Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1970


Last year I decided to turn the clock back four decades and put together a list of my 30 fave albums of 1973, because, for one thing, that was the year when the greatest rock album of all time–the Who’s Quadrophenia–was released.

Then,  a couple of weeks back, I kept up the “40 years ago” tradition by putting together my list of the best rock albums of ’74, and that was a ton ‘o fun.

So instead of waiting till 2015 to do my fave albums of 1975, I’m just gonna go ahead and start compiling lists for every year of the seventies, ’cause everybody knows that was the greatest decade for rock.

Well, guitar-rock, anyway.

So here’s my list of 30 discs from 1970 that got things started for the decade that will be forever embedded in my rockin’ consciousness. It’s no 1973–even with Cosmo’s Factory–but you might find something you like.

As before, I’ve listed the LPs alphabetically by title, and included three choice tracks from each disc to help you remember how wicked they really were.

Abraxas: Santana (“Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Coma Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”)

After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (“Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “When You Dance I Can Really Love”)

All Things Must Pass: George Harrison (“My Sweet Lord”, “What is Life”, “If Not for You”)

American Beauty: The Grateful Dead (“Box of Rain”, “Friend of the Devil”, “Sugar Magnolia”)

American Woman: The Guess Who (“American Woman”, “No Time”, “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature”)

Band of Gypsys: Band of Gypsys (“Hear My Train a Comin”, “Machine Gun”, “Ezy Ryder”)

Climbing: Mountain (“Mississippi Queen”, “Theme For an Imaginary Western”, “Never In My Life”)

Cosmo’s Factory: Creedence Clearwater Revival (“Travelin’ Band”, “Who’ll Stop the Rain”, “Up Around the Bend”)

Deep Purple in Rock: Deep Purple (“Speed King”, “Bloodsucker”, “Flight of the Rat”)

Deja Vu: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (“Teach Your Children”, “Woodstock”, “Helpless”)

Eric Clapton: Eric Clapton (“After Midnight”, “Blues Power”, “Let it Rain”)

Fire and Water: Free (“Fire and Water”, “Mr. Big”, “All Right Now”)

Gasoline Alley: Rod Stewart (“Gasoline Alley”, “It’s All Over Now”, “Cut Across Shorty”)

Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!: The Rolling Stones (“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Midnight Rambler”, “Sympathy for the Devil”)

Hot Tuna: Hot Tuna (“Hesitation Blues”, “Know You Rider”, “Winin’ Boy Blues”)

Idlewild South: The Allman Brothers Band (“Midnight Rider”, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, “Revival”)

Indianola Mississippi Seeds: B.B. King (“Nobody Loves Me But My Mother”, “King’s Special”, “Hummingbird”)

James Gang Rides Again: The James Gang (“Funk 49”, “Tend My Garden”, “Ashes, the Rain and I”)

The J. Geils Band: The J. Geils Band (“Homework”, “Hard Drivin’ Man”, “First I Look at the Purse”)

Johnny Winter And: Johnny Winter (“Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”, “Prodigal Son”, “Funky Music”)

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs: Derek & the Dominos (“I Looked Away”, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad”, “Little Wing”)

Led Zeppelin III: Led Zeppelin (“Immigrant Song”, “Celebration Day”, “Gallows Pole”)

Let It Be: The Beatles (“Two Of Us”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “Get Back”)

Live at Leeds: The Who (“Young Man Blues”, “Substitute”, “Summertime Blues”)

McCartney: Paul McCartney (“Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Every Night”, “That Would Be Something”)

Moondance: Van Morrison (“And It Stoned Me”, “Crazy Love”, “Into the Mystic”)

Morrison Hotel: The Doors (“Roadhouse Blues”, “Peace Frog”, “Ship of Fools”)

Paranoid: Black Sabbath (“War Pigs”, “Iron Man”, “Paranoid”)

Wishbone Ash: Wishbone Ash (“Blind Eye”, “Lady Whiskey”, “Phoenix”)

Workingman’s Dead: The Grateful Dead (“Uncle John’s Band”, “New Speedway Boogie”, “Casey Jones”)

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