Part Two contains albums that didn't make the first list and comments that vary in their relevancy. It has been pointed out to me that 1976 was the year "Anarchy in the U.K." by the Sex Pistols was released in the U.K. and "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Vocal Band became a huge hit. The year keeps getting better and better. If you could purchase the year 1976 for a decent price, I would say BUY IT!
I did not include a certain Richard Pryor album because we don't say things like that anymore. But it was the year of the bicentennial, so you expect people to act a little crazy. Hey, how'd you dig the eclipse?
Boston - Boston: Well, there's no doubt. This is not live, this is Memorex. Tom Scholz's airtight productions give us music where energy isn't even an energy. It's a dog food.
24) Phil Manzanera / 801 - 801 Live: Featuring the Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera and that other guy ol' One Brain, Brian Eno, 801 recorded their third live gig as their debut album. Sorta like the MC5's Kick Out the Jams, but not at all.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: The World's Greatest Byrds Cover Band lay down tracks that even had Roger McGuinn wondering if he'd forgotten more than he knew. Originally filed under "New Wave" to fatten up the section.
22) Funkadelic - Hardcore Jollies: Group's ninth album was their first for a major label. What is the sound of one man eating flapjacks? This, of course.
Kiss - Destroyer, Rock and Roll Over: Kiss were the greatest band any nine year old could love. Destroyer had the added decency to include "Detroit Rock City / King of the Night Time World" and the hilarious "God of Thunder." Gene Simmons eventually settled for "Calling Dr. Love," while Paul Stanley settled in as "Mr. Speed," a man who considers himself the Jiffy Lube of lovemaking.
20) Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life: Stevie's eighteenth album contains the songs "I Wish," "Love's In Need of Love Today," "Sir Duke" and "Isn't She Lovely?" It has been cited by artists such as Michael Jackson, George Michael, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as among their favorite albums. Do with this information what you will.
Angel - Helluva Band: The second album from Angel, a band discovered by Gene Simmons, is said to include songs that sound derivative of Kiss, ELP, Queen and Boston (which doesn't seem fair since Boston came out second!) Best known for having an awesome logo that read the same upside down! For some reasons their albums cost more than $1 to purchase.
18) Bernard Herrmann - Taxi Driver: Not only one of those movies that you watch late at night and identify with, but a movie with a soundtrack worth dying for. It's the one that killed its legendary film scorer Bernard Herrmann. (Watch out, an expanded edition of the soundtrack album came out on CD in 1998 with re-recorded tracks!)
The Alan Parsons Project - Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe's stories put to synthesizer by the guy who worked on Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. Sort of. It's not exactly a book on tape or anything. In fact, it sounds a bit like a Wings album without all that post-Beatles singing.
16) Patti Smith Group - Radio Ethopia: The first album credited to her band is also their best. She'd have greater commercial success with the next one, but who buys a Patti Smith album for hits?
Heart - Dreamboat Annie: Debut album that features "Magic Man," "Crazy On You" and singer Ann Wilson. Any resemblance to the band that terrorized radio in the 1980s with all that hairspray is purely accidental.
14) James Brown - Get Up Offa That Thing: James Brown has a record catalog that makes you hate your life. Four albums are credited as coming out in 1976, with Everybody's Doin' the Hustle and Dead on the Double Bump being the best title. It's his 114th solo album give or take twenty-five.
12) Bob Dylan - Desire, Hard Rain: Desire sold over two million copies making it his best-selling studio album. His first album back in 1962 sold 5,000 copies. If he wasn't Bob, he'd be lucky to be recording for SubPop these days.
Judas Priest - Sad Wings of Destiny: Before JP became like an automaton for clean, efficient heavy metal, they pulled off the eight-minute "Victim of Changes." Album's song titles are mostly one word - "Deceiver," "Tyrant," "Genocide" - making it look like a Pearl Jam album.
10) The Doobie Brothers - Takin' It To The Streets: Who doesn't love a band with so many members that an audience member could slip onto the stage and not be found out until the end of the gig? Most people know them from that episode of What's Happening? Right??
8) Wings - Wings Over America, At The Speed of Sound: I saved up all my money to buy the three-record set Wings Over America. I played it all weekend and went to school on Monday planning to buy another three-record set by Yes. My plans were averted when I realized I didn't have any more money. Sometimes poverty is beneficial!
Warren Zevon - Warren Zevon: Not his first album, but the first one to officially count. As if Lyme and Cybelle and all the other stuff never happened. Produced by Jackson Browne because they were friends and because Jackson could invite everyone in Los Angeles to play on it. They do. It's great.
6) Jonathan Richman - The Modern Lovers, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers: Let's hear it for confusion! It took four years for the first Modern Lovers album to be released and by that time Jonathan was onto a new version of the band who released an album with nearly the same title. Even if it wasn't true, they should've added a sticker on the newer one saying "New and Improved." We can handle it. We're used to being lied to.
Jethro Tull - Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll, Too Young To Die: Best album title ever. Ian Anderson denied it was autobiographical at the time, but it surely is now! Except for the parts about the motorcycle crash and the stuff after that. There were nine other songs on the album besides the title track. The radio didn't care.
4) Joni Mitchell - Hejira: Songs about the road and ice skating with Jaco Pastorius on fretless bass. Mitchell makes the last album of her career the majority of her fans like. From here on in, the fights start. And we thought Joni Mitchell was for mellowheads?
Steely Dan - The Royal Scam: With an album cover that was supposed to be for Van Morrison's unreleased 1975 album Mechanical Bliss, the wide-eyed Steelies gave us an album featuring an army of guitar players and songs about drug dealers (the great Owsley Stanley), listening to the Eagles, Haitian divorces and funny hats for sex. Future Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit is the inside man.
2) David Bowie - Station to Station: Bowie became the "Thin White Duke" because it beat becoming "The Fat Old Rocker." Station to Station, in its original form, was a six-track LP. One of the many deluxe versions is 22 tracks long. Did everyone suddenly find more time to listen to music or what?
Eagles - Hotel California: Yeah, yeah, "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." This sounds like my trash service. I can cancel their service anytime I want. The bills keep coming.