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October 5, 2021


[Albums 928 & 929 / 1001]

Of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ 30 are from the year 1972.

I’ve reviewed all but two of them so far.

The last pair of non-reviewed albums from 1972: Black Sabbath – Vol. 4, War – The World is a Ghetto.

Which 1972 albums are the most essential to hear again?

Ranked by their essential-ness, here’s how I’d prioritize revisiting these 30 albums, enjoy!



30. The Eagles – The Eagles. The Dude would be disappointed in me if they’d been any higher, man!

29. Tim Buckley – Greetings from L.A. His third of three albums on the 1001 list.

28. Todd Rundgren – Something/Anything. His first of a pair of albums on the 1001 list.

27. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will the Circle Be Unbroken. At a running time of 105:55, it’s among the longest on the list.

26. Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges – Clube de Esquina. I enjoyed my time In De Clube.

25. Curtis Mayfield – Superfly. The soundtrack is so vivid it feels like I’ve seen the film.

24. War – The World is a Ghetto. Would be in my Top 5 ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ for the category of “The World is _______” (The Bullet With Butterfly Wings lyric, “The World is a Vampire,” is the current fill-in-the-blank to beat for #1)

23. Black Sabbath – Vol. 4. Their third and final appearance on the 1001 list.

22. Roxy Music – Roxy Music. Their first of a trio of 1001 list appearances.

21. The Tempatations – All Directions. With its mix of sounds & styles, the album name is apt.

20. David Ackles – American Gothic. I had to stream this one, as the CD purchase price was a bit higher than I was prepared to pay!



19. Deep Purple – Machine Head.

18. Deep Purple – Made in Japan.

When deciding which to rank higher, I’ll quote Marty McFly’s line to Doc (wildly out of context): the best stuff is Made in Japan!

17. Slade – Slayed?. Enjoyable album & album title punctuation.

16. Hugh Masekela – Home is Where the Music is. Terrific trumpet work.

15. Stephen Stills – Manassas. A double album that’s more than good enough throughout to justify being a double album.

14. Paul Simon – Paul Simon. His first of a trio of solo albums on the 1001 list.

13. Lou Reed – Transformer. His first of a pair of solo albums on the 1001 list.

12. T. Rex – The Slider. Fun to learn that Ringo did the album art.

11. Yes – Close to the Edge. Their 3rd of 3 from the 1001.

10. Alice Cooper – School’s Out. An annual June 30th-ish listening selection & another that I have Aaron @ KMA to thank for the delightful 8-Track!



9. Al Green – Let’s Stay Together. Efficient + effective.

8. Randy Newman – Sail Away. Always singin’ about what he sees.

7. Stevie Wonder – Talking Book. Imagine releasing your 15th studio album (!) at age 22 (!!).

6. Big Star – #1 Record. Maybe not quite my #1, but not far off.

5. Neil Young – Harvest. When playing a banjo (or banjo guitar), I’ll inevitably attempt to pluck the nice feature from Old Man.

4. Steely Dan – Can’t Buy a Thrill. Perhaps I’m just getting older, but it was rather thrilling seeing Dirty Work show up in the film American Hustle.

3. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I imagine seeing Bowie in the Top 5 will become a tradition for these 1970s lists.

2. Nick Drake – Pink Moon. So sparse, so superb.

1. The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street. Their finest hour (and 7 minutes and 7 seconds); and a rhetorical question, how great was it to hear Sweet Virginia at the end of the film, Knives Out? The perfectly placement of my favourite Stones tune made an already terrific film that much more memorable.



Verbalize the Positive

Happy October!

From → 1970s

  1. Another cornucopia of fine albums, Geoff.

    At this point I’m unsure whether there will be a “72 from 1972” series at Vinyl Connection, but if there is I find it difficult to imagine what would push “Close To The Edge” from the #1 spot. Followed, in all likelihood, by your #3, #1, and #4.

    • No wrong answers in those choices, Bruce – I’m relieved Close To The Edge ended up in my “Nigel Tufnel” Top 10 position!

      • I’m not sure I know what that means, Geoff, but if it’s a positive, that’s good enough for me!

      • A LeBrain train ‘Top 10’ list in honour of the immortal Nigel – his lists go to 11!

  2. Eagles and Tim Buckley are probably my least favourite records from that batch too. It’s another very good year – CTTE is my favourite album ever.

    • You and Bruce both speak quite highly of CTTE – and those are 2 reliable sources!
      It was new to me over the last year or two, I’ll be interested to see if it continues to climb the list for me with more revisits

  3. Rocks Off from Exile is such a killer song. Wow. Going to spin this album today after work. Black Sabbath last appearance on the 1001 list. Done by 1972. lol
    Great stuff

    • I’d forgotten that both the Stones and Sabbath were both done in terms of ‘1001 list’ albums as of ’72 – but decades away from actually being done!
      And agreed about Rocks Off, great opener

  4. Of course that Stones album should be #1. And that one CD was rather pricey. I think I would’ve passed on that one as well.

    • When it’s $330+ for one CD, it’s hard to picture how that would work out to a favourable return on investment – even if you listened 330+ times, it would still be $1 average cost per spin!

      • Imagine how many times I have to listen to the Vault to get my money’s worth (but I believe I did regardless).

  5. Yes. I looked to see where Exile would sit and you have placed it correctly! Well done!

  6. 1972, the year that all that is graceful, good, occasionally amusing and noble was deliver-ed unto this earth.

  7. Zack permalink

    It’s interesting to read about how some bands make their last appearance in 72 while some make their first.

    • I hadn’t picked up on that but you’re right, it was somewhat of a transitional year – a last critical hurrah for some of the 60s bands, start of a great run for some of the ones from the 70s.
      And with the 2 eras overlapping, not a bad year at all!

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