October 22, 2020

1973-01-05 – The Roselle Register

1973 01 05 The_Roselle_Register_Fri__Jan_5__1973_

The best way to start the new year is
to look back at the old. Year 1972 overall
was a disappointing one —- too many art-
ists put out second rate albums and there
was very little innovation in sound (ex-
cept for quadrophonic advances which
really is technology).

The move toward rock revival in-

tensified with many reissues of songs
and artists from the Fifties and some
modern rework of that material. Chuck
Berry’s resurgence as a hit-maker was a
welcome exception to the movement
back.
‘ Among all the blahs, however, there
were two fine albums and several that
were a cut above the rest. Except for the
first two listed, all the others in this my
second best-of-the-year list could have
been even better albums with a little
more work. The order is approximate of
their standing.

1. “ROCK 0F AGES,” The Band
(Capitol) -— a quality album in both
sound and material. Instead of just your
run of the mill greatest hits album, the
group got together to perform them live
and then added horns arranged by Allen
Toussaint to give them all a fresh sound.

Superb.
'2. “CLOSE TO THE EDGE,” Yes (At-

lantic) -— their best album yet. They
have weaved a cohesive blanket of sound

that is truly thrilling to hear. More
thought seems to have gone into this al-

bum than had in their previous com-
mercial successes.

3. “HARVEST,” Neil Young (Reprise)
-— Young remains the‘ best writer of
songs in the country-rock field that have
heart. “Heart of Gold” will be a classic.
Unfortunately, the album does contain
some excess too — such as the two songs
with the London Symphony Orchestra,
but the good so outweighs the bad.

4. “WHO CAME FIRST,” Peter
Townshend (Decca) —- with no new Who
album, Townshend carried the banner
forward himself. The rock is softer, more

Ian
Anderson

burn to date with social themes much

more evident. 'He ranges from outright
protest to hard love song to simple folk

tale.

8. “PAUL SIMON.” Paul Simon (Co-
lumbia) —— Simon’s first solo album was
a continuation of the fine songwriting
and singing he had shown in his work
with Art Garfunkel. “Mother and Child
Reunion” and “Me and Julio Down By
the Schoolyard” became big hits.

9. “FOR THE ROSES,” Joni Mitchell
(Asylum) -— ”much greater variety in in-
strumentation brought a new feel to this,
Miss Mitchell’s fifth album. As always
her lyrics heavily dip into her personal
life — giving them the power of realism.

10. “AMERICAN GOTHIC,” David
Ackles ( Elektra) -— this album, coming
after a two year absence from America,
came as a skillful surprise to most
people. Ackles has touched about every
musical base, from classical to pop, in
this stunning achievement. “Love’s
Enough” was one of the best love songs

of the year.

11. “MANASSAS,” Stephen Stills (At-
lantic) — after two unsatisfying solo ef-
forts, Stills finally came through. With
the great aid of Chris Hillman, “Ma-
nassas” became one of the best country-
rock albums of the year. Although it is
uneven in spots, there is enough good in
the two records to justify its inclusion in