This is the album that gave us ‘Imagine’ and ‘Jealous Guy,’ two of the best songs Lennon ever wrote, with or without The Beatles. It contains many other pleasures, including the country rock of ‘Crippled Inside,’ the hard rocking ‘Gimme Some Truth’ and one of the best pure pop songs of the era, ‘Oh Yoko.’ It also features one of the earliest, nastiest dis tracks in ‘How Do You Sleep?,’ aimed at former pal Paul McCartney.
This year Amy selflessly asked, in lieu of gifts, for donations to a non-profit she founded called Birthright America. The program’s mission is to give underprivileged kids the chance to experience the majesty of America’s National Parks. Amy brought the first group of lucky children on the inaugural trip earlier this month.
If the idea sounds interesting to you, please consider visiting the website and donating to the cause. Happy Birthday, Amy!
This album boasts such iconic tracks as ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ ‘Black Dog,’ ‘Rock and Roll,’ ‘Going to California’ and ‘When the Levee Breaks.’ Plus today’s track, ‘Misty Mountain Hop,’ which is less well known but just as awesome.
Sure, it has its highlight moments, including ‘The Wind,’ ‘Morning Has Broken,’ ‘Moonshadow,’ and ‘How Can I Tell You,’ one of the prettiest loves songs ever written. But ‘Rubylove,’ ‘If I Laugh,’ ‘Changes IV,’ ‘Tuesday’s Dead’ and ‘Peace Train’ are all worthy of high praise.
Elton John’s Madman Across the Water is my seventh favorite album of 1971, though it would be more accurate to say the first side of Madman Across the Water made the list. When ‘Tiny Dancer,’ ‘Levon’ and ‘Madman Across the Water’ are three of your first four songs, you can pretty much hang up your hat and call it a day.
The other tracks — ‘Razor Face,’ ‘Indian Sunset,’ ‘Holiday Inn,’ ‘Rotten Peaches,’ ‘All the Nasties’ and ‘Goodbye’ — are all solid, if not up to the level of the opening classics.
My #8 album of 1971 is Don McLean’s American Pie, the singer-songwriter’s sophomore effort, which hit #1 on the Billboard 200 and featured two hits in the iconic title track and ‘Vincent,’ McLean’s ode to Vincent Van Gogh.
This album could earn a spot on this list for those two songs alone, but the rest of its lineup features one achingly gentle acoustic gem after another.
I’ve featured only one Who song on this blog over the past ten years — ‘The Kids are Alright,’ a song I truly love. But as I noted way back then (Song of the Day #81, if you can believe it!), I’m not much of a Who fan in general.
I also mentioned in that post that I am a fan of the band’s fifth studio album, 1971’s Who’s Next. Enough to put it at #9 on my list of best albums from that year.