Where 1970 was the bud on a young tree full of endless possibilities, 1973 was the year that that saplings fruit began to ripen to the sound of dueling banjos To be sure, the previous three years of the grooviest decade on record saw their fair share of tragedies, both actual (the deaths of Hendrix and Joplin) and sociological (The Beatles breaking up,) but on the whole, the music world stayed true to the course it set back in 1970 and continued to push on towards greater undiscovered countries. Arguably some should have stayed that way, but for better or for worse, 1973 was a time of expansion of the mind and the soul, huge debuts, a record that would change the face of music forever, and a narrowly avoided crisis (that wasn’t avoided at all) that threatened to destroy the universe as we knew it. Before we get to that though, let’s take a look at the new kids on the block.
Before 1973 names like Aerosmith, Springsteen, Waits, New York Dolls, Lynrd Skynyrd, were all just ideas floating in the ether/bong water. Not only did 1973 introduce us to these artists we now know consider legends but it gave us some of their best work to date. Closing Time, (Pronounced 'Leh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ. – all masterpieces and all almost instant classics found their way onto turntables en masse over the course of the year and simply never left them.
But it wasn’t all about the new guys. No, future heavy hitters like The Eagles, The Faces, Chicago (EVERY DAMN YEAR THESE GUYS), Steely Dan all loosed their latest opus upon the world – and trust me folks, Desperado is TRULY an opus – leaving a long lasting mark on what we hear on the radio today. Hell, even the ex-Beatles got into the act with John Lennon releasing his Mind Games up against Paul McCartney’s Wings’ Band on the Run. These were big albums, but we still haven’t made it to the biggest.