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

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Drive Year : 1975


Aerosomith – Toys in the Attic
The album that really launched Aerosmith, and a long-time personal favorite. Toys in the Attic is a straight-forward and direct blues-rock good time party album. Surprisingly complex (and effective) rock musicianship, with just enough of a pop-rock gloss to be hits, but sleazy enough to keep it interesting. A++

Parliament – Mothership Connection
An absolute timeless classic, George Clinton, et al at the height of their powers. Outrageous outer space funk and wacky characters propelled by a killer band and powerhouse horns. If this album doesn’t move your hips, nothing will.
With good reason, Mothership Connection was added to the Library of Congress in 2011.

Queen – A Night At the Opera
A massively overblown and adventurous album, rumored to be “most expensive album ever recorded at the time of its release”. While it was an audacious record full of innovation and ‘rule breaking’ it was also a massive success which cemented Queen as masters of the form. Mixing prog rock, hard rock, symphonic multitrack recording and overdubbing, pop, dancehall, opera, etc etc., A Night at the Opera is a one-of-a-kind celebration of 1975.

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
This is Zeppelin at the absolute height of their (studio) powers, especially Jimmy Page who played all the guitar parts and engineered the album. A sonic tour-de-force, PG has a little bit of everything Zeppelin did well – hard rock, blues, acoustic numbers, bombast, dynamics, etc… A+


Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes

Patti Smith – Horses
A fantastic and revolutionary album with so many unique elements, perhaps the most lasting of which is the wordplay. Loads of rock sounds underlay the lyrics, and are in many ways genius themselves. This album really strongly highlights the ‘art’ and ‘revolutionary’ elements of punk rock that gave it depth as an art form. Solid A+ stuff here…

ZZ Top – Fandango
Side One is live and Side Two is studio, which is still damn weird. The live half is indeed a ripper, spotlighting well their famed live show at the time. The new tracks are solid, ending with the great Tush. A fun look back, but not a ZZ Top album I come back to.

Elton John – Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
A boldly imagined concept album about the John/Taupin early years, it lacks any real commercial appeal – perhaps for the better. Aside from Someone Saved My Life Tonight, there are no super-memorable songs but as a whole the album stands up well. Sadly this is about the end of the “good Elton” timeframe.


Black Sabbath – Sabotage
Recorded in times of turbulence for the band, this album rides the line between their early heavy-metal bombast and their later more ‘adventurous’ noodling. A couple great tracks, a stinker or two, and a largely unmemorable album.

AC/DC – High Voltage (1975 Australian album version)
More of a glam-rock/choogle album than the heavy rock AC/DC became known for, although the power skeleton is clearly in place. The hard-rock-blues opener of Baby Please Don’t Go is a clear nod to the “Led Zeppelin-ization” of rock at the time. A bit hard to discern that some of the biggest-ever rock albums are to come from this group, but this is still a fun rock adventure

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
The smash album that ‘broke’ The Boss. In retrospect, this album highlights the ailments of Rust Belt America long before they became critical, a sentiment that makes Born to Run a timeless view into an era. Crisp and exciting, while also being lyrically adept, this album spoke to millions (and still does).
On a personal note, I’ve never really connected with Springsteen, so all the above leaves me somewhat flat….

The Eagles – One of These Nights
The sound of a band patenting their classic “perfectly beige” sound…
Snarkiness aside, a fine of-the-time album with enough complexity for (sorta) rewarding relistening.


Not listened to, despite best intentions….

Brian Eno – Another Green World
Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac
Heart – Dreamboat Annie
Kiss – Alive!
Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Funkadelic – Let’s Take It To The Stage
Parliament – Chocolate City
Tom Waits – Nighthawks at the Diner
Who, the – By the Numbers
David Bowie – Young Americans
Ohio Players – Honey
The Tubes – The Tubes
Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger



Notes: Album selection was split between my catalog (gotta love classic rock) and various charts – with close to a 50/50 breakdown. I found this to be a really fun year, with some great bands mid-career and some upcoming bands making early moves. Overall I just wish I had gotten a bit deeper…

Drive Year: 1975 happened in July 2019





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