Led Zep’s Houses of the Holy reflected the rise of funk and reggae. The singer songwriter movement led by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell flourished at the Troubadour and Max’s Kansas City, where Bruce Springsteen and Bob Marley shared bill. Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite was NBC’s top-rated special of the year, while Elton John’s albums dominated the number one spot for two and a half months.
A fascinating account of the music and epic social change of 1973, a defining year for David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Eagles, Elvis Presley, and the former members of The Beatles.
1973 was the year rock hit its peak while splintering―just like the rest of the world. Ziggy Stardust travelled to America in David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. The Dark Side of the Moon began its epic run on the Billboard charts, inspired by the madness of Pink Floyd’s founder, while all four former Beatles scored top ten albums, two hitting #1.
Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Graham Nash has hits aplenty spanning his nearly six-decade career. But the 77-year-old singer-songwriter recently chose to perform a special run of shows featuring his lesser-known first two solo albums in their entirety, which together describe a crucial chapter in his personal and artistic life. Tom Casciato recently spoke to Nash to learn more.
“Abbey Road” was the Beatles’ last word—the final recordings by the most popular and influential artists of the nineteen-sixties. Now, on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary, “Abbey Road” has been expertly remixed by Giles Martin, George Martin’s son and protégé, and reissued in a super-deluxe edition that comes with an archive of studio outtakes and a hundred-page book of essays and liner notes that chronicle how the recordings were made. “The Beatles are good even though everybody already knows that they’re good,” the classical composer Ned Rorem observed in 1968, alluding to how the band’s immense popularity confounded the usual notions of discriminating taste. If anyone needs to be reminded of this, this new edition of “Abbey Road” should do the trick.
In the spring of 1969, Paul McCartney telephoned George Martin to ask if he would be willing to work with the Beatles on a new album they planned to record in the months ahead. Martin, who was widely regarded as the most accomplished pop-record producer in the world, had overseen the making of all nine albums and nineteen singles that the Beatles had released in Britain since their début on E.M.I.’s Parlophone label, in 1962. His reputation was synonymous with that of the group, and the fact that McCartney felt a need to ask him about his availability dramatized how much the Beatles’ professional circumstances had changed since the release of the two-record set known as the White Album, in the fall of 1968. In Martin’s view, the five months of tension and drama it took to make that album, followed by the fiasco of “Get Back,” an ill-fated film, concert, and recording project that ended inconclusively in January, 1969, had turned his recent work with the Beatles into a “miserable experience.”
The album was rumored to be originally titled Look, but the title was changed to In Through the Out Door as a nod to the band overcoming their struggles. (“That’s the hardest way to get back in,” Page said). Hipgnosis — the English design company co-owned by Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson — designed six different album sleeves, each depicting sepia-toned scenes in a New Orleans–inspired bar. Copies were famously packaged in brown paper bags, concealing which cover was purchased. Even with this odd gimmick, the record sold an astounding 2 million copies in the first 10 days of its release. With record sales at a dangerous low, the album’s success helped revive an ailing industry.
Instead of embarking on a tour, the band decided to return to the stage with two outdoor shows at England’s Knebworth Festival on August 4th and 11th, 1979 — their first time playing on U.K. soil in four years. In the video above, they tear through “In the Evening” with Bonham taking the lead, pounding the drums during an intense strobe-light display. “So don’t you let her get under your skin,” Plant sings. “It’s only bad luck and trouble/From the day that you begin.”