Wednesday, November 26, 2008

85. Various Artists - Superstars of the 70's

older than dirtI got this four record box set as a Christmas present in 1973. Which is kind of weird. Three years into the 70's and they’re already putting out a four disc set of the decade’s superstars? The people at Warner were either very hopeful or manipulative marketers. These are the bands you will love for the next seven years!

There was enough stuff on this album for an 11 year old wannabe rocker to devour for weeks on end. I knew even then what was crap; I skipped over Seals & Crofts, Judy Collins and anything else that sounded like my mother would listen to it, although I secretly loved Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind. Very secretly. And maybe I liked the Bee Gees' Lonely Days. And who doesn't love Dock of the Bay?

But it was the rock tunes that kept these four discs occupying space on my turntable. Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix. There was Led Zeppelin and Yes, but both were shortened versions of very long songs and I remember being surprised the first time I heard the real version of Roundabout. There was Black Sabbath's Paranoid, which I played over and over again, thinking it would somehow turn me bad because everyone knew Black Sabbath was for devil worshippers. But, much to my chagrin, the church did not spontaneously burst into flames as I sang Paranoid under my breath when I crossed myself with the holy water.

I still have this box set. The picture I used here instead of the album cover was taken just a few months ago, when I found the record in my mother's attic. I sat in that hot attic for about 15 minutes when I dug the album out of the box, feeling the vinyl in my hand, remember how it felt to hear some of those songs for the first time.

Favorite song (now): Dock of the Bay
Track listing


The Silver Fox said...

//I secretly loved Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind//

Johnny Cash did an excellent cover of this on his last album.

RR Ryan said...

I forgot about this. I had it in college. I seem to remember liking most of it, including the soft rock stuff and the short version of Roundabout was vaguely disturbing. I should hunt down a copy of this. Hello, ebay!

michele said...

I hated that short version of Roundabout. It was just WRONG.