1972 – Summer of Transition
By the summer of ’72, the lines were becoming clearly drawn between the teen-oriented pop that had dominated the 60s and the harder-edged rock that ultimately defined the 70s. The Beatles were gone, but Lennon, McCartney, Starr and Harrison had all established successful solo careers. The Beach Boys had gone from a long string of Top 10 albums to barely breaking the Top 50.
The summer of '72 saw the debut albums of groups that would go on to define rock for the rest of the decade and beyond. In June, The Eagles burst into the national consciousness with their self-titled first album. Steely Dan was in the process of recording Can’t Buy A Thrill (Compare CD Prices), its debut album which was ultimately certified gold. David Bowie changed the face of Glam Rock and Heavy Metal with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (Compare CD Prices).
Rock music had a highly visible presence in the protest-oriented Presidential campaign of 1968. But by the summer of '72, rock had turned its attention elsewhere, and the political party conventions passed, by comparison, virtually unnoticed. Just two summers earlier, Neil Young was gaining prominence with protest songs. Young's Harvest (Compare CD Prices), which would become 1972's best selling album, featured gentle themes like those embodied in "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man."
Sounds of the Summer of '72:
Allman Brothers Band – Eat A Peach - (Compare CD Prices)
Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street - (Compare CD Prices)
Elton John – Honky Château - (Compare CD Prices)
Deep Purple – Machine Head - (Compare CD Prices)
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Trilogy - (Compare CD Prices)