Was 1971 a golden year for pop & rock music?

There’s a new book out that suggests that 1971 was the best and definitive year for music in the 1970s: 1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year by David Hepworth.

Goodreads.com rates it very highly in its review: “A rollicking look at 1971 – the busiest, most innovative and resonant year of the 70s, defined by the musical arrival of such stars as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Joni david hepworth book never a dull momentMitchell.”

The review continues: “On New Year’s Eve, 1970, Paul McCartney told his lawyers to issue the writ at the High Court in London, effectively ending The Beatles. You might say this was the last day of the pop era. The following day, which was a Friday, was 1971. You might say this was the first day of the rock era. And within the remaining 364 days of this monumental year, the world would hear Don McLean’s “American Pie,” The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar,” The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” and more.”

David Hepworth, author of “1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year”……was twenty-one in 1971, the same age as many of the legendary artists who arrived on the scene. In the book he takes the reader on “a tour of the major moments, the events and songs of this remarkable year, he shows how musicians came together to form the perfect storm of rock and roll greatness, starting a musical era that would last longer than anyone predicted.”

Goodreads.com concludes its review: “1971 – Never a Dull Moment is more than a love song to the music of 1971. It’s also an homage to the things that inspired art and artists alike. From Soul Train to The Godfather, hot pants to table tennis, Hepworth explores both the music and its landscapes, culminating in an epic story of rock and roll’s best year.”

For the Record Press author, 1971 will always be synonymous with my childhood. It was the year that the Raleigh 1970s 1 munch bunch pencil topsChopper and its junior version the Raleigh Chipper were launched and revolutionised transportation for my friends and I. In the school playground the Munch Bunch pencil tops were all the rage. For those of a certain vintage who are struggling to remember them – they were the fruit and vegetable people who were impaled on our pencils in the classroom!!

My favourite TV shows were Catweazle, Land of the Giants, Banana Splits and The Persuaders. I have to say I hadn’t discovered pop and rock music at the time. Retrospectively I have developed a fondness for the music of 1971, without being overly enamoured with the year as a musical chapter. So I have to disagree with David Hepworth – I would opt  for 1974, 1975 ( years where  Glam Rock collided colourfully with the advent of Disco ) or 1979 ( where New Wave, Electro-pop, Reggae and Ska co-existed in the UK charts ) as being better years for music in the 1970s.

However 1971 produced some classic songs and hits as illustrated by this Record Press Top 10 Best Songs of 1971 –

Record Press Top 10 Best Songs of 1971marvin gaye what's going on

 

1) Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?

2) John Lennon – Imagine

3) Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

4) Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven

5) Carole King – It’s Too Late Babyled zeppelin stairway to heaven

6) George Harrison – My Sweet Lord

7) Elton John – Your Song

8) Diana Ross – I’m Still Waiting

9) Elvis Presley – I Just Can’t Help Believin’

10) Rod Stewart – Maggie May

 

Which is your favourite year for music and why? Tell us about your memories from that year in the Reply Box below.

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