1. Deep Purple – In Rock   1970

There are many variations on the old saying; “As long as there are thirteen year old boys, there will be heavy metal” We used to gather around my very basic stereo and crank this one up just before piling into the car to head out to our Little League baseball games. Yes, this was before Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll” was played was played loudly over the PA at every sports venue on the planet.

2. Led Zeppelin – II   1969

Back in the fall of 1969, I thought my Dad was cool because he had this album. I performed the best version of the ‘Moby Dick’ dance at my Jr. High School….ok, Gary Tallis’s version was pretty good as well.

3. Miles Davis- Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore   1970

The first jazz album I ever bought, and my first go-to headphone album. Try Side 3 ‘Friday Miles’ on your headphone rig….If you have to ask, you’ll never know…

4. Dave Mason – Alone Together   1970

What at the time looked like a Traffic side project, turned out to be the first in a long series of solo albums by the very popular guitarist/songwriter Dave Mason. Early example of a “marbleized” vinyl release, in some areas of the USA, the black vinyl version is harder to find in good condition. Great LP that still holds up today.

5. King Crimson – Lizard   1970

The older brother of one of my friends turned us on to this King Crimson classic. To my mind, the most successful classical/jazz/rock hybrid ever committed to vinyl. New Stephen Wilson re-mix is fantastic, but hunt down a UK original, or an Editions E.G. pressing from the 1980s…it’ll be well worth whatever you end up paying for it.   

6. John Mayall – Thru the Years   1971

The Holy Trinity of 1960s-1970s Blues/Rock electric guitarists; Eric Clapton/Peter Green/Mick Taylor are all featured on this “Best Of” compilation of British bluesman John Mayall’s music. Check out Peter Green’s masterpiece ‘Curly’ and get set for five + minutes of the greatest outburst of string bending emotion on a Les Paul ever recorded.  Stevie Ray must have heard this one growing up in Texas.

7. Wendy Carlos – Switched-On Bach   1968

J.S. Bach preformed on the synthesizer. Wendy helped develop the Moog synthesizer along with the inventor of the instrument, Robert Moog. Still one of the best-selling “classical” albums of all time, one listen and you’ll hear why. I return to this LP and all the Wendy Carlos albums when I need the cobwebs cleared out of my aging brain. 

8. The Beatles – Abbey Road   1969

As has been stated many times; possibly the most perfect Side 2 of any album, ever. We played it over and over…duh!!

9. Herbie Hancock- Maiden Voyage   1965

Fantastic Blue Note title by the keyboard genius who was working in the Miles Davis group at the time. Every track is great, many have become jazz standards. The drumming of Tony Williams continues to inspire over 50 years later.   

10. Traffic – The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys  1971

Let’s see…there was this girl I liked, an old Mercedes and an empty house party that this LP instantly recalls. To me, the high point of Traffic’s catalog. Dig the Steve Winwood organ/fuzz-box solo on the title track and try not to hallucinate, just try.

Honorable Mentions:

Pink Floyd – Meddle  1971                                                   

Cream – Best of Cream   1969

Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman  1970                        

The Who – Live at Leeds   1970

Black Sabbath – Paranoid  1970                                          

Aphrodite’s Child-666     1971          

Rolling Stones- Let It Bleed  1969                                       

Rolling Stones-Exile on Main Street 1972

The Beatles-Yellow Submarine  1969            

The Beatles- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  1967

Curved Air-Second Album  1971                                         

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I    1969

Jethro Tull- Thick as a Brick  1972                                      

Jethro Tull-Stand Up   1969

Santana-Santana (Third LP)  1971                                     

Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection  1970

Quincy Jones-$ (“Dollars” Film Soundtrack) 1972         

Lee Morgan-The Sidewinder   1963


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