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Do You Remember 1970?: Albums Celebrating Their 40th Anniversary, Part Three

List Of The Day

I swear to you I wasn't drunk when I compiled this third list from 1970. To think after three installments I've still left off anything by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Van Morrison and Randy Newman just goes to show how much better things were before we had this little Internet thing to discuss this crap on.  I liked you all better back when I didn't know how many cups of coffee you drank.

Chances are, you'd rather own a Toe Fat album anyway.

25) Merle Haggard--The Fightin' Side Of Me: Okie From Muskogee turned out to be such a great hit that Merle decided to write another song slamming hippies (squirrelly guys) and put it on another live album. This album isn't nearly as good, but the title track is awesome. I can't blame someone for hating pacifists. What fun is it if they won't fight back?

24) Joni Mitchell--Ladies Of The Canyon: The first nine Joni Mitchell albums are all pretty great. This is the one where she settles into Southern California and realizes she's been an idiot living in Canada freezing her butt off for so long.

23) Mungo Jerry--Mungo Jerry, In The Summertime: Should it surprise you that I've never heard this album? Like most of you, I've heard the single a million times. The radio is quite fond of playing it from June through August. Yet, for some reason, I've never been interested in finding out if the rest of their stuff is any good. I'd love to find out that the rest of their music sounds nothing like their hit and instead sounds like armored tanks crashing into one another, repeatedly.

22) Richie Havens--Stonehenge: Richie Havens has to be one of the luckiest guys alive. He ends up taking the stage at Woodstock while the other acts are late to arrive and he's been able to charge over $50 a head everytime he plays somewhere ever since, even though he's basically a covers act, with plenty of Beatles and Bob Dylan in his catalog. This album has a bunch of originals no one asks to hear. Nothing against Richie. But why should he make so much money when the guys from Quill...well, no one cares about Quill.

21) Birth Control--Birth Control: Any band that stops the human race from procreating is fine by me.  I'm just hoping that Global Warming is real and starts working superfast. If the world is going to end, I want to SEE IT.

20) Josephus--Josephus, Dead Man: I once convinced a friend of mine that this was early Judas Priest, before KK Downing joined the band. I mean, why not?

19) Genesis--Trespass: Phil Collins not only ruined this band, but he made it impossible for old fans to admit liking the band without having to go on with long explanations about how this isn't the Genesis that most people know. Personally, I love watching people feel like they have to explain their taste.  Next time someone asks you if you like Justin Bieber, tell them no, because you're a racist!

18) Toe Fat--Toe Fat: I once compared Wolfmother to this band. Pretty crazy, huh? So, anyone going to tell me what Toe Fat sound like? Or am I going to have to continue to guess?

17) Atomic Rooster--Atomic Rooster: Did you ever wonder what happened to former members of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown? Well, some went on to become Atomic Rooster, a band you don't hear much about these days..  Revisionism being so easy, let's just say Atomic Rooster were the most important band of their era. See? That was easy!

16) Iron Butterfly--Metamorphosis, Live: It's important to note that Metamorphosis was recorded by Iron Butterfly with Pinera and Rhino! You hear that? Pinera and Rhino! Yeah, pretty amazing. I didn't know the guy from the New Jersey hardcore band Bedlam recorded back that far.  If you love Pearl Jam, then you'll LOVE Iron Butterfly.

15) Phil Ochs--Greatest Hits: This is a great idea. This album is not a "greatest hits" collection at all.  Everyone should try this. Especially bands putting out their first album, since these days it might be the only album they ever release.

14) Uriah Heep--Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble: Much of their greatness was ripped off by Spinal Tap. But there is no '70s band more turgid, more leadfooted, more cumbersome, more dreary than Uriah Heep. If this doesn't make you want to listen to everything they recorded in the 1970s, well, you should become a banker. The money's better.

13) Screaming Lord Sutch--Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends: These days albums like this one go by the name Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band or Britney Spears, albums where the front-person exhibits no discernible musical singing skills and then hires great, famous people to cover it up. If I had the money, I'd have an awesome band.

12) The Guess Who--American Woman, Share The Land: The socialist plot for sharing the land and the shameless come-on to our women make me love this Canadian band just for existing. Had they only written a love song to a Kenyan-born Jihadist who masterminds an evil plot to take the car out of my driveway, I would think these guys understand me.

11) Ten Years After--Cricklewood Green, Watt: OK, OK, Alvin Lee's solo on "I'm Goin' Home" is pure wankery. But the songwriting on Cricklewood and the blues stomp on Watt is solid by me.  Does everything need a reason?

10) Albert Ayler--Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe: It's hard to think of Albert Ayler's music as being the healing force of anything. The agitating force, I would agree. Yahoo! knows I love agitation. It makes one feel alive. Even though it found Ayler dead by the end of November, 1970. (Album is sometimes credited as 1969, as it was recorded in August. For our purposes, it is 1970. Of course, by this logic, I could also put Supertramp's Breakfast In America on this list.)

9) Blue Cheer--The Original Human Being: Who cares what this album sounds like? Though I'm sure if it's Blue Cheer, we have a pretty good idea that it's heavy as hell. With a title like this, you have to buy it.  Though I did just read something about the album being "augmented by horns," which means: we went out of our way to suck.

8) Todd Rundgren--Runt: Todd Rundgren rarely makes this column and I feel bad about it.  I should probably find more ways to mention Nazz. But then I might be asked to write about Nas instead. Just assume all music is terrible and get a job counting money.

7) Fleetwood Mac--Kiln House: Peter Green was already gone. Christine McVie was on her way in. But they were still a blues band because they hadn't yet met up with those Californian devils who would force them to record cocaine-infused pop music and make millions of dollars. And then hire some hack from Creem to write their liner notes!

6) Melanie--Candles In The Rain, Leftover Wine: Melanie may be the greatest performer of all-time. Her versions of "Ruby Tuesday" and "Carolina In My Mind" are essential listening in households where there's still plastic on the loveseat.  Leftover Wine is her live album that's an awful lot like Kiss Alive!

5) Humble Pie--Humble Pie: Before Peter Frampton went on to a solo career where only one album mattered (Frampton Comes Alive), he was involved with this group where he was expected to share the profits. You can see how dumb this seems now.  But, apparently, there was a time when people didn't know that "Greed is Good." What did they eat? Saltines?

4) Faces--First Step: Of course "Disco Rod" and "Mall Rod" are his finest achievements, but Rod Stewart also had quite a run with the Faces where he pretends to be a rock singer. Truly hilarious stuff.  And really good, too.

3) Clarence Carter--Patches: I once played the title track at a friend's wedding and they're still together, so to hell with the family for hating on me for it. There's even a version of "Let It Be" here that sounds like what Paul McCartney first envisioned. Were the Beatles terrible or what?

2) Frijid Pink--Frijid Pink, Defrosted: Their version of the "House Of the Rising Sun" makes the Animals sound like they're playing in a tea parlor.  I haven't decided whether or not I love these guys, but they're loud enough. And quite possibly lousy enough!

1) Hawkwind--Hawkwind: Some people compare this first album to Pink Floyd, to which I say, great, now everyone buy it like they were buying Dark Side of the Moon.  Never mind that it's compared to early Pink Floyd. In fact, this album sounds like the soundtrack to Jersey Shore!

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