Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A more aggressive '73

For some reason, I recall Top 40 artists that had a fairly soft or easy sound coming out strong in 1973 with some harder (for them) material. I always wondered what it was. (Keep in mind that in those days I was listening to Top 40 radio, and not very familiar with the rockers of the day.
  • Elton John, who had already racked up hits with softies like Daniel, Rocket Man and Crocodile Rock, came out swinging with Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting.
  • Chicago, who lulled us with Color My World and gave us the happy romp of Saturday in the Park, lurched onto the radio with Feelin' Stronger Every Day. (Little did I know that in the late 1960s, Chicago was a hard-rocking band. Give the live Toronto 1969 album a listen for a great example of this period.)
  • Paul McCartney, the epitome of sweetness, did James Bond and released Live and Let Die in the summer of '73.
  • Gilbert O'Sullivan -- the epitome of syrupy pop at the time -- released Get Down. OK, it's a stretch, but his loving ode to a misbehaving dog was uptempo and was a virtual rocker compared to Claire and Alone Again, Naturally.
I don't know if there was something in the water that year, if it was the times, or just my own teenaged perceptions, but I will always remember 1973 as the year the pop stars rocked.

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