1975 – The Best Year in Music?

I was watching Max the music channel on Foxtel and they were playing songs from 1975. It gave me pause for thought as to whether this was in fact the greatest music year if my life? I have always considered the 70s as the golden age of music rather than the 60s. While there is no doubt that the emergence of The Beatles and Rolling Stones in the 60s were central to the era I think the 60s were formative rather than quintessential.

Using Wikipedia I trawled through what was released in 1975. Blood on the Tracks (Bob Dylan), Night at the Opera (Queen), Blue Jays (Justin Hayward and John Lodge), An Evening with John Denver (John Denver), Between the Lines ( Janis Ian), The Original Soundtrack (10cc), Face the Music ( Electric Light Orchestra), Siren (Roxy Music), All Around My Hat (Steeleye Span), Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon), Horses (Patti Smith), The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Welcome to My Nightmare (Alice Cooper), Venus and Mars (Paul Mccartney and Wings), One of These Nights (The Eagles), Have You Never Been Mellow (Olivia Newton-John) and Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)  were my favourites of 1975.

Whilst I could discuss each and everyone of these at length I’ve singled out just a few for special mention.

Blood on the Tracks for its sheer consistency. From Tangled up in Blue to Buckets of a Rain, every song is brilliant however for me Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts is my favourite. I just love the line,
She was with Big Jim but she was leanin’ to the Jack of Hearts .

Janis Ian’s, Between the Lines had At Seventeen which my wife tells me was every girl’s favourite song of the time. Whereas for me it was Olivia!

I know John Denver was often seen as homely and sweet however he was a great country singer. He was fabulous live and  An Evening with John Denver, truly captured the experience. Favourite off this album the soaring Rocky Mountain High.

The amazing a Night at the Opera showed the sheer talent of Queen. There are no duds on this album. Bohemian Rhapsody is the song most associate with the album, but there is so much more such as You’re my best Friend and Thirty Nine Nine.

Former keyboard player with Yes, Rick Wakeman was prominent in the 70s. The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth and Journey to the Centre of the Earth were great, however my favourite is Myths and Legends released in 1975 with The Last Battle showing Wakeman at his best.

The release of Venus and Mars by Wings continued to showcase McCartney in a band setting. The tour which accompanied its release was just amazing. It remains one of my all time favourite concerts.

The Eagles One of these Nights included Lyin’ Eyes and Take it to the Limit  as well as One of these Nights. ELO’s Face the Music had Evil Women and Strange Music, Roxy’s Siren included the classic Love is the Drug and Both Ends Burning.There was also Paul Simon’s Still Crazy after all these Years, which apart from the title track also included My Little Town, and 50 Ways to Leave your Lover. Alice Cooper’s Welcome to my Nightmare had the classic Only Women Bleed.

However there is no doubt which album was my favourite in 1975: Born to Run. This album simply has no flaws at all and is my opinion the greatest album of all time.

So my conclusion,1975 was the greatest year in music – what do you think?

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9 Responses to 1975 – The Best Year in Music?

  1. Ahhh John Denver. I have such fond memories of my front row tickets to watch John Denver perform at the Sydney Opera House. My dad surprised me with the tickets ( he and I both loved Johns music) felt like a princess that night 🙂

  2. I’m sitting in the kitchen while visiting my son, Ted, in Sheffield, England where he’s coming to the end of his one year stay as a teaching assistant at Sheffield U. He looked over as I started reading your post, saw the title and said, “I agree!”

    He’s only 24 but is really into music but I was surprised with such prompt agreement from him. But as I looked at your list, and the list he came up with from his playlist, I had to accept the opinion of two experts!

    Last year for his 1st year of Master’s, Ted wrote his Master’s essay comparing Rick Wakeman’s King Arthur with the classic version by Mallory. It was quite impressive analyzing the lyrics and then the musical structure. You might find it interesting when you finish your present projects.

    • browney says:

      I’m fascinated by music as is probably evident. Rick Waleman’s music brought some very special stories and music together.

      The idea of studying and writing about it is of great appeal.

      Your son’s music interest reflects that of my son who loves The Beatles, Janis Joplin and the like.

      Thanks for sharing this with me. All the best.

  3. Steve Dewey says:

    Thanks for liking my recent post. I popped over to see your 1975 reminiscence – yes, it was a good year, but for me it’s 1973. Dark Side of the Moon, Caravan and the New Symphonia, Selling England by the Pound, Houses of the Holy, Aladdin Sane, Tubular Bells, Birds of Fire, Brain Salad Surgery, For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night… Oh, the list, oh! my nostalgia 🙂 Still, I think whenever your round about 15 is a good year for music; and I think the 70s did have a certain magic when it came to the album. Yeh, yeh, big corporates, blah blah but having Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd on your label sure helped you take risks with, say, Al Kooper or Pete Brown and Piblokto 🙂

    • browney says:

      There are plenty on your 1973 list I like as well – Tubular Bells gets a regular play as does Brain Salad Surgery. Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. larryz says:

    Yes. A little late to the discussion. I am a music historian, pop junkie, Top 40 AM radio lover. After the dust settled 1975 is my vote for the best year in music. Just listen to Playa Cofi online radio and select the year 1975 and be amazed. Some of the best tunes ever written, namely:

    At Seventeen, Janis Ian
    Poetry Man, Phoebe Snow
    Holding on to Yesterday, Ambrosia
    John Denver’s best
    Physical Graffiti LP, Led Zep
    Wings, Listen to the Man Said
    and the ultimate song of 1975, 10cc’s I’m Not in Love

    Disco had not taken hold yet on Top 40, though I don’t hate the genre though.

    • browney says:

      Thanks for visiting. I will hunt up the station you mentioned.
      You mention some great artists, songs and albums.

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