Blog 1972

Published on January 1st, 2022 | by Gerry Galipault

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Albums Turning 50 in 2022

Fifty years ago, in 1972, John Lennon’s U.S. immigration visa expired, setting off a three-and-a-half-year battle to remain in the country; Carole King dominated the Grammy Awards with her 1971 album “Tapestry,” ABC’s “In Concert” premiered, and Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” aired for the first time on NBC, before shifting to ABC in 1974.

Of course, there were some classic albums throughout that year. Like …

Jan. 24

“Paul Simon,” Paul Simon (his second solo album, featuring “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard” and “Duncan”; producers: Roy Halee, Simon; Columbia)

“Young, Gifted and Black,” Aretha Franklin (featuring “Border Song [Holy Moses],” “Rock Steady,” the title track, “Day Dreaming” and “All the King’s Horses”; producers: Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin, Jerry Wexler; Atlantic)

January 1972

“Jackson Browne,” Jackson Browne (his debut album, aka “Saturate Before Using,” featuring “Doctor, My Eyes” and “Rock Me on the Water”; producer: Richard Sanford Orshoff; Asylum)

Feb. 1

“Harvest,” Neil Young (his fourth solo album, featuring his one and only No. 1 hit, “Heart of Gold,” plus “Old Man” and “The Needle and the Damage Done”; producers: Young, Elliot Mazer, Henry Lewy, Jack Nitzsche; Reprise)

“Something/Anything?,” Todd Rundgren (his third album, featuring “Hello It’s Me,” “I Saw the Light,” “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” and “Wolfman Jack”; producer: Rundgren; Bearsville)

Feb. 12

“Eat a Peach,” The Allman Brothers Band (double album contained studio recordings with and without the late Duane Allman, who was killed in a motorcycle accident on Oct. 29, 1971, as well as live recordings from their legendary Fillmore East performances; featuring “Melissa” and “Blue Sky”; producer: Tom Dowd; Capricorn)

Feb. 25

“Pink Moon,” Nick Drake (his third and final album; he died two years later; the title song enjoyed a revival in 1999 when it was used for a Volkswagen ad campaign; producer: John Wood; Island)

March 3

“Music of My Mind,” Stevie Wonder (his 14th album, featuring “Superwoman [Where Were You When I Needed You]” and “Keep on Running”; producers: Wonder, Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff; Tamla)

“Thick as a Brick,” Jethro Tull (a spoof of concept albums, it contained one continuous piece across two sides; it reached No. 1 on the U.S. album chart; producer: Anderson; Chrysalis)

March 11

“Heads & Tales,” Harry Chapin (his debut album, featuring the epic story song “Taxi”; producer: Jac Holzman; Elektra)

March 25

“Machine Head,” Deep Purple (their sixth album was intended to be recorded at the Montreux Casino, but it burned down during a Frank Zappa concert, which inspired the band’s signature hit, “Smoke on the Water”; producers: Deep Purple; Purple)

April 10

“Raspberries,” Raspberries (the Eric Carmen-led group’s debut album, featuring “Go All the Way” and “Don’t Want to Say Goodbye”; the album was also famous for its scratch-and-sniff raspberry scented sticker on the cover; producer: Jimmy Ienner; Capitol)

May 6

“Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway,” Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (their million-selling collaboration includes “Where Is the Love” and “You’ve Got a Friend”; producers: Joel Dorn, Arif Mardin; Atlantic)

May 12

“Exile on Main St.,” The Rolling Stones (their first double album spawned the hits “Happy” and “Tumbling Dice” and went No. 1 in U.S., U.K. and Canada; producer: Jimmy Miller; Rolling Stones)

May 19

“Honky Château,” Elton John (his fifth album, featuring “Rocket Man,” “Honky Cat” and “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”; producer: Gus Dudgeon; Uni)

May 1972

“Still Bill,” Bill Withers (his second album contained two big hits, “Lean on Me” and “Use Me,” and the infamous “Who Is He [And What Is He to You]?”; producers: Withers, Benorce Blackmon, James Gadson, Melvin Dunlap, Ray Jackson; Sussex)

June 1

“Amazing Grace,” Aretha Franklin (her second LP of the year was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, featuring the Rev. James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir; it would continue her string of Grammy wins; producers: Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin, Franklin; Atlantic)

June 16

“The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” David Bowie (his fifth album, introducing his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, is considered one of the best glam rock albums ever; featuring “Starman,” “Moonage Daydream,” “Suffragette City” and “Five Years”; producers: Ken Scott, Bowie; RCA)

July 7

“The Harder They Come,” Jimmy Cliff (soundtrack album to the film of the same name, starring Cliff; it features Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross,” “The Harder They Come” and “You Can Get It If You Really Want It,” plus early reggae hits by Desmond Dekker, Toots and the Maytals, The Melodians, etc.; Island)

July 11

“Super Fly,” Curtis Mayfield (his fifth album was the soundtrack to the Blaxploitation film of the same name, featuring “Freddie’s Dead” and “Superfly”; Curtom)

July 21

“Never a Dull Moment,” Rod Stewart (his fourth album, featuring “You Wear It Well,” “Angel” and “Twisting the Night Away”; producer: Stewart; Mercury)

August 1972

“#1 Record,” Big Star (their debut album was hailed by critics but sold poorly and didn’t gain wide appreciation until years later; “In the Street,” covered by Cheap Trick, was used as the theme song for the hit TV series “That ’70s Show”; producer: John Fry; Ardent)

Sept. 8

“All the Young Dudes,” Mott the Hoople (their fifth album, featuring the title track, was produced by David Bowie; Columbia)

Sept. 13

“Close to the Edge,” Yes (their fifth album and their last with original drummer Bill Bruford, featuring “And You and I”; producers: Eddy Offord, Yes; Atlantic)

Oct. 23

“I’m Still in Love With You,” Al Green (his fifth album yielded three hits: the title track, “Love and Happiness” and “Look What You Done for Me”; producer: Willie Mitchell; Hi)

Oct. 28

“Talking Book,” Stevie Wonder (his second album of the year, featuring his No. 1 hits “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”; producer: Wonder; Tamla)

Nov. 7

“The Divine Miss M,” Bette Midler (her debut album, featuring “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Do You Wanna Dance?” and “Friends”; she would later win the Grammy for Best New Artist; producers: Ahmet Ertegün, Barry Manilow, Joel Dorn, Geoffrey Haslam; Atlantic)

Nov. 8

“Transformer,” Lou Reed (his second solo album, featuring “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love”; producers: David Bowie, Mick Ronson; RCA)

Nov. 16

“No Secrets,” Carly Simon (her third album was her most commercially successful, spending five weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart, powered by her No. 1 smash “You’re So Vain,” plus “The Right Thing to Do,” “His Friends Are More Than Fond of Robin” and “We Have No Secrets”; producer: Richard Perry; Elektra)

Nov. 17

“Seventh Sojourn,” The Moody Blues (the group’s first No. 1 album in the U.S., featuring “I’m Just a Singer [In a Rock and Roll Band],” “Isn’t Life Strange,” “New Horizons” and “Lost in a Lost World”; producer: Tony Clarke; Threshold)

November 1972

“For the Roses,” Joni Mitchell (her fifth album, featuring her first Top 40 hit, “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio”; some of the songs were inspired by her relationship with James Taylor and its dissolution; producer: Mitchell; Asylum)

“Can’t Buy a Thrill,” Steely Dan (their debut album, featuring the hits “Do It Again” and “Reelin’ in the Years,” plus “Dirty Work,” “Brooklyn [Owes the Charmer Under Me],” “Midnite Cruiser” and “Only a Fool Would Say That”; producer: Gary Katz; ABC)

“The World Is a Ghetto,” War (their fifth album was their biggest, spending two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, led by the hits “The World Is a Ghetto” and “The Cisco Kid” and the popular instrumental “City, Country, City”; producers: Jerry Goldstein, Lonnie Jordan, Howard E. Scott; United Artists)

Other Notable Releases

“The London Chuck Berry Sessions,” Chuck Berry
“Blue Öyster Cult,” Blue Öyster Cult
“A Song for You,” Carpenters
“You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” Jim Croce
“Chicago V,” Chicago
“School’s Out,” Alice Cooper
“Toulouse Street,” The Doobie Brothers
“Eagles,” Eagles
“Fanny Hill,” Fanny
“Bare Trees,” Fleetwood Mac
“Trouble Man,” Marvin Gaye
“Foxtrot,” Genesis
“Europe ’72,” Grateful Dead
“Saint Dominic’s Preview,” Van Morrison
“Sail Away,” Randy Newman
“Son of Schmilsson,” Harry Nilsson
“Back Stabbers,” The O’Jays
“Touch Your Woman,” Dolly Parton
“Roxy Music,” Roxy Music
“Carney,” Leon Russell
“Free Will,” Gil Scott-Heron
“Stealers Wheel,” Stealers Wheel
“All Directions,” The Temptations
“The Slider,” T. Rex
“They Only Come Out at Night,” The Edgar Winter Group
“Argus,” Wishbone Ash
“Across 110th Street,” Bobby Womack
“Rio Grande Mud,” ZZ Top




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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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