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Any Major Albums of the Year: 1971 Vol. 2

November 9th, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here’s a second lot of “best albums of 1971”, following on from the Top 20 of that year’s LPs. On any other day, half of these albums might have made it into the Top 20, especially the Baby Huey album, which provides the stand-out track on this collection. Huey’s psychedelic cover of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come is quite extraordinary; I doubt that Cooke had any references to “funny cigarettes” in mind when he wrote the song.

The album, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend, was released posthumously: James Ramey, as Baby Huey’s mom knew him, died at 26 on 28 October 1970.

For the past 30 years, you’ve been lucky if a your favourite act released a new album every two years; in 1971 it was not uncommon that an act would release two a year. Two such acts feature on both volumes of the best albums of 1971: Isaac Hayes (Black Moses and the Shaft soundtrack) and Carole King (Tapestry and Music, the latter released as the year ended).

I might have afforded a much less known singer the same accolade: soul singer Margie Joseph, who released a pair of superb soul albums in 1971: Makes A New Impression and Phase II. I picked the latter, but there’s little to separate these two sets.

One album that just slipped into the Top 40 is Stevie Wonder’s Where I’m Coming From. It’s a mere training run for that incredible sequence of Wonder albums that would start with 1972’s Music Of My Mind.

Obviously I was too young to buy any of these albums in 1971 (as a five-year-old, I’d probably have bought something by Dutch child-singer Heintje). But by the time I was 18, I had three of them: Led Zep’s unnamed album (generally called IV), The Who’s Who’s Next?, David Bowie’s Hunky Dory. And possibly Little Feat’s eponymous debut on tape.

These two mixes serve as good companions to Any Major Hits from 1971 and Any Major Soul 1971.

As always, CD-R length, home-nostalgiaed covers, text in illustrated PDF. PW in comments.

1. The Who – Behind Blue Eyes (Who’s Next?)
2. Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop (IV)
3. Sly & the Family Stone – Family Affair (There’s A Riot Going On)
4. Shuggie Otis – Strawberry Letter 23 (Freedom Flight)
5. Baby Huey – A Change Is Going To Come (The Baby Huey Story)
6. Stevie Wonder – If Your Really Love Me (Where I’m Coming From)
7. Carole King – Carry Your Load (Music)
8. Rod Stewart – (Find A) Reason To Believe (Every Picture Tells A Story)
9. David Bowie – Oh! You Pretty Things (Hunky Dory)
10. Serge Gainsbourg – Ballade De Melody Nelson (Histoire de Melody Nelson)
11. Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat (Songs Of Love And Hate)
12. Little Feat – Strawberry Flats (Little Feat)
13. Don McLean – Empty Chairs (American Pie)
14. Dolly Parton – The Way I See You (Coat Of Many Colors)
15. Carpenters – Let Me Be The One (Carpenters)
16. The Stylistics – Betcha By Golly, Wow (The Stylistics)
17. Margie Joseph – That Other Woman Got My Man And Gone (Phase II)
18. Isaac Hayes – Theme from Shaft (Shaft)
19. S.O.U.L. – Soul (What Is It)
20. The Persuasions – Good Times (Street Corner Symphony)


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  1. amdwhah
    November 9th, 2021 at 10:00 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Marc Welch
    November 9th, 2021 at 20:46 | #2

    I graduated high school and started college in 1971. Most of the albums are very familiar, and the majority I had on vinyl, although a couple I didn’t discover until the internet burst forth opening new ways to listen to music. Thanks for sharing these memories.

  3. rat-a-tat-tat
    November 10th, 2021 at 16:59 | #3

    Excellent, as always. I’m gonna buy you some more coffees.
    Perhaps might you re-up your Soul ’71 you referenced to RG (I can’t access zippy).
    Thx for all you do.

  4. amdwhah
    November 10th, 2021 at 22:51 | #4

    For a coffee, I’d do anything. Here’s the link:

    If there are any other mixes you can’t get due to Zippy-zapping, let me know.

  5. rat-a-tat-tat
    November 11th, 2021 at 17:31 | #5

    Oh, wonderful. My security doesn’t allow me to download from zippy or pay RG for premium. But I can do RG slow speed, which is fine.
    Thx much for the work that you put into these… great fun to make old school physical CDs out of many of the mixes… alas, few companies are making CD players any longer, so I soon shall face a conundrum!

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