50 Years Ago: 1973 in Music

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At the top of our survey of the music of 1972, we noted, “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.” That trend picked up steam in 1973, as pop music styles diversified even more and the ’70s truly forged its own identity.

While some ’60s superstars hung on (the individual Beatles, in particular; the Rolling Stones; several classic Motown acts), our 1973 timeline is devoid of many of the others. New names are poking through, artists who will become part of the permanent fabric of our musical culture:  This year saw debut albums from Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Queen and several others. Some we’d been introduced to in the past few years were now established superstars (David Bowie, Elton John).

In 1973, Kiss and AC/DC played their first concerts—if that isn’t a sign that the ’70s were going to be different, we don’t know what was!

And, oh yeah, a band that had started out several years earlier in London with a psychedelic approach did some fine-tuning and cooked up an album called The Dark Side of the Moon. You may have heard of it.

New styles of music also began to assert themselves, including reggae and what would come to be called hip-hop, while genres such as prog, heavy metal/hard rock and Southern Rock were falling into place. Even the first stirrings of punk were present, as the New York Dolls and others stripped things down and channeled their power into short, fast, fun tunes. The singer-songwriter revolution, too, grew in popularity.

For this survey, we’ve turned back the clock 50 years and compiled a timeline of the year’s top events (including album releases) in rock and related 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. 5—Aerosmith releases their self-titled debut album; on the same day, Bruce Springsteen releases his debut LP, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

Jan. 8—Yoko Ono releases Approximately Infinite Universe; the Beach Boys release Holland

Jan. 12—Deep Purple releases Who Do We Think We Are

Jan. 14–Elvis Presley’s Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite television special is broadcast

Jan. 16—Gospel singer Clara Ward dies

Jan. 18—The Rolling Stones perform a benefit concert at the L.A. Forum for victims of a Nicaragua earthquake; it raises more than $350,000 and Mick Jagger kicks in an additional $150,000

Jan. 19—The Bee Gees release Life in a Tin Can

Jan. 21—The Rolling Stones open a Pacific tour of Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand in Honolulu

Jan. 23—Rick Wakeman releases The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Jan. 25—Little Feat release Dixie Chicken; the Kinks release The Great Lost Kinks Album

Related: Our Album Rewind of Little Feat’s Dixie Chicken

Jan. 26—Elton John releases Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player

Jan. 28—T. Rex releases Tanx

Jan. 30—Kiss (at right) performs their first concert, at the Coventry in Queens, New York

Jan ?—These albums were also released this month: Derek and the Dominos’ In Concert; Gram Parsons’ GP; Al Kooper’s Naked Songs; Bob Seger’s Back in ’72;  Free’s Heartbreaker; Elvis Presley’s Separate Ways; Ike and Tina Turner’s Let Me Touch Your Mind; July Collins’ True Stories and Other Dreams; the Guess Who’s Artificial Paradise

Feb. 2—The Midnight Special, a music variety program, premieres on NBC-TV

Related: Remembering The Midnight Special

Feb. 4—Elvis Presley releases Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite

Feb. 7—The Stooges release Raw Power

Feb. 11—Blue Öyster Cult releases Tyranny and Mutation

Feb. 18—The King Biscuit Flower Hour, a radio program featuring live music, premieres; its first guests are Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and newcomer Bruce Springsteen; also on this day, Rory Gallagher releases Blueprint

Feb. 25—Dr. John releases In the Right Place

Feb. 26—Alice Cooper releases Billion Dollar Babies

Feb. 28—Camel releases their self-titled debut LP

Feb. ?—These albums were also released this month: Grin’s All Out; Atlanta Rhythm Section’s Back Up Against the Wall; The Best of Mountain; James Brown’s Black Caesar; Dusty Springfield’s Cameo; the self-titled album from the Temptations’ David Ruffin; Fairport Convention’s Rosie; Traffic’s Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory; John Martyn’s Solid Air

March 1—Pink Floyd releases The Dark Side of the Moon; it will ultimately spend 962 weeks on the Billboard LPs chart; also on this day, John Cale releases Paris 1919 and Todd Rundgren releases A Wizard, A True Star

March 2—Electric Light Orchestra releases ELO 2; The Doobie Brothers release The Captain and Me

March 3—Grammy awards are won by George Harrison, America, Harry Nilsson, Helen Reddy, Billy Preston, Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations and Muddy Waters

March 5—Jimi Hendrix’s former manager Mike Jeffery dies in a plane crash

March 6—Tom Waits releases Closing Time

March 6—John Lennon’s U.S. visa extension is canceled by the Immigration Department; he would finally win his case to stay in 1976

March 7—The Byrds release their self-titled reunion album

Related: More about that Byrds reunion album 

March 8—Ron “Pigpen” McKernan,  Grateful Dead keyboardist/singer, dies at 27

March 9—Canned Heat releases The New Age

March 23—Roxy Music releases For Your Pleasure; King Crimson releases Larks’ Tongue in Aspic

March 26—Beck, Bogert & Appice release their self-titled LP; ABBA releases Ring Ring

March 28—Led Zeppelin releases Houses of the Holy

March 29—The Mahavishnu Orchestra release Birds of Fire

March 30—Herbie Hancock releases Sextant

March 31—Faces release Ooh La La

March ?—These albums were also released this month: Tangerine Dream’s Atem; Donovan’s Cosmic Wheels; Procol Harum’s Grand Hotel; Judee Sill’s Heart Food; Argent’s In Deep; Leo Kottke’s My Feet Are Smiling;  Gladys Knight and the Pips’ Neither One of Us; Fleetwood Mac’s Penguin;  Black Oak Arkansas’ Raunch ’n’ Roll Live; Foghat’s Rock and Roll; Joan Baez’s Where Are You Now, My Son?, Johnny Winter’s Still Alive and Well

April 1—Leonard Cohen releases Live Songs

April 2—Capitol Records issues the compilation albums The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970

April 12—The J. Geils Band releases Bloodshot

April 13—David Bowie releases Aladdin Sane; Bob Marley and the Wailers release Catch a Fire; Michael Jackson releases Music & Me

April 16—Paul McCartney’s first solo TV special, James Paul McCartney, airs on ABC. His group Wings performs on the show

April 17—Eagles release Desperado

April 20—Roger Daltrey releases Daltrey, his debut solo LP

April 23—Manassas releases Down the Road

April 20—Paul McCartney and Wings release Red Rose Speedway

April ?—These albums were also released this month: John Fogerty’s solo debut, The Blue Ridge Rangers; Al Green’s Call Me; Seals and Crofts’ Diamond Girl; Humble Pie’s Eat It; Arlo Guthrie’s Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys; the Marshall Tucker Band releases their self-titled debut; Jefferson Airplane releases Thirty Seconds Over Winterland; Uriah Heep releases Live

Related: Our Album Rewind of John Fogerty’s The Blue RIdge Rangers

May 4—Led Zeppelin launches a U.S. tour that will run through the end of July

May 5—Paul Simon releases There Goes Rhymin’ Simon; Nazareth releases Razamanaz

May 11—Hawkwind releases Space Ritual; Wishbone Ash releases Wishbone Four

May 16—Carpenters release Now & Then

May 17—Bachman-Turner Overdrive releases their self-titled debut album

May 18—The compilation History of the Byrds is released; Yes releases Yessongs

May 25—Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells is released, the first album on the new Virgin Records; Gong releases Flying Teapot

May ?—Rob Halford joins Judas Priest

May 30—George Harrison releases Living in the Material World

May ?—These albums were also released this month: Scott Walker’s Any Day Now; Kevin Ayers’ Bananamour; Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen’s Country Casanova; Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations’ self-titled LP; Earth, Wind & Fire’s Head to the Sky; Charlie Daniels’ Honey in the Rock; the Pointer Sisters’ self-titled debut; Tower of Power’s self-titled third LP; John Entwistle’s Rigor Mortis Sets In; Spooky Tooth’s You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw

June 1—Gary Glitter releases Touch Me

June 4—Ronnie Lane plays his last show with Faces; also on this day, Murry Wilson, father of three Beach Boys, dies; and Jimmy Buffett releases A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean

June 8—Bobby Womack releases Facts of Life

June 11—Willie Nelson releases Shotgun Willie

June 15—Manfred Mann’s Earth Band releases Messin’

June 18—Donny Hathaway releases Extension of a Man; Joe Walsh releases The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get

June 19—Smokey Robinson releases Smokey

June 22—Diana Ross releases Touch Me in the Morning

June 25—Chicago VI is released; also out on this day is Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes

June 29—The Scorpions play their first gig with guitarist Uli Roth

June 30—Ian Gillan and Roger Glover quit Deep Purple; Sly and the Family Stone release Fresh

June ?—These albums were also released this month: The Guess Who’s #10; Carole King’s Fantasy; John Denver’s Farewell Andromeda; Harry Nilsson’s A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night; Roger McGuinn’s self-titled solo debut

Related: The #1 albums of 1973

July 1—Jim Croce’s Life and Times is released; Styx II is released

July 3—David Bowie announces the retirement of his Ziggy Stardust character during a concert at London’s Hammersmith Odeon

July 6—Jethro Tull releases Passion Play

July 7—Barry Manilow releases his self-titled debut LP

July 9—Funkadelic releases Cosmic Slop

July 12—The self-titled Elvis LP is released

July 13—Queen releases their self-titled debut album; also on this day, the Everly Brothers break up their act onstage after a fight; Bob Dylan releases the soundtrack to Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid; History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One (Bear’s Choice) is released

July 15—Clarence White, Byrds guitarist, dies at 29; Grand Funk Railroad releases We’re an American Band

July 18—Rufus releases their self-titled debut LP

July 20—Genesis Live is released; also out on this day: Love Devotion Surrender by Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin; Mott the Hoople’s Mott is also released

July 22—Rufus Wainwright is born

July 25—Cat Stevens releases Foreigner

July 27—The self-titled debut album by the New York Dolls is released

July 28—A concert at a raceway outside of Watkins Glen, N.Y., featuring the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and The Band, draws more than 600,000, a larger audience than Woodstock had boasted

July?—These albums were also released this month: The Amboy Dukes’ Call of the Wild; the self-titled debut by 10cc; Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy; Golden Earring’s Moontan; West, Bruce & Laing’s Whatever Turns You On; the self-titled compilation by The Sweet; and Janis Joplin’s Greatest Hits

Related: Our Album Rewind of Countdown to Ecstasy

Aug. 1—Robert Flack releases Killing Me Softly

Aug. 3—Stevie Wonder releases Innervisions; three days later, Wonder is seriously injured in a car accident

Aug. 6—Blues singer Memphis Minnie dies

Aug 7—LaBelle releases Pressure Cookin’; the Isley Brothers release 3+3

Aug. 8—Future Creed singer Scott Stapp is born

Aug. 10—The Rod Stewart compilation Sing it Again Rod is released

Aug. 11—At a party in the Bronx, DJ Kool Herc introduces techniques that would coalesce as hip-hop in years to come

Aug. 13—Lynyrd Skynyrd releases (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd), their debut album

Aug. 17—Temptations member Paul Williams takes his own life

Aug. 28—Marvin Gaye releases Let’s Get It On

Aug. 31—The Rolling Stones release Goats Head Soup; the following day, the Stones open a European tour in Vienna

Aug. ?—These albums were also released this month: Van Morrison’s Hard Nose the Highway; Maria Muldaur’s self-titled solo debut; the Allman Brothers Band’s Brothers and Sisters; Chuck Berry’s Bio; the self-titled LP by the Chi-Lites; Brownsville Station’s Yeah!; Chicken Shack’s Unlucky Boy; Henry Cow’s Legend; War’s Deliver the Word; Roy Wood’s Boulders; Blood, Sweat & Tears’ No Sweat; Can’s Future Days; Ian Matthews’ Valley Hi; and 41 Original Hits from the Soundtrack of American Graffiti

Related: Our Album Rewind of the Allmans’ Brothers and Sisters

Sept. 1—The James Gang release Bang; Gilbert O’Sullivan releases I’m a Writer, Not a Fighter

Sept. 3—Uriah Heep releases Sweet Freedom; Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash release Johnny Cash and His Woman

Sept. 7—Frank Zappa releases Over-Nite Sensation

Sept. 10—Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert is released; Raspberries release Side 3

Sept. 11—Art Garfunkel releases Angel Clare; Bruce Springsteen releases The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle

Sept. 15—Poco releases Crazy Eyes

Sept. 19—Gram Parsons, formerly of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, dies at 26

Sept. 20—Singer-songwriter Jim Croce dies in a plane crash in Louisiana; also on this date, jazz saxophonist Ben Webster dies

Related: Jim Croce: What might have been

Sept. 21—Billy Preston releases Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music; Gentle Giant releases In a Glass House; Thin Lizzy releases Vagabonds of the Western World

Sept. 23—Black Oak Arkansas releases High on the Hog

Sept. 24—Roy Orbison releases Milestones

Sept. 27—Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert premieres on TV with a live concert by the Rolling Stones

Watch Billy Joel on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert in 1973

Sept. 28—Status Quo releases Hello!; Slade releases Sladest

Sept. ?—These albums were also released this month: Cass Elliot’s Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore; Ohio Players’ Ecstasy; Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge’s Full Moon; Family’s It’s Only a Movie; Ike and Tina Turner’s Live! The World of Ike & Tina; Atonic Rooster’s Nice ’n’ Greasy; Average White Band’s Show Your Hand; John Mayall’s Ten Years Gone; Kool and the Gang’s Wild and Peaceful

Oct. 1—Elvis Presley releases Raised on Rock; Linda Ronstadt releases Don’t Cry Now

Oct. 2—Barry White releases Stone Gon’

Oct. 5—Lou Reed’s Berlin is released; also out on this day: Caravan’s For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night; Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; Bryan Ferry’s These Foolish Things

Oct. 9—Gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe dies; also on this day, Three Dog Night releases Cyan; Gladys Knight and the Pips release Imagination

Related: Our Album Rewind of Maria Muldaur’s debut LP

Oct. 10—Renaissance releases Ashes Are Burning

Oct. 13—Family plays their final concert; Genesis releases Selling England By the Pound

Oct. 15—The Band releases Moondog Matinee; Fleetwood Mac releases Mystery to Me; Neil Young releases Time Fades Away; the Grateful Dead release Wake of the Flood

Oct. 16—Jazz drummer Gene Krupa dies; Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Live in Europe is released

Oct. 17—Montrose releases their self-titled debut album

Related: 50 great Classic Rock albums of 1973

Oct. 19—The Who release Quadrophenia; Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Burnin’ is released; also out on this day: David Bowie’s Pin Ups; the Steve Miller Band’s The Joker; America’s Hat Trick

Oct. 20—Peter Frampton’s Frampton’s Camel is released

Oct. 26—Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters is released; Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye’s Diana & Marvin is released

Oct. 27—Cher releases Half-Breed

Oct. 28—Dave Mason releases It’s Like You Never Left

Oct. ?— These albums were also released this month: Suzi Quatro’s self-titled debut album; the New Riders of the Purple Sage’s The Adventures of Panama Red; Jackson Browne’s For Everyman; Gregg Allman’s Laid Back;  Grin’s Gone Crazy; Focus’ At the Rainbow; Rick Derringer’s All American Boy; Loggins and Messina’s Full Sail; John Martyn’s Inside Out; Fairport Convention’s Nine; Traffic’s On the Road; John Prine’s Sweet Revenge; Bonnie Raitt’s Takin’ My Time; Brinsley Schwarz’s Please Don’t Ever Change; Kraftwerk’s Ralf und Florian; Quincy Jones’ You’ve Got It Bad Girl; Glen Campbell’s I Remember Hank Williams; Bodacious DF’s self-titled LP; Kevin Coyne’s Marjory Razorblade; Don McLean’s Playin’ Favorites; Frank Sinatra’s Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back

Nov. 1—The new Casablanca Records label signs its first act, Kiss; Roxy Music releases Stranded

Nov. 2—Barbra Streisand…And Other Musical Instruments is released; Alvin Lee releases On the Road to Freedom; Ringo Starr releases Ringo

Related: Our Album Rewind of Ringo

Nov. 3—Hall and Oates release Abandoned Luncheonette

Nov. 9—Nazareth releases Loud ’n’ Proud; the J. Geils Band releases Ladies Invited; Billy Joel releases Piano Man; Santana releases Welcome

Nov. 10—The O’Jays release Ship Ahoy

Nov. 11—Rory Gallagher releases Tattoo

Nov. 16—John Lennon releases Mind Games; The Kinks release Preservation Act 1; Bette Midler releases her self-titled sophomore LP

Nov. 19—The Beach Boys in Concert is released; Emerson, Lake and Palmer release Brain Salad Surgery; Bob Dylan releases Dylan, a collection of outtakes

Nov. 20—The Who open their Quadrophenia tour at San Francisco’s Cow Palace; drummer Keith Moon passes out onstage and is replaced by a fan from the audience; also on this date, Alice Cooper releases Muscle of Love

Related: The story behind that notorious Who concert

Nov. 23—Yoko Ono releases Feeling the Space

Nov. 26—Badfinger releases Ass 

Nov. 30—Manfred Mann’s Earth Band releases Solar Fire

Nov. ?— These albums were also released this month: Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Between Nothingness and Eternity; April Wine’s Electric Jewels; Robert Fripp and Brian Eno’s (No Pussyfooting); Electric Light Orchestra’s On the Third Day; Scott Walker’s Stretch; Ike and Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits; Michael Stanley’s Friends and Legends; Buffy St. Marie’s Quiet Places; Spooky Tooth’s Witness; Jerry Jeff Walker’s Viva Terlingua; Redbone’s Wovoka; Cockney Rebel’s The Human Menagerie; John Denver’s Greatest Hits

Dec. 1—Black Sabbath releases Sabbath Bloody Sabbath; Jim Croce’s I Got a Name is released; Harry Chapin releases Short Stories

Dec. 3—A new music club called CBGB-OMFUG opens its doors in New York City’s Bowery; it will become ground zero for the new punk-rock movement

Dec. 5—Paul McCartney and Wings release Band on the Run

Related: Our Album Rewind of Band on the Run 

Dec. 6—Al Green releases Livin’ for You; Diana Ross releases Last Time I Saw Him

Dec. 7—Yes releases Tales from Topographic Oceans; the Temptations release 1990; Gong releases Angel’s Egg

Dec. 20—Singer Bobby Darin dies at 37

Dec. 21—REO Speedwagon releases Ridin’ the Storm Out

Dec. 22—Madeline Bell releases Comin’ Atcha

Dec. 31—Australian brothers Angus and Malcolm Young perform for the first time under the name AC/DC

Dec. ?— These albums were also released this month: Donovan’s Essence to Essence; James Brown’s The Payback; Wishbone Ash’s Live Dates; Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s self-titled second album; the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ self-titled debut

More 1973 albums, release dates unknown (listed in no particular order)

Siegel-Schwall Band’s 953 West; Fela Kuti’s Afrodisiac and Gentleman; The Main Ingredient’s Afrodisiac; John Fahey’s After the Ball; Curved Air’s Air Cut; Gladys Knight & the Pips’ All I Need Is Time; Andy Pratt’s self-titled LP; Elliott Murphy’s Aquashow; Loudon Wainwright III’s Attempted Mustache; Paul Kossoff’s Back Street Crawler; Curtis Mayfield’s Back to the World; Ike Turner’s Bad Dreams; Paul Kantner, Grace Slick and David Freiberg’s Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun; The Staple Singers’ Be What You Are

Link Wray’s Beans and Fatback; Charlie Rich’s Behind Closed Doors; Betty Davis’ self-titled album; Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ Black & Blue; Strawbs’ Bursting at the Seams; Muddy Waters’ Can’t Get No Grindin’; John Stewart’s Cannons in the Rain; Peter Hammill’s Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night; The Chieftains’ 4; Mandrill’s Composite Truth and Just Outside of Town; Michael Martin Murphey’s Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir; Chick Corea and Gary Burton’s Crystal Silence; Dave Mason’s Dave Mason Is Alive; The J.B.’s’ Doing It to Death; Vangelis’ Earth; Etta James’ self-titled LP; Malo’s Evolution; Emitt Rhodes’ Farewell to Paradise; Toots and the Maytals’ Funky Kingston; The Spencer Davis Group’s Gluggo; Leon Russell’s Hank Wilson’s Back Vol. I and Looking Back;

Neil Innes’ How Sweet to Be an Idiot; Jonathan Edwards’ Have a Good Time for Me; Return to Forever’s Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy; Neil Diamond’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull; Isaac Hayes’ Joy; Gene Parsons’ Kindling; Pink Fairies’ Kings of Oblivion; Roy Harper’s Lifemask; Return to Forever’s Light as a Feather; Donovan’s Live in Japan: Spring Tour 1973; Bo Diddley’s The London Bo Diddley Sessions; Helen Reddy’s Long Hard Climb; MFSB’s self-titled LP and Love Is the Message; The Simon Sisters’ Lucy & Carly—The Simon Sisters Sing for Children; The Four Tops’ Main Street People; Bert Jansch’s Moonshine; Bloodstone’s Natural High; Neu!’s Neu! 2; The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s Next; Taj Mahal’s Oooh So Good ‘n Blues; Livingston Taylor’s Over the Rainbow;

Joe Simon’s The Power of Joe Simon; Mike Nesmith’s Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash; J.J. Cale’s Really; Little Richard’s Right Now!; David Essex’s Rock On; Patrick Sky’s Songs That Made America Famous; Burning Spear’s Studio One Presents Burning Spear; The Supremes’ Live! In Japan; Horslips’ The Táin; The Three Degrees’ self-titled LP; Robin Trower’s Twice Removed from Yesterday; Lee Perry’s Upsetters 14 Dub Blackboard Jungle; Wizzard’s Wizzard Brew

Bands That Formed in 1973

Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Bad Company
Blue Swede
Butts Band
Cheap Trick
The Dictators

KC and the Sunshine Band
Los Lobos
Old & in the Way

Pablo Cruise
Pousette-Dart Band
Quiet Riot
The Roches
Souther-Hillman-Furay Band

Related: Our Album Rewind of the debut Souther-Hillman-Furay Band LP

Bands That Broke Up in 1973
The Archies
The Byrds
The Doors
Heads, Hands & Feet
Honey Cone
Pacific Gas & Electric
The Poppy Family
Pure Food and Drug Act
Reparata and the Delrons
Sir Douglas Quintet
Stone the Crows
The Velvet Underground

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

Related: The #1 singles of 1973

“5:15” – The Who
“20th Century Boy” – T. Rex
“Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got) – The Four Tops
“All the Way from Memphis” – Mott the Hoople
“Also Sprach Zarathustra” – Deodato
“Angie” – The Rolling Stones
“Are You Man Enough” – The Four Tops
“Bad Bad Leroy Brown” – Jim Croce
“The Ballroom Blitz” – Sweet
“Basketball Jones” – Cheech and Chong
“Behind Closed Doors” – Charlie Rich
“Blinded By the Light” – Bruce Springsteen
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” – Bette Midler
“Brother Louie” – Stories

“Call Me (Come Back Home)” – Al Green
“Candle in the Wind” – Elton John
“China Grove” – The Doobie Brothers
“The Cisco Kid” – War
“Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” – The Spinners
“The Cover Of ‘Rolling Stone’” – Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
“Crocodile Rock – Elton John
“Cum on Feel the Noize” – Slade

“Dancing in the Moonlight” – King Harvest
“Daniel” – Elton John
“Delta Dawn” – Helen Reddy
“Diamond Girl” – Seals and Crofts
“Do It Again” – Steely Dan
“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” – The Rolling Stones
“Dream On” – Aerosmith
“D’yer Mak’er” – Led Zeppelin
“Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” – Chicago
“Frankenstein” – Edgar Winter Group
“Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” – George Harrison
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Elton John
“Half-Breed” – Cher
“Heartbeat – It’s a Lovebeat” – DeFranco Family
“Helen Wheels” – Paul McCartney and Wings
“Hello It’s Me” – Todd Rundgren

“Hi, Hi, Hi”/”C Moon” – Wings
“Higher Ground” – Stevie Wonder
“Hocus Pocus” – Focus
“Hummingbird” – Seals and Crofts
“Hurting Each Other” – The Carpenters
“I Got a Name” – Jim Croce
“I Wanna Be With You” – Raspberries
“I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)” – The Moody Blues
“If You Don’t Know Me By Now” – Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

“The Jean Genie” – David Bowie
“The Joker” – Steve Miller Band
“Just You ‘N’ Me” – Chicago
“Keep On Truckin'” – Eddie Kendricks
“Keeper of the Castle” – The Four Tops
“Killing Me Softly with His Song” – Roberta Flack
“Kodachrome” – Paul Simon
“Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye

“Life on Mars?” – David Bowie
“Live and Let Die” – Wings
“Living For the City” – Stevie Wonder
“Long Train Runnin'” – The Doobie Brothers
“Love Train” – The O’Jays
“Loves Me Like a Rock” – Paul Simon (with The Dixie Hummingbirds)
“Me and Mrs. Jones” – Billy Paul
“Midnight Train to Georgia” – Gladys Knight and The Pips
“Midnight Rider” – Gregg Allman
“Mind Games” – John Lennon
“Money” – Pink Floyd
“The Morning After” – Maureen McGovern
“The Most Beautiful Girl” – Charlie Rich
“My Love” – Paul McCartney & Wings
“Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” – Gladys Knight & the Pips
“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” – Vicki Lawrence
“No More Mr. Nice Guy” – Alice Cooper

“Nutbush City Limits – Ike & Tina Turner
“One of a Kind (Love Affair)” – The Spinners
“Photograph” – Ringo Starr
“Pillow Talk” – Sylvia
“Playground in My Mind” – Clint Holmes
“Radar Love” – Golden Earring
“Ramblin’ Man” – Allman Brothers Band
“Reelin’ in the Years” – Steely Dan
“Right Place, Wrong Time” – Dr. John
“Ring Ring” – ABBA

“Rock On” – David Essex
“Rocky Mountain High” – John Denver
“Rocky Mountain Way” – Joe Walsh
“Roll Away the Stone” – Mott the Hoople
“Roll Over Beethoven” – Electric Light Orchestra
“Rubber Bullets” – 10cc
“Sail On, Sailor” – The Beach Boys
“Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” – Elton John
“Shambala” – Three Dog Night

“Show and Tell” – Al Wilson
“Smoke on the Water” – Deep Purple
“Soul Makossa” – Manu Dibango
“Space Race” – Billy Preston
“Stir It Up” – Johnny Nash
“Stuck in the Middle with You” – Stealers Wheel
“Superstition” – Stevie Wonder

“Take Me to the Mardi Gras” – Paul Simon
“Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” – Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
“Time in a Bottle” – Jim Croce
“That Lady, Pt. 1 & 2” – The Isley Brothers
“Top of the World” – The Carpenters
“Touch Me in the Morning” – Diana Ross
“Trouble Man” – Marvin Gaye
“We’re an American Band” – Grand Funk Railroad

“Whisky in the Jar” – Thin Lizzy
“Will It Go Round in Circles” – Billy Preston
“The World Is a Ghetto” – War
“Yesterday Once More” – The Carpenters
“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” – Stevie Wonder
“You’re So Vain” – Carly Simon
“Your Mama Don’t Dance” – Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina

Best Classic Bands Staff

8 Comments so far

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  1. JCB
    #1 JCB 4 January, 2023, 09:35

    We were so lucky to live in the modern “renaissance” of music. The young folks now just get and listen to the worst garbage ever. Very sad that real musicians are few and far between. Just reading that article, I know how incredible my music is. The greatest ever.

    Reply this comment
  2. Xavier Gilray
    #2 Xavier Gilray 4 January, 2023, 10:26

    OK, I’m being a pedant. Fine.

    It’s “Carpenters”, not “THE Carpenters.”

    Reply this comment
    • Jeff Tamarkin
      Jeff Tamarkin 5 January, 2023, 00:15

      You are indeed correct. Some other examples of bands that do not have “The” in front of their name: Cream, Jefferson Airplane and Eagles! I bet there are many others like that.

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  3. Norm
    #3 Norm 5 January, 2023, 00:41

    WOW! You mentioned the 5th album of Gentle Giant « In a Glass House », a LP import only from UK, my favorite prog vinyl of all time. But don’t forget the 4th one, Octopus, released by Columbia Records in February 1973, with a cover different from that of England released in December 1972. But it was the same great prog music to listen in 1973.

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  4. Webwar
    #4 Webwar 5 January, 2023, 18:32

    I graduated from high school in 1973. So many of these albums became so important in my life. Still own the vinyl for many. Great music lives on.

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  5. Maryann
    #5 Maryann 26 January, 2023, 06:39

    I graduated the same year, 73, and we were really blessed to have so many great bands and great music that became our very own soundtrack of our life. Sadly, most of my friends have passed away already but this music takes me back to those days like it was yesterday.

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  6. Bob D
    #6 Bob D 27 June, 2023, 13:59

    Poco Crazy Eyes

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  7. 4Tunes500
    #7 4Tunes500 31 December, 2023, 11:31

    I was at the ripe old age of 11 in 1973. Almost every summer day was spent poolside at the long defunct “Honey Hill Country Club.” To the chagrin of the lifeguards, I spent all my time at the deep end. To remain there, I had to prove myself a proficient swimmer. They thought my attraction to the area was the diving board. They couldn’t have been more wrong. My attraction was the black and silver Panasonic AM/FM radio blaring from the supply shack.
    You have to consider the technology of the time. We had rotary phones with a “party line” (where 8 other families could pick up on your call and tell you to “hurry up” so they could make a call). We had bought our first stereo for our living room in 1968, primitive at best by today’s standards, cars only had AM radios, we had AM transistor radios with a mono speaker and earplug. In the early 70’s we went from a black and white TV to a color model that was dependent on a rabbit ear antenna to pull in maybe 4 stations. In the summer, most shows were re-runs. For me to hear the radio was an escape.
    I often think back to what age we really recognize music. It came earlier than 11. I was already hooked on the Monkees. My first album was “Headquarters” which I bought at a garage sale for a quarter at the age of 7.
    11 was my musical awakening. I could not get enough of the music I started hearing that summer. Sometimes the music we grew up on is referred to the as the “music of our lives.” Summer of ’73 and beyond, were the times where music gave me life.
    AM radio still ruled the daytime airwaves. To hear a hit song, you were dependent on the rotation. Night brought AM static and overlap. I was excited to hear my brother play “underground” FM stations on his old used tube radio. I would lay awake and listen through the walls. FM played a whole different kind of music. AM’s “WTLB” would have the blaring, sometimes humorous, DJs. But those FM DJs had a cool stoned vibe and no limit to the length of music they played. I said: “music awakening,” I still remember hearing Genesis- “I know what I like in your wardrobe” for the first time on a cool fall night and feeling like my brain exploded. Not to mention, that least while I was listening, the DJ never made mention of the band or the song title, which left me searching for years.
    AM’s WTLB gave me repetition and familiarity with the songs and performers that helped me integrate songs like “Brother Louie”, “China Grove”, “Daniel”, “Dream on”, “Half Breed” and nearly your entire list into my normal life.
    By age 15 I became an avid music collector and never turned back. For quite a few years I was a record store manager. In the late 80s, I decided CDs were here to stay. I converted a large album collection to cd. At my age now, I’m not going back. Reading your article this morning, I took a walk though my large CD library and smiled to see that I own and love 85% of the titles you listed in your article. 1973 hasn’t faded away for me, that and the rest of the 70’s are still with me every day and blasting through my walls. If I’m outdated; well then, I’m happily outdated. Those were great times. Loading some favorites for ’73 into my changer now. Hello neighbors…remember these?

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