1977 Classic Rock Reviews
1977 Images
With the golden age of classic rock winding down, 1977 became a great year for pop/rock music in general. As the relatively short fads of punk rock and disco were exploding on opposite sides of the music spectrum, clear and accessible rock-based pop music was dominating that spectrum’s mainstream. Still, a few holdouts from the classic rock and prog rock eras of the recent past put out some interesting material this year.

We featured albums from the year 1977 during January and February 2012. During that 35th anniversary celebration of this music, we originally reviewed 16 albums:

*1977 Album of the Year

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

January 2, 2012
Animals by Pink FloydLargely forgotten by critics and mainstream rock fans, Animals is a true original among a Pink Floyd library which is loaded with originals. This album also signifies a definitive turning point from the band-oriented works to those dominated by Roger Waters.

Review of Animals

January 7, 2012
Even In the Quietest Moments by Supertramp The third of four great albums by Supertramp in the mid-to-late seventies, Even In the Quietest Moments was unique in many ways especially musically. Still, it acts as a nice bridge between the band’s earlier art rock and later pop-rock sounds.

Review of Even In the Quietest Moments

January 11, 2012
A Farewell To Kings by RushAfter the success of their 1976 breakthrough, 2112, the band Rush was finally in a position where they could make the type of music that they wanted to make. With A Farewell to Kings, they struck a nice balance between pop-oriented hard rock and unchartered areas of prog rock.

Review of A Farewell to Kings

January 15, 2012
Aja by Steely Dan Steely Dan reached their career pinnacle with Aja in 1977. Under the nearly-obsessive leadership of songwriters Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, close to forty of the finest jazz and rock session musicians were enlisted to compose what would become the group’s masterpiece.

Review of Aja

January 19, 2012
Rumours by Fleetwood MacAfter nearly a dozen albums and constant lineup changes, Fleetwood Mac finally got their formula right in the mid seventies. 1977′s Rumours would become not just the band’s best selling album, but one of the highest selling albums ever up to that point in time.

Review of Rumours

January 23, 2012
Point of Know Return by KansasWhile most classic rock artists had migrating towards simpler accessible music in 1977, Kansas was one of the last, stubborn holdouts to still compose pure prog. Although the band didn’t exclusively compose tunes in this genre, they still leaned mainly in this direction on their most popular album Point of Know Return.

Review of Point of Know Return

January 27, 2012
Draw the Line by AerosmithDraw the Line was the fifth album by Aerosmith, produced during the beginning of their first decline during the seventies era. Still, the album offers much of the brilliance and grit that the band offered during this golden era.
Review of Draw the Line
January 31, 2012
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex PistolsThe say that the Sex Pistols were a flash in the pan would be to greatly exaggerate their longevity. They disbanded the very same year that their classic lineup formed but did manage to produce one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, and were extremely influential.

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols

February 3, 2012
The Grand Illusion by Styx The Grand Illusion by Styx is a pleasant listen, albeit a bit uneven and less-than cohesive. The fantastic first side contains all the radio and chart hits with a much less inspired second side featuring some under-developed pieces which render the album just short of greatness.

Review of The Grand Illusion

February 7, 2012
Bat Out of Hell by Meat LoafProduced by Todd Rundgren with songs written by Jim Steinman, Bat Out of Hell was credited to Meat Loaf and would go on to be a platinum seller fourteen times over. However, the project spent over five years being rejected by every major Label (and quite a few minor ones as well).

Review of Bat Out of Hell

February 11, 2012
Slow Hand by Eric ClaptonWith Slowhand, Eric Clapton found a nice formula, perfected with enough musical prowess to attract rock and blues fans and the right touches of pop craftmanship to reach the radio-friendly pop audience of the day.

Review of Slow Hand

February 14, 2012
Book of Dreams by Steve Miller Band Steve Miller‘s most popular and enduring records came in the mid-to-late seventies and featured a blend of pop-rock songs and quasi-psychedelic pieces with synthesized effects. Book of Dreams fell right in the heart of this era.

Review of Book of Dreams

February 18, 2012
News Of the World by Queen News Of the World was recorded and released in the heart of Queen’s most prolific and creative era and may be the band’s most balanced album. It bridges the harmony-rich, virtuoso studio pieces of the recent past with the funk-influenced, rhythm driven hits of their near future.

Review of News Of the World

February 20, 2012
Out Of the Blue by ELOOut Of the Blue was a double album by Electric Light Orchestra which was incredibly composed in just a few weeks by the band’s leader Jeff Lynne. The album went on to be revered by many as the group’s finest work ever and was the high-water mark of their popular career in the seventies.

Review of Out Of the Blue

February 23, 2012
Low by David BowieThe first of what has come to be know as the “Berlin Trilogy”, David Bowie made a definite turn into synthesized, avant-garde music with Low. Although the album is completely asymmetrical, with the help of producer Tony Visconti and sound genius Brian Eno, Bowie made an artistic masterpiece.

Review of Low

February 27, 2012
The Stranger by Billy Joel, 1977 Album of the Year
The second of a trio of fantastic albums by Billy Joel in the late seventies, The Stranger is a pop music masterpiece with just a touch of experimentation and musical vituosity. The album fit perfectly for the times but yet does not sound dated 35 years later and so it is our album of the year for 1977.

Review of The Stranger

February 26, 2017
Peter GabrielPeter Gabriel‘s debut solo album was the first of four without an official title, so it has long been nicknamed “Car”. Musically, the album straddles the line of the theatrical pieces of Gabriel’s former band Genesis and the hard rock bombast brought by producer Bob Ezrin.

Review of Peter Gabriel

Final 1977 Poll Results
Q: What is the best album of 1977?

1 Animals by Pink Floyd 56.9%
2 Rumours by Fleetwood Mac 13.8%
3 Slow Hand by Eric Clapton 12.1%
4 The Grand Illusion by Styx 10.3%
5 Never Mind the Bullocks… by
The Sex Pistols
6.9%

Conducted on our site, January-February, 2012

Other 1977 Albums of Note

The highly transitional year of 1977 included scores of albums which we were not able to review. These ranged from the English folk of Songs From the Wood by Jethro Tull, to the harder rock of Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent, to Journey‘s final album before enlisting Steve Perry as lead vocalist.
There were plenty of debut albums released in 1977, including firsts by The Clash, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, The Runaways, 38 Special, and David Coverdale, who named his first solo album Whitesnake which he would re-use for the name of the band he’d be most closely associated.
Please check out some of these fine works and support Classic Rock Review by clicking through and purchasing any album you please.

Songs From the Wood by Jethro Tull Tejas by ZZ Top Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent I Robot by Alan Parsons Project Expect No Mercy by Nazareth Lust For Life by Iggy Pop Queens of Noise by The Runaways Terrapin Station by Grateful Dead Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes by Jimmy Buffett Foot Loose and Fancy Free by Rod Stewart Whitesnake by David Coverdale Steve Winwood Exodus by Bob Marley Little Queen by Heart My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello Next by Journey Love Gun by Kiss 38 Special Going For the One by Yes Cheap Trick Spectres by Blue Oyster Cult Foreigner The Clash Street Survivors by Lynard Skynard


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