Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin III
(Atlantic) - Released: October 5, 1970.
In October 1970 a crestfallen 18 year old was wondering
if he had bought a pig in a poke. “Immigrant Song,” “Since I’ve Been Loving
You” and “Tangerine” were the only tracks justifying the album’s existence,
I thought then - and returned to “Since I’ve Been Loving You” to soothe my
disappointment. Luckily, when you were young and poor, like most teenagers
were at the time, there was no turning back. If you bought an album you were
stuck with it, so you you kept on playing it. And slowly “Led Zeppelin III”
started making sense.
“Out On The Tiles” was the first track that crept up on me, turning my
favourite trio of songs into a quartet. Then came “Gallows Pole”, and with
that my appreciation for the acoustic soundscapes and quirky time signatures
that characterise much of the album.
I do not remember exactly when the pieces fell into place, but some time
during spring 1971 I realised that “Led Zeppelin III” had turned into my
favourite Zeppelin-LP. And if that wasn’t enough, the sequel even though it
included the iconic “Stairway To Heaven”, failed to dethrone “Led Zeppelin
III”. 44 years on it still sounds as fresh and full of life.
Contents: Immigrant Song/Friends/Celebration Day/Since I’ve Been
Loving You/Out on the Tiles/Gallows Pole/Tangerine/That’s the Way/Bron-Y-Aur
Stomp/Hats Off to (Roy) Harper
The Who, Live At Leeds (Track) - Released: May 16, 1970
The greatest live album of all time, warts and all.
Recorded on an extremely inspired evening at Leeds University on February
14, 1970. The original release was the tip of the iceberg, as later deluxe
editions have included the complete 33 song program (plus the Hull concert
recorded the following night), but I still prefer the 6 track vinyl version.
The full “Tommy” performance drags on a bit, and the best bits are neatly
incorporated into the 14 minute magnificent showstopper “My Generation”
anyway. These 6 tracks are like hand-picked cherries and capture The Who in
their absolute prime. A tour-de-force of maximum R & B, so powerful and
thunderous it is hard to grasp that this wave of noise was created by just
three instruments and a singer.
The brutally rolling bass-lines of John Entwistle interlocks with the
chaotic brilliance of drummer Keith Moon, providing Pete Townshend with the
perfect foundation for his monster riffs, tortured solo-runs and howling
feedback. On top of that you got the roaring voice of Roger Daltrey. The
Stones’ “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out” (also released in 1970) pales in comparison.
Contents: Young Man Blues/Substitute/Summertime Blues/Shakin’ All
Over/My Generation/Magic Bus
George Harrison, All Things Must Pass (Apple) - Released:
November 27, 1970
The quiet Beatle steps out of the shadows of John and
Paul and delivers an impressive horn of plenty. Some of the strongest tracks
fell on deaf ears when introduced to The Beatles during the recording of
“Let It Be” and “Abbey Road”. What were they thinking?
This triple album (actually a double album of songs plus a bonus album of
disposable jams) turned George into the coolest and most successful
ex-Beatle for a while. It still sounds as good as anything John and Paul did
Contents: I’d Have You Anytime/My Sweet Lord/Wah-Wah/Isn’t It a
Pity/What Is Life/If Not for You/Behind That Locked Door/Let It Down/Run of
the Mill/Beware of Darkness/Apple Scruffs/Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let
It Roll)/Awaiting on You All/All Things Must Pass/I Dig Love/Art of
Dying/Isn’t It a Pity/Hear Me Lord/Out of the Blue/It’s Johnny’s
Birthday/Plug Me In/I Remember Jeep/Thanks for the Pepperoni
Neil Young, After The Goldrush (Reprise) - Released:
August 31, 1970
The songs produce a strange mixture of happiness and
sorrow, there’s mystery and dreams, a longing for a sanctuary that tastes of
summer, meadows and girls with sun in their hair, but there is a scary
undercurrent of doom here that won’t let go as dark clouds approach from the
“After The Gold Rush” is the soundtrack to the young generation who had just
grown out of the 60’s and stood outside the gate, luggage in hand, with no
idea whatsoever of where to go in a world so cruel. They had rock music, and
it truly was their property as both performers and listeners were of the
same age, and now the performers found themselves outside the same gate. A
shared experience. We were all heading for the great unknown. A unique
moment in history that will never repeat.
All you people who arrived later can appreciate the music of course, it is
there for everybody, no matter how old or young you are. But there was a
time. We’ll always have Paris. Here’s looking at you, kids.
Contents: Tell Me Why/After the Gold Rush/Only Love Can Break Your
Heart/Southern Man/Till the Morning Comes/Oh Lonesome Me/Don’t Let It Bring
You Down/Birds/When You Dance I Can Really Love/I Believe in You/Cripple