1974-List

1974 Classic Rock Album Reviews
1974 Images
We featured albums from the year 1974 during July and August 2014. During this 40th anniversary celebration of this music, we have written original reviews the following albums:

* 1974 Album of the Year
+ Double album review

Below are further descriptions of each album, in the order that we reviewed.

July 4, 2014
Holiday by AmericaAmerica brought their tight harmonic arrangements to the world’s premiere producer George Martin for the group’s 4th LP, Holiday. Martin added judicious amounts of strings and horns beneath the group’s steady folk rock sound to make an original album with a distinct mid seventies sound.
Review of Holiday
July 7, 2014
Second Helping by Lynard SkynardMaking no bones about their intent, Lynyrd Skynyrd telegraphed with its very title that Second Helping would be more of the same Southern rock that they developed on their debut album. However, this album does show a bit of maturity and refined compositions.
Review of Second Helping
July 10, 2014
Walls and Bridges by John LennonWalls and Bridges is a unique recording in the John Lennon collection and would be his last studio album for nearly nine years. It was recorded during a separation from Yoko Ono, when Lennon briefly relocated to Los Angeles and found some turmoil in what would come to be known as his “lost weekend”.

Review of Walls and Bridges

July 14, 2014
Get Your Wings by AerosmithGet Your Wings failed to reach the Top 50 on the album charts which, at the time, was a big disappointment for the Aerosmith. In time, it has sold more than three million copies and proved to be the starting point for their greatest run of quality albums.

Review of Get Your Wings

July 17, 2014
1974 Badfinger albumsBadfinger had one of the most compositionally rich, yet personally tragic periods of the rock n’ roll saga, in the time surrounding the year 1974. During that year the group released two quality albums, Badfinger and Wish You Were Here, with the promise of top-level fame, only to have a fraud perpetrated in their name and the albums ultimately pulled from the shelves.

Review of Badfinger and Wish You Were Here

July 21, 2014
Crime of the Century by SupertrampSupertramp really went for broke with their third album, Crime of the Century in 1974. Starting with over 40 demo songs, the group and producer Ken Scott chose eight tracks which demonstrate the band at their creative height and helped launch a very successful run through the late seventies.

Review of Crime of the Century

July 26, 2014
Pretzel Logic by Steely DanSteely Dan decided to change strategy from earlier efforts and concentrate on concisely packed songs for their third album Pretzel Logic. However, these shorter songs are still very complex and dense, albeit graceful and accessible, making the album one of the true highlights of their career.

Review of Pretzel Logic

July 31, 2014
461 Ocean Blvd by Eric Clapton461 Ocean Boulevard is the second solo studio album by Eric Clapton, arriving after an unusually long break from the limelight by the traditionally prolific guitarist. Clapton forged accessible, pop-oriented reinterpretations of several rootsy songs drawn from vast genres such as reggae, blues, folk, and country.

Review of 461 Ocean Boulevard

August 3, 2014
Rush 1974 debut albumThe only album to feature drummer John Rutsey, the self-titled debut by Rush is unique in its style and compositional structure. Still, the group sets the template for sonic output that would become a signature over their long career.

Review of Rush

August 7, 2014
Diamond Dogs by David BowieThe last release of David Bowie’s “glam” era, Diamond Dogs resulted from a failed attempt to do a rock opera based on George Orwell’s 1984. Still, the album was hugely influential, especially within the emerging punk rock community, and it contained one of the most enduring glam rock anthems of all time.

Review of Diamond Dogs

August 11, 2014
Bridge of Sighs by Robin TrowerGuitarist Robin Trower brought the “power trio” concept to the next level with his terrific sophomore release Bridge of Sighs. Here, subtle but strong compositions are set on fire with stunning, tight musicianship and sonic textures to the sum of this unheralded jewel from the mid seventies.

Review of Bridge of Sighs

August 15, 2014
War Child by Jethro TullWar Child was a strong departure for Jethro Tull, as it came on the heels of two consecutive concept albums that each consisted of a single multi-part music piece. Still, this is in no way a conventional album, as the group employed a string quartet and packed the songs with a variety of styles and arrangements.

Review of War Child

August 19, 2014
Bad Company 1974 debut albumBad Company burst onto the rock scene with a gritty, raw and stripped-down effort that gave good measure to the individual talents of this early “super group”. While nothing on Bad Company is groundbreaking, the material is strong and entertaining enough to still sound great 40 years later.

Review of Bad Company

August 23, 2014
Court and Spark by Joni MitchellJoni Mitchell reached her commercial peak with the 1974 album Court and Spark. Here, she started the migration away from pure folk towards a unique fusion of folk, rock, and jazz, making this at once a smooth and pleasant listen and a unique venture onto uncommon musical ground.

Review of Court and Spark

August 27, 2014
Eldorado by ELOJeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra finally came into their own with their fourth overall album Eldorado. Lynne brought in a full, 30-piece orchestra and choir for a richer sonic experience that married rock n’ roll and classical music like never before and set the dye for the ELO wave they would ride through the next decade.

Review of Eldorado

August 31, 2014
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway by Genesis, 1974 Album of the Year
All of momentum early Genesis had built with their fine previous albums led to the culmination of a full-fledged concept album with The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. This complex story that mainly takes place in a mysterious otherworld beneath the streets of New York City, would be the first and last of its kind, and is our choice for 1974 Album of the Year.

Review of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

Final 1974 Poll Results
Q: What is the best album of 1974?

1 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis 36%
2 Crime of the Century by Supertramp 21%
3 Bad Company by Bad Company 16%
4 Bridge of Sighs by Robin Trower 11%
5 Walls and Bridges by John Lennon  7%

Conducted on our site, July-August, 2014

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3 thoughts on “1974-List”

  1. THE BEST ALBUMS 1974

    1- Eldorado – Elo
    2- Preservation Act 2 – The Kinks
    3- On The Beach – Neil Young
    4- Walls And Bridges – John Lennon
    5- The Mirage – Camel
    6 – Queen II – Queen
    7 – Burn – Deep Purple
    8- Rampant – Nazaret
    9- Apostrophe – Frank Zappa
    10- Quo – Status Quo
    11 – Get Your Wings – Aerosmith
    12- Warchild – Jethro Tull
    13- The Lamb Lies Down Broadway – Genesis
    14- Kiss – Kiss
    15- New Wave – Bob Dylan
    16- New Old Skin For Ceremony…- Leonard Cohen
    17- Late For The Sky – Jackson Browne
    18- Crime Of The Century – Supertramp
    19- Country Life – Roxy Music
    20- Phenomenon – UFO
    21- Grievous Angels – Gram Parsons
    22- Second Helpin’ – Lynyrd Skynyrd
    23- The Hoople – Mott The Hoople
    24- Red – King Crimson
    25- Caribou – Elton John
    26- Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
    27 – It’s Only Rock’N’Roll – Rolling Stones
    28 – Sweet Freedom – Uriah Heep
    29 – Veedon Fleece – Van Morrison
    30 – Old New Borrowed and Blue – Slade
    31- Hergest Ridge – Mike Oldfield

  2. Missing the hidden masterpiece of Ray Davies. The huge double theatrical album “PRESERVATION ACT 2”. Creativity for a tube, beauty all you want and originality. For me the best album of this year without doubt. Huge album underestimated and misunderstood by the great Ray Davies.

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