Dewinged
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11.27.20 Dewinged's AOTY 1980 11.18.20 Dewinged's AOTY 1970
09.26.20 Officially Papa Dewi 09.19.20 PS5 sold out in one minute
03.22.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 WINNER: 👑TRIFOLIU 03.21.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 ✨SEMIFINALS✨
03.20.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 🍑R6 / OH GLORIOUS03.19.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [💀R5 // THE UNDYI
03.18.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [💥R4 // THE BRAVE03.17.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [⚡R3 // PART 2⚡]
03.17.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [🔥UNTIE🔥]03.16.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [🔥R3 // PART 1
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03.13.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [R2 // DIV1 vs DIV2 03.12.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [R2 // DIV1 vs DIV2
03.12.20 [DV4 UNTIE] Update: Closed03.10.20 MARCH MADNESS 2020 [R1 // DV4]
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Dewinged's AOTY 1970

I did something completely insane this year, and I want to share it with you all. Details below!
100Kenji Endo
Niyago


Release Date: Some day in April, as sakura flowers fell on his ronin hat
Label: URC
Genre: Japanese singer songwriter

Kenji Endo is a singer songwriter from Ibaraki that loves cats, a lot. And that's all I know of him. "Niyago" was his first album, a lovely collection of Japanese folk tunes inspired by Bob Dylan and MC5. Songs like "Hontodayo" will surprise any fan of the genre, while songs like "Kimi ga hoshii" will achieve exactly the opposite.
99The Incredible String Band
I Looked Up


Release Date: April
Label: Elektra
Genre: Folk

It doesn't get more hippie than the ISB. I am not familiar with the rest of their discography, but there's certainly nothing incredible about this band, or the strings used on this recordingOn the other hand, Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull drummer Dave Mattacks plays in some tracks, and that's always delightful.
98Yesterday's Children
Yesterday's Children


Release Date: At the peak of summer, in August
Label: Map City
Genre: Hard Rock

Although there's a guy that looks like Zappa cosplaying a baby in the cover, and at least three guys in the band follow Zappa's raging moustache and goatee fashion, this is no Mothers of Invention. Expect loads of fuzz and overdrive, Plant-like vocals (at times) in a lower scale and unforgivable mixing levels. "What of I" is the clear highlight.
97Poco
Poco


Release Date: May 6th
Label: Epic / CBS
Genre: Country rock

This Californian 5-piece, who sport one of the most unhinged covers of the year, featured members of the Eagles at some point. They might be on this album, they might be not, and honestly, I don't give a damn. Plain and simple country rock. It is really well produced and some tracks like "You Better Think Twice" will brighten your morning as you clean the stables.
96Blue Mountain Eagle
Blue Mountain Eagle


Release Date: May 5th?
Label: ATCO / Atlantic
Genre: Country Psychedelic Rock

Blue Mountain Eagle came to be after a name debacle regarding Buffalo Springfield with some very angry Neil Young. They tried to go by New Biffalo Springfield, but you simply don't mess with Neil Young. In fact, they were terminated after this one. The first two tracks are spectacular, specially "Yellow's Dream", mostly due to the band's prowess in doing vocal harmonies. Unfortunately, most of the album flats out after that with a stale mix of country rock and fuzz, with dim glares of psychedelia.
95Pete Brown and Piblokto!
Thousands on a Raft


Release Date: Some time in October
Label: Harvest / Repertoire / EMI
Genre: Progressive AND / OR Hard Rock

Pete Brown, who some of you may know as the guy that wrote lyrics for Cream, couldn't manage to keep the same line-up of musicians for too long. Hence, here's a strange case of a band with 2 albums released in 1970 and vanishing the next year. This is the one that doesn't suck. It is based heavily on Joe Mullen's guitar work and Dave Thompson's keyboard acrobatics, with the real meat being the two long proggy tunes in the middle. It also features a song titled "Got a Letter from a Computer", which proves Pete Brown was actually a time traveler.
94Pink Floyd
Atom Heart Mother


Release Date: October 2nd, hence the cow
Label: Harvest
Genre: Sit down, it's gonna take a while

Much have been written about Pink Floyd's identity crisis after parting ways with Sid Barrett, and what do you do when you are in the studio with another 3 hippies like you, lots of drugs, money and no ideas? Exactly, you call a motherfucking orchestra. This album features: An opening suite of 23 minutes, as a snack, weightless folk songs like "If", tender psyche classics like "Fat Old Sun", a confusing number like "Summer'68", and finally a 12 minute field recording dressed as prog rock track, featuring Alan frying his own eggs.
93Funkadelic
Funkadelic


Release Date: February 24th
Label: Westbound
Genre: Funk (no shit)

I gotta be in the mood for Funkadelic; in the mood for George Clinton's sexual innuendos in stereo, the LSD fueled somnolent beat and that crazy attitude that transpires throughout the album. Clinton would still tell you this is a must listen, and that "he will do you no harm".
92Caravan
If I Could Do It All Over Again...


Release Date: September 4th
Label: Decca
Genre: Progressive Rock

At the mid-tier of the Canterboury Scene sits Caravan. This spawn of the Sinclair brothers practice a melodic, gentle form of progressive rock, which sounds as exciting as your birthday party at the nursery home. It's adorable, a sweet, soft slice of prog for you, toothless mummy, so you don't have to chew the bones of other more challenging acts like Soft Machine. Listening to it will make you age at absurd speed. Fun fact, there's a 14 minute track, maliciously positioned at the end, titled "Can't Be Long Now". Pure fucking evil. (It's also one of the best tracks.)
91Curtis Mayfield
Curtis


Release Date: September
Label: Curtom / Buddha (not the God, the label, I mean)
Genre: Funk & Soul

Curtis Mayfield was a fucking boss and you'll only need 20 seconds into "Curtis" to acknowledge it. Not many artists could get away with introducing an album screaming: ""SISTERS! NIGGERS! WHITEYS! JEWS! CRACKERS!, IF THERE'S A HELL BELOW, DON'T WORRY, WE'RE ALL GOING THERE!" I don't want to think about the consequences such intro would have had today. What follows is a boiling soup of funk-tinged psychedelia and big band calisthenics which are... interesting. Mandatory jams include "We the People Darker than Blue" and the lengthy "Move on Up". The rest of the songs in "Curtis" are... well, ok.
90Shirley and Dolly Collins
Love, Death and The Lady


Release Date: End of spring, around May.
Label: Harvest
Genre: Pastoral Folk

Be prepared, sword in hand, and helmet on, for a stroll through the English medieval soundscapes of the Collins sisters. The instrumentation is what makes this album an absolute delight for audiophiles. Collin's somber tone and strict chord progressions can get tiresome after some tracks, but the foreign, unusual array of sounds that spring in the background keeps your ears glued to the sisters' brand of traditional British folk.
89The Supremes
Right On


Release Date: Around May, only Diana knows
Label: Motown
Genre: Funk, Soul

Honestly, you have to be dead inside to not like The Supremes. Now, don't get me wrong, I know as much of the Motown scene as I know of quantum physics, but kill me with a coffee spoon if these girls weren't bringing some much needed sun and sugar to 1970. As war rages on in Vietnam, Mary Wilson, Jean Terrell and Barbara Martin enter the final phase of an 18 years career. The absence of Diana Ross, who had moved on to a succesful solo career is felt throughout the album, but cuts like opener "Up the Ladder to the Roof" or "Baby, Baby" carry one of the last releases of The Supremes with grace and, why not, a little swag.
88Syd Barrett
The Madcap Laughs


Release Date: January 3rd
Label: Harvest / EMI
Genre: Singer Songwriter / Psychedelia


Out of respect for the man himself, and as a Pink Floyd stan in some measure, I have tried to get into this album relentlessly throughout the year. I made progress, and I mean it as understanding the high praise Barett's debut gets. There's a flurry of great ideas here, often brought to life by Sid's narcotic voice, but his performance at times, regardless of reasons why, snaps me out like a bucket of ice cold water during a peaceful winter nap. Even more depressing is David Gilmour's work at the controls trying to capture the madness happening in the studio, while trying to shape a proper album, no matter how hard Barrett makes it. "The Madcap Laughs" is the work of a genius indeed, so far gone that only a few privileged minds can read into it and find enjoyment, but unfortunately, it seems I'm not one of them.
87T. Rex
A Beard Of Stars


Release Date: March 22nd
Label: Blue Thumb / Polydor
Genre: Folk

I didn't know much about T Rex aside the obvious "20th Century Boy" and Marc Bolan's splendid hair, which you may appreciate in the cover, in full splendor. Going into "A Beard of Stars", the first thing that struck me was how much Bolan's voice reminded me of Destroyer. Not only his tone but the way they both break their voice at times, it made me go into full research mode and, to no one's surprise, they are not even remotely related. Aside some stark percussion elements, the whole album is based on folk songs adorned with extra elements sometimes and dominated by Bolan's voice, which is not exactly pleasant, but it's great in small doses.
86The Doors
Morrison Hotel


Release Date: During a cold February night
Label: Elektra
Genre: Whatever Morrison feels like that day

I will dig my own grave on this site saying this, but the truth is that I hate the fucking Doors. Well, not exactly, let me explain. From the moment "Roadhouse Blues" opens the album, I feel a burning anger, a feeling that can only be described as an spontaneous ulcer. I feel insulted by that blues beat, man, it just pisses me off for some reason! Then "Waiting for the Sun" kicks in and it just mesmerizes me, I'm a different person during those 4 minutes. If Jim would tell me: "Here, Dewi, touch my soft hair chest" I would totally fall for it, you know.
85Parliament
Osmium


Release Date: July
Label: Invictus
Genre: Funk Soul Rock and Psychedelia = Funkadelic

Confusing album, very weird, I mean these seem to be outtakes from Funkadelic (or at least it was made by the same folks), and that album is already strange enough. The drumming is pretty insane though, and among all the nonsense that surrounds the album there's a lot of solid funk, psychedelia and even gospel to vibe to.
84Steve Miller Band
Number 5


Release Date: July
Label: Capitol
Genre: More of that sweet Country rock with a pinch of psychedelia

Abracadabra! Steve Miller's 5th release finds a nice balance between country and psychedelia. Check the Midnight Tango if you are a fan of his mid-70s stuff. And remember, "it's not silly, to eat hot chili". Ayayay, Steve, you really liked to get dirty in Mexico, didn't you, old rascal?
83Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Deja Vu


Release Date: March 11th
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Folk Rock


Impossible to resist the first vocal harmonies of "Carry On". Godly stuff if you ask me. There's a reason why they earned the supergroup even among their contemporaries, after all. With such a line up I was expecting the holy grail of folk rock. Well, it's good but not... that... The rest of the album sounds like the kind of band would play Woodstock at 7am while the audience struggles to stay awake. "4 + 20" is a folk delicacy though, and "Country Girl" is pure epic, but aside that, I doubt I will revisit this in the future.
82Trapeze
Medusa


Release Date: November
Label: Threshold
Genre: Hard Rock

Don't let them the opener fool you. This is some proto-metal ala Black Sabbath from the moment the second track, "Jury" blasts in. But again, don't let "Jury" fool you either, cause the rest is pretty much heavily based on country and blues rock. I guess no one could really escape the trend in America.
81The Beatles
Let It Be


Release Date: May 18th
Label: Apple
Genre: I bet you don't really know

Well this is it. A big one, the final album of the immortal Beatles. As a confessed Beatle-maniac, I've always struggled to convince myself that the Beatles went out with a bang with this album, but the truth is that they didn't. Sure, "Across the Universe" might be one of my favorite Beatles' songs, ever, and probably the pinnacle of psychedelic folk, but what else? The title track has been carved in your brain by the media while you slept, then it was carved in your kids' brains, and then in their kids' kids' brain, but in reality, it's just an ok track. The rest is almost embarrassing, so I'll leave it here, while I jam "Across the Universe" on repeat. (As a little addendum after RTR comments made me reflect on it, yes, "Get Back" is also a banger.)
80Cactus
Cactus


Release Date: July, couldn't be otherwise
Label: Atco / Atlantic
Genre: Blues Rock

Fire this baby up and get shattered by Carmine Appice's maniac drumming and Jim McCarty's mind-piercing solos. Tim Bogert doesn't fall behind with his bass lines, neither does Rusty Day with his rowdy vocals and crazy harmonica fills. Aaaand that's about it. There's nothing like "Parchman Farm" among the rest of the tracks. What follows is just... blues. Imagine Led Zeppelin, but without that special "it" that made them one of the most revered bands of the 60s and 70s. And it's a shame though, "You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover" comes close to gain the opener's mojo, and the closer also bangs, mostly because of Appice's drumming, but the rest is utterly forgettable.
79Czeslaw Niemen
Niemen Enigmatic


Release Date: January 19th
Label: Polskie Nagrania Muza
Genre: Organ based progressive rock

A hidden gem of Polish progressive rock. The first track opens as the boss theme from a Dark Souls game, with an ominous choral accompanying Niemen's church Hammond on its first moments until his vocals erupt with a surprising soulful vibe. "Enigmatic", honoring its title, is a strange album, even for 70s prog standards, dominated by religious themes, soul and even jazz.
78Tangerine Dream
Electronic Meditation


Release Date: Some day in early summer, around June.
Label: Ohr
Genre: Ambient, psychedelia

As the new decade began to unfold, Germany was on fire. Kraut rock, (yes, yes, the rock of idiots) was starting to shape up (or unshape, more specifically), deconstructing the structures and bending the rules of improvisational music, challenging listeners and spectators and forcing them to partake in an intellectual, communal form of sonic masturbation that no one was really, actually, enjoying. Edgar Froese was an expert in making the audience believe they were transcending though. He was a madman, obsessed with surrealism and the works of Salvador Dalí. He painted with his guitar like someone writes a name while peeing. This been said, Tangerine Dream's debut is a very different Tangerine Dream from the one that recorded ""Phaedra", but worth grabbing from the bin section (regardless of condition, it sounds like shit anyway).
77Creedence Clearwater Revival
Cosmo's Factory


Release Date: July 25th
Label: Fantasy
Genre: Blues Country Rock

No one can escape the Creedence, specially in the US. On the radio, on a movie soundtrack, at some point in your life, you have heard them through your speakers, you just don't know it. The fathers of southern rock if you may. John Fogerty's guitar slides in the mid-section of "Ramble Tamble" never fail to make my mind spin. Blues, boogie rock, twist, no matter what branch of rock'n'roll you can think of, CCR excels at it. When I feel like wearing tight cowboy pants and my boots covering my ankles, this is the album I throw on.
76The Stooges
Fun House


Release Date: Some day in early Autumn, Iggy doesn't remember
Label: Elektra
Genre: Garage, Punk

Sid Vicious was a pre-pubescent teen when this album was released. Let that sink for a minute. This is a nasty, brain-smashing sucker punch of proto-punk fueled by the incombustible energy of Iggy Pop. The Stooges were the real deal, and in going to one of their live shows you were probably accepting the fact that there was a high chance that Iggy's boot would find your face. But such was life back in 1970, and "Fun House" channels that energy with astonishing precision, I mean, hear Iggy scream in "T.V. Eye", the man is about to reverse his fucking skin. You can also hear him sniffing the whole freaking mic in the first seconds of "Dirt". Great record. Also, at the time of writing this, Iggy is the only Stooge alive. Makes you think.
75Blue Cheer
The Original Human Being


Release Date: Around September
Label: Philips
Genre: Heavy Rock

After four albums released at the end of the 60s that helped to redefine the future sound of hard rock and heavy metal, Blue Cheer opted for trying new things out on this their fifth release. Although the horns in "Love of a Woman", or the sitar that dominates "Babaji", didn't work as a replacement for the ferocity of the band's beginning. "The Original Human Being" is probably the Cheer's most interesting album, but also one that marked the decline that led to them splitting a year after. Believe me when I say, this is worth a buck only for that sitar tune.
74Free
Fire and Water


Release Date: June 26th
Label: Island
Genre: Hard Rock

"All Right Now", which closes this album, is the only thing I've heard of Paul Rodgers and co., and honestly if it wasn't for the ASCAP's one million airplays club single, Free would have disappeared in the sands of time. The rest of the album is a very laid back brand of soft rock, really, not very exciting, although it works if you are in a chill mood. Contrary of what i thought, it's quite dark and and spacious, with a lot of air between the instruments and great production. "All Right Now" is an all-time jam, for sure.
73Bloodrock
Bloodrock 2


Release Date: November 7th, I guess they all loved Mass Effect
Label: Capitol
Genre: Hard Rock

Texas' Bloodrock really, really liked Deep Purple, and it shows. Their eponymous second album, grew to something else entirely though, and one song is the sole responsible. Past the tremendous opener that is "Lucky in the Morning", and a few inconsequential tracks, meet "D.O.A." Now for most of you, young buds of the Sputdom, this won't pass as a terrible memory of your childhood, but for you, older skins, you will remember the terrible tale of that passenger describing the last moments before his plain crashes against against something in the air. The track dominated the charts for a while, like a curse, getting radio air time and terrifying American audiences with its somber bass line, the entrancing guitar sequence and Jim Rutledge's spooky vocals. The album is alright, but definitely give "D.O.A" a chance and witness how Black Sabbath weren't the only ones staring into the abyss.
72The 5th Dimension
Portrait


Release Date: May 9th
Label: Bell
Genre: Soul

Opener "Puppet Man" overshadows the rest of the album and it's a damn shame. The voices of Florence LaRue Gordon and Marilyn McCoo Davis are the driving force behind this 5th effort. The gang had the added difficulty to top best-seller "Age of Aquarius", and despite including impactful tunes like said "Puppet Man", "Feeling alright?" or "Dimension5", the abundance of slow songs and that 10 minute political medley bring this down a notch.
71Ten Years After
Cricklewood Green


Release Date: April 17th
Label: Deram
Genre: Blues Psychedelic Rock


The blood and soul of Alvin Lee (RIP, 2003). This is the 5th album of Ten Years After, inspired by a plant grown by a friend of the band that, simply put, made things to their brain. The album was released after their emblematic appearances at Woodstock'69 and Isle of Wright one year later, no small feat. The material ranges from the by-the-book blues feel of "Me and My Baby" and "Year 3,000 Blues", which I usually tend to skip cause... "blues, pft, am I right?", to psychedelic gems like "50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain".
70Egg
Egg


Release Date: March 13th
Label: Deram
Genre: Progressive Rock

Guitar-less, light prog from the Canterbury scene. Far from being among my favorite prog albums of the year, it's still a decent listen. The fact that the keyboard takes the spotlight allows for the rhythm section to shine, while Mont Campbell's haunting voice carries most of the tracks. I would recommend this one to the hard heads of the genre, otherwise, stay away from it. The album ends with a 20 minute epic that, well, it's as crazy as snooze-inducing, depending on how intoxicated you are.
69Aretha Franklin
Spirit In The Dark


Release Date: August 24h
Label: Atlantic / Rhino
Genre: Soul

Not much I can add to the figure of Aretha Franklin, probably the most important soul singer of all times. With the exception of "Chain of fools" and other popular songs of her, I had never sit through a whole album, so this one seemed like a good way to start. It's all I expected, a display of Aretha's incredible voice with songs that would be tremendously average if they were sang by someone else.
68The Ides of March
Vehicle


Release Date: Spring
Label: Warner
Genre: Progressive Jazzy Rock

In the vein of bands like Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago's The Ides of March found success with hit single "Vehicle", but the hidden gem, which is really the elephant in the room, is a cover of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby", prog style, stretched along 10 minutes. The core of the album is blues rock with a generous amount of brass and the raspy voice of Survivor's Jim Peterik, who as you know, sports a magnificent purple hair well into his 70s.
67Hiro Yanagida
Milk Time


Release Date: November
Label: P-Vine
Genre: Progressive Rock

Absolutely crazy Japanese underground prog, helmed by the heavily distorted Hammond of Mr. Yanagida, the incredible guitar play of Kimio Mizutani and the unrelenting drum and bass machinery that are Tsunoda Hiro and Ishikawa Keiju. Just let the opener roll over you like a bulldozer and enjoy the whimsical folk of tunes like "When She Didn't Agree" or "Yum". Defiant of the social rules of a country that hadn't opened up yet to the outside world, Yanagida and co. managed to import the different styles of jam rock that were becoming popular all over the world and incorporate them in their sound with outstanding fidelity and musicality.
66Jefferson Starship
Blows Against the Empire


Release Date: Between August and October
Label: RCA
Genre: Hippy rock

Paul Kantner might have bitten more than he could chew when laying the grounds for the upgrade from an airplane to a starship. Sure, he managed to get names like Graham Nash and David Crosby and, thank God, Grace Slick stuck with him on his new adventure. But this feels like it sounded much better on paper. "Let's Go Together" is the clear highlight, an impressive tune in all regards. The rest? Well, it's alright I guess. The Vietnam war is the main theme, and as much as I respect protest music, I use it as escapism, so the last thing I need is to be constantly reminded of what's happening at the other side of the puddle. The closer "Starship" is also a pretty decent jam, mostly thanks to Grace's incredible harmonies.
65The Temptations
Psychedelic Shack


Release Date: March 6th
Label: Gordy / Tamla Motown
Genre: Funk

That knock on the door... that creepy sound of the shack's door opening up, and then BOOM! Funk awesomeness out of nowhere. I've lost count of how many times I've heard the opener this year. What a massive JAM. The rest of the album holds up decently, although nothing reaches the heights of the opener. One of my favorite funk albums of the year, and definitely easier to digest than the indomitable Funkadelic.
64The Mothers of Invention
Weasels Ripped My Flesh


Release Date: August 10th
Label: Bizarre / Reprise
Genre: Progressive avant-jazz madness

Listen, I love Frank Zappa as much as the next guy, but you gotta admit that the man had a very twisted sense of humor. Proof is this very album. It's a stroke of genius but also a very bad joke. I am actually surprised they managed to stay focused for five minutes to record a blues track without no one snapping. You gotta jam stuff like "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask" to understand what I'm talking about, but you gotta be cult level to actually enjoy it. The atmosphere of this record is so thick, there's so much smoke, that you can ever hear someone coughing before entering "Get a Little". In spite of the chaotic evil nature of the album, "My Guitar Wants to Kill your Mamma" is a total jam.
63Jethro Tull
Benefit


Release Date: April
Label: Island / Reprise / Philips
Genre: Progressive Folk Rock

We all know Jethro Tull, hell we even had a sputbro named Jethro (come back prog brother!). I've never explored anything prior "Thick as a Brick", so curiosity and my dad being a hard JT fan dragged me to "Benefit". The band's third full length is as good as I expected but it didn't make wow me as I thought it would. Aside from the opener, most of the songs are short bursts of 2 or 3 minutes. Easy to traverse, succulent prog from the best flute in the business.
62Joni Mitchell
Ladies of the Canyon


Release Date: April 17th
Label: Reprise
Genre: Folk

Before your Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Bakers, singer songwriters like Joni Mitchell were already strumming the heart's strings of the world. Proficient in both guitar and piano, Mitchell's compositions are simple but effective, carried by her gifted voice and impressive singing. You could argue she was just another hippy venting about her frustration towards the shitty world the boomer generation was building for themselves, but at least she made it sound wonderful.
61Grand Funk Railroad
Closer To Home


Release Date: June 15th
Label: Capitol
Genre: Blues Rock

You've read almost 40 entries of this list so you may think I actually know what I'm talking about, but the truth is: I don't. Proof is that I've never heard a single chord of GFR until this year. Sure, they are as popular as peanut butter but yet, another one of those bands I've never crossed paths with. Actually, I always thought they were a funk band, I wonder why. Anyway, great album, it definitely stands out from the very abundant number of blues rock bands of the time. Opener and closer are immense.
60Embryo (GER)
Opal


Release Date: Some time, in 1970, I think
Label: Ohr
Genre: Progressive Rock

Another vynil collector's nightmare. Prepare to spend your son's university savings for a copy of this one. And it's somehow not surprising because honestly, the Germans had something special going on. A mix of progressive rock with eastern music influence and instrumentation, muffled production to make those analog speakers dance like the hips of Mick Jagger and extraordinary musicianship. Fattest bass in the business too, damn.
59Nucleus
Elastic Rock


Release Date: June
Label: Vertigo
Genre: Jazz & Prog

In weak days, those that my migraine wouldn't subside no matter how much ibuprofen I'd ingest, Nucleus works as a musical solution. Softer than the crazier, harsher jazz rock of Soft Machine or Egg, Nucleus' incursions into the depths of the genre were enhanced with extra instrumentation, soyou¡ll find sections of cello, violin, oboe and flute blending with the usual guitar, bass drum combo, and forming extensive unorthodox jazz jams that border line blues and progressive rock.
58The Move
Shazam


Release Date: Around September
Label: A&M / Stateside / Polydor
Genre: Hard Rock / Progressive Rock

I can't really compare "Shazam" to anything else released the same year. It is unusually heavy, but also rather strange. The first and second tracks sound like 2 different bands. Then you got a progressive rock wonder like "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited" with acoustic arrangements mid-track and great guitar playing by Electric Light Orchestra's Roy Wood. Then, on the other hand, you have something like that sitar mad jam at the end of "Fields of People". An album with a lot of range and engaging songwriting The constant banter between members adds to the live feel of the recording. Horrible cover, by all means, but great record nonetheless.
57Steeleye Span
Hark! The Village Wait


Release Date: In the summer, some time in June, that's why they are wearing a coat
Label: RCA / Chrysalis
Genre: Progressive Folk Rock


Forming a band with two married couples and moving to a house all together was never a good idea. The sadly brief line-up that recorded "Hark! The Village Wait" had a good taste of it, and it's a miracle that they managed to: first, finish the recording, and second, making such a good album. Born from the ashes of Fairport Convention, and following the tragic accident that ended the life of drummer Martin Lamble, Steeleye Span was crucial in the British folk revival that was raging across the country. The album features the combined voices of Maddy Prior and Gay Woods, with traditional folk instrumentation meeting the electric sound of increasingly popular progressive rock. "The Blacksmith" is probably my to-go track here, along with "The Blackleg Miner".
56Locomotive
We Are Everything You See


Release Date: February 1st
Label: Parlophone / Zap!
Genre: Progressive Rock

Yet another prog band that rose and fell on the first album. We lost a good asset with this one. Locomotive's only album has equal amounts of prog rock than jazz, with some sections provided with plenty of brass and others flirting with psychedelia. Check the third track, "Now is the End, the End is When" and you'll see how they jump from one thing to the other at will. It's pretty amazing. A shame they didn't get to release more music.
55The Pentangle
Cruel Sister


Release Date: Mid-year
Label: Transatlantic / Reprise
Genre: Folk

Along with Steeleye Span, Fotheringay and Fairport Convention, Pentangle are another one of the most important names of the prog tinged folk revival that was happening around Britain at the start of the new decade. Fronted by the sweet voice of Jacqui McShee, who even has her own a cappella just 2 tracks in (that's how good singer she was), this is another record worth picking up if you feel like exploring the genre. Bert Jansch and John Renbourn also get singing spots in some tracks, so don't forget to check those if male voices are more your thing. The title track has a nice balance of both, plus a nice medieval feel to it. As many other albums in 1970, "Jack Orion"'s 18 minutes close the album on a high note.
54Orange Peel
Orange Peel


Release Date: The legends say that January but who knows
Label: Bellaphon
Genre: Progressive Rock

I am just gonna tell you this. If you happen to be in a record shop, and by some strike of destiny you happen to find this album GRAB IT, and congratulations, you've made yourself some money. This one-off by German kraut rock outfit Orange Peel is shrouded in mystery. With the exception of drummer Curt Cress, who went on to play with bands like Lucifer's Friend and even Scorpions at some point, none of the other members is to be found outside, maybe, local scenes. "Orange Peel" opens with an 18 minute suite, and god, these guys can PLAY. While this mammoth track is amazing, the three tracks that follow are not that impressive, channeling less prog and more of that blues rock that was raging in America. Anyway, the album's worth it just for the opener.
53Fotheringay
Fotheringay


Release Date: September, maybe
Label: Island / A&M
Genre: Folk Rock

After British folk singer Sandy Denny left Fairport Convention, she managed to gather an impressive line-up of session musicians to form this new project, before marrying one of them and going back to Fairport Convention. The style is pretty similar, traditional ballads boosted by a folk rock sound. Along with Steeleye Span and Pentangle, they are one of the outfits that better portrayed that balance between tradition and modern sound that those bands were practicing at the start of the new decade. "The Way I Feel" is specially amazing.
52Atomic Rooster
Atomic Roooster


Release Date: Legends say that February
Label: Fontana / Stateside / Repertoire
Genre: Progressive Rock

When you think Deep Purple opened for them at the Lyceum in London... That gives you an idea of the magnitude of Atomic Rooster, the tireless touring band formed by drummer Carl Palmer (from Emerson Lake & Palmer), pianist Vincent Crane and bass/vocalist Nick Graham. Their debut, although missing the punch provided by the guitar of John Du Cann, who would join on the second album which was also released this very same year, includes my favorite AT song, which is "Winter". There's also the matter of having a bird with tits in the cover, but I think we can leave that discussion for another day.
51Neil Young
After the Gold Rush


Release Date: September 19th
Label: Reprise
Genre: Folk Rock

Going into the solo works of a legend like Neil Young for the first time is nothing short of intimidating. With an album released with Crosby Stills Nash & Young a few months before, I was really curious to hear what the man was all about on "After the Gold Rush". He was 25 years old when he recorded this beautiful piece of folk and country. It only takes a few minutes into "Tell Me Why" to understand the fuzz. Neil Young is a gifted one, not many of those left. My image of him was always that of an old grumpy looking dude playing Canadian rock, so it has been interesting listening to his younger self. "Don't Let it Bring You Down" is my favorite cut here.
50Barclay James Harvest
BJH


Release Date: June 5th
Label: Harvest / EMI
Genre: Progressive Rock

Being one of the first bands to be signed by legendary record label Harvest was already an accolade to built upon. The golden era of BCH began with this album, and, unlike those shy attempts by the likes of Pink Floyd, BCH found a balance between rock and classical instrumentation that worked. Usually simulated with a Mellotron (although they did use an orchestra on tour), the melody of strings and keys sit comfortably among the rest of the instrumentation. "Mother Dear" for example is a beautiful acoustic tune enhanced with some classical arrangements, carried on by the heart melting voices of John Lees and Les Holroyd. As progressive rock goes, BCH's self titled is pretty mild, it doesn't abuse complicated patterns or long track lengths, focusing instead on melody and orchestral arrangements. The album ends with a very cinematic epic of 12 minutes called "Dark Now My Sky".
49Townes Van Zandt
Delta Momma Blues


Release Date: October
Label: Poppy / Tomato / Decal
Genre: Country

Believe it or not, my first contact with Townes Van Zandt's music wasn't through the man himself, but through other people singing his songs. Some years ago, Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till from Neurosis along with Saint Vitus and The Obsessed's frontman Wino, released a covers album of Mr. Van Zandt. The album is incredible and I highly recommend it. Some years later I managed to snatch a copy by chance of Townes' self titled, so I more or less knew what to expect of this one. Well, it leans on country more than I thought, it's stuff that, as an outsider to American roots, doesn't really resonate with me, but his strengths as a lyricist and songwriter are enough for me to put him at the top of the genre (not that I know many others anyway).
48Donald Byrd
Electric Byrd


Release Date: October
Label: Blue Note
Genre: Jazz fusion

A very small entry but also one of the best works of Detroit-born, former member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, trumpet master Donald Byrd. As some of his contemporaries (Miles Davies, etc.), Byrd stretches the foundations of jazz, infusing it with echoes, wah wah, reverb and exotic instrumentation, dipping in psychedelia, cause I guess LSD was like cornflakes in the 70s- The result is really interesting, specially fi you are looking for a jazz record that sounds like something more.
47Rita Lee
Build Up


Release Date: September 18th
Label: Vertigo / Warner
Genre: Baroque Pop

1970 was an important year for Rita Lee. As the soul of Brasilian psychedelic rock band Os Mutantes (you'll see where that album ended up here), she released an outstanding record, and months later she debuted her first solo work. Although it strays slightly from her style in Os Mutantes, "Build Up" is a lovely collection of Tropicalia meets Big Band songs, with the cabaresque voice of Rita upfront. Less wild than her band stuff but enjoyable nonetheless.
46Waterloo
First Battle


Release Date: February according to Napoleon's plans
Label: Vogue / Musea
Genre: Progresive Rock

Not to confuse with Abba's tribute band. Another progressive rock victim of the one-off syndrome. Belgium's Waterloo never got to make a second record but they left quite an impression with this one. Sort of Deep Purple meets Jethro Tull, incredibly tight, incredibly heavy, with harmonized vocals and lots of hammond. Sounds like the standard prog rock act of the time, and maybe they are, but believe me.... it's good.
45Maki Asakawa
Asakawa Maki's World


Release Date: Around September
Label: Express
Genre: Enka infused Jazz and Funk

Before living the Tokyo dream, Asakawa Maki used to perform at cabarets and US military bases around Japan. This, her debut, was released in 1970 but she would release around 30 more albums in 20 years, working with renowned producers like Ryuichi Sakamoto. Asakawa's voice is the kind of pitch that sounds broken by scotch, tobacco and sleepless nights. It's the noir version of a Japanese enka recital, so it's no surprise she earned the label of "Japanese Billie Holiday". She died 10 years ago, just a few days before a show in Nagoya.
44The Beach Boys
Sunflower


Release Date: August 31st
Label: Reprise / Brother / Stateside
Genre: Pop

I will confess that I never got over my "California Dreaming" phase with the Beach Boys. Not even a fantastic album like "Pet Sounds" managed to snap me out of it. I've always been truly and desperately obsessed with that tune, since I was a little fellow. So what's the first thing I did when listening to "Sunflower" for the first time? I compared everything here against "California Dreaming". Is it better? Is it worst? I don't know! Sometimes I have trouble asserting they are the same band. This one suffers from the lack of Brian Wilson (the legend says he even didn't record here), but also shows how the rest of the band stepped up their songwriting. The results are fairly positive.
43Joe Henderson
Power to the People


Release Date: February
Label: Milestone
Genre: Jazz

What can go wrong when you have a line-up that includes the likes of Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock and Mike Lawrence? Tenor sax entrepreneur Joe Henderson surely knew how to surround himself of proper musicians, and "Power to the People" is just one peek at his extensive catalogue of compositions and collaborations. When you think they recorded this in a 2 day session. Hear to believe.
42Peter Green
The End of the Game


Release Date: November 20th
Label: Reprise
Genre: Psychedelic rock


We recently lost Peter Green, just last July. He was well known as one of the founding members of Fleetwood Mac but I didn't know of his "solo" works until this year. This album happens right after he quits Fleetwood Mac for a number of reasons. And it's like the man has had blue balls during his time with them and unleashes here his long time restrained creativity in a series of jam sessions with members of Hot Tuna, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express and The Animals. The album is produced by Martin Birch (also RIP), which is largely known for working with bands like Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath.
41Spirit
Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus


Release Date: November 27th
Label: Epic
Genre: Psychedelic Blues Progressive Rock

This is one of those albums that crawl inside you until it takes its hold. I didn't like it at first, but I knew I was missing something (you know that kind of stuff when you realize we have a contribro named after the band). And wrong I was! My face slowly took the shape of Dr. Sardonicus's terrifying smirk, wait, you haven't see the film? Yeah, me neither, but I've read the wiki! Anyway, Spirit became well known in the 70s thanks to their elaborated blend of psychedelia, blues and hard rock with progressive elements. You also have a frontman called Randy California, so how can you dispute the quality of this band? Check "Love has Found the Way", "Mr. Skin" or the prelude for a quick taste of the Spirit.
40The Mothers of Invention
Burnt Weeny Sandwich


Release Date: February 9th
Label: Bizarre / Reprise
Genre: Avant-Garde, Psychedelic Rock

Plenty of material from the one and only Frank Zappa during 1970. This seems to be a collection of unreleased stuff and b-sides. Nevertheless, the man was an incombustible workaholic committed to his own cause. What was the cause? Hell drag me if I know. All I know is that Frank here wasn't keen on following common structures or pleading to a specific audience. His solo in "Theme for Burnt Weeny Sandwich" is honestly mind boggling. The... interludes (?) are as confusing as fun to listen. The drummers credited, Jimmy Carl Black and Arthur Tripp (from Captain Beefheart) really shine here, and so do Euclid James 'Motorhead' Sherwood on the sax and Buzz Gardner with his trumpet. But the real deal here are the 18 minutes of "The Little House I lived In", which sits among the best progressive rock jams of the year.
39The Moody Blues
A Question of Balance


Release Date: August
Label: Threshold
Genre: Symphonic Prog


If you ever wondered where all that prog came from at the beginning of the 70s, hall of famers The Moody Blues might have something to do with it. Not their most illustrative album, but "A Question of Balance" marries their brand of prog-tinged pop with orchestral arrangements, which honestly feels quite overwhelming at times. Bands like Yes and Genesis normalized synths in their music thanks to the influence of The Moody Blues and it's plain to see when cruising through this, their 7th album. Viva la acoustic prog!
38Golden Earring
Golden Earring


Release Date: August
Label: Polydor
Genre: Heavy Psychedelic Blues pft

The first thing you have to know about Golden Earring is that they are still playing (59 years that's it) and that they never stopped doing so. The second is that contrary to what I thought, they are not American, but Dutch! This is another band I went blind without realizing I knew of "Radar Love", which was covered by White Lion during the 80s (I had a strong hair metal phase, as you will see). Listening to this, their 6th album your realize how big their influence was on the hair metal scene, not to mention their magnificent manes.
37Gentle Giant
Gentle Giant


Release Date: November 27th
Label: Vertigo / Mercury
Genre: Progressive Rock

I wish I could have spent more time with this one, but being a late release into the year and me being as stubborn as a rock trying to stick to my weekly system didn't allow for more than 2 or 3 runs. I know the best of the band would come in later releases so I'm looking forward to getting into those. "Alucard" for some reason reminds me of Queen, in a frightening way. "Nothing at All" is a beauty.
36Quatermass
Quatermass


Release Date: May
Label: Harvest
Genre: Progressive Rock

Two members of the Ian Gillan band, John Gustafson and Mick Underwood form this power prog trio along with keyboardist Peter Robinson. Yet another progressive rock act defeated after one album, Quatermass' one and only release features some of the best the genre has to offer in 1970, specifically on the guitar-less category of bands like Atomic Rooster (in their debut). There's a track of almost 10 minutes titled "Post War Saturday Echo" that sounds like a post apocalytic blues where Gustafson vocals really give me chills. "Up on the Ground" is another cut I strongly suggest to check.
35Cressida
Cressida


Release Date: February
Label: Vertigo
Genre: Progressive Rock

Curse the executive that decided to take this off Spotify. Do you know how much you gotta pay for a wax copy of this, motherfucker? Well, well, let's say you'd be better off investing in real state. But anyway, yes, sorry, more prog. The opener ranks up on my top tracks of the year. Britain was home to hundreds, if not thousands, of progressive rock acts, and even if Cressida were pretty unknown to the world, they were as good as other important, and more popular names, of the genre, like Caravan (which I like much less than Cressida).
34Genesis
Trespass


Release Date: October 23rd
Label: Charisma / Philips
Genre: Progressive Rock

Genesis' second album, for many also known as the one before Phill Collins came to ruin it all, was also the one where their progressive rock era started. Peter Gabriel is incredible here, and former drummer John Mayhew shows he's more than a good fit for this new style. Phantasy themes and medieval instruments make "Trespass" the dungeons & dragons album of Genesis, and also the first of many releases of the style that culminated with the emblematic "Selling England by the Pound", only 3 years later.
33Frank Zappa
Chunga's Revenge


Release Date: October 23rd
Label: Reprise / Bizarre
Genre: Experimental Rock, whatever, is just Zappa

Zappa, like a total boss, gets 3 entries in this list. 10 seconds into "Transylvania Boogie" is all I needed to fall in love with this. That riff, that beat, is EVIL. Not a fan of the blues tracks like "Road Ladies" but the rest is gold, brothers and sisters, and Zappa knows it. His guitar playing here is out of this world, and the gang of musicians that accompany him doesn't fall behind. "Tell Me you Love me" must have been a crazy moment when played live. As expected, there's plenty of humour but it's also one of Zappa's most focused works of the year.
32Deep Purple
Deep Purple In Rock


Release Date: June 3rd
Label: Warner / Harvest
Genre: Hard Rock

After a tumultuous third album, Deep Purple strikes back with the giant Ian Gillan behind the mic and damn, they did it in full force. The pinnacle of daddy rock for most of you (don't get me wrong, for me too, I'm already a dinosaur). Truth is, they sounded heavier than many of the bands they shared stage with, thanks to a Jon Lord (RIP) on his prime and Ritchie Blackmore churning riffs like a madman. "Child in Time" is THE ballad of the 70s, while "Speed King" might be my favorite DP track (ummm, maybe after "Burn", not sure).
31John Coltrane
Transition


Release Date: July (although it really belongs to 1965)
Label: Impulse! / MCA
Genre: Jazz

Yes, this technically doesn't belong to 1970. It was published this year but it seems to be material recorded in 1965 that wasn't released until years later. Anyway, it features the great Elvin Jones on drums, and... it's Coltrane! I couldn't leave it out the list just like that. About the stuff in "Transition", again, it's John fucking Coltrane, you know what to expect. It's stuff post-Ascension, post-A Love Supreme, so it's interesting to see the man was far from burning out.
30Bruce Haack
The Electric Lucifer


Release Date: May
Label: Columbia
Genre: Electronic

You think you have heard it all when it's spring and you have exposed yourself to an insane amount of prog, but nope, enter Mr. Bruce Haack, and the last stems of reason left in your mind are reaped by the absolute madness of "The Electric Lucifer". Spoken word, synth torture chambers, cult chants, this is a door to dementia that closes once you step in. In all seriousness, the story of this man, his meetings with native Americans and his trips with peyote, are all an interesting read. His music, a precursor of electronic, post punk and some sort of baroque synthwave can back up his stories. He really is the devil, and he has a charming, robotic voice.
29King Crimson
In the Wake of Poseidon


Release Date: May 15th
Label: Island / Atlantic / Philips / Polydor / Basically everyone
Genre: Indie Ro...ah, no sorry, progressive rock

Even if they tried to reproduce the success of "In the Court of the Crimson King", even if Michael Giles' drums sound like cardbox, even if there are some truly annoying passages, "In the Wake of Poseidon" proves once more that they are kings of the genre. And I'm gonna ignore the nonsense of not having their catalogue on any streaming service. I do hope Robert Fripp dies a rich and happy man, God knows he deserve it, but for the love of Poseidon, Fripp and co., put your damn albums up again for the new generations.
28Colosseum
Daughter of Time


Release Date: July
Label: Vertigo / Dunhill
Genre: Progressive rock

Honestly, this somehow escaped my grip because it should be lower in the ranks but... oh well! Still, Colosseum, the British band, not the doom metal dudes from Finland, were a somehow unorthodox prog band, with sax and flute player Barbara Thompson being the added spice that made them stand out. The band was founded by her husband, drummer John Hiseman, whose performance in "Daughter of Time" is also worth mentioning. The only grating part of Colosseum, and it's open for discussion, is the powerhouse voice of Chris Farlowe although I think the has really impressive voice. The one-two punch of "Take me back to Doomsday" and the title track are worth checking.
27Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin III


Release Date: October 5th
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Hard Rock

Direct influence from my mentor in life (also known as my dad). This is far from being my favorite Led Zep release, although "Immigrant Song" is definitely in my top 10 tracks of the band. I'm aware of the love for "Since I've Been Loving You", but as the year went on and I became more and more saturated with blues rock, the impact the song had when I reached October wasn't as strong as I remembered. "Friends", "Out on the Tiles" were two songs I also didn't remember they were actually so good. Then there's "Gallows Pole" which I would had used to close the album.
26Atomic Rooster
Death Walks Behind You


Release Date: Between September and December
Label: Philips / Elektra
Genre: Heavy Progressive Rock

The second album of the Rooster after the inclusion of guitarist John Du Cann was a game changer. The band turned into a darker, heavier and better expression of themselves. There's really some proto-metal stuff in here preceding Iron Maiden or Judas Priest in the self titled opener. These darker tracks combined with lighter material like "Tomorrow Night" make up for a more variated record than the band's debut. There's also the explosive style of new drummer Paul Hammond, enhanced by the great chemistry between Du Cann's guitar and Vincent Crane's keys. Needless to say, Crane, now turned singer fits perfectly with this harder version of the band. In addition, the cover might be one of my favorite artworks of the year.
25Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk


Release Date: September
Label: Philips
Genre: Kraut Rock

The fathers of electronic music doing electronic music before even electronic music existed. As it was the case with brothers in arms Tangerine Dream, the Germans didn't start the house from the roof. Before the emblematic "Autobahn", Kraftwerk debuted with a superb collection of kraut rock and psychedelic cuts, with special mention to beat master Florian Schneider-Esleben (RIP), who can trick you into thinking he's a percussion machine at any time.
24Can
Soundtracks


Release Date: September
Label: United Artists / Liberty
Genre: Kraut Rock

There are better ways to get initiated in the occult arts of kraut rock magicians Can. "Soundtracks" is a bit all over the place because it's made out of the different works they did for a series of movies. Damo Suzuki had just joined the band while Malcolm Mooney still remained. In spite of the lack of consistency, you CAN never go wrong with... Ok sorry.
23Exuma
Exuma


Release Date: Some time during the year, in the night, during an unmentionable ritual
Label: Barclay
Genre: How to put this...

Imagine you are in a Caribbean jungle, lost, naked, drugged to the point of no return. You are not scared, you are actually having the time of your life. Then, through the bushes, you discern what looks like a party, you approach the mob, they are as drugged as you so they welcome you warmly, around the fire. Slowly you realize the party looks more like a ritual, it's somehow sad, but everyone rejoice in their melancholy. There's a man singing tunes, they are beautiful, foreign, but somehow familiar. "Mama Loooooi, Papa Looooi, I see fire in the dead man's eye!!" This record is probably one of my most precious discoveries this year so do Egarran a favor and jam it.
22T2
It'll All Work Out in Boomland


Release Date: August
Label: Decca / London
Genre: Heavy Progressive Rock

This trio... who are them!? Where the hell did this come from!? T2 was formed by three dudes, fairly unknown in the British prog maelstrom happening in Britain, and this was their first record. 4 tracks, the last being a 21 minute epic, of crazy prog jams commanded by the mindblowing guitar technique of Keith Cross and the rhythm section formed by bass player Bernie Jinks and drummer Pete Dunton. Simply one of the best progressive rock albums of the year, and God knows I've jammed too many of those.
21George Harrison
All Things Must Pass


Release Date: November
Label: Apple
Genre: Folk rock

For many, George Harrison managed to give closure to the Beatles in a better way that "Let it Be" did, and I tend to think that, in some way, he did. The compositions in "All Things Must Pass", whose title is as self-explicative as "Let it Be", reflect his past experience as a member of the Beatles, albeit being way more spiritual than some of the tracks of the Beatles' last release. It's plain to see how George has grown as a songwriter here, maybe as a result of having total freedom of writing and control over the record. While Lennon (my favorite Beatle, mind you), was too busy chasing Japanese ass and Paul was too busy being lame with the Wings, George Harrison surfaced just months after the break up with this record. And Ringo? Nobody cares about Ringo.
20Soft Machine
Third


Release Date: June 6th, I think Earth time
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Experimental Jazz Rock

Worshipped by some, misunderstood by others, the prodigal sons of the Canterboury scene didn't know you could cut and stick tapes when making your record. Instead they just went to the studio for little more than an hour, probably being very fucking high, and let the tape roll as they unleashed their brand of sometimes jazz rock, sometimes prog, sometimes straight out noise. The average track time, out of 4 tracks here, is of 16 minutes, so as you can imagine, "Third" is not a smooth trip. What is irrefutable is that Soft machine settled the base for a great number of bands trying to combine orthodox jazz with the free, energetic jam feel of their contemporaries. "Moon in June" is the highlight, a 19 minute one, so get in that one if your curiosity stings. Oh, it's also the only track with vocals!
19Black Widow
Sacrifice


Release Date: March
Label: United Artists / Repertoire
Genre: Occult progressive rock


The satanic version of Jethro Tull. Looking at that cover and reading those song titles ("Attack of the Demon", "Conjuration") one would expect blast beats and growls, but nope folks. This is a rather strange progressive rock record with occult themes, a prominent sax and the usual prog singing style of many other British acts of the time. "Come to the Sabbath" is the obvious highlight due to its pagan theme and that communal chorus where they summon a goat sacrificing a demon... or was it the other way round? There's a version around Youtube that sounds way better than the official streaming, so be sure to get on that one.
18Nick Drake
Bryter Layter


Release Date: November 1st
Label: Island
Genre: Singer Songwriter

Many things make Nick Drake special. These are things that transcend his music. It might be honesty, it might be a capacity to feel and channel those feelings in a way that not many of his peers could do. And then there's his voice and how he used it. When the first verses of "Hazey Jane II" starts to roll out of his mouth you realize he's like no one else you've heard before. Few albums feel this comforting, like a good hug in a bad moment, or a good friend whispering "it's gonna be alright" when you need it the most. Many came after him, and tried to do the same, but no one came close. Gone too soon.
17MC5
Back In The USA


Release Date: February
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Garage rock

First surprise I had when I started this madness was MC5. Yes, I've heard of Wayne Kramer and MC5 but I've never actually checked anything from them. I loved this at first listen, specially "Looking at You". The only qualm I have about this album is the paper thin production. Every time I listen to it I have to spend 5 minutes on the EQ to unbury those lows from the mix. On a side note, seeing videos of them live made me lose respect for The Mars Volta. Check it out and you'll see why.
16Magma
Kobaia


Release Date: December, when everyone was done with it
Label: Seventh
Genre: Zeuhl

The French didn't have enough with inventing a whole new language, they also had to twist the already twisted foundations of progressive rock to extract a new sub-genre, which they called "Celestial" or Zeuhl. The best I can describe Magma's music is as a dramatic trance. It's like a cliffhanger that never gets resolved, an everlasting lament, and a musical eruption equivalent to Moutn Fuji fuming with the fire of millions of bongs smoked in a single breath. "Kobaïa" is an hour and a half of avant-jazz rock insanity that goes straight into the music history text books.
15Supertramp
Supertramp


Release Date: July
Label: A&M
Genre: Progressive pop rock

Accustomed to the late Supertramp that flourished during the end of the 70s and the 80s, it was interesting to hear a version of the band more akin to the line-up of the legendary festival Isle of Wight, where they had to share the stage with the likes of Hendrix, Caravan, etc. "Nothing to Show" was the song that served me as a gateway for the rest of the album. I know for sure this is not even close to being the best Supertramp has to offer but as a first, I gotta say it's more than a decent debut.
14Yes
Time and a Word


Release Date: July 24th
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Progressive Rock

I've said this many times, but Yes is, without a doubt, my old man's favorite band. "Time and a Word" was released seven years before I was even born, so I like to thnk about my dad, a twenty something lad studying to be a surgeon in the big city, daydreaming to the magic of this album, unaware of the fact that many years alter he would have a son writing nonsense about his favorite albums. "Time and a Word" is a beautiful album, unlike other prog bands of the time obsessed with technicality, Yes treated their music with a great sense for melody, largely thanks to Jon Anderson's vocals. A special album.
13Lucifer's Friend
Lucifer's Friend


Release Date: Between January and November, it's... complicated
Label: Bilingsgate / Repertoire
Genre: Heavy Metal

I've been talking about several bands playing around the heavy metal tag, setting the foundations, paving the way, etc. But there was one band, one single band, that earned the tag of heavy metal music right out of the bat, and that is Lucifer's Friend. John Lawton's vocals, who went later on to join Uriah Heep, reminds of one of heavy metal most legedanry voices, Mr. Ronnie James Dio's. A track like opener "Ride the Sky" sounds like it could be the spearhead of the new wave of British heavy metal that was about to take over Europe during the 80s. There's also that keyboard melody in "Ride the Sky" that will remind you of something. Check it out.
12Argent
Argent


Release Date: January although some dates point out to a November 1969 release
Label: Epic / CBS
Genre: Hard rock and progressive

I reviewed this myself, back when I thought I could review everything that didn't have a review, so go read it!
11Simon and Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water


Release Date: January 26th
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Folk

The album that represented Simon and Garfunkel's downfall was also the album that earned them a Grammy. It was also the albumthat spawned a million other folk artist. Have you ever seen that YouTube video of someone hitting a huge spider with a broom while millions of little spiders come out of its broken sack while running in all directions? Well,something like that happened in the folk scene back then. The album that cemented the duo's career is also the album that contains some if not all my favorite songs from them: Title track, "El Condor Pasa", "Cecilia", "The Boxer" are all staples of the genre. And while I remember being a teenager and watching a small funny looking fellow named Paul Simon singing funny songs on MTV without knowing who the hell he was, this album is probably the last I wished I heard from either of them.
10Bobby Hutcherson
Now!


Release Date: May
Label: Blue Note
Genre: Jazz fusion


Well top 10 here we go! The best thing vibraphone master Bobby Hutcherson could do for "Now" was inviting Gene McDaniels to throw in some vocals. In essence, this is a jazz record, but McDaniels vocals, along with some of the structures and Joe Chambers superb drumming, pulls the album into progressive territory, distancing from the standard jazz of other albums of the year like Joe Henderson's, and presenting something refreshing and completely new. Just hear "Hello to the Wind", it's one of the most beautiful songs I heard this year. Also, check on the second half for an unusual (at least for me) display of vibraphone solos courtesy of Mr. Hutcherson.
9Ginger Baker's Air Force
Ginger Baker's Air Force


Release Date: March
Label: Polydor
Genre: Funk, Rock, Afrobeat, Blues, hell!

Ginger Baker, the red-haired cyclone and one of my favorite drummers of all time, wrote a piece of history the night this was captured. Along him was Steve Winwood, in between the disbanding of Blind Faith where he played with Ginger and his adventure with Traffic. Jeanette Jacobs, from girls' band The Cake accompanied Winwood on vocals and the chemistry between the two was amazing. Then you also have Remi Kabaka doing percussion and even double drumming with Ginger, creating a rhythm apocalypse that finds its zenith around half an hour in. And yes, the sax work by Harold Land is probably not a highlight of his career (imagine, a drunk sax), but the whole band reach so many peaks during the jam that I couldn't care less. Incredible live album.
8Julian's Treatment
A Time Before This


Release Date: April
Label: Decca / Young Blood
Genre: Progressive Rock

My favorite discovery from 1970 is easily this band. First of all, they have a stunning presence, and second, what's not to like when you have a female voice that sounds like the prog version of Anna Von Hausswolff fronting a progressive psychedelic rock outfit where the main brain became a novel writer? There's a whole universe to discover hidden in "A Time Before This", one of the two only albums the band recorded together. An unknown Cathy Pruden is the voice that gives life to Julian's Treatment. Her singing is gloomy and haunting, like a sorcerer conjuring a spell, while Julian Jay Savarin's organ carries the weight of the album. A fantastic album, and a must listen for fans of the genre.
7Santana
Abraxas


Release Date: September 23rd
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Latin Rock

September of 1970 was a good month for music, if only for the releases of "Abraxas" and Black Sabbath's "Paranoid". I'm not the biggest Santana fan, much less of latin music, but there's something about "Abraxas" that gets a hold of me every time I listen to it. Easily the fountain that gave birth to the totality of today's latin rock and Santana's best album (and I say this without even listening to his other 100 albums).
6Miles Davis
Bitches Brew


Bitches Brew (1970)

Release Date: Some time in March
Label: Columbia / CBS
Genre: Jazz

I don't think I need to write about this one. It's heavy, it's beautiful, it changed jazz forever, and if you haven't heard it, log out and jam it. Wait.... don't log out... but jam it.
5Linda Perhacs
Parallelograms


Release Date: Between January and November, it's... complicated
Label: Kapp
Genre: Folk and Psychedelia

Linda Perhacs' story is so great, that I'm surprised a biopic hasn't been made just yet. Recorded around 1969 ad released during 1970 very modestly, it wasn't until many, many years that certain producer found her music and decided to release it into the world. It was 2005 and Linda was working as a dentist when I guess she received "the call". Almost 40 years later she went back to recording and today she is one of the most respected and loved singer songwriters of the American folk scene. This album is absolutely magic, there's no other way to describe it. Also, good luck trying to get an original pressing; prepare your savings.
4Amon Duul II
Yeti


Release Date: Dates conflict but it seems around November
Label: Liberty
Genre: Kraut Rock

I am pretty positive about the fact that if I had been in my 20s during the time "Yeti" was released, I would have definitely joined a kraut rock band and died at a tender age. There is something strangely enticing about the sound of Amon Düül, something I can't really pinpoint, even when thinking about other acts of the same time and place. But one thing I know, the name of said band would have been "Archangel Thunderbird", and I would have worn a black, long dress and no underwear.
3Os Mutantes
A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio Desligado


Release Date: Some time in March
Label: Polydor
Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Many things were going on in the world in 1970. Kraut rock was en vogue in Germany, while progressive rock and folk were expanding around Europe coming from Britain. In the US, country and blues rock struggled to overcome the Woodstock hungover while only God knows what the hell was going on in Asia. In Brazil, Os Mutantes dominated the scene, infusing the hard sound imported from the US with tropicalia and Brazilian influences. There's a reason I love this album so much, and it's explained by that time I got my internet service cut from my phone and this is the only album I had access to for a week. Never such a nuisance has turned out so well. "Por favooooooor...!"
2Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath


Release Date: February 13th
Label: Vertigo / Warner
Genre: Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal was born 7 years before me, a gloomy Friday the 13th of 1970, and countless words have been written about this album, so I won't be very long. The band that changed it all, the album that became the inspiration of heavy, dark music for decades to come. Black Sabbath's debut marked a turning point. Recorded in only two days, mixed in one, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward captured a jam that will last until some creepy alien race finds it buried somewhere among the ashes of this planet.
1Black Sabbath
Paranoid


Release Date: September 18th
Label: Vertigo / Warner
Genre: Heavy Metal

While the world was still assimilating the whole... Black Sabbath thing, the band was already prepared for a second assault. It only took months, MONTHS! I can't fathom the impact songs like "War Pigs", "Paranoid", or "Iron Man" had when they started playing them live to a frenzied crowd. I know that the press bashed them though, which now actually sounds quite funny. I always considered this and "Black Sabbath" like one unique huge jam, so no matter the order you want to put it, if we were living in 1970, the unholy combination of "Black Sabbath" and "Paranoid" would have been my AOTY!
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