Doing something different with Desert Island Discs

I guess I’m slightly fanatical about music made in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There was so much wonderful music made during those days. So I thought I’d try constraining things differently in a pretend Desert Island DIscs selection.

I decided to choose exactly 50 albums from my collection.
Too difficult.
Still too many.
So I decided to choose only those albums that had a Wikipedia entry.
Still too many.
So then I said to myself, how about if I restrict myself to albums released in 1971?

Which is what I did. And then stopped when I got to 50. I could probably do 50 more. But here’s the list below, in no particular order:

Four Way Street: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Who’s Next: The Who
Aqualung: Jethro Tull
LA Woman: The Doors
The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys: Traffic

Blue: Joni Mitchell
Tupelo Honey: Van Morrison
At Fillmore East: Allman Brothers
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour: Moody Blues
Fog On The Tyne: Lindisfarne

New Riders of the Purple Sage: New Riders of the Purple Sage
Stones: Neil Diamond
Welcome to the Canteen: Traffic
The Yes Album: Yes
Weather Report: Weather Report

Teaser and the Firecat: Cat Stevens
Stephen Stills 2: Stephen Stills
Songs for Beginners: Graham Nash
Rainbow Bridge: Jimi Hendrix
Nilsson Schmilsson: Nilsson

Mud Slide Slim and The Blue Horizon: James Taylor
Pearl: Janis Joplin
Hunky Dory: David Bowie
Tumbleweed Connection: Elton John
Every Picture Tells A Story: Rod Stewart and the Faces
Led Zeppelin IV: Led Zeppelin
Songs Of Love and Hate: Leonard Cohen
Imagine: John Lennon
Santana (3): Santana
Surf’s Up: The Beach Boys

A Nod is as good as a Wink: Rod Stewart and The Faces
Cahoots: The Band
Little Feat: Little Feat
Tapestry: Carole King
American Pie: Don McLean

Sticky Fingers: The Rolling Stones
Meddle: Pink Floyd
The Doobie Brothers: The Doobie Brothers
Fragile: Yes
Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Poems, Prayers and Promises: John Denver
There’s A Riot Going On: Sly and the Family Stone
Wildlife: Mott the Hoople
What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye
The Concert for Bangla Desh: George Harrison and Friends

Madman Across The Water: Elton John
Electric Warrior: T.Rex
Chicago III: Chicago
Blessed Are… Joan Baez
Fireball: Deep Purple

There’s a lot I left out. 1971. What a year.

18 thoughts on “Doing something different with Desert Island Discs”

  1. Any particular reason you settled on 1971?

    As for people being obsessed with music from a certain period in time, it’s interesting that it’s not always from the same or even a similar point in life. Like teens or twenties Etc. FWIW I seem to listen to music mostly from 1977 to 1985 – back from when I was 2 to 10 years old. I remember hearing a lot of Motown in the house, some Ian Dury, Floyd and The Smiths via the slightly gothic girl from next door who babysat. I guess it sowed the seeds.

    Incidentally meddle is one of my favourite Floyd albums, for Fearless and San Tropez – great tracks.

  2. It was random. I was listening to Aqualung by Jethro Tull, one thing led to another, I knew it had come out in 1971, and it all started unravelling then.

  3. I remember being pretty disinterested in pop and rock until 1977. Funny that.

    Of the list you compile, 3 albums stand out for me – Tapestry, What’s Going On, Songs of Love and Hate.

    I think Imagine is the worst popular recorded track. Ever.

  4. How do you have time to pull this together? Did you write a little program to compare your music collection to wikipedia page titles? Surely you didn’t do this by hand…

  5. Lovely sojourn down memory lane. Thanks for reminding me of Stevie Winwood and Traffic then his brief association with Clapton & Blind Faith. 1971 was my first full year in the Navy and music helped alot. On the other hand, and for laffs, 1971 airwaves were consumed by The Carpenters which might breed a list of bottom 10 worst albums. Ugh. And then came leisure suits. cheers, perrien

  6. Yup, you found me out. I edited the list. Made sure there was no space for Middle Of The Road or Sweet or early Jackson 5. Did not mention Black Sabbath. Even though I had them, they did not make my top 50.

    I think I have over 400 albums from that year.

  7. Yup, you found me out. I edited the list.

    List? What list? Oh, there’s a list…

    I am just as dumb as a bucket of rocks. As my grandmother used to say, “There’s no point being stupid if you can’t show it.” [/german_accent]

  8. I would add Genesis’ Nursery Cryme.
    Although I preferred both their previous (Trespass) and next (Foxtrot) albums, I wanted to have a Peter Gabriel record matching JP’s criteria.
    Now what was Brian Eno doing in 1971?

    Another fascinating year is 1976, with hard rock near its peak, glam-rock fully decadent, soul dissolving into disco and punk coming up.
    The beginning of a dark dark era for the synthesizer.

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