I GOT A NAME is a poignant reminder of the enduring appeal of his music.
Vol. 4 (Album of the Day)
"For me, SNOWBLIND was one of Black Sabbath's best-ever albums – although the record company wouldn't let us keep the title,” noted singer Ozzy Osbourne of VOL. 4. The original title track is a nod to the British quartet's cocaine binge during the set's recording at the Record Plant in Los Angeles, but the other nine songs show the band on a creative binge. With the group – guitarist Tony Iommi in particular – taking the reins of production, the arrangements are more varied than ever; from keyboard ballad “Changes” to the thundering “Supernaut” to the neo-classical instrumental “Laguna Sunrise,” this is Sabbath at their most ambitious and eclectic. Released 45 years ago today, VOL. 4 has been cited by the likes of Kerrang! and Rolling Stone as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, and we're in total agreement.
Sparks (Album of the Day)
Rock's favorite pair of oddballs, Sparks was formed in the late 1960s by brothers Ron and Russell Mael, on keyboards and vocals, respectively. The duo started out as Halfnelson, and it was under that moniker that they entered the studio with producer Todd Rundgren to cut their eponymous debut for Bearsville. The 1971 album failed to connect in the marketplace until the boys changed their name to Sparks, signed with Warner Bros. and reissued the set a year later – at which point SPARKS earned a minor regional hit (in Alabama, of all places) with “Wonder Girl.” Guitarist Earle Mankey, his bassist brother Jim and drummer Harley Feinstein fill out the sound on these 11 originals, and the band is as tight as it is quirky. The clever lyrics, falsetto singing and willingness to mash-up pop genres that would make the Maels cult heroes are in full bloom on SPARKS, and we'll give the set another spin now to wish Russell a happy birthday!
Tusk (Deluxe) (Album of the Day)
After RUMOURS became one of the biggest sellers of the 1970s, Fleetwood Mac earned creative carte blanche for their next album and put it to good use on TUSK. The expansive 1979 collection is the most experimental release in the Mac catalog, though the music remains highly accessible - both “Sara” and the title track were Top Ten singles, and the Grammy-nominated album sold more than four million copies worldwide. The Deluxe Edition of the seminal set delves deep into the vaults with five CDs including the remastered original, an alternate version of the album made up of session outtakes (most previously unissued), an assortment of singles, demos and remixes, and two discs of unreleased performances from London, Tucson, and St. Louis stops on the supporting tour - a more than brilliant way to celebrate Lindsey Buckingham's birthday.
Abandoned Luncheonette (Album of the Day)
Years before they ruled the charts in the 1980s, Daryl Hall and John Oates cut three longplayers for Atlantic Records in a slightly more introspective vein. The second of these, 1973's ABANDONED LUNCHEONETTE, remains a favorite of the duo; as Oates once put it, “that album was where we learned how songs become records.” Helping show them the way was producer Arif Mardin, who enlisted some of New York's best session players to help cut these nine originals. Writing credits are split evenly, and such gems as “Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)” and the title track show Hall & Oates could dig a little deeper beneath surface pop hooks. Not that there's anything wrong with hooks - “She's Gone” is loaded with them, and eventually reached the Top 10. Today we'll revisit ABANDONED LUNCHEONETTE to celebrate Daryl Hall's birthday.
Summer Breeze (Album of the Day)
Jim Seals and Dash Crofts each had decade-long music careers before teaming to become one of the most successful soft-rock duos of the 1970s. With the title track of their fourth album, SUMMER BREEZE, the pair had their first Top 10 single, and the song remains among their best known. But there's a lot more to love about the 1972 Warner Bros. set, which boasts another radio hit (“Hummingbird”), the lovely “East Of Ginger Trees” and the country-influenced “Fiddle In The Sky” among its ten originals. It's an ambitious collection, with philosophical lyrics reflecting the performers' Baha'i faith and orchestral arrangements by Marty Paich complementing the duo's bright harmony vocals. SUMMER BREEZE just might be Seals & Crofts' best studio album, and we'll give it another spin now to celebrate Jim Seals' birthday.
Simple Dreams (40th Anniversary Edition) (Album of the Day)
Linda Ronstadt released one of the most successful albums of her career in 1977 with the #1 Grammy-winning smash SIMPLE DREAMS. It was the singer's eighth studio album and would go on to sell more than three million copies in the U.S. alone. The set spawned two Top 10 hits thanks to Ronstadt's covers of Buddy Holly's "It's So Easy" and Roy Orbison's "Blue Bayou"; several additional tracks would emerge as fan favorites, like the singer's takes on Warren Zevon's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and The Rolling Stones' "Tumbling Dice." In addition to remastered sound, the new 40th anniversary Expanded Edition of SIMPLE DREAMS also includes bonus live recordings of "It's So Easy," "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and "Blue Bayou." All three are taken from a concert recording that originally aired on HBO in 1980 and are available here for the first time as standalone audio tracks.
Olias Of Sunhillow (Album of the Day)
As frontman of Yes during the band's 1970s heyday, Jon Anderson had one of the most famous voices in progressive rock, and it's put to excellent use on his solo debut, OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW. The 1976 Atlantic collection, painstakingly produced by the singer-songwriter over the better part of a year, is of a piece with classic Yes albums but features enough twists to remain distinct. There's lavish cover art (though by David Roe rather than Roger Dean), virtuoso instrumental work (almost all by Anderson himself) and a fantastical unifying concept (an alien race led to a new world by the title character). Yes members have released their share of solo sets over the years, and OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW ranks among the very best of them; we'll give it another spin now to celebrate Jon Anderson's birthday.