Where to start? Well, I'll start by admitting I'm not up to the job. The 70s was such a varied decade for music with so many great albums. I can't say one is better than the rest.
So the "album of the decade" becomes the album that, for me, is at the heart of the period. In the 60s, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn took young minds out of the monotone past into a kaleidoscopic future. And so decades to come would strive for a Tomorrow's World without the suffocating constraints of the traditionalist Raymond Baxter.
Raymond would have chosen a punk album, possibly London Calling. But guitar rock was where we'd been, not where we were going, as the future music saw the increasing use of synthesisers.
So I'm going to go the whole hog and ignore great albums by the Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, Television, Talking Heads, ignore the great soul albums of Stevie Wonder and Isaac Hayes, even ignore the electronics of the early Roxy Music albums and Bowie from the mid to late 70s. I'm going to go the whole hog and choose Kraftwerk's masterpiece Trans-Europe Express.
Smart young fellows in suits and ties, helplessly indebted to the Berlin Wall which was to be later ruthlessly destroyed by Roger Waters, Kraftwerk were Cold War Cool. This was the age of the train in Germany, knocking our Jimmy Savile's Leeds-London commute into a cocked hat. Trains that went long distances, sleeper compartments, countryside, towns and cities flying back into the past.
A lot has been made of Kraftwerk's influence on hip hop and house as if this was their greatest achievement. No. The music stands alone as genius. Man and machine, together. Together in electric dreams.
Who Knows Where the Time Goes?
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