After being so serious as of late, I thought we could do with something cheery and infectious for mid-week, so here’s a happy little number, a huge hit in Australia and the nation’s chart-topping single on this day back in 1971: ‘Eagle Rock’ by Daddy Cool.
No, I hadn’t heard it before either.
What a year it was, 1971. For David and Pink Floyd, it was of course the year of Meddle (and Relics). We got debut albums from Thin Lizzy, Crazy Horse, Rory Gallagher, J.J. Cale and Bonnie Raitt; live albums from Free, the Grateful Dead and James Gang; a hat trick of solo offerings from Crosby, Stills & Nash: the amusingly titled If I Could Only Remember My Name from David Crosby, Songs for Beginners from Graham Nash and Stephen Stills 2 (Stephen Stills, by the way, spoke passionately recently at the Musicians United for Safe Energy – MUSE – concert, where he was joined on stage by his long-time bandmates). Some of the finest albums ever recorded, in fact, were released in 1971: Blue (Joni Mitchell), Imagine (John Lennon), What’s Going On? (Marvin Gaye), Aqualung (Jethro Tull), Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones), Who’s Next (The Who), Led Zeppelin IV… I’ll stop right there.
We lost Jim Morrison of The Doors and Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band at tender ages, as well as the grand pioneers of jazz and rockabilly in the forms of Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong and Gene Vincent. We also lost Derek and the Dominos after just one album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. We gained the Eagles and Roxy Music, though. The Concert for Bangladesh, the benefit organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, took place at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 1971.
In other news, Apollo 14 landed on the Moon (see the stunning on-board footage here), Greenpeace was born, many Britons were baffled by decimalisation (see for yourself, but it was The day Britain lost its soul, according to the Daily Mail) and the world’s first microprocessor, the 4004, was released by Intel.
Another first for 1971: The Old Grey Whistle Test (granted, it was without Whispering Bob, a ludicrous notion, for he would not begin his stint as presenter until 1972).
To the songs, I cannot limit myself further than I have done, so here are ten of my favourite tracks from any year, which just so happen to be from 1971 and, amazingly, I think, are not featured on any of the aforementioned albums. I’m not going to say anything whatsoever about ‘Good Old Arsenal’ at this point nor ‘Leap Up and Down (Wave Your Knickers In the Air)’, or else we’ll all be blushing, I expect.
– Badfinger, ‘No Matter What’
– James Brown, ‘Hey America’
– Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain?’
– Deep Purple, ‘Fireball’
– Free, ‘My Brother Jake’
– Al Green, ‘Tired Of Being Alone’
– Elton John, ‘Your Song’
– Tom Jones, ‘She’s A Lady’
– Slade, ‘Coz I Luv You’
– Ringo Starr, ‘It Don’t Come Easy’
As you know, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is soon to be celebrating a significant birthday and MOJO magazine, with a variety of contemporary artists, has recorded the album in its entirety, along with Wish You Were Here, for its latest CD offering: Return To The Dark Side Of the Moon/Wish You Were Here Again, available with the current edition.
The Pineapple Thief recorded ‘Money’, making it “heavy and naughty” and replacing the original crashing cash registers, brilliantly, I thought, with the beeping of supermarket barcode scanners. Video here along with all you need to know about the new – that’s the October 2011 – edition.
Thank you, Pete.
Finally, the chatroom will be open from 11am until 1pm (UK) tomorrow if you’d like to chat about any of the above over your lunch or breakfast, or even care to ask me why this post concerns 1971 when you’d think 1973 would have been much more apt. Oh well. If you only knew how much time I spend being easily sidetracked by many of the things ‘researched’ for even seemingly innocuous topics such as this one, you’d understand. Feel free to ask me anything about Apollo 14.
On second thoughts…