So before we get to far into February, 2013 I thought we should try to do a wrap up of some of the other musical events that took place in January, 1973. We have previously touched on several of these events including: the release of Aerosmith’s first album: Carly Simon’s chart topping single You’re So Vain, and Stevie Wonder’s hit with Superstitiion. Here are some of the other musical happenings from January forty years ago…
In 1972 Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Peter Criss were trying to decide where to head with their current band, Wicked Lester, which seemed to be collapsing around them. Gene and Paul decided that Wicked Lester’s lack of success was due to a lack of musical vision and had started to experiment with makeup and costumes (see the picture at the beginning of this post). The band needed another guitar player and this slot was filled by Ace Frehley that fall. The band was complete but two more changes were needed before they could make their big push for success and fame. First, they needed a new name. Paul suggested KISS and the name stuck. Second, they needed formalize their early experiments with makeup and costumes by selecting personas for each member of the band. Gene became the Demon, Paul became the Starchild, Peter became the Cat, and Ace, my favorite, became the Spaceman. Here is what KISS looked like around that time.
KISS’s first concert performance took place on January 30, 1973 and the rest is history. I can’t show you that first performance but I do have a video of a performance from later that year which is supposedly the oldest existing KISS video. Let’s watch…….
While KISS was just starting in January of 1973, Free was nearing its end. The band released Heartbreaker in January 1973 and had one more tour before their official breakup. I hated to see Free end but…… the breakup of Free allowed Paul to form Bad Company which would go on to produce some of my favorite music in the 70’s. To celebrate the greatness of Free here is a video of them performing Heartbreaker during a 1972 tour in Japan. The video is not the best quality but this is rock history so I hope you will enjoy it.
Elton John released his sixth album, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, late in January, 1973. This album continued his push towards a more pop sound and gave him his second straight #1 album. Much of the album was more poppy than I cared for but I did enjoy some of the songs including Daniel which was my favorite. Let’s listen to Elton perform Daniel on Top of the Pops in 1973……..
Jim Croce released his Life and Times album in January, 1973. His career was just starting to peak at this point but tragically this would be the last album to be released before his death in a plane crash in September of 1973. While Jim is best know for his catchy, borderline novelty, songs like You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, I am here to tell you that he was much more of a talent than indicated by these songs. Jim was one hell of a singer/songwriter and, had he lived, I believe he would have become one of the best singer/songwriters ever. To make my point, here is a wonderful song from Life and Times.