Thursday, 4 June 2009

Seventies music mythbusting

For a long time I've been puzzled by the assertion that seventies music was rubbish. (Clothes, yes, that I'll admit.) Much of my favourite music originated in the 1970s - I couldn't see why people were so snide about it.

It's only recently I've realized the reason for this. Seventies pop music was garbage. Truly awful. (But then that's true for the pop of most decades.) Seventies rock music, which is what I'd always listened to, was a whole different kettle of fish.

I'm not going to burden you with a huge list, but think of Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis. Or, with a lighter touch, 10cc and Supertramp. If you're feeling a little folky, how about Jethro Tull, Al Stewart and Simon & Garfunkel? Or for sheer style, the remarkable music produced by Curved Air at their best. I think, if I had to pick my top three albums ever they would be Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, Supertramp's Crime of the Century and Curved Air's Second Album.

Of course it's still possible to attack music of that period. Some of it was overblown, grandiose and self-important. (But then, have you ever listened to Wagner?) Other examples were failed experiments. But much of it was great in a way that has rarely been equalled.

1 comment:

  1. I sorta went 'WTF!' for a second there - scanned it too quickly and thought you were saying that the linkes of Pink Floyd were garbage!

    A 'proper' read set me straight - and I agree with you.

    Wish you Were Here IS a great album, and so was Dark Side - although some of the later ones were superb too - even without Roger Walters - tracks like On the Turning Away and Comfortably Numb ... "when I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone. I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone"

    One of the sadest few lines - and one that have me determined to never have my son think.

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