A lot of GREAT music was released in 1970, here are my 20 chosen songs.
Into the Mystic – Van Morrison
“Into the Mystic” is one of Morrison’s warmest ballads, an Otis Redding-style reverie with acoustic guitar and horns. The lyrics are truly mysterious: “People say, ‘What does this mean?’ ” said Morrison. “A lot of times I have no idea what I mean. That’s what I like about rock & roll — the concept. Like Little Richard — what does he mean? You can’t take him apart; that’s rock & roll to me.”
Written by Van Morrison and featured on his 1970 album Moondance. It was also included on Morrison’s 1974 live album, It’s Too Late To Stop Now. It was recorded during the Moondance sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City in September to November 1969. Elliott Scheiner was the engineer.
– We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
We were different. We were older. We knew each other on all kinds of levels that we didn’t when we were teenagers. The early stuff – the Hard Day’s Night period, I call it – was the sexual equivalent of the beginning hysteria of a relationship. And the Sgt Pepper-Abbey Road period was the mature part of the relationship.”
– John Lennon (1980)
A Hard Day’s Night is the third album by The Beatles; it was released on July 10, 1964. The album is a soundtrack to the A Hard Day’s Night film, starring the Beatles. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing. This is the first Beatles album to be recorded entirely on four-track tape, allowing for good stereo mixes.
In 2000, Q placed A Hard Day’s Night at number 5 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 388 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The soundtrack songs were recorded in late February, and the non-soundtrack songs were recorded in June. The title song itself was recorded on April 16.
…but A Hard Day’s Night is perhaps the band’s most straightforward album: You notice the catchiness first, and you can wonder how they got it later.
The best example of this is the title track– the clang of that opening chord to put everyone on notice, two burning minutes thick with percussion (including a hammering cowbell!) thanks to the new four-track machines George Martin was using, and then the song spiraling out with a guitar figure as abstractedly lovely as anything the group had recorded.”
– Tom Ewing, Pitchfork
The final Beatles Christmas offering was also recorded separately, as the band had effectively split by this point. It features an extensive visit with John and Yoko at their Tittenhurst Park estate, where they play “what will Santa bring me?” games. Harrison only appears briefly, and Starr only shows up to plug his recent film, The Magic Christian. Paul sings his original ad-lib, This is to Wish You a Merry, Merry Christmas. Starting at 1:30, at the tail-end of Ringo’s song, the guitar solos from The End are heard, followed by Yoko interviewing John.
Wings over America is one of the reasons I miss vinyl, it was big in every sense of the word. A triple album, with a poster and a cover designed by Hipgnosis.
Originally, Wings over America was to be a two-record set, but this was rethought due to the success of a bootleg called Wings from the Wings, released on a bicentennial red, white and blue triple record set, recorded on 23 June 1976 at The Forum (Inglewood, California).
This caused McCartney to redo the official release as a three-record set covering the entire concert, including Denny Laine’s “Go Now”, a song from his time as a member of The Moody Blues. This song was only performed 21–23 June 1976 at the Forum.
Compiled from all recorded shows of the band’s Wings Over America Tour that spring, Wings over America was another success for Paul McCartney and Wings, reaching number 1 in the US in early 1977 (the last in a 5-album stretch of consecutive number 1 albums for Wings) and number 8 in the UK, and selling several million copies.
Wings Over America was reissued as a double-CD in 1984 on Columbia Records and later on Capitol Records.
On November 29, 2002, a year after his death, a tribute concert for George Harrison was held at Royal Albert Hall. Friends and family gathered to play his songs, and it was an impressive, if predictable, roster:
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Tom Petty, and Eric Clapton, who also served as musical director, took center stage, but George’s son Dhani Harrison was also there, as was Ravi Shankar’s daughter Anoushka, early British rock & roller Joe Brown, and Gary Brooker. Unlike many all-star lineups, everybody had a close personal connection to George.