Friday, 12 May 2017

Forty Years On... a look back at the music of my youth

Being 16 is always an interesting time (so I'm told - I've only done it once, to my recollection). It is a time when exams that will shape the future course of ones life are sat; a time when hormones tend to dominate thinking, dreaming and leisure activities (!); and a time when alcohol and other nefarious intoxicants vie for control of ones mind - but I consider myself fortunate to have turned 16 in 1977, which was the year of the royal Silver Jubilee, but also a year which saw some seismic shifts in the music scene in the UK. It was the year that punk hit the mainstream, snarling from the underground with all its energy, anger, immediacy and gobbing, and declaring that the 'dinosaurs' of progressive rock were now extinct. On punk's coat-tails, albeit shredded and studded, came a raft of pub-rock and proto new wave acts, along with a resurgence of reggae, to broaden the musical palette. And, of course, the dinosaurs refused to lie down and die quietly: in my collection there are new albums from ELO, ELP, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Queen, Rush, Supertramp, Van der Graaf & Yes, and a debut from England among others.

What I thought I'd do (and thanks to Gordon Midgley for the idea) is look back at the music I was listening to in 1977, what I thought of it then (as much as I can remember) and what I make of it now, as a much older, though probably not wiser, man. There are 50 albums & EPs in my collection from 1977, but only 22 of which I was aware of at the time, and 3 of those (by Genesis) I've looked at already. So I'm going to focus on those 19 albums first, and then may come back to pick up the ones I missed out on as a teenager later.

Hope you enjoy!

1. Brand X - Moroccan Roll
2. The Clash - The Clash
3. Elvis Costello - My Aim is True
4. Ian Dury - New Boots and Panties!!
5. ELO - Out of the Blue
6. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
7. Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (Car)
8. Annie Haslam - Annie In Wonderland
9. Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood
10. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
11. Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell
12. Pink Floyd - Animals
13. Queen - News Of The World
14. Rush - A Farewell To Kings
15. Sex Pistols - Never Mind the B*llocks
16. Steely Dan - Aja
17. Weather Report - Heavy Weather
18. Yes - Going For The One
19. Neil Young - American Stars 'n Bars

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