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Any Major Albums of the Year: 1973

October 12th, 2023 Leave a comment Go to comments

Following from the mixes paying tribute to my favourite albums of 1971 (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and 1972 — and 1982 — I continue the series of 50th anniversaries of great LPs.

In 1973 I was not yet an LP buyer, much as I’d love to claim that I bought Can’s Future Days at the age of seven. But I have caught up with that year.

My Top 20 of 1973 (or Top 25, if we include the five bonus tracks) includes a number of acts at the beginning of their success: Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album, and also Hall & Oates, Linda Lewis, Billy Joel and Buckingham Nicks (who, of course, would become mega stars as members of Fleetwood Mac). Bruce Springsteen hit the road running with two albums (and then didn’t release another one for two years). John Prine issued his excellent sophomore album, though it was not as well received as his stunning debut two years earlier.

One can’t say that by 1973 Earth, Wind & Fire were obscure, but they were beginning to really break through with their two albums in 1973: Open Your Eyes and Head To The Sky. In keeping with my rule of only one album per artist per year, I picked the former for my Top 20.

Choosing between two albums can be tough. In the case of the recently late Linda Lewis, I really couldn’t decide between Lark and Fathoms Deep. Both are gorgeous albums, and one can do worse than to listen to them consecutively, as if they were a double LP. Gladys Knight & The Pips also released two album 1973. Both were in contention for my Top 20; if you merge the best tracks of these albums into one album, and you’d have an absolute soul classic. The same goes for the two Al Green albums of the year, and to some extent also the two Springsteen sets.

There are many other good albums that didn’t make the Top 25, but merit mention, by acts like Bobby Womack, The O’Jays, Ringo Starr, David Bowie, Freda Payne, The Temptations, and Claudia Lennear. 1973 was a golden year for soul music, clearly.

Aside from my indifference to Aladdin Sane, the obvious omission here is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. I must confess that I have never owned that album. Call me a Wish You Were Here man.

The best album cover of the Top 20 is that of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I have told the story of that cover, and also Recovered that double LP-set (meaning, each song consecutively in cover versions).

As I did for 1972 and 1982, I let the collection kick off with a track from my album of the year, which in 1973 is Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions. Or I might choose as my Album of the Year the Save The Children live set, which features the cream of the era’s black acts. But, you know, I don’t allow compilations…

So, what are your albums of 1973?As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-larked covers and the above text in an illustrated PDF. PW in comments.

1. Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing (Innervision)
2. The Isley Brothers – If You Were There (3 + 3)
3. The Spinners – Ghetto Child (Spinners)
4. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Las Vegas Turnaround (Abandoned Luncheonette)
5. Linda Lewis – Reach For The Truth (Lark)
6. Judee Sill – Soldier Of The Heart (Heart Food)
7. John Prine – Sweet Revenge (Sweet Revenge)
8. Gram Parsons – Streets Of Baltimore (GP)
9. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Tuesday’s Gone (pronounced ‘leh-’nérd ‘skin-’nérd)
10. Little Feat – On Your Way Down (Dixie Chicken)
11. Steely Dan – King Of The World (Countdown To Ecstasy)
12. The Fabulous Rhinestones – Freewheelin’ (Freewheelin’)
13. Buckingham Nicks – Crying In The Night (Buckingham Nicks)
14. Earth, Wind & Fire – Devotion (Open Your Eyes)
15. Donny Hathaway – Love, Love, Love (Extension Of A Man)
16. Billy Joel – If I Only Had The Words (To Tell You) (Piano Man)
17. Paul McCartney & Wings – Bluebird (Band On The Run)
18. Elton John – Harmony (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
19. Al Green – Stand Up (Call Me)
20. Marvin Gaye – Keep Gettin’ It On (Let’s Get It On)
Bonus Tracks
21. Sly & The Family Stone – Babies Making Babies (Fresh)
22. Roberta Flack – No Tears (In The End) (Killing Me Softly)
23. Isaac Hayes – Light My Fire (Live At The Sahara Tahoe)
24. Bruce Springsteen – Growin’ Up (Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.)
25. Albert Hammond – Everything I Want To Do (The Free Electric Band)


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  1. amdwhah
    October 12th, 2023 at 07:55 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. October 12th, 2023 at 14:28 | #2

    Thanks for this post, ‘amdwhah’.

    I like that concept of picking out album tracks in a ‘Top’ listing as it takes my mind back to my Web project of some two decades ago, ‘The From Sweet Sixteen To Twenty-One Today Top Twenty’, which is referred to at a post at ‘Adam’s Nostalgic Memories’ linked from this post at my ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ Fan Blog for Valérie Čižmárová. My apologies for the withdrawn YouTube video embedded therein.


    As I mention Dollar at that post there has recently been a Dollar revival tour, ‘Oh L’Tour’, featuring Thereza Bazar, with Stephen Fox taking David Van Day’s place and my brother and I agreed to make their date in nearby Chesterfield my birthday present for this year, where I went with my cousin who is also quite a Dollar fan.

    Talking of my brother, he is mentioned in the context of albums from 1973 at this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ post. You’ll see that David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ is one of his ‘Top Five’ studio albums of the 1970s, even though you are ‘indifferent’ thereto! So, you’re not an Alice Cooper fan, then, unlike my brother?


    I also followed up that post with this.


    Although it isn’t mentioned in my ‘Top Five’ in response to my brother’s ‘Top Five’ you may consider Eva Kostolányiová’s one-and-only studio album of her career as a 1973-related nomination from me. It’s quite a thought that, in less than three years’ time, she was no more, 1973 being her last completely healthy year. ‘Ruka s kvetom’ (‘The Hand With The Flower’), as an album track, is in my all-time ‘Top Ten’ of female Pop of the Soviet Satellite Nations, BTW. What a tunesmith Igor Bázlik is! – the present tense, since he is still alive, unlike the tragic ‘Evička’.


    I hope you enjoy the album!

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