‘A Horse with No Name’, the debut single from two-thirds American America, was top of the charts in the USA on this day in 1972 – according to Billboard magazine. And here it is for you to enjoy all over again. (Never mind the accusations of glorifying heroin use, how they got away with a line as badly written as ‘'Cause there ain’t no-one for to give you no pain’ amazes me.)
It’s been a while since we racked our brains (we managed it for 2006, 1983, 1975, 1969 and 1966, and this has got to be a more interesting year than the next one open to scrutiny, which will be nineteen ninety-something), so what have you got for this, the year of Obscured by Clouds?
The most well-known tracks are probably ‘American Pie’ by Don McLean, ‘Heart of Gold’ by Neil Young and ‘School’s Out’ by Alice Cooper, but there was a lot of good music in 1972… obviously ignoring those bloody Hillside Singers, who apparently wanted to teach the world to sing – in perfect harmony, no less – yet whose real ‘achievement’ was in making a sizeable portion of its populace feel sick and compelled to buy a leading brand of cola. And maybe even more sick as a result of drinking too much of the stuff.
Here are some of my favourites from 1972, anyway:
– Al Green, ‘Let’s Stay Together’
– Elton John, ‘Rocket Man’
– The Raspberries, ‘Go All the Way’
– Rolling Stones, ‘Ventilator Blues’
– War, ‘Slippin’ Into Darkness’
I’ll apologise now, as I know that someone’s innocent eyes, in scanning for songs from this year, will inevitably flicker over the name ‘Three Dog Night’; I can’t help but feel responsible that someone, somewhere is therefore highly likely to have ‘Black and White’ playing on repeat inside their head for some time afterwards. (Was anyone else forced to sing this song at school?)
Should you find yourself afflicted by the recurring melody of this loathsome tune or damaged in some slight yet irreversible way by its selfish use of the cowbell, compiling an A to Z of tunes from 1972, as some of us did for 1982, should help.
If not, there’s always the Hillside Singers and sugary carbonated beverages.
Oh, and as it was something we chatted about recently during a rare voyage into ‘The Music of David Gilmour and Pink Floyd’: Which other Obscured by Clouds track do you think would have slotted most easily into David’s 2006 live set?