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  1. #1

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    One of the stations my wife listens to in her car is "Classic Rewind," which refers to "the second generation of classic rock," during the cassette era.
    Today I was riding with her and heard a spot for the top albums of 1976. That was 45 years ago. It's also the year I graduated high school.
    So I googled 'best rock albums of 1976' and saw there were quite a few good ones.
    Thought I would mention several albums from that year that I heard a lot at the time and could listen to (at least in part) again.

    Steely Dan, The Royal Scam
    Rush, 2112
    Linda Ronstadt, Hasten Down the Wind
    Led Zeppelin, Presence
    The Ramones, The Ramones,
    Blondie, Blondie
    AC/DC, High Voltage
    Ted Nugent, Free For All
    Boz Scaggs, Silk Degrees
    Boston, Boston
    Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life
    Peter Frampton, Frampton Comes Alive
    Steve Miller, Fly Like An Eagle
    Joni Mitchell, Hijera
    Frank Zappa, Zoot Allures
    Graham Parker, Heat Treatment
    Blue Oyster Cult, Agents of Fortune
    Jeff Beck, Wired
    Aerosmith, Rocks
    Doobie Brothers, Takin' It To The Streets
    Bob Seger, Night Moves
    Genesis, Trick of the Tail (first album after Peter Gabriel left)
    Alan Parsons Project, Tales of Mystery and Imagination
    Queen, A Day at the Races

    -----To quote Sinatra, "It was a very good year."

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  3. #2

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    That was also the year of Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak and The Eagles' stay at the Hotel California.

  4. #3

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    I listened to this song---a 20-minute suite, you might say---umpteen times while riding in a car at night during my senior year of high school. It seemed to be the most popular 8-track among my set. The Zappa fans liked it, the Ted Nugent fans liked it, the Grand Funk Railroad fans liked it, the Allman Brothers fans liked it, the Johnny Winter fans liked it....(We didn't associate with anyone who didn't like at least two of those bands. I was anti-Grand Funk, as I recall. Ah, youth.)

    It was released on April Fool's Day of that year. I appreciate the irony.


  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    One of the stations my wife listens to in her car is "Classic Rewind," which refers to "the second generation of classic rock," during the cassette era.
    Today I was riding with her and heard a spot for the top albums of 1976. That was 45 years ago. It's also the year I graduated high school.
    So I googled 'best rock albums of 1976' and saw there were quite a few good ones.
    Thought I would mention several albums from that year that I heard a lot at the time and could listen to (at least in part) again.

    Steely Dan, The Royal Scam
    Rush, 2112
    Linda Ronstadt, Hasten Down the Wind
    Led Zeppelin, Presence
    The Ramones, The Ramones
    Blondie, Blondie
    AC/DC, High Voltage
    Ted Nugent, Free For All
    Boz Scaggs, Silk Degrees
    Boston, Boston
    Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life
    Peter Frampton, Frampton Comes Alive
    Steve Miller, Fly Like An Eagle
    Joni Mitchell, Hejira
    Frank Zappa, Zoot Allures
    Graham Parker, Heat Treatment
    Blue Oyster Cult, Agents of Fortune
    Jeff Beck, Wired
    Aerosmith, Rocks
    Doobie Brothers, Takin' It To The Streets
    Bob Seger, Night Moves
    Genesis, Trick of the Tail (first album after Peter Gabriel left)
    Alan Parsons Project, Tales of Mystery and Imagination
    Queen, A Day at the Races

    -----To quote Sinatra, "It was a very good year."
    Yep, some GREAT albums. All of them worth a play or three on the old phonograph. I highlighted my absolute favorites, which I pretty much wore out at the time. (Except for Stevie, I had them all on cassette--personally taped and hand-lettered by moi.)

    I know which of those albums had the best cover...launched many a teenage boy's wet dream...


  6. #5

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    1976 was indeed a great year for rock/pop/RnB and jazz.

    Of the listed albums in your post, my all time favorite is Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key of Life". It was named Album of the year in '76 and won numerous awards for Stevie.



    Here's a brief Wiki quote about this album:

    Songs in the Key of Life was released as a double LP with a four-song bonus EP. It debuted at number one on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart becoming only the third album to achieve that feat and the first by an American artist at the time.[7] The lead single "I Wish" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100; the follow-up single "Sir Duke" also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Songs in the Key of Life spent thirteen consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming the album with the most weeks at number one during the year. It was the second best-selling album of 1977 in the US. In 2005, Songs in the Key of Life was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).


    Songs in the Key of Life won Album of the Year at the 19th Grammy Awards. It is the best-selling and most critically acclaimed album of Wonder's career. Widely regarded as Wonder's magnum opus and one of the greatest albums in the history of recorded music, many musicians have remarked on the quality of the album and its influence on their own work. Additionally, notable musicians have cited it as the greatest album of all time. It was voted number 89 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums[8] and ranked number 4 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[9] In 2002, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[10] In 2005, Songs in the Key of Life was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, which deemed it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

  7. #6

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    1976 was the year my artistic aspirations crashed and burned when the band I co-founded demoted me to the rank of employee and then un-ceremonially threw me out on the trumped-up charge of not having equipment "good enough" (Blackface Fender Bassman 100 powering a Fender 2x15" cabinet driven by a Kent with a single P90). Unintended consequence: Lifetime obsession with gear in general, attention to detail, and ownership of the means of production (i.e. PA system and accessories).
    Bridges were burned and eventually selectively rebuilt, and the wheel in the sky kept on turnin.'

  8. #7

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    I had a bunch of those albums.

    I can't pick a favorite from that list. So many were great.

    Night Moves might have been the song I played the most, since I was in a band that did it.

    But we also did Lowdown from Silk Degrees. And some from Frampton Comes Alive -- which is one of the great live albums.

    Wired was great. Royal Scam, brilliant.

    The undersung hero on that list is Graham Parker -- I don't think he ever got the recognition he deserved.

  9. #8

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    Colosseum II :Strange new flesh
    The first rockconcert I attended
    Gary Moore, Jon Hiseman, Don Airey, Neil Murrayand Mike Starrs
    I still have the vinyl.

    Stanley Clarke SchoolDays
    Not sure it is a rock album (!?) but sure a dawngood album
    I still have thevinyl.

    Gong Gazeuse !
    Not sure it is a rock album (?!)
    Allan Holdsworth on guitar
    Did I mention I stillhave the vinyl ?

    Lynyrd Skynyrd :Gimme back my bullets, One more (for) from the road

    Unfortunately, no Pink Floyd album this year.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar

    The undersung hero on that list is Graham Parker -- I don't think he ever got the recognition he deserved.
    Agreed. My older brother was a huge fan and that's how I came to hear him at all. (He got no radio airplay in my neck of the woods back then---and not much later, for that matter.)

    For me, his high water mark was "Squeezing Out Sparks", which didn't come out until '79 (I think). I used to every word to every song on that record---which was not hard, as I played it a lot!

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by 339 in june

    Lynyrd Skynyrd :Gimme back my bullets, One more (for) from the road

    Unfortunately, no Pink Floyd album this year.
    I like that Skynyrd album, Gimme Back My Bullets. Hadn't thought about it in a long time.

  12. #11

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    Jackson Browne – The Pretender
    Can – Flow Motion
    Flamin' Groovies – Shake Some Action
    Penguin Café Orchestra – Music from the Penguin Café
    David Bowie – Station to Station
    How Dare You! – 10cc
    Sunburst Finish – Be-Bop Deluxe
    Jailbreak – Thin Lizzy
    Moonmadness – Camel
    Still Life – Van der Graaf Generator
    Blind Dog at St. Dunstans – Caravan
    Young and Rich – The Tubes
    Unorthodox Behaviour – Brand X
    Softs – Soft Machine
    Viva! – Roxy Music
    Stupidity – Doctor Feelgood
    Rock and Roll Heart – Lou Reed
    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Genesis – Wind and Wuthering

  13. #12

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    Buzzcocks - Time's Up. Just kidding.

    Stevie Wonder & Joni Mitchell just about saved the day (though hardly "rock") and "Trick of the Tail" was not Genesis because the group died in '75.

    Rock sucks

  14. #13
    Well there were sure a lot of good ones.A great group nobody has mentioned is The Sons Of Champlin. I loved them back then and I love them now. The lead singer B3 man Bill Champlin took the Chicago gig for about 20 years. I hear the Bay Area is expensive!!! But the main reason I dig them is Terry Haggarty the lead guitarist.I think he is really a monster for what I like.Apparently he has another really big fan who mentioned him on the R.Beato show named Robben Ford. It looks like The Sons have reformed and now also have a second guitarist and singer who I got to meet a few years ago when he came through town with Tower of Power. They have a fairly recent video of an outdoor gig in the Bay Area and the two titans duel it out and sound great I think. I also really liked the first two Deep Purple albums Kentucky woman and Hard Road or Stretch That Neck still hold up as outstanding work.As far as Johnny Winters I think his debut Columbia album was Superb! And didnt those old beautiful tube powered Stereo amps with Vinyl sound wonderful compared to the lower end digital.

  15. #14

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    You know the albums that came out in '77-79 were excellent as well, but by '79 the top SINGLES were pathetic. It was the death of album-oriented rock, and most of the well-known players were cruising toward obscurity or a decade or 2 of irrelevance.

    The early 80's weren't a bad time to be young and alive, but looking back I am VERY nostalgic for the mid-70's. Probably my favorite period of the last 60 years, at least aesthetically. (My peak year might have been 1982, but let's not go there right now.)

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    Well there were sure a lot of good ones.A great group nobody has mentioned is The Sons Of Champlin. I loved them back then and I love them now. The lead singer B3 man Bill Champlin took the Chicago gig for about 20 years. I hear the Bay Area is expensive!!! But the main reason I dig them is Terry Haggarty the lead guitarist.I think he is really a monster for what I like.Apparently he has another really big fan who mentioned him on the R.Beato show named Robben Ford. It looks like The Sons have reformed and now also have a second guitarist and singer who I got to meet a few years ago when he came through town with Tower of Power. They have a fairly recent video of an outdoor gig in the Bay Area and the two titans duel it out and sound great I think. I also really liked the first two Deep Purple albums Kentucky woman and Hard Road or Stretch That Neck still hold up as outstanding work.As far as Johnny Winters I think his debut Columbia album was Superb! And didnt those old beautiful tube powered Stereo amps with Vinyl sound wonderful compared to the lower end digital.
    Bay Area people of a certain age will bring up the Sons in any conversation about the scene at that time -- and say that the Sons were the best band.

  17. #16

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    My wife and I were recently married when the 19th Grammy Awards were on TV. We were dirt poor graduate students, so watching the ceremony was big entertainment for us. I will never forget the satellite uplink they did at the Grammys so that Andy Williams could congratulate Stevie Wonder on the receipt of the album of the year award.

    Williams questioned Wonder on the quality of the link to Kinshasa, Zaire, by asking him "Can you see me, Stevie?" Everyone but Stevie got a good laugh at this, and I remember Wonder chuckling right along--good sport.

    Back on subject...good albums. Omissions? How about "Faithful," by Todd Rundgren? It featured eerily faithful covers of The Beatles, Dylan, the Yardbirds, the Beach Boys, and Hendrix. Rundgren plays some terrific guitar on the album.

  18. #17

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    1976 was NOT a good year for prog rock. All the big bands were running out of steam.

    But in jazz...Chick Corea released 3 albums including My Spanish Heart...and Romantic Warrior with RTF. Wow.

    George Benson released Breezin’.

    Herbie Hancock released Secrets...and played on Don Kirshner:


    Check out Wah Wah Watson at about 10”, Herbie going wild on the Minimoog(?) at 15”, and the retro Toyota commercial featuring a young Bob Saget at 25”.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 05-20-2021 at 08:27 AM.

  19. #18

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    Re: prog.... Maybe punk just put an already declining scene out of its misery? ;-)

  20. #19

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    That said, Floyd did Animals in 1976 (released 1977) and I remember liking that record as a sad and lonely teenage proghead.

    I think it captures the spirit of the times in the UK (bleak and nihilistic) in its own way as well as the Pistols or the Clash. They weathered it well, no? Probably being the Enemy gave them a bit more longevity.

    I used to like a bit of angst, unsurprisingly. These days i like dance music.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Jackson Browne – The Pretender
    Can – Flow Motion
    Flamin' Groovies – Shake Some Action
    Penguin Café Orchestra – Music from the Penguin Café
    David Bowie – Station to Station
    How Dare You! – 10cc
    Sunburst Finish – Be-Bop Deluxe
    Jailbreak – Thin Lizzy
    Moonmadness – Camel
    Still Life – Van der Graaf Generator
    Blind Dog at St. Dunstans – Caravan
    Young and Rich – The Tubes
    Unorthodox Behaviour – Brand X
    Softs – Soft Machine
    Viva! – Roxy Music
    Stupidity – Doctor Feelgood
    Rock and Roll Heart – Lou Reed
    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Genesis – Wind and Wuthering
    Some bloody good albums in that list. Some I don’t know but probably should. (My dads record collection focussed on certain stuff.)

    the pub rock thing deserves more attention, those bands were great, already a reaction against prog, really. Wilco Johnson is an absolute legend...

    And Roxy music of course... and you can’t knock Thin Lizzy...

    Penguin Cafe Orchestra, too!

    I thought I’d be able to add one of my favourites, John Martyn One World to that list but of course that’s 77. (What a year that was.)
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-20-2021 at 09:54 AM.

  22. #21

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    Weird thing about Genesis; listening to side 1 Lamb or something I get very impatient that these songs are interrupted for noodly solos. There’s that tension between the sort of Art Rock/Roxy vibe from Gabriel and the cos Mahavishnu/tricky hits/instrumental solos vibe from Banks and Collins which actual detracts from the music quite a lot for me. It’s just unnecessary BS to my ears, but that’s the stuff that makes it prog really.

    So it’s quite ironic really that the fanbase blames the departure of Gabriel for the move towards pop (and I have to say I think Turn It On Turn It Off again is their artistic high point. As prog as it gets while being a pop song; they always had the hooks. That’s much harder to do than ‘the Battle of Epping Forest.’ They had to kill their darlings so to speak.

    Anyway Trick of the Tail is very prog; as Dave King puts it the smoothest transition ever considering your star frontman leaves lol... I don’t really remember W&W; I think it was a bit sappy?

    Hopefully I am not Patrick Bateman.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    That said, Floyd did Animals in 1976 (released 1977) and I remember liking that record as a sad and lonely teenage proghead.

    I think it captures the spirit of the times in the UK (bleak and nihilistic) in its own way as well as the Pistols or the Clash. They weathered it well, no? Probably being the Enemy gave them a bit more longevity.

    I used to like a bit of angst, unsurprisingly. These days i like dance music.
    I did like the Animals album quite a bit...listened to it just the other day, it has aged well. I still think they were on their last legs creatively, the Wall notwithstanding (which was kind of a last-gasp reaction to their increasingly constricting fame). My roommate in college played The Wall incessantly, to the point I can hardly stand to hear anything but Comfortably Numb again. Ever.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Weird thing about Genesis; listening to side 1 Lamb or something I get very impatient that these songs are interrupted for noodly solos. There’s that tension between the sort of Art Rock/Roxy vibe from Gabriel and the cos Mahavishnu/tricky hits/instrumental solos vibe from Banks and Collins which actual detracts from the music quite a lot for me. It’s just unnecessary BS to my ears, but that’s the stuff that makes it prog really.

    So it’s quite ironic really that the fanbase blames the departure of Gabriel for the move towards pop (and I have to say I think Turn It On Turn It Off again is their artistic high point. As prog as it gets while being a pop song; they always had the hooks. That’s much harder to do than ‘the Battle of Epping Forest.’ They had to kill their darlings so to speak.

    Anyway Trick of the Tail is very prog; as Dave King puts it the smoothest transition ever considering your star frontman leaves lol... I don’t really remember W&W; I think it was a bit sappy?

    Hopefully I am not Patrick Bateman.
    The first album of Genesis I bought was their live album Seconds Out in '77. I thought it was a very good recreation of their sound on the records, and surprising with Phil instead of Peter singing. Phil does a good stadium version of Peter for these songs. But as far as being a prog band in the traditional sense, Trick of the Tail was really their last effort, and not quite on a par with prior efforts, though there are some good parts, and Phil's drumming is just phenomenal--Robbery, Assault and Battery.

    Are you Patrick Bateman...how many skin care products do you use on a regular basis? What do you think of Huey Lewis? Wicked funny movie that was.