The Best of the 1970’s, part of The 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00. (The CD is currently $6.77 and is an AutoRip, which means with the CD purchase you’ll also get a FREE MP3 download of the entire album.)
At first quick glance, with its garishly colored cover, replete with appropriate 70s-esque font and the silhouetted shot of bell-bottomed people “getting down,” one would think that this album spans the disco/kitschy end of the 1970’s spectrum, but not so with this collection. Spanning from 1970 (with Edwin Scott’s urgent, explosive plea for ending global combat with the funky “War”) to 1976 (Nice Guy Finishes First guitar virtuoso Peter Frampton doing the voice box vox on the pop classic “Show Me The Way”), The Best of the 70’s contains 12 songs that run the gamut that while were hits and remain for the most part radio and pop cultural classics, (Rod Stewart’s lovely and pendulum swing of folk and rock blends “Maggie May,” Three Dog Night’s anthemic “Joy to the World,” Southern Fried Rock with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” or the political yet accessible to all “Wild World” and “What’s Going On”, by Cat Stevens and Marvin Gaye respectively) are also finely crafted slices of a musical era where things were reflected by a time in history that was still hungover from the fallout of a 1960s that pushed and pushed and pushed. By the time most of these songs were released, those times were rife with a sort of a collective impotence, but the music retained and foraged a vitality that made it memorable and a perfect aural reflection of a decade that on the surface seemed carefree and innocuous, but in reality, was anything but. Kind of like the music.
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Every Picture Tells A Story, one of Rod Stewart‘s great solo albums, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00.
A nice musical blend of rock, country, folk, and even some blue-eyed R&B, Every Picture Tells A Story, although it’s one of the earliest records in the salty-voiced singer’s career, still remains one of his best. Combing original songs like the title track, which has almost all of the aforementioned genre styles in its 6 minutes, the beautiful “Mandolin Wind,” and of course, the 1970s restless classic “Maggie May,” coupled with cover songs like Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow is a Long Time,” the early Elvis Sun Records period classic “That’s All Right,” and doing a complete 180 with the pumped-up cover of The Temptations hit “(I Know) I’m Losing You” and finally the musical morning dew on lush green leaves rendering of Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe,” there’s something here for everyone. For those listeners and fans of the long-time crooner who might only know of “Maggie May” and his later softer, ballads and disco hits, they’ll be pleasantly surprised the most at the sonic variety Every Picture Tells A Story has to offer. Many guest stars contribute to the album, Ronnie Wood (later and currently in The Rolling Stones), Kenney Jones, Ronnie Lane (both of whom played with Stewart in The Faces), and Martin Quittenton, whose lovely guitar work sets a presence over the entire album, and who remains, except to an armchair or otherwise musicologist, highly underrated.
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