By Daniel S.
Welcome to part two of my very occasional series about great CDs in the Library collection which, sadly, have dwindled to only one remaining copy. This time, it’s the Seventies! It was the era of my childhood, and a time when you could actually hear an entire album played on the radio. Here are three titles that show three sides of that Seventies sound. Start placing holds on these lonely discs now!
ZZ Top Tres Hombres (1973)
I was lucky enough to be a clueless little kid right at the beginning of the MTV music video era. Three dudes from Texas with crazy beards and a cool red car came hurtling into my living room playing bluesy rock in a way I was totally unfamiliar with. ZZ Top scored a number of monster hits in the Eighties, but little did I know then that they had been at it for over a decade. I only “discovered” this album, their third, well after the fact, and it’s a fine slice of Southwest boogie. The song “La Grange” became their first hit, and has remained a staple of soundtracks and classic rock radio.
Kraftwerk The Man Machine (1978)
At the other end of the decade, and the other side of the musical world, is Kraftwerk. These Germans were like alien robots who somehow had landed their strange, sleek ship inside your radio. In retrospect, what they created was the blueprint not just for electronic music, but “alternative” rock as well. Just look at the mocking (or is it?) Soviet-style cover, something hundreds of cool-guy bands have aped since. And others (like Radiohead, for example) owe them royalty checks for pioneering the themes of modern consumerist depersonalization. I recommend you lose yourself in this simultaneously disturbing and comforting album today!
Sweet Action: The Sweet Anthology
Before I say more, I implore you all: Demand more Sweet! They’re really fun, trashy, and excellent. Just look at the picture on their Wikipedia page! This is a compilation from 2009, but the music herein came out between 1971 and 1980. I came to know the majesty of Sweet via a sample of “The Ballroom Blitz” on The Beastie Boys song “Hey Ladies” (on Paul’s Boutique). In the era before the Internet, it took me a while to discover more of their music. But once I did, it led me to a down the road to a whole new world of glam rock. I dare you not to crack a smile during the song “Block Buster”.