40 Records In 40 Years (3/40 – 1976)

This year brought a big change into my life because I decided to quit school for a education to a bank clerk. The principal reason that I have decided on the education was the fact that they get me paid for this. Another reason was also to get more independence of my parental home. Looking back to this days I think this was the first time a decision changed my way of living completely. From this time I changed my outfit: Now dressed in suit and tie instead of wearing jeans and T-shirts during the daytime. This was the hardest thing for me to get used to this dresscode. The first thing I did when regular work was over I changed my clothes as quick a possible. It has used a long time, until I have got used to my new clothes style and could also carry this with pleasure.

In 1976 it became clear that the musical development has come nearly to the shutdown. Big bands like Led Zeppelin the puff went out and they were only an imitation of themselves. Period of disco music has left the top behind and it seemed that acts like the Welsh songstress Bonnie Tyler will take over control. This was the background when I first time came to London. I have given myself a few days of vacation, before I start my education. And I was surprised what I saw there. Young bands playing in small clubs extremely fast and short songs, mixed with an rebellion attitude, wearing rotten clothes and needles in their ears and cheeks. Never heard that sound before and from this time on I was infected to the new sounds that would come the next years.

Some good and after the years remarkable songs were hard to find but I remember this ones:

Chicago: A simple ballad that still sounds well today

Steve Miller Band: One of the last rebelling of the hippies

Climax Blues Band: Return of the funk
Elton John & Kiki Dee: Summer tune
The Damned: Punk starts
Remarkable albums published in 1976:
  • Steve Miller Band – Fly like an eagle True sound of the ending hippie decade but great songs
  • Boz Scaggs – Silk degrees Great musician with one of the best songs of love gone wast on it (It’s over)
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – dto First album with his remarkable sound
  • Dr. Feelgood – Stupidity Amazing live album filled with rhythm and blues
  • Stevie Wonder – Songs in the key of life Still a monument of an album
  • Graham Parker – Howling wind Pure rhythm and blues ‘Don’t ask me questions’
  • Stanley Clarke – School days Pure fusion, very hip these days
  • Flamin’ Groovies – Shake some action Retro sound, every song another style

And what happened in the rest of the world:

The pol-pot regime proclaims a new constitution for the Democratic Kampuchea – trying to recapture the country to a stone age communism million people had to die. The trial against jailed members of the Red Army Fraction  begins in Stuttgart, Ulrike Meinhoff (member of the Red Army Fraction)  hanged in an apparent suicide in her prison cell. West Germany. Patty Hearst is found guilty of armed robbery of a San Francisco bank. Argentina military forces depose president Isabel Peròn and was replaced by the dictatorship of general Videla. Soweto uprising begins in South Africa. The Ramones made their first ‘professional’ performance at CBGB. Another mass murder dies: Mao Zedong in China.
Remarkable movies in this year: Rocky, All The Presidents Men, Carrie, Taxi Driver, Marathon Man.
I decided to feature Ry Cooder and his album Chicken Skin Music for the year 1976. Ry Cooder is one of those guys always referred to as a ‘guitar player’s guitar player’. He is all that and more, having played as a sideman on dozens (if not hundreds) of other artists’ records. Like almost all of Cooder’s recordings, the point on this record is not the guitar but the music. Lots of guitar on this album to be sure, but also wonderful songs drawing on just about every aspect of American music: blues, soul, jazz, Tex-Mex. Also a very cool cover like Leadbelly’s ‘Goodnight Irene’. Since I heard this songs the first time I deeply liked his combination of classic American music as well as Tex-Mex and Hawaiian.
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One thought on “40 Records In 40 Years (3/40 – 1976)

  1. Nice, Walter, and it reminded me to do two things:a) have to listen to the Flamin' Groovies album again in due courseb) have to see Marathon Man again.Cheers,Dirk

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