Look at Mother Nature on the run: Best of 1970



I don’t own any Black Sabbath except Paranoid but have no opinion. Leave me alone!

After years of limiting her writing to a couple tunes per album, Aretha Franklin looked over at the burgeoning singer-songwriter movement and said, “Here it is.” I love the swing of Spirit in the Dark: the cover of “The Thrill is Gone,” the cockiness of “When This Battle is Over,” the chord change precipitated by her own piano on the title track. This is what I want the limning of adult desire, one rooted in pews and transport, to sound like.

The only questionable finalist is the era’s first chart-topping triple album, recorded by a former Beatle whose considerable songwriting talent was overpraised because for thirteen years his ego swelled in the company of two great songwriters; these pent-up aching rivers would crest by the time Nixon was impeached. But I like more than half the songs, and when I pair them against Bob Dylan’s modest homespun triumph I realize why they became bros.

Aretha Franklin – Spirit in the Dark
The Stooges – Fun House
Neil Young – After the Gold Rush
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew</e
Funkadelic – Funkadelic
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
Captain Beefheart – Lick My Decals Off, Baby
Bob Dylan – New Morning
James Brown – Sex Machine
Rod Stewart – Gasoline Alley
The Jacksons – ABC
Merle Haggard – The Fightin’ Side of Me
The Velvet Underground – Loaded
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Mardi Gras
Ray Price – For the Good Times
Nico – Desertshore
Van Morrison – Moondance
Randy Newman – 12 Songs
David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World
James Gang – Rides Again
George Harrison – All Things Must Pass

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