1973 – (Ron is 15)
1973 was my final year in Junior High (Middle School). I was not yet driving, so I had to depend on the kindness of others to get to record stores in Los Angeles. At that time, there were still plenty of record stores in Long Beach, where I lived. I was still listening to the FM radio, most notably KPFK-FM (90.7) – the late night DJ’s who played a lot of progressive rock etc. As always with this series, I’ll try to stick to the stuff that was actually important at that time – I promise not to include stuff that I got onto later, after wising up – that would be cheating!
I had somebody play me 10cc at the time, but – it didn’t click with me. I certainly got Acqua Fragile at the time – it was too good to be true – an Italian band that sung in English! Moby Disc in Van Nuys yielded Akritas, a Greek band – and, unfortunately, a Greek pressing. I was very much trying to find every Amon Duul II record that I could find. I heard the Axis (Barclay) LP on the radio and bought it immediately – and it still isn’t on legit CD (as far as I know) – another Greek band! Kevin Ayers “Banamour” was very much in evidence. Peter Banks “The Two Sides Of…” – a wonderful LP (from the $1.00 bin). It was a store in Long Beach that yielded the debut LP from French singer / songwriter Michel Berger. I finished with David Bowie – I was not terribly into “Aladdin Sane”. The 3rd Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come LP, “Journey” was a real favorite. Believe it or not, I heard James Brown “The Payback” on the radio and went for it! “Shoot Your Shot”! John Cale “Paris 1919” was had from the $1 bin – but where did I first hear it? Capability Brown “Voice” was had from the $1 bin – I had loved their debut “From Scratch” (still not on CD?). Caravan “For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night” – another one that was played for me – did I get the connection between them and Soft Machine? Maybe Italian fever was striking, as I definitely got Cervello “Melos” as an Italian import LP, and I bought it without hearing it – it looked right! I heard CMU “Space Cabaret” playing in Tower Hollywood – and it’s what I got to buy that day. I heard Billy Cobham “Spectrum” playing in a Long Beach record store, so that was that day’s purchase. Donovan “Cosmic Wheels” was very much in evidence. EL&P “Brain Salad Surgery” beguiled me, with it’s H.R. Giger cover. I certainly got Brian Eno “Here Come The Warm Jets” when it came out, but I did not carry on buying Eno LP’s after that. I was so traditional: The Faces “Ooh La La” was a real favorite with me. The final Family LP, “It’s Only A Movie” – the $1 bin again. Faust “Faust IV”, completing the set of amazing albums from my favorite band of the day. I certainly kept Fripp & Eno “(no pussyfooting)”, but it wasn’t my favorite King Crimson offshoot. Genesis “Selling England By The Pound” was the final Genesis LP I would buy at that time. Gentle Giant “In A Glass House” was certainly played on the late night FM radio; it was the first G.G. LP I ever bought or heard. Gong “Angel’s Egg” was recommended to me, and I went to it, easily. Bo Hansson “The Magician’s Hat” – another local Long Beach find. The debut Hatfield & The North LP was a favorite from the $1 bin – as was the debut Henry Cow LP, “Legend” – which remained a favorite throughout high school. All done with Jethro Tull by ’73, I never made it to “Passion Play” until years later. I really didn’t know what to make of King Crimson “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic” at first, but I quickly came around to it – they were my first big rock concert, too! Kraftwerk “Ralf & Florian” was very important to me – why isn’t it on CD in 2011? Robert Mason / Stardrive “Intergalactic Trot” – a fine Elektra label LP from the $1 bin. There were lots of comedy LP’s that interested me in 1973, but Monty Python “Matching Tie and Handkerchief” was the top of the heap. More ‘Italian mania’: Museo Rosenbach “Zarathustra” – found in a Long Beach hippie record store. Neu “Neu 2” – another local L.B. find. Mike Oldfield “Tubular Bells”, greatly enjoyed, per the rest of the universe. Le Orme “Felona E Sorona” – a great record with a great record cover – easy to want to buy a copy, Tower Hollywood. I certainly noted Pink Floyd “Dark Side Of The Moon”, as I had liked “Meddle” – but I don’t think I kept a copy. P.F.M. “Photos Of Ghosts” was certainly important for opening the Italian door for me (thus grandfathered in by Pete Sinfield of King Crimson). Alan Price “O! Lucky Man!” original soundtrack was very important, as I had seen and loved the film. Procol Harum “Grand Hotel”, yet another record from a favorite UK 60’s band. Proctor & Bergman “TV Or Not TV”, a superlative Firesign Theatre ‘solo’ effort. Achim Reichel “AR IV” (Zebra), heard on the late night FM radio. Il Rovescio Della Medaglia “Contaminazione”, most certainly heard on the late night FM radio (thanks, Mr. Greg Stewart). I had loved the debut album by Roxy Music, but I wasn’t so sure about “For Your Pleasure”, which I did not keep at the time (100% OK with it in 2011). Along with Bo Hansson, I think I first heard Samla Mammas Manna about ’73 or so – Bo Hansson was definitely first, but…scandanavian music was on it’s way to me. Klaus Schulze “Cyborg” was very important, as I had loved “Irrlicht” (Moby Disc again yielded my German 2LP copy of it). ’73 was likely my awakening to jazz, too – with Horace Silver “In Pursuit Of The 27th Man” – which I think I heard being played in a hippie record store (“Liberated Brother”, particularly). My brother sent me Pete Sinfield “Still” from Germany, so I have a German copy of it. More traditional: Ringo Starr “Ringo” was very important for me. The debut album by Tempest – from the $1 bin – was extremely important for me. I had been a huge Colosseum fan. Traffic “Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory” was massive, a 2nd die-cut cover, too. The 3rd Greek artist: Vangelis “Earth” – heard it on the FM radio. I was kind of done with Yes, but I still bought the “Yessongs” triple LP. I had been a Frank Zappa fan ever since his 2nd album, so I got “Overnite Sensation” as soon as it was released, but I think I preferred the Flo & Eddie years, at that time.
So these records, dear reader, are what I was listening to in 1973, and what was important for me. I became aware of loads of other 1973 releases in the ensuing years, but…here’s what was here then.
Did I overlook your 1973 favorites? Let me know!