The 25 best albums of 1970
27 September 2023, 18:55
Looking back at the dawn of the 70s with Morrison Hotel, Atom Heart Mother, The Man Who Sold The World, All Things Must Pass and more.
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Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs: release date 2nd January 1970
The former Pink Floyd frontman had been ousted from the group after his unreliability had become too much of a problem and he only finished two full solo albums before he effectively retired. The sole single to be taken from the album was the quirky Octopus.
Van Morrison - Moondance: release date 27th January 1970
The third solo album from the former frontman of Them included the singles Come Running, Crazy Love and the memorable title track.
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water: release date 28th January 1970
The duo's fifth and final album together was their biggest: aside from the monumental title track, it also included The Boxer and Cecilia. Paul Simon went on to a notable solo career, while Art Garfunkel turned his hand to acting, most famously in the films Carnal Knowledge and Catch-22.
The Doors - Morrison Hotel: release date 9th February 1970
The fifth album from the LA psychedelic rockers included the singles You Make Me Real and Roadhouse Blues plus the funky Peace Frog.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu: release date 11th March 1970
The folk rock supergroup expanded their line-up with the addition of Neil Young and and this second outing included the hippy hit Woodstock, plus Teach Your Children, Our House and Carry On.
Paul McCartney - McCartney: release date 17th April 1970
Macca's first solo album was overshadowed somewhat by the accompanying press release which effectively ended The Beatles. Paul had claimed he'd left the band and recorded this first outing mainly at home. Tracks included That Would Be Something, Every Night, a couple of unused Beatles-era tunes in Junk and Teddy Boy and the epic Maybe I'm Amazed.
The Beatles - Let It Be: release date 8th May 1970
The final album from the Fab Four was issued a month after the news broke that the band had split. Compiled of material recorded over a year earlier and put together by producer Phil Spector, the album included the classic title track, Get Back, Across The Universe and McCartney's superb ballad The Long And Winding Road.
The Who - Live At Leeds: release date 11th May 1970
Recorded at Leeds University on 14th February that year, The Who's first live LP is a classic of the genre and includes their monumental take on the Eddie Cochran tune Summertime Blues, plus a mammoth version of their own My Generation that lasts 15 minutes.
Deep Purple - In Rock: release date 5th June 1970
The fourth album from the British heavy rock outfit featured the classic line-up of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. Tracks included the hit Black Night and Speed King.
Free - Fire And Water: release date 26th June 1970
The third studio album from the British rock band was their big breakthrough moment, and included their most famous song All Right Now.
The Stooges - Fun House: release date 7th July 1970
Iggy Pop and his pioneering proto-punk cohorts released their second album, which included the tracks TV Eye, Dirt and the incendiary 1970.
Neil Young - After The Gold Rush: released in September 1970
The third solo album by the singer-songwriter was one of his
best-known releases and featured the songs Southern Man, When You Dance I Can Really Love and Only Love Can Break Your Heart.
Curtis Mayfield - Curtis: released in September 1970
The Chicago soul legend's debut album included his classic single Move On Up, plus the single (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below, We're All Going To Go.
The Rolling Stones - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!: release date 4th September 1970
The Stones returned to live performance in 1969 after a couple of years out of the loop and found that audiences had changes and "rock" music was now being taken seriously. This amazing document captures them in action at New York's Madison Square Garden (apart from one track taped in Baltimore) with a track list that includes Jumpin' Jack Flash, Midnight Rambler and Sympathy For The Devil.
Black Sabbath - Paranoid: release date 18th September 1970
Sabbath's first, ground-breaking self-titled album was released in February of 1970, but it was the follow-up later in the year that gave birth to their most famous song: Paranoid. The single made No 4 in the UK charts, while the parent album made the top spot. Also included were the tracks War Pigs, Iron Man and the chilled-out Planet Caravan.
Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother: release date 2nd October 1970
The prog band's fifth album included an ambitious orchestral piece as the title track plus the songs Summer '68, Fat Old Sun and the wacky sound collage Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast.
Led Zeppelin - III: release date 5th October 1970
Zeppelin's third self-titled album came complete with a rotating card wheel attached to the cover for some visual fun, plus the classic tracks Immigrant Song, Celebration Day and Since I've Been Loving You.
Tim Buckley - Starsailor: released in November 1970
The sixth album from the American singer-songwriter (and father of Jeff) was one of his most popular releases, including the title track and Song To The Siren.
David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World: release date 4th November 1970
Bowie made the transformation from acoustic hippy to would-be rock god with this progressive album that paved the way for Ziggy Stardust. Key tracks include The Width Of A Circle, All The Madmen and the classic title track, later give a new audience by Nirvana at their 1993 MTV Unplugged session.
Derek & The Dominos - Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs: release date 9th November 1970
The only album from Eric Clapton's blue rock collective was a double set that included the classic title track, plus Bell Bottom Blues and Tell The Truth, plus a cover of the Jimi Hendrix tune Little Wing.
The Velvet Underground - Loaded: release date 15th November 1970
The final album to feature founding member Lou Reed included the singles Sweet Jane, Who Loves The Sun and Head Held High. The band issued one more album, 1973's Squeeze, which didn't feature any of the original members.
Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman: release date 23rd November 1970
The fourth album from the British singer-songwriter included his hit song Wild World and the classic Father And Son.
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass: release date 27th November 1970
The "Quiet One" amazed the world with his first solo effort, which was a triple album that featured a lot of songs that had been rejected by The Beatles. Tracks included the Bob Dylan co-written I'd Have You Anytime, the hit My Sweet Lord and the epic Isn't It A Pity.
The Kinks - Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround (Part One): release date 27th November 1970
The eighth album from the British rock band was a conceptual piece from Ray Davies and included the hits Lola and Apeman.
John Lennon - John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band: release date 11th December 1970
Lennon's first real solo album after a series of experimental releases with wife and collaborator Yoko Ono was best known as the "primal scream" LP after the controversial therapy the couple had undergone earlier in the year. A pioneering example of confessional songwriting, Lennon confronted his childhood trauma head on with songs like Mother, the Beatles break-up on God and society in general on Working Class Hero.