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The 70s in Music – 1971, A Brief History and Why It Matters — Tequila Tuesday*


Yes, I wrote this drunk… but I hope you all enjoyed my brief history of the 1970! So let’s get a moving on to the year that is entitled “the best year in Rock N’ Roll history.” Also, let me note that while binge watching “Parenthood” and writing this blog, both of my worlds have collided. Isn’t it funny how that happens! No joke, there has been a comment about “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers they are recording an album for Ceelo Green in the recording studio Janis Joplin recorded Pearl and I Got Dem Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama, and Bob Dylan’s music is constantly playing. No matter what decade you are talking about, Bob Dylan is always a contributor. Well enough with my ramble, let’s “ramble on” to the info you came here to read about…

Record Lingo/Fun Fact: “Gatefold” — this means that the record opens up like a book, and their is usually some sort of collage, picture or message located inside the record. This is usually the case on 2 LP records. Because two cardboard slots are needed Note: If an album has a gatefold, i will provide the picture!


Why is it the greatest year? Well I’ll tell you, Rock was on top. The Powerhouses were releasing new music, there was new amazing technology that allowed for new sounds in music, venues were being shut down and new ones were being created, and the genres of music were morphing and changing rapidly getting rid of the previous “canons” placed on such genres as rock and pop.

Many of the top contenders in rock release records that allow for their new artistic expression of the rock genre. Bands like Jethro Tull and Yes release albums in the progressive rock genre (aka the progression of the psychedelic rock which dabbles in the folk, classical, and jazz music. This usually meant that music was produced more for the listening pleasure rather than for viewing live or dancing to the music. The art was the whole act of recording the song instead of playing the song live). Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Who and Alice Cooper release their hard rock albums. The band T.Rex hits the scene with the release of their electric album introducing a sub-genre called Glam Rock (aka a style of rock that includes outrageous costumes, glitter, hairstyles that were not the initial focus before. Pretty much the artist would be as flamboyant as the world would let them). Elton John releases the album Madmen Across the Water which features his singles “Tiny Dancer” and “Levon” and he starts tittering that Glam Rock sub-genre line. Also, this year John Lennon releases his second studio album Imagine, with the title track as the first single. Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King enter the music scene with their debut albums. Janis Joplin’s album Pearl is released four months after her passing with the single “Me and Bobby McGee” topping the charts. The Osmond brothers form together their little band and start recording their first record. Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and Sly and the Family Stone hit the funk/soul music scene. Also, the UK and Australian cross-pollinated band The BeeGees comes on the scene. Mid-year, the music industry is rocked with the passing of the great Jim Morrison. He is found dead in the bathtub from apparent drug overdose by his longtime girlfriend. This causes the whole “psychedelic rock” age to come to a halt. The end of the year calls for the release of a new age artist named David Bowie who releases his album Hunky Dory that includes the song “Changes” and shows his first attempts at the new Glam Rock sub genre.

So with all of this being said and the addition of the soundtracks and musicals that were added during this year, this might possibly be the best year of music. Many greats were born, showcased, rose up, and left the earth during that year. But I have a feeling things were just starting and life was about to get even better in the music world. Stay tuned for that narrative

Oh to be a rock but not to roll…

– “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin (1971)

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