40 Records in 40 Years (2/40 – 1975)

On the first year at grammar school I had no difficulties, so that the expenditure was low for the learning accordingly. Therefore I had much more time to spend with my mates on playing dart, billiard and cards. This was presumably one of the most lighthearted years in my life, because I had to waste no thoughts of an occupation or had to take over responsibility for others. It was also the year in I have stopped to play football in an association, because many things were more important (of course girls and lads), than to train regularly with the team.

This can maybe be a reason, why I have started to discover love songs for myself at this time. I also tried to understand the lyrics better than before – and action trick new worlds have disclosed for me. One of my favorite track in this style was performed by 10cc and still a song that stands the test of time.

In 1975 me and my mate used to hang around in a club that was frequented by a lot of American soldiers not far from were stationed. So I used to listen to a lot of American rock, soul and also ballads. One ballad that impressed me lot came from Janis Ian, an American singer/songwriter. where she she describes how it feels not to correspond as a teenager to the norm.

To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
And dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me
We all play the game and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
That call and say, come dance with me
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me
At seventeen

1975 was also the year Roxy Music released ‘Love is the drug’ which contains a lot from soul and disco. I don’t know if was it cool or not to wear an eye patch this time but years later a British one hit wonder did the same (but I don’t remember his name).

Phillisound disappeared and therefor disco raised with Donna Summer, Silver Convention, Bee Gees, KC & the Sunshine Band, Earth Wind and Fire and Van McCoy.

Remarkable records that was published this year:

  • Bob Dylan – Blood on the tracks I’m no big fan of him but on this record were some of his greatest songs with partly his best lyrics
  • ACDC – High Voltage Hard rock giant rises in Australia
  • Jeff Beck – Blow by Blow One of the best guitar based records ever (also his collaboration with Rod Stewart a couple of years earlier)
  • Curtis Mayfield – There Is No Place Like America Today One of my beloved soul records ever
  • The Tubes – The Tubes Punks before punk started
  • Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here Nothing to say –  one of the best selling records
  • Man – Maximum Darkness Welsh band added with John Cippolina on guitar. Powerful rock with great improvisation.

Good year for German football. Borussia Mönchengladbach won the UEFA-cup as the first German team ever against Twente Enschede and Bayern Munich defended their title with the land masters. ‘Thrila in Manila’ – Muhammad Ali won against Joe Frazier by technical knock out. Arthur Ash won the Wimbledon Championship as the first black player. Motörhead was founded (thank god for). Vietnam war ends by capitulation of the south and the civil war starts in Lebanon. Fascist dictator Francisco Franko died and Spain replaced monarchy. Lynette Fromme attacks American President Gerald Ford (she was a leading member of the Charles Manson Family, who was arrestet for the Tate/La Bianca murders in 1969). First woman who became leader of the Conservative Party: Margaret Thatcher. Great movies came out: Jaws, Barry Lyndon, One flew over the cocos nest.

Now what is my favorite record from this year. It is hard to decide because there a two records that means a lot to me. The first one taught me into Reggae and Dub – the other one turned me into soul music. It was in 1975 when Burning Spear released Markus Garvey. The album is named after the Jamaican National Hero and Rastafari movement propet Markus Garvey. A dub version of it was released four month later as Garvey’s Ghost. This is what roots reggae means and I play this record time by time to relax (or how the kids say nowadays: to chill).

Burning Spear – Markus Garvey
Burning Spear – Slavery Days
Burning Spear – I And I Survive (Slavery Days)

But I decided to David Bowie for his record ‘Young Americans’. For the record, which showed off his 1970s “obsession” with soul music, he let go of the influences he had drawn from in the past, replacing them with sounds from “local dance halls”, which, at the time, were blaring with “lush strings, sliding hi-hat whispers, and swanky R&B rhythms of Philadelphia Soul”. Because of the strong influence of black music on the album, Bowie used the term ‘plastic soul’ (originally coined by an unknown black musician in the 1960s) to describe the sound of Young Americans. Although Bowie was an English musician bringing up touchy American issues, the album was still very successful in the US; the album itself reached the top ten in that country, with the song ‘Fame’ hitting the #1 spot the same year the album was released.

David Bowie – Young Americans
David Bowie – Across The Universe
David Bowie – Fame
David Bowie – Somebody Up There Likes Me
David Bowie – Can You Hear Me


One thought on “40 Records in 40 Years (2/40 – 1975)

  1. 1975? School discos ruled and I loved dancing to KC & The Sunshine band, Bee Gees and EWF. Little did I know that a musical juggernaut was coming around the next bend…..

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