We enter a new year, and we turn around and look back, through the flames of the wreckage of 2020, all the way to 1971, when an amazing number of classic rock albums were released. Major touchstones of Progressive Rock that year include Emerson Lake & Palmer’s Tarkus, The YES Album by YES, Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and Pink Floyd’s Meddle. The Who pulled Who’s Next out of the aborted Lifehouse concept, while The Doors gave us L.A. Woman. Led Zepplin delivered their massively sucessful fourth album. Rod Stewart broke through big as a solo artist with Every Picture Tells a Story, and with Faces’ A Nod’s As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse.
This was a year that saw breakthrough albums by then-up-and-coming artists like David Bowie, Black Sabbath, T Rex and Alice Cooper. 1971 also saw the posthumous release of the only proper solo album by Janis Joplin. The Rolling Stones delivered Sticky Fingers, with a Warhol-designed cover that featured a shot of Mick Jagger’s crotch with a real zipper that scratched a good number of the records in shipping.
To give you an idea of just how important 1971 was to Rock ‘n’ Roll, tonight we’re bringing you a few quirky videos that will belabor that point…
The scary thing is, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll be revisiting this topic all year, and you can be sure that there’ll be some deluxe boxset remastered reissues turn up in The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide.