The 1970s was a time when rock began to fracture into increasingly varied and intriguing subgenres. The strangest electronic sounds were becoming more prominent. The punk’s heavy boot was starting to make an impression. The psychedelic bands of the 60s were discovering the charms of the synthesizer, and the avant-garde bohemians of New York began to write more commercially accessible hits. This was an era in which American heart rock was born and the new wave began to play. It was an exciting time for music.
With all the trends evolving, a wave of musicians new and old arrived who explored uncharted territory. Although it wouldn’t be long before rock music was drowned out by clouds of hairspray and restricted by skinny leopard-print leggings, the 1970s was when rock was a rebellious but repatriable genre.
The decade was so saturated with albums of such high reputations that it would take a lifetime of dedicated and intense listening to pay them the correct fees. So for now, here are ten of the best.
This was the defining album of the Stevie Nicks / Lindsey Buckingham incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. Musically, it all came together for the band just as their personal lives began to unravel. In the most cliché of broken marriage tropes, Mick Fleetwood had just found out that his wife was eloping with his best friend. John McVie and Christine McVie were recovering from their recent divorce, and Nicks and Buckingham were dealing with the complications of sharing a stage and bed together.
This should have been a recipe for disaster. But, as with so many works of art, all the interpersonal confusion helped bring about one of the greatest creative endeavors ever printed on vinyl.
Although the album’s themes are resolved around the breakdown of romantic relationships, the scope encompasses a multitude of scenarios, from sadness, despair, and anger to optimistic reflections about the future.
This log contains a clue to record each stage of a breakup, in case you want to live your life like a movie. You have the bitter expressions in Go Your Own Way, there are reflections of remorse in Dreams, and the optimistic resolution in Don’t Stop. There isn’t a song on this record that you don’t know every word.
Someone should have told Taylor Swift that this was the only breakup album the world had ever needed.