Ever since I was a young boy I’ve played the silver ball. From Soho down to Brighton, I must have played them all. But I ain’t seen nothing like him in any amusement hall. That deaf, dumb and blind kid, Sure plays a mean pinball!
It is 46 years ago that the rock opera, Tommy was released, one of the first attempts at treating rock as an art form. The artists were The Who.
It’s a double album telling a loose story about a “deaf, dumb and blind kid”, Tommy was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. Released in 1969, the album was mostly composed by Pete Townshend. In 1998, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for historical, artistic and significant value.
Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)
Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1971 in the comments section…
AND lists like this are supposed to be fun! Don’t take it too seriously.
My favorite (studio) albums from 1971 include:
Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, If Only I Could Remember My Name (David Crosby), There’s a Riot Goin’ On (Sly & the Family Stone), What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye), Who’s Next (The Who), Tapestry (Carole King), Shaft: Music from the Soundtrack (Isaac Hayes), Sticky Fingers (The Rolling Stones), Imagine (John Lennon), Surf’s Up (Beach Boys), LA Woman (The Doors), Coat of Many Colors (Dolly Parton), IV (Led Zeppelin), Every Picture Tells a Story (Rod Stewart), Songs of Love & Hate (Leonard Cohen), Blue (Joni Mitchell), Pearl (Janis Joplin), White Light (Gene Clark), John Prine (John Prine), Nilsson Schmilsson (Harry Nilsson), Hunky Dory (David Bowie), Tupelo Honey (Van Morrison), Jack Johnson (Miles Davis), The Cry of Love (Jimi Hendrix), In Search Of A Song (Tom T. Hall), Crazy Horse (Crazy Horse) & Just as I Am (Bill Withers).
An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townshend’s exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on “My Generation” and “Out in the Street”; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)