Friday 1 April 2011

1976 - A Golden Year

Here at NigeCorp we occasionally take a break from wrestling with the knottier points of Kantian epistemology to address larger questions, such as this: Was 1976, as is popularly supposed, the worst year in the history of rock music, the dismal pre-punk nadir? Having looked into the matter, I can confidently assert that no, it was not - in fact it was one of the best years. Among the albums released in that surely golden 12 months were Bob Dylan's Desire (swiftly followed by Hard Rain), self-titled albums by the Ramones, the Modern Lovers, Joan Armatrading and Warren Zevon, Emylou Harris's Elite Hotel, Stevie Wonder's Songs In The Key Of Life, David Bowie's Station To Station, Dr Feelgood's Stupidity, Steely Dan's The Royal Scam, Nils Lofgren's Cry Tough. And Kate and Anna McGarrigle's self-titled debut album, which alone would make 1976 an Annus Mirabilis. I rest my 'case'.
At which point, I realise with a shudder that all this was 35 years ago...


  1. Oh Nige, Nige, how could you miss them out, Cliff's Devil Woman and Concorde's inaugural flight.
    Circlip Richards will be well upset, Concorde regets...

  2. Banished To A Pompous Land1 April 2011 at 14:32

    Don't think of the years Nige, just listen.
    Concerts - Henry Cow
    Hejira - Joni Mitchell
    Radio Ethiopia - Patti Smith
    Still Life - Van Der Graaf Generator
    Zoot Allures - Frank Zappa
    Third Reich 'n' Roll - The Residents
    Small Change - Tom Waits
    In Living Black And White - Kevin Coyne
    Need I go on?

    The nadir? Not by a long chalk.

  3. I know - the list is endless. Bliss was it in that dawn...

  4. Never mind the music - the streams were so low that trout could be tickled

  5. Banished To A Pompous Land1 April 2011 at 15:16

    I remember it well. I walked the Pennine Way that summer and it was brutal.
    I also recall watching Van Morrison and the Celtic Soul Orchestra on the telly one of those Pennine Way nights in a pub Hebden Bridge.

    Its weird how some things stick isn't it?

  6. Never mind the trout-tickling - what about the thrill of being 35 years younger than you are now. Didn't seem particularly special at the time, but looking back on it now....
    Back then somebody said to me that I would make a great old person 'if I lived long enough'. Now that I have, it doesn't seem so great from my side of my eyeballs.

  7. Glad someone chose Zappa though Bongo Fury, which includes the Cap'n, just misses it (1975). But then Blondie just makes it in, so perhaps there wasn't one new wave later but many waves. And all on vinyl!

  8. So, BTAPL, that was you sitting outside of the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm in '76 was it.

  9. Banished To A Pompous Land1 April 2011 at 16:25

    Very possibly malty, me and my dad. We sat outside a good many licensed premises that summer. With that heat you had to keep up the fluid intake even if you were only, actually, seventeen.

  10. I still remember when the drought finally broke in London. People were all but dancing in the street (in a London kind of way). I was just by Forest Hill station...