C O U R S E L E C T U R E
Rock and Roll in the Second Half of the 1970s
Notes taken on November 23, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
Progressive Rock in the 1970s
Peter Gabriel left the band after "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
after a search for a singer, they decided to use the drummer, Phil Collins
1976 A Trick of the Tail
Genesis continued on without any real disruption
although Peter Gabriel fans won't agree
but this was true at least as far as the commercial health of the group
1977 "Works", Vol 1 and 2
1977 "Songs from the Wood"
1977 "Going for the One"
even Rolling Stone hailed this as the return of the band after a long pause
Rick Wakeman was back again
other groups that blended Progressive Rock
more prog heavy, more radio friendly
1978 Point of No Return
1977 "The Grand Illusion"
addition of Tommy Shaw into the group
guitars were more blues rock than what you would find in most progressive rock
classic sounding keyboards
pop oriented to the vocal hooks in the song forms which will now fit to this now increasingly constrained but much bigger world of FM rock radio in the second half of the 70s
Canadian band from Toronto
the biggest group to push progressive rock in the second half of the 70s
1976 concept album 2112
important point of arrival for that band
1980 "The Spirit of the Radio"
one of the last songs to be unusually long for radio play
just when they were coming along with long, elaborate songs, radio was constraining even groups like Yes so they couldn't get their long songs onto the radio
but they always had these hits that permeated FM radio
Alan Parsons was a recording engineer for Beatles and Pink Floyd
did recording for "Dark Side of the Moon"
Electric Light Orchestra
takes the Beatles songs with strings idea
"Strawberry Fields Forever"
turned it into their own style
in 1995, when the surviving Beatles got back together, Jeff Lynne did the production on the new tracks
George Harrison, the Traveling Willberries
"Can't Get It Out of My Head"
observing traditional principles of guitar voice-leading
1976 "A Night at the Opera"
has gone on to be one of those songs like Stairway to Heaven
became emblematic as 1970s rock
eclectic approach to different styles
such as Paul McCartney was doing
in the first part of the 70s they were fronting bands
second half of 70s very active
1975 "Blood on the Tracks"
a feature of rock radio and the rock world
turned to a Christian religious perspective toward the end of the 1970s
he often remade himself in this way
1975 "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy"
"Somebody Saved My Life Tonight"
1975 "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
1975 "Philadelphia Freedom"
1977 His "Greatest Hits"
disappointing effort commercially
the accompanying movie flopped
although it had an interesting story, touring around in the movie with a band
included many of the most musically sophisticated songs he had done up to that point
his version of Harry Chapin
atmospheric ballad until it turned into a wedding band classic
1978 "Runnin' On Empty"
a mixture of Bob Dillon meets Phil Spector meets the Rolling Stones
was just getting started
this period, the last half of the 1970s, can be see as a synthesis of previous styles or a homogenization
an interesting period in which Rock music is refined and made lean and mean and compact
becomes so homogenized because it is shooting for the big album, that it loses its visceral effect
too many of the sharp corners are sanded down
Rock and Roll had been neutered
no longer had the edge, commitment, and authenticity that it had in the first half of the decade