i've been reviewing the best musical years of all time, and the votes are in and tabulated.
so far, we've heard from 1968, 2010, and 1983...those were all great years, but they barely make the top 10. this week i countdown to the best year ever, by reviewing the 6th best musical year of all time: 1972. listen and you'll know why. or, listen and argue about it.
some of what you'll hear: 2 great jazz-rock fusion albums by chick corea's newly formed band, return to forever; todd rundgren's [pictured] double album "something/anything," considered his best; the explosion of reggae, featuring jimmy cliff's "the harder the come" (the movie, the album, and the song); the brilliant progressive rock album: yes's "fragile"; and great r & b songs by the o'jays, curtis mayfield, and the temptations. also paul simon, and joni mitchell, both at their prime.
your votes have been counted. now it's time to argue. was this the 5th best year of music ever?
40 years ago, pop music was getting more sophisticated than a.m. pretended it was, and this week you'll see how the year 1972 could take you on any kind of ride you dared go on. from the underside of the city via lou reed's "walk on the wild side," the two-faced neighborhoods of the o'jays "back stabbers," and jeff beck's pessimistic blues cover, "goin' down," to the evolved world the paul simon's "peace like a river," yes's "close to the edge" [left] and the beach boys' divine "all this is that."
this week i begin to explore the music of 1972; the year that heard songs as creative and diverse as jethro tull's "living in the past," todd rundgren's "the night the carousel burned down," loggins & messina's cuddly "house at pooh corner," and guitar legend roy buchanon's lonely "the messiah will come again."
the 1972 movie "the harder the come" helped create a new musical wave around the world. it featured the music of jamaica's musical stars, jimmy cliff [left, who also starred in the movie], the melodians, the maytals, and desmond dekker.
and even though he wasn't in the movie, the soundtrack kickstarted bob marley's [right] world-wide career, as many in the rock and pop scene began to broaden the range of their ears and discover reggae and a new culture, and marley and cliff were the most creative exponents going at the time.
all of this week's show features reggae music that was released 40 years ago. it was a remarkable year, and you'll be surprised at how much you've already heard. from the ubiquitous "i can see clearly now," to the original "rivers of babylon," and two versions of "the bigger they come." the songs are here: 1972 reggae.