1971 was the apex of rock’s initial album-oriented fountainburst, with frontliners David Bowie, Jack Bruce, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart, and The Who scoring definitive triumphs of epic proportion.
The symphonic vocabulary was enriched by the breakthrough recordings of Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Caravan, and Focus; and further bolstered by the preciously rare contributions of Continuum, Deep Feeling, Fields, Gracious, Indian Summer, Mainhorse, Salamander, Second Hand, Spring, and Still Life.
Folkies lied softly (Dando Shaft, Moonkyte, Northwind, Oberon, Tír na nÓg, Tudor Lodge, Bread Love & Dreams) and veered edgy (Comus, Fuchsia, Fresh Maggots, Jan Dukes de Grey, Ramases, Spirogyra, Zakarrias), with standalones both distaff (Catherine Howe, Claire Hamill, Emily Bindiger, Gillian McPherson, Lesley Duncan, Linda Hoyle, Shelagh McDonald) and dandy (Colin Blunstone, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Gordon Haskell, Matthew Ellis, Mike Absalom, Pete Dello, Rupert Hine).
In the Anglophone scheme of things, rockers sharpened (Arc, Fuzzy Duck, Ginhouse, Kingdom Come, Leaf Hound, Mogul Thrash, Thin Lizzy, Wild Turkey), popsters spiraled (Aubrey Small, Badfinger, Big Sleep, Clouds, Electric Light Orchestra, Gringo, Sparks, Stackridge) and bumpkins reveled (Dog That Bit People, Heads Hands & Feet, Home, Hookfoot, McGuinness Flint, Quiver, Sutherland Brothers, Shape of the Rain); a spectrum reflected throughout the States both primally (Boomerang, Bull Angus, Demian, Fanny, Hampton Grease Band, Help) and palatially (Chelsea Beige, Felt, Glass Harp, Jasper Wrath, Runt, Year One).
Jazz and rock conjoined (Aura, Ben, Catapilla, Chase, Diabolus, Heaven, Madura, Samurai, Stud, Tonton Macoute) as fusion brewed (Alice Coltrane, Centipede, Les McCann, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Michael Gibbs, Mwandishi, Nucleus, Weather Report), while rhythmic thrusts embodied liberation (Bar-Kays, Black Merda, Earth Wind & Fire, Rasputin’s Stash) migration (Assagai, Osibisa) and exploration (Paladin, John Kongos).
Internationalism soared, exalting Germany (Abacus, Ardo Dombec, Bröselmaschine, Eiliff, Gila, Hanuman, Ikarus, Mammut, Nine Days Wonder, Silberbart, Wallenstein, Witthüser & Westrupp) and France (Cœur Magique, Ilous & Decuyper, Komintern, Maajun, Martin Circus, Moving Gelatine Plates, Nino Ferrer, Ophiucus, Red Noise, Rhesus O, Triode, Total Issue), engulfing Denmark (Ache, Blast Furnace, Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe, Feo, Hurdy Gurdy, Moses, Midnight Sun, Thors Hammer) and Spain (Aguaviva, Jarka, Música Dispersa, OM, Pan & Regaliz, Pau Riba, Sisa, Vainica Doble), and nudging upper-Scandinavia (Asoka, Ferris, Junipher Greene, Tasavallan Presidentti, Woodoo), Italy (Blue Phantom, I Giganti, New Trolls, Panna Fredda, Planetarium) and the Eastern Block (Collegium Musicum, Dżamble, Gattch, Klan, Modrý Efekt).
With the combined import of Japan (Flower Travellin’ Band, Happy End, Shinki Chen, Strawberry Path), Australasia (Bakery, Kahvas Jute, Pirana, Tymepiece, Cleves) and Brazil (Airto Moreira, Ivan Lins, Módulo 1000, Nara Leao, Som Imaginario) it was now obvious that rock’s wondrous energy had globalized.