On December 1st 1976, UK TV history was made. On Bill Grundy’s Today show, the Sex Pistols and a couple of their associated chums shocked a nation. Their behavior was quickly seen as inappropriate for most of the 1970s public and by the time their interview concluded with Steve Jones calling Grundy “a fucking rotter”, things had moved from merely “inappropriate” to “causing outrage”.
In approximately four minutes, the Pistols’ legendary status was sealed. Punk moved from being a just a cult. It was now a cult that hit the mainstream. 1977 gave the world some of the most indispensable UK punk discs: debut LPs from The Clash, The Damned, The Pistols and The Stranglers (though, later that same year, their second album contains much to dislike), as well as the sole single from Johnny & The Self-Abusers.
1977 brought two superb albums from Transatlantic punk pioneers Ramones, while the legendary Iggy Pop released three albums, two of which are considered classics decades on. The even more legendary David Bowie – in addition to producing material for Iggy – also found time to record and release two albums, the first of which, ‘Low’, isn’t just one of the essentials of ’77, nor one of Bowie’s best albums of the 70s, it’s a record so influential and rich in textures, it’s also one of the three best from his entire career.
Revisionist thinking suggests that punk killed off the classic rock of the day, which is simply ridiculous. 1977 was a really successful year for Yes, whose ‘Going For The One’ LP reached the number one spot and also spawned one of their biggest UK hit single. Off the back of their 1975 “comeback” record, while Fleetwood Mac followed a similar formula for ‘Rumours’ and the results were a world-beater, with the album eventually spending the equivalent of a decade in the chart. Steely Dan’s ‘Aja’, while not as immediate as a couple of it’s predecessors, continued to show Becker and Fagen’s unique talents and Linda Ronstadt’s perfect voice continued to enrich the easier end of the music market.
Real Gone’s dip into 1977 showcases all of these great things, as well as the more cult-oriented with tracks by power-poppers Real Kids and Pezband, some superb jazz fusion with Colosseum II and Brand X, AOR from Charlie…and far more besides.
In the words of Hot Chocolate, every one’s a winner. This is a great selection for your weekend, guaranteed. So whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, as always…happy listening!