Since 2009, vinyls have increased in sales by 800% (according to Mixmag magazine) and that statistic includes re-releases of old 70’s classics. No longer is it just nostalgic or hipster to possesses a record player. To carry on with our theme of 70’s we give you a guide to the Top 5 re-issues of music from that decade, released within the last few months.
1) Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre- On The Road To Freedom (1973)
[38:30] [12 Tracks] [Folk Rock] [Chrysalis] [UK/US]
Dissatisfied by their change of direction from blues rock to pop, Nottingham’s Alvin Lee left his band Ten Years After to pursue other avenues. He met Mississippi Christian rock singer and Gospel Hall of Fame Member Mylon LeFevre, who had already written a song with Lee’s hero Elvis Presley. They made the album On The Road To Freedom together at George Harrison’s studio Friar Park. Harrison also contributed to it’s recording, along with Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood (drums), The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood (acoustic guitar) and Traffic’s Jim Capaldi (drums) and Steve Winwood (piano) as guest stars. It was seen as an important album in the country rock genre and featured bongos, fiddles, organ and Alvin Lee on sitar.
2) George Thorogood- George Thorogood and The Delaware Destroyers (1977)
[45:10] [10 Tracks] [Blues rock/Boogie rock] [Rounder] [US]
Although his boogie rock was more prominent in the 1980s, helped by the omnipresent Bad To The Bone, George Thorogood was nascent at the end of the 1970s. Before gaining fame for his original and more polished material, Thorogood released two albums of raw blues covers. 1977’s self titled debut was notable for One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer– a mix of two John Lee Hooker songs. It became so popular that it’s now a staple in Thorogood’s concert setlists. Other covers on the album included Elmore James’ Madison Blues, Robert Johnson’s Kind Hearted Woman and a traditional folk song about legendary murderer John Hardy.
3) Rush- Hempisheres (1978)
[36:14] [4 Tracks split into chapters] [Prog Rock] [Anthem] [Canada]
Progressive rock is a genre highly associated with the 70’s decade and bands at the heart of the scene got inspired by each others tricks and lengthy sonics. Canadian Music Hall of Fame members Rush admitted that their sixth album Hemispheres was influenced by the mentality of Yes and King Crimson, although they developed their own personality and extended upon the early progressive rock of their sophomore Fly By Night with more complicated time signatures, synthesizer experimentation and lengthy concept tracks. Originally a hard rock band, Rush added diverse percussion; from cowbells to gongs to chimes. Like many of their work, the themes revolved around science fiction and fantasy, which can also be seen in the album’s artwork and the way that each track is like it’s own epic saga, made of roman numeral titled chapters.
4) Ennio Morricone- My Name is Nobody (1973)
[74:04] [23 Tracks] [Film Music] [EMI General Music SRL] [Italy]
Depending on your generation, you might either recognize Ennio Morricone’s acoustic recorder theme My Name Is Nobody from the titular soundtrack or the twisted BBC sitcom Nighty Night. It’s eclectic nature makes it flexible beyond it’s origins as a Spaghetti Western accompaniment. Although, My Name is Nobody was comedic compared to Morricone’s other Italian-Western collaborations; The Good The Bad and The Ugly and A Fist Full of Dollars and you can hear it in the free-spirited composition, also found in the playful rendition of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries on The Wild Horde. Other songs on the album are more gritty, wildly surreal and shared elements similar to his previous work. They are made intoxicating by the array of instruments: harpischord, harmonica, tuba, trumpets, whistling and other unidentifiable sounds. It’s considered to be up there with the best Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone parterships-which in itself is on par with Angelo Badalamenti/David Lynch and John Williams/Steven Spielberg teams.
5) The Saints- Eternally Yours (1978)
[75:40] [27 Tracks] [Punk] [EMI] [Australia]
The re-issue of the second album of Australian Punk band The Saints extends the track quantity from 13 to 27 to include early recording sessions and stripped back versions of the previous tracks, known as The International Robot Sessions. The original 1978 release stuck to the punk rock of the debut (I’m) Stranded but added horns and a more expansive rhythm and blues edge to proceedings. Punk was becoming stale with copycats and needed a face-lift. The Saints were pioneers in advancing the genre’s limiatations. In fact many of album’s lyrics are a response to the ridicule they received from more stereotypical punk bands regarding their dress sense and how they didn’t want to fit into it’s pre-idiosyncratic mould- especially on Know Your Product and Do The Robot. A punk band rebelling against the genre that’s famous for rebelling. A very ironic and antidisestablishmentarianism stance indeed.