Albums released in July and August of 1973 featured a number of new bands, a notable comeback, a notable follow-up to an earlier classic, and an amazing collaboration. Let’s dive right in to some of the highlights
Queen – Queen
Before becoming the band that we all know and love as Queen, the band was known as Smile and featured Brian May and Roger Taylor. When Farrokh Bulsara, joined Smile things began to change: Farrokh Bulsara became Freddy Mercury, Smile became Queen, and the band became more experimental. With the creation of Queen, the music world would never be the same. The band released their self titled first album in July of 1973 and the lead off song on the album was called Keep Yourself Alive. Let’s listen……..
New Your Dolls – New York Dolls
Here is what I had to say about the New York Dolls in an earlier post:
Some call them glam, some call them the Godfathers of Punk (I think Iggy owns that title), some call them the fathers of the New York rock scene (The Ramones, Blondie, etc), some call them outrageous, and some thought they were a joke. I thought they rocked and I loved them. Come on, how could you not love these guys? They are the only group that I know of that was honored as both the best and worst new group in the same year….in the same magazine.
The Dolls released their first album in July of 1973 and it was amazing. Here is one of its best songs….let’s listen………..
10cc – 10cc
Here is what I had to say about 10cc in an earlier post:
10cc were one of the true pop treasures of the early 1970s but they were a band with a split personality. The band’s four members included two songwriting teams. Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman were pop songwriters and accounted for the groups hit songs. Kevin Godley and Lol Creme were the more experimental half of 10cc and produced the more arty portion of the group’s material.
My favorite song from their, self named, debut album is called The Dean and I and was written by Godley and Creme. As reported in Wikipedia:
The song is written from the perspective of an American father telling his children about how he met and fell in love with their mother, with the first real line of the song being “Hey, kids, let me tell you how I met your mom. We were dancing and romancing at the senior prom”. The epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton is mentioned in the lyrics. The later part of the lyric tackles the grim realities of middle-aged married life “…when the paint is peeling, and all the chips are down…”
Did I mention those two guys were artsy? Let’s listen……..
Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin – Love Devotion and Surrender
Along with the new bands discussed above, July 1973 was also notable for the release of an amazing collaboration between two of the best guitarists of their time: Carlos Santana, leader of the rock band Santana, and John McLaughlin, a jazz fusion guitarist and leader of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The two men were both followers of Sri Chinmoy and huge fans of John Coltrane and these common interests provided the inspiration for their 1973 collaboration, named Love Devotion and Surrender. The lead off song was their take on A Love Supreme, one of Coltrane’s most amazing compositions. Let’s listen…..
Lynyrd Skynyrd – (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)
Here is what I had to say about Lynyrd Skynyrd in an earlier post:
Lynyrd Skynyrd emerged from Jacksonville, Florida as a fully formed southern rock band that was ready to kick ass. They named themselves after their high school gym teacher and produced an amazing first album in 1973, Pronounced Leh’-nerd Skin-nerd.
When I featured this album as an album of the week I mentioned that Gimme Three Steps was my favorite song from their debut and that hasn’t changed. Let’s listen…..
Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On
Marvin Gaye had release his classic album What’s Going On in 1971. Producing a follow-up to one of the best albums of all time was not a easy task but Marvin was up for the job. He released Let’s Get it On in August of 1973, and while it never reached the heights of What’s Going On, it was still an absolute vocal masterpiece in my opinion. Let’s listen to my favorite song from the album………
Allman Brothers Band – Brothers and Sisters
As we have previously discussed in this blog, the Allman Brothers Band had dealt with some unimaginable losses in the early 1970. Both Duane Allman, defacto leader of the band, and Berry Oakley, the band’s bass player, were killed in separate motorcycle accidents in Macon, Georgia. With these losses, the band’s future was anything but guaranteed. Any ideas about the demise of the band were put to rest by the release of Brothers and Sisters in August of 1973. The band’s sound had changed, out of necessity. The dual lead guitars were gone and Dicky Betts stepped up as a major songwriter. Amazingly enough, the album represented the biggest commercial success of the group. Although Greg only wrote two of the album’s songs they were my favorites. Let’s listen to one of them……