Art is how we decorate space, Music is how we decorate time

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Drive Year : 1970


Aretha Franklin – Spirit In the Dark
An absolutely incredible, must-hear album for the ages. Aretha’s 17th (!!) album, this was something of a bust commercially when released (never made it into the Billboard Top 20 (wtf?)) it has nonetheless become one of her ‘monster’ albums. All the way from the hit singles (‘Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)’, ‘Spirit In the Dark’) down into the deep-cuts (‘Oh No Not My Baby’).
Should be considered mandatory listening, on a regular basis…

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
A massively expansive record incorporating S&G’s more traditional folk/pop/s-s styles with new ventures into rock, R&B, jazz, etc. Packed to the gills with both worldwide hits as well as extremely excellent ‘deep tracks’, and is truly a pleasure to listen to end-to-end. It’s all too easy to neglect this from ongoing playlists, but this album should (IMHO) stay permanently in high rotation for most everyone…

The Beatles – Let It Be
The entire Beatles catalog is so steeped in lore that it’s hard to get anything like a fresh take. That said, this album is a hot mess….
There are certainly some gorgeous million-dollar tunes here, but there is no ‘flow’ and it sounds like a bunch of songs thrown together. Seems like a good note to end on…

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Blues-influenced hard rock, coupled with Iommi’s odd guitar style (due to missing fingers) yielded “the birth of heavy metal”. And while there are some awesome moments that (justifiably) stood out on a debut album and pushed the band forward, the reality is this album sounds a lot more like 70’s prog than 10’s metal.

Led Zeppelin – III
Am important release in that it significantly expanded LZ’s sound (despite them already being world-beaters in terms of popularity), introducing folk and acoustic rock to their blues-rock category.
Overall the album is a bit uneven and hit-or-miss, but it overall certainly deserves it’s place in the rock canon.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory
Super-fun and funky boogie/swamp-rock. If there ever was a classic rock record…

Funkadelic – Free Your Mind … And Your Ass Will Follow
Super-duper weird freakout funk/soul/rock. A massive “alternative culture” album that really focused on and highlighted the conflicted nature of society in the late 60s. It unclear if that’s what Funkadelic were going for, but given the famous George Clinton quote that the album was “an attempt to ‘see if we can cut a whole album while we’re all tripping on acid.’ ” it seems the intent was not far away.
Caution this album is quite a wild ride…

Elton John – Elton John
Contains the highest of EJ highs, but overall is a bit more sedate. The album certainly exposes EJ’s ‘chops’ (and BTs lyrics), but doesn’t quite create a narrative that would really push this album to the all-time-great level.

Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Sings Newman
Piano, voice, and (so many) layers of same. On the surface as simple as it comes, but listening just a bit lends so much depth and feeling. Nilsson was an extremely gifted vocalist (and songwriter himself) and these songs (and his interpretations of same) allow his genius to really shine through. A fascinating piece of music…


Not listened to, despite best intentions….

Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Derek & the Dominos – Layla
Funkadelic – Funkadelic (1970)
George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
Joe Cocker – Mad Dogs & Englishmen (2cd)
Neil Young – After the Gold Rush
Santana – Abraxas
Van Morrison – Moondance
Vashti Bunyan – Just Another Diamond Day

Chicago – Chicago II
Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection
Frank Zappa – 1970-08-10 – Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Kinks, the – Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
Paul McCartney – McCartney
Stooges, the – Fun House
Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs
Velvet Underground – Loaded
Who, the – Live at Leeds




Drive Year: 1970 happened in November 2019





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