10 Classic rock albums that turn 50 in 2023
(ouça este episódio aqui: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1bZ0PI216uMjrCJqNIjNQZ?si=7Vok-dc2QEKOH9b_BA7KBw)
Hello and welcome to 2023’s first episode of Way Ahead! Your 100% English-speaking podcast!
This is teacher Fábio Emerim and today I want to talk about 10 classic rock albums that are turning 50 this year, just like me! But before any further ado let me remind you that the whole transcription of this episode is published on our blog www.englishinbrazil.com.br/blog so that you can read while you listen!
1973 was a landmark year for classic rock music, with many iconic albums being released that would go on to become staples of rock radio and influence future generations of musicians.
Let’s talk about our first album from this list (which is not following any particular order, ok?) one of the most celebrated albums of 1973 which is “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. This concept album explored themes of mental illness, greed, and the passage of time, and its combination of experimental rock and electronic elements made it a groundbreaking release. The album was an instant commercial success, remaining on the Billboard 200 for over 15 years and becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Another notable release from 1973 was “The Who’s Quadrophenia”. This rock opera was written by Pete Townshend and tells the story of a young mod named Jimmy and his struggles with identity and alienation. The album was a critical and commercial success and has since been hailed as one of the greatest rock operas ever recorded.
Led Zeppelin also released their sixth album “Houses of the Holy” in 1973. The album showed the band’s growth as musicians and songwriters and it was a commercial success, reaching number one on the charts in both the UK and the US. The album features some of the band’s most iconic songs such as “The Song Remains the Same” and “No Quarter”.
Band on the Run, the third studio album by Paul McCartney and Wings, was also released in 1973. The album was recorded at EMI’s studio in Lagos, Nigeria, and is considered one of McCartney’s best works, both as a solo artist and with Wings. The album features hit singles such as “Jet,” “Band on the Run,” and “Helen Wheels.” It also features a diverse range of musical styles, including rock, pop, and funk. The record received critical acclaim upon release and is considered a classic of 1970s rock music. It was also a commercial success, reaching number one on the charts in the UK and the US.
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the fifth studio album by the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released – of course – in 1973. The album shows a more experimental and progressive sound than their previous work and is considered a landmark in the development of heavy metal music. It features songs such as “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “A National Acrobat,” and “Fluff.” The record received positive reviews upon its release and is considered a classic of the heavy metal genre. It was also a commercial success, reaching the top 20 in several countries, including the UK and the US. The cover art of the album, featuring a blood-spattered cross, also generated controversy and was banned by some retailers.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the seventh studio album by Elton John, released in 1973. The album is considered one of John’s most successful and critically acclaimed works. It features hit singles such as “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” and “Candle in the Wind.” The album also features different musical styles, including rock, folk, and country. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’s themes include nostalgia and escapism, as well as critiques of fame and the music industry. The album received positive reviews upon release and is considered a classic of 1970s pop music. It was a commercial success, reaching the number one spot on the charts in several countries, including the UK and the US. Sir Elton John’s record has since been certified 8x Platinum in the US and 4x Platinum in the UK.
Tales From Topographic Oceans is the sixth studio album by the progressive rock band Yes, released in 1973. The album is a concept album based on the idea of a journey through four “topographic oceans” described in the Shastric scriptures, a Hindu text. The record features four long tracks, each representing one of the topographic oceans. It received mixed reviews upon release and is considered a divisive work among fans and critics. Some praised the album for its ambitious concept and musicianship, while others criticized it for its length and perceived self-indulgence. Despite the mixed reaction, the album was a commercial hit, reaching number one on the UK album charts and number 6 on the US charts. It was certified Gold in the US and UK, although it was not as successful as the band’s previous album Close to the Edge.
Genesis’ fifth studio album Selling England by the Pound is another gem from 1973. The album is considered a classic of the progressive rock genre, and one of the band’s best works. It features hit singles such as “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” and “Firth of Fifth.” The album also features many different musical styles, including rock, folk, and classical music. Its themes include nostalgia for a pre-industrial England and critiques of modern society. The record received positive reviews upon release and is considered a classic of the 1970s. It was also a huge success, reaching the top 10 in several countries, including the UK and the US. The album has since been reissued multiple times and continues to be a popular and highly regarded release in the Genesis catalog.
John Lennon is here too with his Mind Games, his fourth solo studio album. This record features the hit single “Mind Games,” as well as other songs such as “Meat City” and “Intuition.” The album’s musical style is a mix of rock, and pop and has been described as a continuation of the style Lennon explored on his previous album, Imagine. The album also features lyrics that explore spiritual themes, such as transcendence, and the search for inner peace, as well as more personal themes such as the breakdown of Lennon’s marriage to Yoko Ono. The album was not as critically acclaimed as Lennon’s previous work, but it was a commercial success, reaching the top 20 in several countries, including the UK and the US. It was certified Gold in the US and UK. Mind Games was reissued several times and is considered a strong effort in Lennon’s solo career.
Goats Head Soup, the eleventh studio album by the Rolling Stones, was released in 1973 too. The record features hit singles such as “Angie” and “Dancing With Mr. D.” The album is considered a departure from the band’s earlier work, as it features a more polished sound, with a greater emphasis on ballads and more introspective lyrics. The album also features elements of funk, reggae and soul music, as well as a more prominent use of electronic instruments and studio effects. The record was not as well-received by critics as the band’s previous work, but it was still a commercial success, reaching number one on the charts in several countries, including the UK and the US. It was certified Gold in the US and UK, Goats Head Soup is now considered a classic of the band’s catalog and considered an important release in the evolution of their music style.
All these albums are still considered classics and continue to be a major influence on the music industry, many bands and artists continue to reference and homage them.
Now let me ask you something, have you ever thought about the music that was on the radios the year you were born? I’m pretty sure you’re thinking about it right now! So, do your research and find out!
Ok, this was this week’s episode of Way Ahead! I’m glad I’m back! See you next time!