My favourite albums of the 1970s.

Hooray, it’s another lists-in-lieu-of-content, let’s-create-arbitrary-order-from-randomness-because-it-feels-good post!

I’ve weighted these lists as even-handedly as possible between objective and subjective considerations, and between “loved them at the time” and “didn’t discover them until later in life”. However, they’re basically subjective lists, because who wants to read some boring would-be tablets of stone anyway? We’ve got Q magazine for that!

Each list goes down until it feels right to stop, i.e. when some notional threshold of quality is reached. There’s no point in padding things out with crap to get to a nice round number, is there?

Some of these albums are compilations, which I have included (or indeed excluded) for all sorts of highly complicated and very boring personal reasons. If their presence offends you, then please delete and re-number accordingly.

OK, let’s tabulate!

1979:

1. Metal Box – Public Image Ltd
2. The Undertones – The Undertones
3. Off The Wall – Michael Jackson
4. Singles Going Steady – Buzzcocks
5. London Calling – The Clash
6. Broken English – Marianne Faithfull
7. Armed Forces – Elvis Costello
8. Fear Of Music – Talking Heads
9. Three Imaginary Boys – The Cure
10. Do It Yourself – Ian Dury
11. Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division
12. The Specials – The Specials
13. Eat To The Beat – Blondie
14. The Roches – The Roches
15. The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle – Sex Pistols
16. Setting Sons – The Jam

1978:

1. This Year’s Model – Elvis Costello
2. Music For 18 Musicians – Steve Reich
3. The Modern Dance – Pere Ubu
4. Parallel Lines – Blondie
5. The Scream – Siouxsie and the Banshees
6. Ambient 1: Music for Airports – Brian Eno
7. Another Music in a Different Kitchen – Buzzcocks
8. More Songs About Buildings and Food – Talking Heads
9. C’est Chic – Chic
10. Germfree Adolescents – X-Ray Spex
11. All Mod Cons – The Jam
12. Sir Henry at Rawlinson End – Viv Stanshall
13. Love Bites – Buzzcocks
14. Destiny – The Jacksons

1977:

1. Low – David Bowie
2. The Clash – The Clash
3. Aja – Steely Dan
4. New Boots & Panties – Ian Dury
5. Lust For Life – Iggy Pop
6. Leave Home – Ramones
7. Never Mind The Bollocks – Sex Pistols
8. Trans Europa Express – Kraftwerk
9. Live Etc – Gong
10. Zombie – Fela Kuti
11. Pink Flag – Wire
12. Saturday Night Fever (original soundtrack)
13. Rocket To Russia – Ramones
14. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
15. Love You – The Beach Boys
16. Marquee Moon – Televison
17. Suicide – Suicide
18. One World – John Martyn
19. Damned Damned Damned – The Damned
20. Rock ‘N’ Roll With The Modern Lovers – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

1976:

1. Black & Blue – Rolling Stones
2. Rastaman Vibration – Bob Marley & The Wailers
3. Ramones – Ramones
4. Odd Ditties – Kevin Ayers
5. Songs In The Key Of Life – Stevie Wonder
6. Shamal – Gong
7. Music From The Penguin Cafe – Penguin Cafe Orchestra
8. Stupidity – Doctor Feelgood
9. Good Morning – Daevid Allen & Euterpe
10. Station To Station – David Bowie
11. Howlin’ Wind – Graham Parker & The Rumour
12. Olias Of Sunhillow – Jon Anderson
13. Hejira – Joni Mitchell
14. Desire – Bob Dylan
15. Yes We Have No Mananas, So Get Your Mananas Today – Kevin Ayers
16. Teenage Depression – Eddie & The Hot Rods
17. Heat Treatment – Graham Parker & The Rumour
18. Wind & Wuthering – Genesis

1975:

1. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
2. The Hissing Of Summer Lawns – Joni Mitchell
3. Live – Bob Marley & The Wailers
4. A Night At The Opera – Queen
5. Horses – Patti Smith
6. There’s No Place Like America Today – Curtis Mayfield
7. Venus And Mars – Wings
8. Ommadawn – Mike Oldfield
9. Zuma – Neil Young
10. Indiscreet – Sparks
11. The Rotters’ Club – Hatfield & The North
12. Sweet Deceiver – Kevin Ayers
13. 24 Carat Purple – Deep Purple
14. Discreet Music – Brian Eno
15. Young Americans – David Bowie
16. Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy – Lady June
17. Ricochet – Tangerine Dream
18. V – Various Artists (Virgin sampler)
19. Velvet Donkey – Ivor Cutler
20. The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – Rick Wakeman

1974:

1. Inspiration Information – Shuggie Otis
2. Grievous Angel – Gram Parsons
3. Court & Spark – Joni Mitchell
4. Veedon Fleece – Van Morrison
5. Kimono My House – Sparks
6. Feats Don’t Fail Me Now – Little Feat
7. Queen II – Queen
8. Autobahn – Kraftwerk
9. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
10. Waterloo – Abba
11. The Hoople – Mott The Hoople
12. The Psychomodo – Cockney Rebel
13. Fulfillingness’ First Finale – Stevie Wonder
14. Natty Dread – Bob Marley & The Wailers
15. Pretzel Logic – Steely Dan
16. Old New Borrowed and Blue – Slade
17. Propaganda – Sparks
18. The Confessions of Doctor Dream and Other Stories – Kevin Ayers
19. Before The Flood – Bob Dylan
20. Tales from Topographic Oceans – Yes
21. You – Gong
22. June 1, 1974 – Ayers/Cale/Nico/Eno
23. Caught Up – Millie Jackson
24. Sheer Heart Attack – Queen
25. Now We Are Six – Steeleye Span
26. Relayer – Yes
27. Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Rick Wakeman

1973:

1. The Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
2. Innervisions – Stevie Wonder
3. Selling England By The Pound – Genesis
4. Call Me – Al Green
5. Bananamour – Kevin Ayers
6. Solid Air – John Martyn
7. Angel’s Egg – Gong
8. The Singles 1969-1973 – The Carpenters
9. Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
10. Flying Teapot – Gong
11. The Human Menagerie – Cockney Rebel
12. Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield
13. Stranded – Roxy Music
14. Band On The Run – Wings
15. Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player – Elton John
16. Aladdin Sane – David Bowie
17. Sladest – Slade
18. The Plan – The Osmonds
19. Matching Tie and Handkerchief – Monty Python
20. GP – Gram Parsons
21. Masterpiece – The Temptations

1972:

1. Close To The Edge – Yes
2. Whatevershebringswesing – Kevin Ayers
3. Ege Bamyasi – Can
4. Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
5. Transformer – Lou Reed
6. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars – David Bowie
7. Saint Dominic’s Preview – Van Morrison
8. Clear Spot – Captain Beefheart
9. Foxtrot – Genesis
10. Individually & Collectively – Steeleye Span
11. Harvest – Neil Young
12. Below The Salt – Steeleye Span

1971:

1. Camembert Electrique – Gong
2. Hunky Dory – David Bowie
3. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
4. Fragile – Yes
5. Tapestry – Carole King
6. Blue – Joni Mitchell
7. There’s A Riot Goin’ On – Sly & the Family Stone
8. Mythical Kings And Iguanas – Dory Previn
9. The Yes Album – Yes
10. Tupelo Honey – Van Morrison
11. Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy – The Who
12. Meddle – Pink Floyd
13. Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
14. Bananamoon – Daevid Allen

1970:

1. Shooting At The Moon – Kevin Ayers & the Whole World
2. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
3. Moondance – Van Morrison
4. Greatest Hits – Sly & the Family Stone
5. Andy Williams’ Greatest Hits – Andy Williams
6. Atom Heart Mother – Pink Floyd
7. After The Goldrush – Neil Young

Over to you. What other 1970s album should I have included? Tell me in the comments, please…

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