Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs is a WordPress Blog that discusses and introduces us to new rock music and emerging artists. It’s a great and interesting read, and I just discovered it releases a podcast, too.
In the latest episode, the first of 2014, this podcast takes a look back at the year 1971.
In this episode, we take a look back at the music of 1971. In a year of major change, we see the beginnings of prog rock, the waning days of the folk movement, and the beginnings of Glam Rock.
In the author’s eyes, 1971 was the year that was pivotal for rock music. In this period we were seeing the switch from the hippie age, the end of Woodstock and the hippie dream that didn’t come true. Rock’n’Roll anthems have emerged, as this is the year that Led Zeppelin released IV and The Who came out with Who’s Next.
This podcast focuses on the big albums of that year.
Prog Rock started to grow. Pink Floyd released Meddle after Sid Barrett had left. And we can hear their track “Fearless”.
After 1968 with Pink Floyd, King Crimson’s growing popularity, Prog Rock really began to break out and the “sloppiness” of recordings and songs was falling away: the rough sound of Jimmy Hendrix made way for the polished sound of Rush, Genesis, Yes. Prog Rock’s about showing off your musical talent, guitar and bass solos.
Along came Kraut Rock out of Germany as a similar genre to Prog, though more artistic. The band Can, leading force, pushing boundaries, paving the way for a band such as Fugazi.
In 1971, the Beatles started releasing their solo albums after their last album Let It Be. They declared Harry Nilsson to be their favourite artist and were his friends. Harry Nilsson wrote songs like “I can’t live if living is without you”. The Beach Boys had just released their album Surf’s Up and are preparing to release another one, the Smile Sessions, with Brian Wilson battling depression.
Since this podcast usually presents new music, the author started digging for unknown bands of ’71 and discovered the band Comas, who compared themselves to King Crimson of Folk Music. He compares them to today’s Freak Folk scene of the mid-2000s such as Animal Collective, Devandra Benhard, even Primus.
In the waning days of Folk Music of ’71, Bob Dylan having turned his back on Folk Songs, there were still a few artist carrying his torch. Joni Mitchell for one. And Leonard Cohen who released Songs Of Love And Hate.
T-Rex was a Folk duo before, in 1971, became a fully formed band and started Glam Rock. Glam Rock is all about the theatrics and having fun. The accoustic style combined with glam rock can be heard on the track Cosmic Girl.
Finally, the author says he wanted to play Serge Gainsbourg, Beck, Black Sabbath, Masters of Reality, and so much more that could’ve made for a second podcast. He usually finishes the podcast with a Bob Dylan song. But he finishes this one with David Bowie’s “A Song to Bob Dylan” wich is an allusion to Dylan’s Song To Woody.
1971 – What a year!
Pink Floyd “Fearless”
Harry Nilsson “Jump Into the Fire”
Beach Boys “Surfs Up”
Leonard Cohen “Love Calls You By Your Name”
T. Rex “Cosmic Dancer”
David Bowie “Song for Bob Dylan”