Initially, I expected to put The Who’s Quadrophenia in the latter category. I remember my high school friend’s were big Who fans, and this was an album they loved, but I never really got into the band. I loved ‘The Kids Are Alright‘ (still do) and the Who’s Next album, but the “rock operas” Tommy and Quadrophenia never stirred me a bit.
As was the custom back then, a separate American version was released, swapping out two tracks for two songs released in England as a double-A single: ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ and ‘Ruby Tuesday.’ While I generally hate the concept of different UK and U.S. releases, there’s no question that the addition of those two songs make the American version of this album a bona fide masterpiece.
“I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance,” she told an interviewer. “Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart… this blight on paradise.”
Elton John released Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in October of 1973, but just nine months earlier he dropped his first album of the year, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player.
This album is best known for its opening track, ‘Daniel,’ and the rollicking ‘Crocodile Rock.’ During my recent Elton John deep dive, I wrote about two other highlights: the Rolling Stones-esque ‘Midnight Creeper‘ and closing track ‘High Flying Bird.’
Even back then, most of my focus was on Led Zeppelin IV, the classic 1971 album featuring ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ ‘Rock and Roll,’ ‘Black Dog,’ ‘Going to California’ and ‘When the Levee Breaks.’ What a motherlode of classic rock staples.
A few years back, following David Bowie’s death, I did a deep dive into his catalog. It was my first real exposure to a lot of his work, which I mostly knew through the hits.
1973’s Aladdin Sane emerged as a favorite, alongside Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust, the two albums that preceded it. It’s funny how so many of the albums I’m writing about were part of successful streaks. The early 70s were a gold mine for new music from some of the greatest pop artists of all time.
In 1973, Al Green released Call Me, the album widely considered his finest. Featuring soul classics such as the title track, ‘Here I Am (Come and Take Me), and ‘You Ought To Be With Me,’ as well as covers of country hits ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ and ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,’ this is am excellent introduction to the range and silky smooth sound of the Reverend.
Soul isn’t my genre, so I haven’t given Call Me as many listens as it deserves, but every time I do it’s a transporting experience.