1972: The Year in Rock Music

Share This:

By the start of 1972, the major artists and styles of the ’60s were beginning to give way to new names that would come to dominate the still-unfolding decade. Artists such as David Bowie, Elton John, Eagles and Michael Jackson each had multiple hits this year, and changes were definitely in the air.

Still, in this timeline, you’ll see many familiar artists that ’60s rock fans had loved, including former members of the Beatles and bands like the Rolling Stones, the Temptations and the Moody Blues. We may have been looking forward, but that didn’t mean we had to say goodbye to the old favorites.

It’s always fun to look back with the benefit of hindsight and remember what our ears were taking in. That’s exactly what we’ve done here: We’ve turned back the clock 50 years and compiled a timeline of the year’s top events (including album releases) in rock music. Then we’ve listed the bands that formed during that year, and those that called it quits.

Finally, we’ve compiled a list of the year’s top singles. Looking at it all now, we have to admit that we were all very lucky to have this music in our lives—and we still are!

Jan. 7—Jamming With Edward, an album featuring members of the Rolling Stones and others, is released

Jan. 16—Blue Öyster Cult releases their debut album; David Seville, the voice of the Chipmunks, dies

Jan. 17—Linda Ronstadt releases her self-titled third solo album; part of Highway 51 in Memphis is renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard

Jan. 20—At a concert in Brighton, England, Pink Floyd debuts the music that would be released a full year later as Dark Side of the Moon. On the same day, Jerry Garcia releases Garcia, his debut solo album.

Jan. 23—Big Maybelle, blues singer, dies

Jan. 24—Albums released on this day include Paul Simon’s self-titled second solo album, Cass Elliot’s self-titled album, Aretha Franklin’s Young, Gifted and Black, and Michael Jackson’s solo debut, Got to Be There.

Jan. 27—Gospel great Mahalia Jackson dies at age 60

Jan. 31—Al Green releases Let’s Stay Together album

Jan. ?—These albums were also released this month: Grin’s 1+1, Bread’s Baby I’m-a Want You, Jimi Hendrix’s posthumous Hendrix in the West,  Ry Cooder’s Into the Purple Valley, Country Joe McDonald’s Incredible! Live!, Jackson Browne’s self-titled solo debut, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s All the Good Times, Malo’s self-titled debut, Black Oak Arkansas’ Keep the Faith, Captain Beefheart’s The Spotlight Kid, Crazy Horse’s Loose, Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile, and Leo Kottke’s Greenhouse. The Doors compilation Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine was also released.

Feb. 1—Neil Young’s Harvest and Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything? are released

Feb. 9—Paul McCartney’s new band, Wings, debuts at the University of Nottingham in England

Feb. 10—David Bowie opens his Ziggy Stardust tour in Surrey, England

Feb. 12—The Allman Brothers Band releases Eat a Peach

Related: Our Album Rewind of the 2-LP ABB classic

Feb. 14-18—John Lennon and Yoko Ono spend a week hosting The Mike Douglas Show on American TV

Feb. 17—Billie Joe Armstrong, who would later front Green Day, is born

Feb. 18—Manfred Mann’s Earth Band releases their self-titled debut album

Feb. 25—Paul McCartney releases “Give Ireland Back to the Irish.” The BBC bans it but it becomes a Top 20 hit in the U.K. On the same day, Nick Drake releases Pink Moon.

Feb. 29—John Lennon’s U.S. immigration visa expires, and he begins his fight to remain in the country

Feb. ?—These albums were also released this month: Eric Andersen’s Blue River, McKendree Spring’s 3, Kris Kristofferson’s Border Lord, Hot Tuna’s Burgers, Fanny’s Fanny Hill, David Cassidy’s Cherish, Alex Taylor’s Dinnertime, Gordon Lightfoot’s Don Quixote, John Kay’s Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes, the Strawbs’ Grave New World, Merl Saunders’ Heavy Turbulence, Dave Mason’s Head Keeper, Scorpions’ Lonesome Crow, Savoy Brown’s Hellbound Train, Jim Capaldi’s Oh How We Danced, the Guess Who’s Rockin’, Brinsley Schwarz’ Silver Pistol, Michael Nesmith’s Tantamount to Treason Vol. 1, Jackie Lomax’s Three, and Jesse Colin Young’s Together.

March 3—Stevie Wonder releases Music of My Mind

March 10—Thin Lizzy releases Shades of a Blue Orphanage, Jethro Tull releases Thick As a Brick

Related: Our Album Rewind of Thick as a Brick

March 11—Harry Chapin’s Heads & Tales released

March 15—Winners at the 14th annual Grammy Awards include Carole King, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Withers and Carly Simon

March 24—Slade Alive! by Slade is released; Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks release Striking It Rich

March 25—The compilation album The Kink Kronikles by the Kinks is released, as is Deep Purple’s Machine Head

March 26—Frank Zappa and the Mothers release Just Another Band from L.A.

March 27—Three Dog Night’s Seven Separate Fools is released

March ?—These albums were also released this month: Ten Years After’s Alvin Lee and Company, Fleetwood Mac’s Bare Trees, Bobby Whitlock’s solo debut, Delaney and Bonnie’s D&B Together, Spirit’s Feedback, Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band’s Garden Party, Jerry Lee Lewis’ The “Killer Rocks On, Cream’s Live Cream Vol. II, New Riders of the Purple Sage’s Powerglide, Pure Prairie League’s self-titled debut, Edgar Winter’s White Trash’s Roadwork, Humble Pie’s Smokin’, the Everly Brothers’ Stories We Could Tell, Lee Michaels’ Space and First Takes, and Styx’s self-titled debut.

April 4—ZZ Top releases their second album, Rio Grande Mud

April 5—Graham Nash and David Crosby release Graham Nash David Crosby

April 10—The Raspberries release their self-titled debut

April 11—Creedence Clearwater Revival releases Mardi Gras

April 12—Manassas (with Stephen Stills) releases their self-titled debut

Related: Manassas—Stills’ finest (solo) hour

April 14—Gentle Giant releases Three Friends

April 16—The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) makes their debut at Croydon, England (two months later, founding member Roy Wood leaves the band)

April 20—Dr. John Releases Gumbo

April 28—Wishbone Ash releases Argus

April ?—These albums were also released this month: T. Rex’s Bolan’s Boogie, Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys’ Cat Mother, Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Comin’ Thru, David Clayton-Thomas’ self-titled album, Elvis Presley’s He Touched Me, Richard Thompson’s Henry the Human Fly, Lou Reed’s self-titled solo debut, Tom Rush’s Merrimack County, Mountain’s Live: The Road Goes Ever On, April Wine’s On Record, Al Kooper’s A Possible Projection of the Future/Childhood’s End, Procol Harum’s Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Johnny Cash’s A Thing Called Love, and Jim Croce’s You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.

May 1—The Jeff Beck Group release their self-titled fourth album

May 2—Les Harvey of the band Stone the Crows is electrocuted onstage in Wales. He dies a few hours later.

May 5—Blues great Rev. Gary Davis dies

May 6—Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway release their self-titled collaboration

May 8—Billy Preston becomes the first rock artist to headline New York City’s Radio City Music Hall

May 11—The Meters release Cabbage Alley

May 12—The Rolling Stones release Exile on Main St.

Related: The #1 albums of 1972

May 14—Rory Gallagher’s Live in Europe is released

May 15—The Beach Boys release Carl and the Passions—“So Tough”

May 19—Elton John’s Honky Chateau, Uriah Heep’s Demons and Wizards, and Caravan’s Waterloo Lily are released

May 22—Funkadelic releases America Eats Its Young

May 26—Weather Report’s I Sing the Body Electric and Peter Frampton’s Winds of Change are released

May 30—The Velvet Underground’s Live at Max’s Kansas City is released

May ?—These albums were also released this month: Bob Weir’s Ace, Bloodrock’s Live, Joy of Cooking’s Castles, Joan Baez’s Come From the Shadows, Judy Collins’ Colors of the Day, Janis Joplin’s posthumous In Concert, the Supremes’ Floy Joy, the Flying Burrito Brothers’ Last of the Red Hot Burritos, Roy Orbison’s Sings, Randy Newman’s Sail Away, Little Feat’s Sailin’ Shoes, and Bill Withers’ Still Bill

Related: One year earlier… 1971 in rock music

June 1—Aretha Franklin releases Amazing Grace; also, the self-titled debut by Eagles is released

June 2—Pink Floyd’s Obscured by Clouds is released

June 3—The Rolling Stones open their first North American tour since 1969 in Vancouver, British Columbia

June 6—David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is released

Released: Our Album Rewind of Ziggy… When glam-rock went global

June 7—Grease opens on Broadway, beginning a run of more than 3,300 shows

June 9—King Crimson releases Earthbound and James Brown releases There It Is

June 10—Elvis Presley begins a four-show run at New York’s Madison Square Garden; LaBelle releases Moon Shadow

June 12—John Lennon and Yoko Ono release Some Time in New York City

June 13—The Carpenters release A Song for You

June 14—Madison Square Garden hosts a benefit for presidential candidate George McGovern starring a reunited Simon and Garfunkel, plus Dionne Warwick and Peter, Paul and Mary; Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits is released on the same day. Also on this date, the concert film Fillmore, featuring the final days of the San Francisco venue, opens

June 16—Roxy Music’s self-titled debut is released

June 18—Elvis Presley’s As Recorded at Madison Square Garden is released

June 23—Jethro Tull’s Living in the Past is released

June 26—Leon Russell’s Carney is released

June ?—These albums were also released this month: Big Star’s #1 Record, Ike Turner’s Blues Roots, Free’s Free at Last, Black Oak Arkansas’ If an Angel Came to See You, Would You Make Her Feel at Home?, Alice Cooper’s School’s Out and Golden Earring’s Together

July 1—The Doobie Brothers release Toulouse Street

July 3—Blues great Mississippi Fred McDowell dies

July 4—David Ackles’ American Gothic is released

July 5—Frank Zappa’s Waka/Jawaka is released

July 6—Emerson, Lake and Palmer release Trilogy

July 7—The Jimmy Cliff-led reggae soundtrack to The Harder They Come is released

July 10—Chicago V and Harry Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson are released

July 15—Neil Diamond’s Moods is released

July 17—The Doors’ post-Jim Morrison Full Circle album is released

July 20—Jefferson Airplane’s Long John Silver, their final studio album until a 1989 reunion, is released

July 21—Rod Stewart releases Never a Dull Moment and T. Rex releases The Slider

July 24—Bobby Ramirez, drummer for Edgar Winter’s White Trash, is beaten to death in a Chicago bar fight

July ?—These albums were also released this month: John Cale’s The Academy in Peril, Argent’s All Together Now, Johnny Cash’s America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song (his 40th album), Captain Beyond’s self-titled debut, Foghat’s self-titled debut, Ike and Tina Turner’s Feel Good, Nazareth’s Exercises, Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now, Van Morrison’s Saint Dominic’s Preview, the James Gang’s Straight Shooter, and Curtis Mayfield’s Super Fly.

Aug. 2—Brian Cole of the Association dies

Aug. 4—Michael Jackson releases his Ben album

Aug. 5—Aerosmith signs with Columbia Records

Related: Read about Aerosmith’s early days in this book excerpt

Aug. 9—The London production of Jesus Christ Superstar opens

Aug. 14—Buddy Guy and Junior Wells’ Play the Blues is released

Aug. 15—The Band releases Rock of Ages

Aug. 25—The Kinks release Everybody’s in Show-Biz

Related: Our Album Rewind of Everybody’s in Show-Biz

Aug. 28—Cactus releases ’Ot ‘n’ Sweaty

Aug. 30—John Lennon and Yoko Ono headline the “One to One” concert for mentally handicapped children at Madison Square Garden, with Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack and others as support acts

Aug. ?—These albums were also released this month: Michael Nesmith’s And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’. The O’Jays’ Back Stabbers, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ self-titled debut, the Guess Who’s Live at the Paramount, Roy Buchanan’s self-titled second album, Bob Seger’s Smokin’ O.P.’s, and Seals and Crofts’ Summer Breeze.

Related: Our feature story on Seals and Crofts

Sept. 8—Mott the Hoople releases All the Young Dudes

Sept. 13—Yes releases Close to the Edge

Sept. 15—Grand Funk Railroad releases Phoenix, and John Denver releases Rocky Mountain High

Sept. 21—Liam Gallagher, later of the British band Oasis, is born

Sept. 22—Jefferson Airplane plays their final gig, at San Francisco’s Winterland. They will reunite in 1989 for one tour and album.

Sept. 25—Black Sabbath releases Vol. 4

Sept. 26—The J. Geils Band releases Live Full House

Sept. 27—Cat Stevens releases Catch Bull at Four

Sept. 28—British musician Rory Storm dies

Sept. 29—Manfred Mann’s Earth Band releases Glorified Magnified

Sept. ?—These albums were also released this month: Bonnie Raitt’s Give It Up, Family’s Bandstand, Boz Scaggs’ My Time, Brinsley Schwarz’ Nervous on the Road, Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder, Sandy Denny’s Sandy, Pentangle’s Solomon’s Seal, Budgie’s Squawk, and David Clayton-Thomas’ Tequila Sunrise

Oct. 1—Jimi Hendrix’s War Heroes is released posthumously

Oct. 2—Nuggets, a compilation album of mid-’60s psychedelic singles, which would influence punk-rock bands, is released by Elektra Records

Oct. 6—Genesis releases Foxtrot

Oct. 8—Billy Preston releases Music Is My Life

Oct. 11—Santana releases Caravanserai

Oct. 12—The film Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross, premieres. She is later nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

Oct. 23—Al Green releases I’m Still in Love With You

Oct. 28—Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book is released

Oct. ?—These albums were also released this month: Joe Walsh’s Barnstorm, Captain Beefheart’s Clear Spot, Pure Prairie League’s Bustin’ Out, Tim Buckley’s Greetings from L.A., Bread’s Guitar Man, Diana Ross’ Lady Sings the Blues, Barbra Streisand’s Live Concert at the Forum, Rita Coolidge’s The Lady’s Not for Sale, Savoy Brown’s Lion’s Share, Loggins and Messina’s self-titled second album, Chuck Berry’s The London Sessions, Atomic Rooster’s Made in England, James Gang’s Passin’ Thru,  Carole King’s Rhymes & Reasons, Ten Years After’s Rock & Roll Music to the World, Harry Chapin’s Sniper and Other Love Songs, Stealers Wheel’s self-titled debut, the Bee Gees’ To Whom It May Concern, and Pete Townshend’s Who Came First.

Nov. 1—James Taylor releases One Man Dog, the Hollies release Romany, and Slade releases Slayed?

Nov. 3—James Taylor and Carly Simon are wed in New York

Nov. 5—The Grateful Dead’s Europe ’72 is released

Nov. 6—Billy Murcia of the New York Dolls dies

Nov. 7—Bette Midler releases The Divine Miss M, Neil Young releases Journey Through the Past

Nov. 8—Lou Reed releases Transformer

Nov. 10—Barclay James Harvest releases Baby James Harvest

Nov. 11—Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers Band dies

Nov. 13—The Raspberries release Fresh

Nov. 15—America releases Homecoming

Nov. 17—The Moody Blues release Seventh Sojourn

Related: Our Album Rewind of Seventh Sojourn

Nov. 18—Danny Whitten of Crazy Horse dies

Nov. 20—James Brown releases Get on the Good Foot

Nov. 24—Hawkwind releases Doremi Fasol Latido

Nov. 25—Poco releases A Good Feelin’ to Know

Nov. ?—These albums were also released this month: Ry Cooder’s Boomer’s Story, Joni Mitchell’s For the Roses, Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill, Don McLean’s self-titled third album, Can’s Ege Bamyasi, Kris Kristofferson’s Jesus Was a Capricorn, Joe Cocker’s self-titled third album, Uriah Heep’s The Magician’s Birthday, Carly Simon’s No Secrets, Gordon Lightfoot’s Old Dan’s Records, Bloodrock’s Passage, the Supremes’ Produced and Arranged by Jimmy Webb, Edgar Winter Group’s They Only Come Out at Night, Joan Armatrading’s Whatever’s for Us, War’s The World is a Ghetto, and West, Bruce and Laing’s Why Dontcha.

Dec. 1—Gentle Giant releases Octopus

Dec. 8—Marvin Gaye releases Trouble Man

Dec. 9—Neil Diamond releases Hot August Night

Dec. 15—Status Quo releases Piledriver

Dec. 16—Soundtrack album for Across 110th Street, featuring Bobby Womack, is released

Dec. ?—These albums were also released this month: Frank Zappa’s The Grand Wazoo, New Riders of the Purple Sage’s Gypsy Cowboy, Deep Purple’s Made in Japan, and REO Speedwagon’s R.E.O./T.W.O.

Dec. 23—Grand Funk Railroad performs a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden

Watch a clip from Grand Funk Railroad’s Madison Square Garden concert

Dec. 31—New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, hosted by Dick Clark, debuts on TV. It will continue under that name even after his death.

More 1972 albums, release dates unknown

Loudon Wainwright III’s Album 3, Aztec Two-Step’s self-titled album, the Staple Singers’ Be Altitude: Respect Yourself, Climax’s self-titled LP, David Bromberg’s Demon in Disguise, Focus’ 3, Geronimo Black’s self-titled album, Townes Van Zandt’s High, Low and In Between,  Dan Fogelberg’s Home Free, Albert Hammond’s It Never rains in Southern California, Jo Jo Gunne’s self-titled album, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s Let’s Make Up and Be Friendly, Donny Hathaway’s Live, Muddy Waters’ The London Sessions, Mandrill’s Is, Gladys Knight and the Pips’ Neither One of Us, Brownsville Station’s A Night on the Town, Tim Hardin’s Painted Head, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson’s Pancho and Lefty, Renaissance’s Prologue, Taj Mahal’s Recycling the Blues & Other Related Stuff, Return to Forever’s self-titled debut, Dion and the Belmonts’ Reunion: Live at Madison Square Garden, NRBQ’s Scraps,  Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show’s Sloppy Seconds, Johnny Cash’s Sunday Morning Coming Down, Nektar’s A Tab in the Ocean, Charlie Daniels’ To John, Grease, & Wolfman, Jackie Lomax’s Three, Tim Rose’s self-titled album, the Dramatics’ Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get, the Guess Who’s Wild One, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Abba (L-R) Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus

Bands That Formed in 1972

Average White Band
Be-Bop Deluxe
Beck, Bogert & Appice
Yje Captain and Tennille
Ducks Deluxe
The E Street Band
Graham Central Station
The Jam
Ozark Mountain Daredevils
The Real Kids
Return to Forever
Stealers Wheel
The Tubes
Twisted Sister
Van Halen
West, Bruce and Laing

Bands That Broke Up in 1972

Creedence Clearwater Revival
Jefferson Airplane
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
The Velvet Underground

And finally, a selection of the year’s notable U.S./U.K. hit singles and popular songs (alphabetically by artist)…

America—“A Horse With No Name,” “Ventura Highway”

Argent—“Hold Your Head Up”
Badfinger—“Baby Blue,” “Day After Day”
The Bee Gees—“Run to Me”
Chuck Berry—“My Ding-a-Ling”
David Bowie—“Changes,” “John, I’m Only Dancing,” “Starman,” “The Jean Genie”

James Brown—“Get on the Good Foot”
Jackson Browne—“Doctor My Eyes”
Jimmy Castor Bunch—“Troglodyte (Cave Man)”
Harry Chapin—“Taxi”
The Chi-Lites—“Oh Girl”
Chicago—“Saturday in the Park”
Climax—“Precious and Few”
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen—“Hot Rod Lincoln”
Alice Cooper—“School’s Out”
Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose—“Too Late to Turn Back Now”
Jim Croce—“Operator”
Crosby and Nash—“Immigration Man”
Mac Davis—“Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me”
Sammy Davis Jr.—“The Candy Man”
Deep Purple—“Highway Star”
Derek and the Dominos—“Layla”
Neil Diamond—“Song Sung Blue”
Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show—“The Cover of the Rolling Stone,” “Sylvia’s Mother”
The Doobie Brothers—“Jesus is Just Alright,” “Listen to the Music”
The Dramatics—“In the Rain”
Eagles—“Take It Easy,” “Witchy Woman”

Jonathan Edwards—“Sunshine”
Faces—“Stay With Me”
The Fifth Dimension—“(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All”
Roberta Flack—“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”
Robert Flack and Donny Hathaway—“Where Is the Love?”

Gallery—“Nice to Be With You”
Marvin Gaye—“Trouble Man”
Gary Glitter—“Rock and Roll Part 1 + 2”
The Grass Roots—“Two Divided By Love”
Al Green—“I’m Still in Love With You,” “Let’s Stay Together”
Arlo Guthrie—“City of New Orleans”
Albert Hammond—“It Never Rains in Southern California”
The Hollies—“Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)”
Honey Cone—“One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show”
Luther Ingram—“(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right”
Michael Jackson—“Ben,” “Got to Be There,” “Rockin’ Robin”
Elton John—“Crocodile Rock,” “Honky Cat,” “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer”
Led Zeppelin—“Black Dog”
John Lennon and Yoko Ono—“Happy Xmas (War is Over)”
Loggins and Messina—“Your Mama Don’t Dance”
Looking Glass—“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl”)

Related: Read the backstory of Looking Glass’ “Brandy”

The Main Ingredient—“Everybody Plays the Fool”
Curtis Mayfield—“Freddie’s Dead”
Don McLean—“American Pie,” “Vincent”

Melanie—“Brand New Key”
Joni Mitchell—“You Turn Me On I’m a Radio”
The Moody Blues—“Nights in White Satin” (re-release)
Mott the Hoople—”All the Young Dudes”
Johnny Nash—“I Can See Clearly Now”
Rick Nelson—“Garden Party”
The New Seekers—“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”
Harry Nilsson—“Without You,” “Coconut”
The O’Jays—“Back Stabbers”

Danny O’Keefe—“Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues”
Gilbert O’Sullivan—“Alone Again, Naturally”
Donny Osmond—“Puppy Love”
Billy Paul—“Me and Mrs. Jones”
Elvis Presley—“Burning Love”
Billy Preston—“Outa-Space”
Procol Harum—“Conquistador”
Raspberries—“Go All the Way”
Helen Reddy—“I Am Woman”
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers—“Roadrunner”
Johnny Rivers—“Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”
The Rolling Stones—“Happy,” “Tumbling Dice”
Roxy Music—“Virginia Plain”
Todd Rundgren—“I Saw the Light”
Leon Russell—“Tightrope”
Santana—“No One to Depend On”
Seals and Crofts—“Summer Breeze”
Carly Simon—“Anticipation,” “You’re So Vain”

Paul Simon—“Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard,” “Mother and Child Reunion”
Simon and Garfunkel—“America”
Slade—“Mama Weer All Crazee Now”
Sly and the Family Stone—“Family Affair”
The Spinners—“I’ll Be Around”
Ringo Starr—“Back Off Boogaloo”
Steely Dan—“Do It Again,” “Reelin’ in the Years”

The Staple Singers—“I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself”
Rod Stewart—“You Wear It Well”
The Stylistics—“Betcha by Golly, Wow,” “You Are Everything”
T. Rex—“Bang a Gong,” “Metal Guru,” “Telegram Sam”
The Temptations—“Papa Was a Rolling Stone”
Joe Tex—“I Gotcha”
Three Dog Night—“Black and White,” “Never Been to Spain”
War—“The Cisco Kid,” “Slippin’ Into Darkness”
The Who—“Join Together”
Wings—“Give Ireland Back to the Irish,” “Hi Hi Hi”
Bill Withers—“Lean on Me,” “Use Me”
Stevie Wonder—“Superstition”
Betty Wright—“Clean Up Woman”
Neil Young—“Heart of Gold,” “Old Man”

Related: Top radio hits of 1972

Best Classic Bands Staff

4 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Rob66
    #1 Rob66 7 January, 2022, 11:13

    A big year for Hollies fans, as 1972 saw the U.S. release of “Distant Light” followed by Allan Clarke’s debut solo lp “My Real Name is ‘arold” and ending with their “Romany” lp. Not only are these three terrific albums turning 50 but also three members of this legendary band (Graham Nash, Allan Clarke and Bobby Elliot) will be celebrating their 80th birthday this year.

    Reply this comment
  2. Da Mick
    #2 Da Mick 27 March, 2022, 02:16

    Lots of great music, but it was also kind of weird transitional period also — especially on radio — going from the more psychedelic and hard rock-tinged sounds of the 60s to the beginning of that strange, one-off, rock-pop, and soft rock stuff of the 70s — a decade that couldn’t really decide what it wanted to be musically. I know I’ll probably get some mad who loved these songs, but songs such as those from Climax, Hamilton, Joe, Frank & Reynolds, and Gallery, to name a few, really watered-down rock music to the point where it lost its edge and depths, and with it the force that once drove young people as the most important thing in their lives. It’s no mystery that there was a huge hole there for disco to come in and fill, As bad as we thought it was at the time, at least it had grooves. Listening to disco tunes now, much of it is just beefed up R&B, and some of it isn’t so bad at all. Can’t say the same for that schmaltz 70s soft rock stuff.

    Reply this comment
  3. jgelis
    #3 jgelis 11 April, 2024, 00:13

    ’72 is so damn hard to beat. If there is a year that might just edge it, it could be ’73. With these two pinnacle years of incredible music, it is likely splitting hairs. What a wonderful era of music to be passing through one’s teen years in.

    Reply this comment
  4. BMac
    #4 BMac 11 April, 2024, 12:07

    I realize there is some “the kid in me” bias, but even looking back on it now, I think ’72 was possibly THE best year in music. The Elton songs from “Levon” to “Tiny Dancer” to “Rocket Man” to “Honky Cat”. America breaks big with “A Horse With No Name”, “I Need You”, and “Ventura Highway”. Neil Young has his biggest hit with “Heart of Gold”. Ringo is the ONLY Beatle who has a hit with “Back Off Bugaloo”. Bill Withers hits with “Lean on Me” and “Use Me”. Billy Preston has a b-side that becomes the a-side in “Outa Space”. Bread has their best hit with “Guitar Man”, in addition to “Everything I Own” and “Sweet Surrender”. And there’s “Long Cool Woman”, Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party”, “Backstabbers” from The O’Jays, “Papa was a Rolling Stone” by The Temps, “Bang a Gong” from T. Rex, and three of my all time favorite one hit wonders – “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards, “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues” by Danny O’Keefe, and Chi Coltrane’s “Thunder & Lightning”. I could go on, but do I really need to?

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.