Best Album of 1971

Author Comments: 

I think the best year for film is generaly considered to be 1939. I'm not sure if the best year for rock music has been discussed at length, but if one were to pick a year, I think 1971 would be a very good choice. So what's your pick for the best album of this year?

All solid picks, but I wouldn't choose any of them for best album of 1971.

I guess if I had to take one of them it would be Maggot Brain or possibly What's Going On.

Somehow I'm not surprised. What would you pick?

Good question. Eventually it will show up on my greatest albums of all time list that I am mid-working on. It's more fun for me to do the list while keeping the positions of the selections as mysterious as possible so there's at least some anticipation of what comes next. Therefore, I'm not going to answer that just yet. I'll get back to you in the not-too-distant future, or feel free to comment on it when it shows up on my list.

pawn hearts gets my vote. jethro tull-aqualung is also really really good

I think "What's Going On" tops this list fairly easily, with only "Blue" a legitimate challenger. "Sticky Fingers" and "Hunky Dory" are the only other mentions that are in the same room as these. "Led Zep IV", "There's A Riot Goin' On" and "Who's Next?" are a couple echelon's lower and on the outside looking in. "Surf's Up" and "Tupelo Honey" are up there too. Everything else, while great, are mere novelties compared to the epic, soaring, prophetic masterwork that is Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On".

The album cover on the Rolling Stone's Sticky Fingers was designed by Andy Warlhol and is brillant!

Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story is actually his best work and it features Jeff Beck...

what a great year...I was born that year!

Jeez, I'm really sad that Who's Next hasn't received any votes. I might have to vote if it doesn't get some support any time soon.

Yep - you've got it. &nbsp Pawn Hearts &nbsp by Van Der Graaf &nbsp gets my vote. Review
Named after a machine designed to produce electrical static, Van Der Graaf Generator were an extraordinary phenomenon in the British alternative music scene of the early 1970s. Bracketed together with progressive-rock bands of the time, in fact they had none of the comforting insularity and carefully structured instrumentation often associated with such music. Intense distorted organ and saxophone riffing combined with Peter Hammill's spectacularly chilling and tortured vocals (a critic referred to him as a male Nico) to produce a lacerating live sound that would have had most punk bands running out the door. In the studio they were marginally more restrained, producing music of icy beauty and twisted romanticism that combined effectively with Hammill's intricate and poetic lyrics. Pawn Hearts was the last of four albums from the first phase of their career, lasting from 1969-1971. Guitarist Robert Fripp featured on it, contributing to an even more varied sound palette and epic workouts such as the 20-minute "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers". Issued almost simultaneously with Hammill's excellent solo album Fool's Mate, within months of Pawn Hearts's release Van Der Graaf Generator had broken up, only reforming for a while in 1975 to produce another three uniquely oddball offerings. UNQUOTE.

But &nbspWho's Next &nbsp is almost equal.

A fabulous year!

Check out also the other masterpiece by Van Der Graaf Generator (from 1976) &nbsp Still Life.

From this year / this list I also own:

John Lennon - Imagine &nbsp (top five)
Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers &nbsp (top five)
David Bowie - Hunky Dory &nbsp (top five)
The Doors - L.A. Woman
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Led Zeppelin - IV
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Pink Floyd - Meddle
Yes - Fragile
Yes - The Yes Album

Allman brothers and Lennon

I flipped a coin, Lennon won

This is a toughie. 1971 was obviously a rich year for mucis.

I gotta go with Blue, but Every Picture, Who's Next, and Riot are very close runners-up.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I think I should probably abstain from my own poll, as I don't own Blue, Every Picture, Riot, or Sticky Fingers. Of the ones I do own, I'd have to pick Who's Next with Tupelo Honey as a close second.