55 thoughts on “Spillyear 1972

  1. 1972 – the year that I took my O-Levels and started to getting out to gigs. My first proper gig was Pink Floyd at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park. They were touring the Meddle album and also working on a new piece, which was getting played and changed in the way that the Floyd used to work. When I saw them the piece was still ssometimes known as Eclipse but was gradually turning into The Dark Side Of The Moon. What I heard back then was ssomewhat different to the eventual recorded version.

    Anyway, what was I listening to back then? A lot of stuff from the previous couple of years, which isn’t really relevant for this. I will stick to my usual self-imposed rule; it has to be something I owned at the time, so first off I need a track from Wishbone Ash‘s masterpiece Argus. I’ll also have to have a track from Last of the Red Hot Burritos By The Flying Burrito Brothers, an album I bought after hearing one track on John Peel’s late night BBC1 radio programme.

    My final choice simply has to be from Foxtrot by Genesis, who I also saw on tour.

    So, here goes;

    Wishbone Ash – Blowin’ Free
    The Flying Burrito Brothers – Hot Burrito #2
    Genesis – Supper’s Ready

  2. Ah, now you’re talking. 1972 was the year Richard Thompson, having left Fairport Convention, released his first solo album Henry The Human Fly. And a weird and wonderful thing it is.

  3. This is ridiculous, i probably can’t even pick 3 off of Exile on Main Street. Puberty is a bitch, FM radio and classic rock was in its heyday, and this is the stuff a bunch of snotnosed middle school kids discovering weed and alcohol in New Jersey were listening to in basement parties.

    Rolling Stones – Let It Loose (gun to my head, this would probably be the one)
    Bowie – Lady Stardust
    Humble Pie – 30 Days in the Hole

    honorable mentions for

    Yes – Close to the Edge
    Neil Young – Harvest
    Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
    Allman Bros – Eat a Peach
    Todd Rundgren – Somethibg / Anything
    Tull – Thick as a Brick
    Rod Stewart – Never a Dull Moment
    Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes
    Edgar Winter Group – Roadwork
    War – The World is a Ghetto

    and so much more. Lotta soul. Lotta California rock before it all went tiresome. And yep, we were listening to a lot of Bread too.

    Wasn’t listening to Europe ’72 at the time, though.

    • Yeah, ’72 was a great year. It was when I started getting out to pubs with my friends and partaking of underage booze (plus other relaxants).

      I can cheerfully dond pretty much everything you have listed, Amy.

    • btw Barney – Nixon’s, er, shortcomings (to understate it) notwithstanding, he wasn’t a bad potus. He founded the EPA (this was back in the days when Republicans were environmentalists), restored relations with China, and much more. Keep in mind Lincoln was a Republican too. Somehow around or before Nixon, the parties sort of switched ideologies.

  4. Well it will have to include the first pop single I ever bought. I was fourteen so I really should have started earlier but up until then I was quite content to listen to the radio and watch Top of the Pops. This was far from Marc’s first hit single, possibly not his best but it still brings back memories of playing the thing over and over on my mum’s ancient mono record player. No choice really. I had nowt else to play except for her Classics For Pleasure albums.

    T-Rex – Children of the Revolution

    Bowie’s Ziggy Stardusr album was that year but so was his first hit since Space Oddity in 1969. There are other tracks on the album I like better now but at the time this song and the TOTP performance caused a sensation. Well it did if you were fourteen.

    David Bowie – Starman

    Not as much of a sensation as this lot though. Thought the bloody martians had landed. What on Earth was that keyboard player like?

    Roxy Music – Virginia Plain

    Honourable mention for Dudes, All the Young and O’Jays Backstabbers. Probably lots of classic albums with lots of classic tracks but I wouldn’t have noticed. I was saving up for Electric Warrior.

  5. 1972 – Easy!
    First off:
    Don McLean – American Pie
    Don McLean – Vincent
    Neil Young – Heart Of Gold
    Arlo Guthrie – The City Of New Orleans
    America – A Horse With No Name
    T. Rex – Bang A Gong (Get It On)
    Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now
    Paul Simon – Mother And Child Reunion

    3 only, that’d be:
    American Pie
    Mother & Child
    I can see clearly now.

      • Thank you Ali, as we all know you have exquisite taste, sad that no one else picked up on Mother and Child reunion which predated Bob’s first album and The harder they Come as the first major American international reggae hit! Recorded in Kingston Ja. of course.

  6. In 1972 I was two years old – my dad bought the ‘Piledriver’ album and played it lots, a decade later my big bro, dad and uncle took me to my first live music experience; Status Quo’s 20th anniversary gigs: 1+9+8+2 tour; Hammersmith Odeon, I guess, was the venue – they then took me to AC/DC and Motorhead – but I can’t state cool bands as first gigs – I’ve got Status Quo – I’m not ashamed, so I’ll pick:

    Status Quo – A year
    Status Quo – Paper Plane
    Status Quo – Big Fat Mama

    • Strange co-incidences! This is also deja-vu! My first gig (the first I remember) was also Status Quo and parent-attended at the age of 12.

      In 1972 I was six-years-old. Three or four years later we bought a stereo. For my 12th birthday my father bought me (i.e. also himself) Status Quo’s Rockin’ All Over The World album. Soon after, we bought Quo Live! and a cheapo Pye reissue called Down the Dustpipe.

      In August we moved to Blackpool and Quo came to town, So my mother took me to see them at the Opera House. I remember we were in The Circle and the it was bouncing which I thought was great fun, but I imagine it wasn’t structurally ready for head-banging boogie.

      Quo are important cos later on I discovered that Roadhouse Blues was a Doors song which led me to all sorts of stuff I didn’t understand but paved the way for the Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, etc. The Dustpipe album had lots of strange Quo psychedelia which lead me into Nuggets type sounds like Black Veils of Melancholy, which isn’t too far away from Brit pop/C86/psych revival stuff (I think pairubu is a bit of a fan of this Quo era).

      • That’s so funny – I remember the Pye reissue – or some subsidiary of Pye anyway – there seamed to be best of Quo albums released every two months or so in the ’70’s – I remember my uncle coming over and bringing the records so my dad could tape them on ‘Curry’s’ blank tapes!
        And then they’d link up one tape player to another so my big brother could tape to tape* a copy too.

        We were on a balcony at the Quo gig – the adults thinking this would be slightly less intimidating for the ‘little me’ – we were maybe two rows back looking down (down down..) – some biker (built like the proverbial…) stood right in my way – he turned around with a face of pure joy at being at this gig and goes – “little man you don’t want to miss this” he held me by the collar and in one movement lifted me to his shoulders and continued to headbang for the next two hours not noticing some skinny runt of a twelve year old perched on said shoulders – feeling like they’d hitched a lift on some weird friendly bucking broncho.
        At each downwards movement I overlooked the balcony and was flung back up again – the fear, the synchronised rock, the hair, the biker fan, the movement of this Circle creaking under the collected Quo dance – pretty much gave me a love of – whatever makes you happy IS a musical masterpiece.
        It wasn’t the 2tone I was into – but it was bloody brilliant.

        *Home taping didn’t kill music – it got another generation addicted.

    • Still going to be a soulful year, adding

      Me and Mrs Jones – Billy Paul
      Papa was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations

      Biggest donds for i Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
      Also donds for all Bowie, Neil Young, Mott the Hoople, T Rex

      • Me and Mrs Jones is a fantastic song. Did you know that it was once covered vy Sarah Jane Morris, only to have the BBC ban the song because of the implicit lesbian sub-text?

        Massive donds for Papa was a Rolling Stone. My friends and I used to go to a pub called The Alexandra where the DJ used to play the full-length version.

      • In reply to Carole Bristol, I didn’t know about the S J Morris cover. The Beeb was still into banning stuff in those days. I’m trying to remember a pub called the Alexandra – where was it and is it still there? Searching online has failed to find it so perhaps it’s gone now.

  7. Boombox seems to have failed to add the last 2 choices but as have tried a second time with no result I’ll leave it for now and apologise if these songs eventually appear twice….

    • Suzi, the Alexandra was on the roundabout where Victoria Park Rd and Lauriston Rd crossed, in East London, just north of Victoria Park and south-west of Well St Common.

      A quick look on Google Streetview tells me that it is now called The Lauriston.

  8. It’s added the Temptations but not the other two songs, so far.

    Memories of 1972 generally happy, beginning to improve with a move to Bristol (city of my ancestors – well, some of them, including parents!) started work at County Court, met OH…Bowie and T Rex – as well as Johnny `Nash – have been nabbed but they were my clearest memories of the time, along with Neil Young. Young guys started to try to look like Bowie or Marc Bolan, all of which was good! Spent a lot of time in Laura Ashley buying long Victorian style dresses with pretty prints – dresses and fabrics still made in the UK at that time. Shop was in Bath – made day trips especially for the purpose!

  9. The three albums rooted deeply in my heart from 1972 are:
    Grateful Dead – Europe ’72
    Ry Cooder – Into The Purple Valley
    and Captain Beefheart – Clear Spot

    First thoughts are, therefore:
    Grateful Dead – Jack Straw
    Ry Cooder – How Can You Keep On Moving (Unless You Migrate Too)
    Captain Beefheart – Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles

      • You are just winding me up, aren’t you, tfd? Given the number of times I’ve banged on (on RR) about how this wonderful song is about the tension between two ne’er-do-wells on the run, delivered largely using their own words, I’m sure you can tell this is just reported speech. As a thespian yourself, I’m sure you’ve spoken a character’s words you thought unacceptable…

        So, if you are just winding me up, it worked!

    • On a personal level, I dropped out of Uni, got a job as a porter in a local hospital and joined a band that actually got some money for playing gigs. Not enough to live on, of course, but it was possible to rent a flat for £4/week back then, so I did.

      The biggest even of my year was, however, the Bickershaw Festival. I may have mentioned that elsewhere…..

  10. Age 2. Dad packs up the family and moves us out of an apartment into a 5-bedroom house in the West End in preparation for the big family that never came. This house had been in the family decades earlier – one of Dad’s uncles had owned it – and had been sold several times before ending up in foreclosure. We stayed for 12 years – trying to fix this house’s many problems – leaks, faulty wiring, etc. – not the least of which was that the neighborhood was one people were scurrying to get out of – before selling it at a loss.

    1) Smyle – It’s Gonna Be Alright – Best Beatles song the Fabs never did.

    2) Giorgio Moroder – Tears – Kicks self for missing this one for “RR Songs That Build.”

    3) Looking Glass – Jimmy Loves Maryanne – Their follow up to their one bit is the far better song in my opinion

      • Ah! Severin was there first. But I had to mention Starman because I can remember my father’s paint-splattered Roberts radio on the dining-room table. Behind me was a sideboard with a vase and flowers and my father’s photo of the Manchester United team of 1957/58 that had been signed by most the the players in December 1957. Adjacent to to table was a clothes-horse with clothes on it drying in front of the fire.

        I was walking from the hallway (where the phone had pride of place on a table all of its own) through to the kitchen. I can see the back door and this strange loose tea dispenser thing. It’s dark outside and it’s probably raining. There’s a bureau on my right by the wall and a Singer sewing-machine under the dining-room window.

        It’s a similar memory to that of hearing my father’s Rolling Stones’ High Tide cassette: time has stopped still. It’s like when I saw KId Creole or The Triffids live, or saw The Teardrop Explodes’ Reward video on TotP, or my grandmother asking me if I like this sort of thing when watching The Damned play Love Song on TotP, or my father saying, ‘Turn it up!’ when hearing The Temptations “Law of the Land” on the radio…

    • Donds for all. Honestly, i’m sure we played Rocks Off a lot more than Let it Loose. I’ll redirect the Starman dond to Steve though, but pretty much anything off that album gets a dond.

      • There were some great records that year: Roxy, Mayfield, Temptations, Reed, Stones, Green, Bowie, Wonder, T-Rex, Big Star, War, Steely Dan, O’Jays, Withers, Just done a quick check: It’s also the year of The Harder They Come, Callier, Gaye . . . oooh! Krautrock: Neu! “Hallogallo”, The Dramatics, James Brown…

  11. Escape from small town Morpeth and off to the smoke and Thames Poly. New friends, new music. Loads to choose from, but I’ll discipline myself.

    The Poly bar – a dingy, smoke-filled basement (aren’t all the best ones like this?) had a juke box that had been installed for the new academic year and was full of great toons – Whisky in the Jar, Silver Machine, You’re so Vain, etc, but I’ll go for:

    Free – Wishing Well. Love the way it swings from the huge booming intro to the sweet and gentle “But I know what you’re wishing for, Love and a peaceful world”

    A good friend introduced me to Tim Buckley. Tim Buckley was so sophisticated. Greetings from LA had a dizzying voice, jazzy arrangements, ‘cool’ sound, and songs about sex. I’ll go for:

    Tim Buckley – Sweet Surrender. “Now you want to know the reason why I cheated on you .. ” great opening lyric and all those swooping strings. Mm…mm.

    Finally, the first time I got properly stoned was a Tuesday afternoon with one of my new mates in his room in the Halls of Residence. We had a smoke and then put on Roxy Music and everything gelled and fell apart at the same time.

    Roxy Music – 2HB

  12. I was 13, the same age as my son, whose birthday was yesterday. I would be appalled if he was doing now the things that I was doing then, so probably less said the better. Suffice to say it was the year I started to go to pubs, gigs etc. with my friend, who lived in the student area of Bristol – we didn’t look particularly underage if we stuck with the students and as long as we behaved ourselves no one cared anyway. Heady times. Most of the music I would choose has been mentioned already, so I’ll go with:

    Alice Cooper – School’s Out
    Argent – Hold Your Head Up
    Al Stewart – I’m Falling

  13. Finally, Boombox has accepted Billy Paul and Bill Withers and they’re now on the list. Bit of a strange year – some fantastic songs and some really, really crap ones. That sort of reflects the year for me too – it started off a bit crap, but then got better!

  14. 10 years old & when the single was king …
    I remember buying Gary Glitter – ‘Rock & Roll Pt.2’ as I liked the drums
    The Faces – ‘Stay With Me’ as a lover of all things Rod at the time
    & finally not one I bought, but was a big tune on wonderful Radio 1, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – ‘Where Is The Love’ which is all about the voice(s).

  15. Van der Graaf Generator – Theme One
    Neil Young – The Needle and the Damage Done
    Faust – It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl
    Slapp Happy – Mono Plane
    Keith Tippett – Blueprint
    Kraftwerk – Klingklang
    Al Stewart – Songs out of Clay
    Tangerine Dream – Birth of Liquid Plejades

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