The ’59 2018 #113: 180423
Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 18 – 1976.
Presence was the seventh studio album from Led Zeppelin, released by Swan Song Records on 31 March 1976. The album was a commercial success, reaching the top of both the British and American album charts, and achieving a triple-platinum certification in the United States, despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and being the slowest-selling studio album by the band (other than the 1982 compilation album Coda).
It was written and recorded during a tumultuous time in the band’s history, as singer Robert Plant was recuperating from serious injuries he had sustained the previous year in a car accident. Nevertheless, guitarist Jimmy Page describes Presence as the band’s “most important” album, proving they would continue and succeed despite the problems.
The ’59 2018 #081: 180322
David Bowie – Hunky Dory (1971)
This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 13 – 1971
Hunky Dory was David Bowie’s fourth studio, released on 17 December 1971 by RCA Records.It was his first release through RCA, one he kept for the next ten years. AllMusic describes Hunky Dory as having “a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie’s sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class”.
The album has received critical acclaim since its release, and is regarded as one of Bowie’s best works. Time chose it as part of their “100 best albums of all time” list in January 2010, with journalist Josh Tyrangiel praising Bowie’s “earthbound ambition to be a boho poet with prodigal style”.
The album cover, designed by George Underwood, was influenced by a Marlene Dietrich photo book that Bowie took with him to the photo shoot.
The Epic 2017 Project #315: 171111
10cc – The Original Soundtrack (1975)
The Original Soundtrack was 10cc’s third studio album. It was released in 1975 and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart. The Original Soundtrack includes the singles “Life Is a Minestrone”, and “I’m Not in Love”, the band’s most popular song.
The album was recorded and produced by the band at Strawberry Studios in 1974 with Eric Stewart engineering and mixing. The album received good reviews when originally released on LP and cassette by Mercury Records in March 1975. It has since been reissued on several occasions with bonus tracks and has been remastered. The artwork was designed by Hipgnosis and illustrated by artist Humphrey Ocean.
“I’m not in love’ also featured on ‘The awesome Mix – Vol. 1’ – the soundtrack to the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy – one of my favourite films of the 21st century so far.
The Epic 2017 Project #314: 171110
10cc – How dare you (1976)
How Dare You! is the fourth album by 10cc. Released in 1976, it included UK hit singles “I’m Mandy Fly Me” and “Art for Art’s Sake”. It was also the last 10cc album by the original line-up of Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme, with the latter two departing to work on their own musical projects, and eventually becoming music video pioneers. The album was the band’s third with cover artwork by the Hipgnosis creative team.
The Epic 2017 Project #294: 171021
Carly Simon – No Secrets (1972)
No Secrets is the third studio album by American singer and songwriter Carly Simon, released on November 28, 1972 by Elektra Records.
The album was Carly’s commercial breakthrough. It spent five weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and quickly went Gold, as did its lead single, “You’re So Vain”, which remained at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks, and topped the Adult Contemporary chart for two weeks. In the UK, both the album and it’s lead single reached No.3.
At the invitation of producer Richard Perry, Simon recorded the album at Trident Studios in London, where Perry was keen for Simon to work with engineer Robin Cable. Trident Studios had previously been the venue for the recording of notable albums including The Beatles’ White Album, David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Elton John’s second album.
The photograph for the cover, taken by Ed Caraeff, was shot in front of the Portobello Hotel, on Stanley Gardens in London’s Notting Hill.
The Epic 2017 Project #281: 171008
Santana – Abraxas (1970)
The playlist at a gig we went to in Brighton last night included Santana’s version of ‘Black Magic Woman’. Rather excellent timing as I’d already scheduled ‘Abraxas’ for an airing in the Epic 2017 series. So here it is.
Abraxas was Santana’s second studio album. Building upon the interest generated by their self-titled first album released in August 1969 and their highly acclaimed live performance at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969, the band released Abraxas in September 1970. The album’s mix of rock, blues, jazz, salsa, and other influences was very well received, showing a musical maturation from their first album and refining the band’s early sound.
In 2016, the album was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.
Black Magic Woman was written by Peter Green from the early Fleetwood Mac line-up. So here’s a vid of two 70-year olds performing it. Rather stunning stuff. Partly because it shows Mr Green back on form after the recluse years and partly because it shows that Mr Santana has never lost it! Enjoy.
The Epic 2017 Project #278: 171005
Sad Cafe – Facades (1979)
Sad Café formed in Manchester in 1976 and achieved their peak of popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for the UK Top 40 singles “Every Day Hurts”, “Strange Little Girl”, “My Oh My” and “I’m in Love Again”, the first of which was their biggest hit, reaching number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1979. The band also had two US Billboard Hot 100 hits with “Run Home Girl” and “La-Di-Da”. Frontman Paul Young went on to achieve greater chart success as the co-lead singer (with Paul Carrack) of Mike + The Mechanics
Facades was their third studio album released in 1979.