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100 albums from the 1970s

Over on Twitter (@andylong) a few months ago I started a little project where I chose ten albums from each year of the 1970s, played one each day and posted my thoughts and memories. It’s been great fun, I’ve listened to one hundred fantastic albums from my collection and I’ve had lots of really entertaining conversations and made some new Twitter friends. I had to spend a bit of money too as some people were recommending albums to me that I didn’t already own, so I’ve discovered a couple of albums that I should have been listening to for years.

Here’s a list of all the albums, alphabetically by artist, there is not now and never was any though of putting them in order of which was ‘best’ as that is purely subjective.

How many have you got, which have meant the most to you, which ones have you never heard of and now want to?

Ten albums from each year of the 1970s
AC/DC Highway to Hell 1979
Atomic Rooster Death Walks Behind You 1970
Barclay James Harvest Baby James Harvest 1972
Barclay James Harvest Octoberon 1976
Barclay James Harvest Gone to Earth 1977
Be Bop Deluxe Axe Victim 1974
Be Bop Deluxe Sunburst Finish 1976
Black Sabbath Black Sabbath 1970
Black Sabbath Sabbath Bloody Sabbath 1973
Budgie Never Turn Your Back on A Friend 1973
Camel Mirage 1974
Camel Music Inspired by the Snow Goose 1975
Can Tago Mago 1971
Can Future Days 1973
Caravan In the Land of Grey and Pink 1971
Chris Squire Fish Out of Water 1975
David Bowie Ziggy Stardust 1972
Deep Purple In Rock 1970
Derek and The Dominos Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs 1970
Eagles Desperado 1973
Eagles Hotel California 1976
Electric Light Orchestra Out of The Blue 1977
Electric Light Orchestra Discovery 1979
Emerson Lake and Palmer Pictures at An Exhibition 1971
Emerson, Lake and Palmer Brain Salad Surgery 1973
England Garden Shed 1977
Eno Here Come the Warm Jets 1974
Eno Another Green World 1975
Fleetwood Mac Rumours 1977
Focus Moving Waves 1971
Focus Hamburger Concerto 1974
Foreigner Double Vision 1978
Foreigner Head Games 1979
Frank Zappa Joe’s Garage Act 1 1979
Fruupp Modern Masquerades 1974
Genesis Nursery Cryme 1971
Genesis Foxtrot 1972
Genesis A Trick of The Tail 1976
Gentle Giant Octopus 1972
Gentle Giant Free Hand 1975
Gong Angel’s Egg 1973
Gryphon Red Queen to Gryphon Three 1974
Hawkwind Doremi Fasol Latido 1972
Jaco Pastorius Jaco 1976
Jeff Wayne War of The Worlds 1978
Jethro Tull Aqualung 1971
Jethro Tull Thick as A Brick 1972
Jethro Tull Songs from The Wood 1977
Jethro Tull Heavy Horses 1978
Joni Mitchell Hejira 1976
King Crimson In the Wake of Poseidon 1970
King Crimson Starless and Bible Black 1974
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin Four 1971
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti 1975
Mahavishnu Orchestra Birds of Fire 1973
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells 1973
Miles Davis Bitches Brew 1970
Moody Blues A Question of Balance 1970
Nektar A Tab in The Ocean 1972
Peter Hammill Fool’s Mate 1971
Peter Hammill Over 1977
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of The Moon 1973
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here 1975
Pink Floyd Animals 1977
Pink Floyd The Wall 1979
Premiata Forneria Marconi L’Isola Di Niente 1974
Quatermass Quatermass 1970
Queen Live Killers 1979
Rainbow Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll 1978
Rainbow Rising 1976
Rick Wakeman The Six Wives of Henry VIII 1973
Rush 2112 1976
Rush A Farewell to Kings 1977
Rush Hemispheres 1978
Santana Abraxas 1970
Soft Machine Bundles 1975
Steely Dan Katy Lied 1975
Steely Dan Aja 1977
Steve Hackett Please Don’t Touch 1978
Steve Hackett Spectral Mornings 1979
Steve Hillage Fish Rising 1975
Strawbs Grave New World 1972
Supertramp Breakfast In America 1979
Tangerine Dream Phaedra 1974
Tangerine Dream Force Majeure 1979
Thin Lizzy Jailbreak 1976
Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous 1978
UFO Obsession 1978
Uriah Heep Demons and Wizards 1972
Van Der Graaf Generator Pawn Hearts 1971
Van Der Graaf Generator Godbluff 1975
Van Der Graaf Generator Still Life 1976
Van Morrison Moondance 1970
Weather Report Mr Gone 1978
Whitesnake Trouble 1978
Whitesnake Lovehunter 1979
Yes The Yes Album 1971
Yes Close to The Edge 1972
Yes Relayer 1974
Yes Going for The One 1977
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Music bought in 2017

This year I kept a log of all the music that I bought during the year. Initially I was recording how much it cost too, but that got a bit worrying so I decided to ignore that bit.

In 2017 I bought over 200 albums, mostly on CD format (some downloads). If that seems a lot, (if…ha!), Many of them were charity shop or Ebay bargains (but some weren’t.

A few of my Twitter friends have put out lists of their top albums of 2017, trouble is most of my purchases are not new music, I have been diligently plugging gaps in the classic Prog Rock collection, which now looks a lot healthier (and nerdier).

I dod get a handful of new albums too, so here is a selection of some of my favourites from 2017, some new, some not so new.

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Focus live in Cardiff

I first heard ‘Hocus Pocus’ by Focus in the mid 70’s. My dad had bought the ‘Moving Waves’ album, unusual for him as he was a rock and roll fan but I think he enjoyed Jan Akkerman’s guitar. I played the album to death. I’ve always loved the band but never been to see them live.

last night (19 October 2017) I ticked that box in Cardiff as band founder Thijs Van Leer, classic line up drummer Pierre Van Der Linden, together with guitarist Menno Gootjes and the most recent member bass player Udo Pannekeet brought an outstanding set to the Globe.

They did not disappoint. The musicianship in this line up is absolutely jaw-dropping. An incredible set of blistering jazz/prog/rock. Fantastic soloing and unstoppable energy. Most of the band’s material is instrumental and I don’t always remember the titles, but included in the set were ‘Sylvia’, ‘Harem Scarem’, ‘Round Goes The Gossip’, ‘House Of The King’ and a few new tunes.

Favourite for me was the epic 23 minute (or more) ‘Eruption’ and of course an elongated and frenetic ‘Hocus Pocus’.

A few pics here, they are not great as I was not close to the stage, but enjoy!

The Strawbs live in Cardiff

Two amazing sets from the Strawbs at the Globe in Cardiff last night (7th October 2017).  It’s been a few years since I last saw the Strawbs and that was the acoustic set back at Swindon Arts Centre.  Such a prolific band, so many great albums and a wonderful pedigree of musicianship.  The line up these days alongside Dave Cousins features Chas Cronk and Dave Lambert, the wonderful Tony Fernandez on the kit, who I have seen playing with Rick Wakeman on several occasions and a very pleasant surprise for me in the shape of Dave Bainbridge (Iona) on the keyboards.

The set opened with a track from the new album ‘The Ferryman’s Curse’, the track ‘The Nails In The Hands of Christ’ is a strikingly beautiful tale, I bought the album last night and it really is a cracking piece of work.  The set included a couple of other tracks from this album, plus lots of the classic material including ‘New World’, ‘Round And Round’ and ‘A Glimpse Of Heaven. The set closed with the classic ‘Lay Down.

Here’s a few pics

Hawkwind at The Neon, Newport, March 2017

The first band I ever saw live were Hawkwind. It was the Autumn of 1980 and the ‘Levitation’ tour came to the Colston Hall in Bristol. The line up that night was Dave Brock, Harvey Bainbridge, Huw Lloyd-Langton, Tim Blake and (honest guv) Ginger Baker on drums.  I often look back and think I was spoilt by that for a first gig and didn’t really realise how special a band it was, and especially what an icon Baker was.

I’ve been a fan ever since, although not a disciple (of which there are many), I’ve seen them half a dozen times over the years, sometimes great, sometimes not so.  Last night saw the latest line-up playing at the end of my street, so I had to go of course.

With lead vocals being taken now by Mr Dibs the band’s ever changing face sees long standing drummer Richard Chadwick and 74 year old Dave Brock joined by young bassist Haz Wheaton and a keyboard/guitars chap who might have been Niall Hone?

This was a great set that took in a lot of classic material, the band performed really well. Dave is looking well for an old git, and played well to all the other old gits in the crowd (of which I am one).  The light show was everything you would expect from Hawkwind (see pics below) and the band sounded like classic era Hawkwind, with extended jams and all those classic riffs. Mr Dibs was giving it what for on the ring modulators and other expected sound effects.

Haz Wheaton took centre stage and plays bass like a proper rock monster, he is as much a Lemmy style bassist as you could hope for, battering seven shades out of a Rickenbacker and strumming huge power chords for much of the set. Sometimes switching to a Fender for a spot of subtlety, his musicianship impressed me. Kudos to you Haz, you’re up there.

Two disappointments in this show.  Firstly the sound was not great, it’s a problem that this particular venue suffers from, I’ve never seen a show there where they got it right. In this case the vocals were suffering. Volume too low, with all the crispness and clarity of lettuce, it did spoil an otherwise good show. Secondly I had been led to believe (erroneously it seems) that Tim Blake was in this line up. Hone, or whoever it was, did a reasonably good job, but Tim Blake is Tim Blake innit?

They’re playing Bristol in May so I may well go again and see what happens.  I didn’t get the whole set list down but here’s most of what I remember:

Assault And Battery, On The Edge Of Time, Utopia, Time We Left This World Today, Into The Woods, Hassan I Sabbah, Robot, Shot Down In The Night. There were more and I think they may have done ‘You Know You’re Only Dreaming’, or I might have been only dreaming?

The four encores were:

Spirit Of The Age, Brainbox Pollution, (something else here), Silver Machine

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Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman at Cardiff

ARW at Cardiff

I’ve been a Yes fan for longer than I care to remember, (although there are plenty who’ve been at it longer than me). I bought my first two Yes albums second hand off a boy in school who didn’t like them. They were ‘Time And A Word’ and ‘Tomato’. An interesting pair to start with.

I first saw them live in Birmingham NEC on the 90125 tour in the early ’80’s. Lasers, tilting stage. Bugs Bunny Cartoons.  I’ve seen them a lot of times since then in a lot of forms. Last night saw the latest incarnation of Yes/Not Yes playing their debut show in Cardiff, so unsurprisingly I was there.

With Jon, Rick and Trevor were go-to prog bassist Lee Pomeroy and American drummer and Rabin cohort Louis Molino III.  This was a much anticipated set amongst progrock diehards and did not disappoint.  It was great to see and hear Jon singing Yes material again. I’ve enjoyed the recent tours of the current Yes line-up but Jon’s voice is a unique enigma.

Rabin and Wakeman play really well together, despite not having been in Yes together (with the exception of Union). Trevor is an almighty rock guitarist, wailing solos and lightning fast runs are peppered liberally throughout his playing. He’s very different to Steve Howe and if anything I missed Steve’s classical, virtuosic sensibility, Trevor gave the material a very different sound, but it worked well.

Rick Wakeman, resplendently caped, was stunning as always, effortlessly (or so it seemed) flowing through the material, flitting around amongst numerous keyboards and even going for a stroll in the audience with a keytar, whilst Trevor went up the adjoining isle and met him at the back for a barrage of selfies.

Moulino and Pomeroy were a fantastic rhythm section together, I’ve seen Lee play with Rick previously and last night the band paid tribute to Chris Squire and Lee played a beautiful arrangement of ‘The Fish’, recreating that familiar Rickenbacker klank perfectly.

If you’re the kind of person who gets off on set lists I think I’ve got this right:

Cinema, Perpetual Change, Hold On, All Good People, Lift Me Up, And You And I, Rhythm Of Love, Heart Of The Sunrise, Changes, Long Distance Runaround, The Fish, Awaken, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, (enc) Roundabout

Excellent show, hope I get to see the next one, whoever is in it.

John Wetton and Deke Leonard

Sad to see the passing away of two more great names from the rock world this week, bass legend John Wetton and Welsh guitar great Deke Leonard.

John Wetton is one of those names that has always been there for me, so many of the band he played with over the years have been, and always will be, amongst my favourite listens, albums that are on constant replay in my life.

I bought the first Asia album on picture disc vinyl when it was released in 1982 and his work with King Crimson marks my favourite era of the band (although I love all their stuff.

The riff to ‘Great Deceiver’ is still mind blowing.

Deke Leonard, though less known, was nonetheless a long standing key member of Man for most of their career, just a few breaks here and there, and featured on the majority of Man albums.

Whilst Man have not been a band that I’ve listened to a lot over the years, thy are undoubtedly iconic here in Wales and I really enjoy the few albums that I do own, notably ‘Rhinos, Winos And Lunatics’ and ‘Slow Motion.

 

 

Three Prog Rock Tracks For Hallowe’en

Here’s a few of my favourite creepy songs for your weekend playlist. Enjoy!

  1. Van Der Graaf Generator ‘Darkness (11/11)

Lyrics

How could you make a list, even such a small list as this, without including Van Der Graaf Generator?  Hard to choose which song to include but this is a pretty scary moment, even for them.

Wicked little Scorpio, doomed to die a thousand times before he lives!

2. Atomic Rooster ‘Death Walks Behind You’

Lyrics

One of my favourite bands for years, probably their best album, with William Blake’s ‘Nebuchadnezzar adorning it’s front cover. A moment of genius from Vincent Crane.

3. Genesis ‘The Musical Box

 

Lyrics

Peter Gabriel in one of his more disturbing moments tells the story in which Cynthia knocks off Henry’s head with a croquet mallet, from there on it it gets more twisted and bizarre until both are killed by the nanny.

Feel free to add your own recommendations to the list

 

Could be looking for a gig…

We’re taking a bit of a break from the Tim Crahart Blues Band, which has left me at something of a loose end, bass-wise for the moment.

Hence I am looking for some musical opportunities in or around the Newport area. I quite fancy doing something a bit prog rock as that’s my passion, musically. But in the past I’ve played a lot of blues, rock ‘n’ roll. jazz, rock etc so could be up for anything.

Laying my cards out on the table at the outset – I’ve got quite a responsible day job which takes a lot of my time, so I don’t want a band that plays five nights a week. Just something occassional would be nice. I am not now and never have been looking to conquer the world in any musical capacity. 

So if you are about to embark on a world tour or just signed a ten album deal, probably best not to get in touch with me.

on the other hand if you play a couple of times a month and have the kind of laid back attitude that only comes with great age and you could do with a half-competent bass player, maybe give me a shout via the contacts page.

redfront

 

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