Spillyear 1970


Music fans, social historians and human beings in general are a strange bunch, trying to find meaning and significance in the changing of a digit in an artificially constructed numerical system. Still – 1970, eh? Theyre selling hippy wigs in Woolworths, man. The greatest decade in the history of mankind is over. End of an era… beginning of a new one… let’s hear your thoughts, memories and music.

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64 thoughts on “Spillyear 1970

  1. 1. Joni Mitchell – Morning Morgantown

    Ladies of the Canyon, and this song in particular, brings back memories of getting up at 5am with a baby (c.2007-2012).

    2. Tim Buckley – Song To A Siren

    A decent version of the This Mortal Coil classic.

    3. Nick Drake – Northern Sky

    Well, name me a more beautiful song…

  2. Ah barbryn, you beat me to Nick Drake, there is hardly a more beautiful song, have a dond and Tim Buckley, so many great covers of that song I haven’t heard one I don’t like yet.

    1. Led Zeppelin – Friends
    played this album to death but it still sounds so fresh and summery

    2.The Doors – Riders on the Storm
    I still wish the organ wasn’t so rinkydink, but love the sound effects and Jim’s voice as ever

    3.Fotheringay – The Sea
    I love the album cover, I love Sandy Denny and I love the sea, what’s not to love?

  3. I’d love to say that Syd Barrett‘s The Madcap Laughs was one of my 1970 purchases, but although I’d heard bits on John Peel, I didn’t actually buy it until it came out as half of a CD set with Barrett donkey’s years later.

    1970 was another great year, I think, though. Van Morrison gave us Moondance, we also had Déjà Vu from CSN&Y and Joni Mitchell released Ladies of the Canyon.

    I didn’t buy any of those in 1970 either, though. Mainly because I was impecunious and at school. If I’d had the money, I’d have snapped them up.

    I did buy a few things, though and one was Led Zeppelin III so there has to be something from that. Someone I thought I was in love with gave me Layla for my birthday, so I think there will also be a track off of that, too.

    I used to buy a lot of singles back then and a real fave was the Three Dog Night cover of Mama Told Me Not to Come, although I had no idea who Randy Newman was at the time.

    So, here goes;

    Three Dog Night – Mama Told Me Not to Come
    Derek And The Dominoes – Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
    Led Zeppelin – Tangerine

  4. I don’t know where to start, so many good songs. I’m trying to think back to my 11 year-old self; the 11 Plus (I walked into the church lychgate on the morning of the 11+, knocked myself out and woke up on a grave!); the new school 8 miles from home; new money (decimalisation); leaving old friends and trying to make new ones; getting used to traveling on buses by myself. All a bit momentous at the time, but always music in the background, on the radio. I’ll go with:

    Matthews Southern Comfort – Woodstock
    Cat Stevens – Lady D’Arbanville
    Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi

  5. ok so Sweet Jane has gone, so another sweet song –

    James Taylor – Sweet Baby James
    Santana – Black Magic Woman
    Neil Young – After the Gold Rush

    • A pretty special year for music. The Isle of Wight Festival…so many of the greatest artists there, including Jimi Hendrix, just a few weeks before he died, remember very vividly hearing that news. Was entranced by James Taylor. I like the Fleetwood Mac version of Black Magic Woman too but that was earlier and this one’s lovely and moody. Finally, Neil Young’s vision of planetary catastrophe from 45 years ago. Plenty of other possibilities.

  6. I was born in the summer of 1970 – my mum was busy with me and my dad was busy with his first ever TV to watch the world cup (my love of sporting fair play is obviously because of bouncing in his arms taking in the Brazil v England match at a few weeks old) and coming up with the idea for Copella Apple Juice on Boxford (Hill) Farm.. (although the company say the Juice part was 1969 – they are wrong)…. anyway


    Young – Only Love Can Break Your Heart
    Stooges – 1970
    The Meters – Hand Clapping Song
    Curtis – Move On Up
    Geraldo Pino – Heavy Heavy Heavy

      • Ah the wonderful eponymous T Rex album, it was at the top of my long list and Jewel is exceptional, isn’t it? I think every track off it has been my favourite at one time or another.

    • That T.Rex album was the last one that really links Marc Bolan to his hippy past, isn’t it, even though it is pretty electric. I can remember liking it a fair bit back then, along with Ride A White Swan which wasn’t on the album, as happened a lot in those days.

      • It was after Steve Curry joined on bass but before they got a proper rock drummer with a proper tock drum kit. I like the later stuff, it’s what I heard first but I think this in-between period was Marc’s best.

        • Yes, I think that you are right. The early stuff is a bit hit-and-miss. I wasn’t a fan of his real teenybopper glam stuff.

  7. With both Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty released in 1970, I doubt I’ll stray far from those little goldmines. But which 3 nuggets? Head’s all empty…..

    • Yes, loads of great music in 1970. And loads of excellent songs on WMD and AB.
      I’ll pick the first two tracks from side 2 of each:

      Cumberland Blues
      Black Peter
      Brokedown Palace

      • I didn’t know either of them in 1970, but obviously I know and love them both now. I first got to know Workingman’s Dead when I was a student. I shared a house with a complete Deadhead for a while, until he decided that moving to Wales was more appealing than finishing his degree.

      • Ah, yes, I remember the lure of central Wales back in the day. Where old hippies go to slowly fade away!

        tbh, Carole, I wasn’t that keen on either WMD or AB when they came out, as I was still in love with Primal Dead. I loved the playing but I’ve only come to appreciate the quality and depth of the lyrics as the years have gone by.

  8. I was starting out on the 6th Form and digging lots of folk music, so my choices are all going to be folk-based:

    Michael Chapman – Stranger in the Room. I like Aviator, but 9.30 is a bit much for the Boom Box. Here’s pre-Bowie Mick Ronson, who supposed;y got the Bowie gig because of the stuff he did on this album.

    Pentangle – Lord Franklin

    Steeleye Span – A Calling-on Song. Written by Ashley Hutchings, it could easily be a traditional song. I saw Steeleye Span supporting Jethro Tull at Sunderland Empire in 1971. An odd match, the Tull fans didn’t seem to quite know how to take Maddy Prior hitching up her long flowing robes and doing a clog dance.

    • I haven’t heard the first one, but love your other picks, big donds here. I didn’t know Maddy clog danced, I saw some of that recently at the Bath dance, looked complicated.

  9. Much more than I thought there would be for me. 1970 is the year that heavy metal was born, both “Black Sabbath” and “Paranoid” came out, and it could be argued, the birth of punk with the MC5’s debut too.

    Will go for:

    Black Sabbath – War Pigs
    MC5 – The American Ruse
    Stooges – T.V. Eye

    Tips of the hat to Bitches Brew and Funkadelic.

  10. Overwhelmed. Special fonds for Tangerine, War Pigs, Riders on the Storm, Sweet Baby James, Ooh Child. Anything from Deja Vu, Gold Rush, Zep lll, Paranoid, Bridge S&G, John Barley corn (anyone mention that yet?).


    Zep – Immigrant Song
    Sabbath – Paranoid
    Dead – Uncle John’s Band


    Jimi- Machine Gun
    Moody Blues – Question
    Cat Stevens – Where do the Children Play
    Stones – Midnight Rambler, Stray Cat from Yayas Out
    Jackson 5 – ABC
    Melanie – Candles in the Rain.

    I have more to say, but I just grew up and got my first smartphone, and I’m still learning how to post with it

  11. “Awwww, look, there ‘e is. Bring ‘im in here.”
    “Awwww, ‘e’s got ‘is mama’s hair and ‘is daddy’s eye’s”
    “Ga ba ga ba goo ba donds.”
    “Awwww, he said ‘dada’, ain’t that adorable?”
    “na na WAAAAAHHHHH!”

    1) Jean-Jacques Perrey – E.V.A. – Funktacular Moog workout. One of the most frequently sampled songs in history.

    2) Pacific Gas & Electric – Are You Ready? – Jesus Rock got started on a high note. Which is to say that it’s been all downhill ever since.

    3) James Brown – Superbad – Watch Me! Good God. Jump back, wanna kiss myself. All of the Godfatherisms are on display right here.

  12. At the grand old age of 8 and was the year I bought my first single – ‘I Want You Back’ – Jackson 5.
    But wunnerful Radio One was in its golden period with Johnny Walker during the daytime playing this kind of thing :
    ‘Band of Gold’ – Freda Payne
    ‘Double Barrel’ – Dave & Ansell Collins
    ‘Black Night’ – Deep Purple

    amongst other classic pop music – a good year indeed!

  13. Of Course, 1970 was the year when King Crimson released two albums. The first was In the Wake of Poseidon, stylistically similar to their ground-breaking first album, but also marked by line-up changes, something that would remain a hallmark of the band for the rest of its life. In December, the band released its third album, Lizard that signalled a move away from the progressive music of the first two albums, into jazzier territory. It also heralded the arrival of sax and flute player Mel Collins, who continued to work with Crimson on and off until this day (he’s in the current incarnation).

    Robert Fripp doesn’t like Lizard and has described it as “unlistenable” in his diary, which can be found on the DGMLive website. He wrote “Overall, the album is unlistenable. Our remastering shows just how unlistenable. I am unable to recommend that anyone part with their hard-earned pay for this one, unless they want to take it to parties and play it at unwelcome guests. There are some “Lizard” lovers, I know. They must be very strange.”


    • There were so many albums by groups who, from the current vantage point, get lost in the shadow of so many greats, but were kind of big at the time. Many side project from usual suspects. Remember Spirit, and The 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus? I think there was a Rare Earth album, Savoy Brown, Love, Mountain, Hot Tuna’s first, Blind Faith (wikipedia tells me the year before), Mahavishnu Orchestra (the year after). All had a hit or two in some form or another, and you probably remember more of those bands than i do, as i was only 9 or 10 at the time.

      • I meant to say that one of my faves was Seatrain – American sort of electric folkies that i thought was all over the radio, we even discussed them in 6th grade music class. And yet even Fintan said he never heard of them. They had 2 albums with hits on them, this one was 1970.

      • I love Spirit, Amy. They were a fantastic band and The 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus is probably one of the great underrated and almost unknown psychedelic classics of the period. 1975’s Spirit Of ’76 is another great psychedelic album that few people seem to know about.

  14. Brilliant playlist, going to be hard to beat, from my point of view. Some new, but not many. Some all but forgotten yet I still know all the words as soon as they start. Great stuff.

    • Yes, the music just jumps out at you. It is all to easy to overuse the superlatives, but 1970 really had a lot going for it, musically.

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