1972 was the quintessential year for 70s musicality, with peak entries from the titans of prog (Genesis, Jethro Tull, Yes), metal (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep), pop (Elton John, Harry Nilsson, Todd Rundgren), folk (Amazing Blondel, Steeleye Span, Strawbs), funk (Curtis Mayfield, Mandrill, War) and jazz (Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders) ensuring a most inclusive epoch.
The UK welcomed variably promising newcomers Back Door, Babe Ruth, Byzantium, Capability Brown, Flash, Foghat, Jonesy, Morgan, Roxy Music, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Silverhead, Spontaneous Combustion, Stealers Wheel and Vinegar Joe, whilst lightning wonders Alco, Bram Stoker, Chicory Tip, Coley, Cross & Ross, Gnidrolog, Icarus, Iguana, Juliet Lawson, Khan, Matching Mole, Mellow Candle, Monument, Nicholas Greenwood, Odin, Parlour Band, Subway and Yellowstone & Voice left everyone wishing for more. Meanwhile, stable hitters such as Audience, Chicken Shack, Fleetwood Mac, The Groundhogs, Jigsaw, Kevin Ayers, Mott the Hoople, The Peddlers, Steamhammer and Warm Dust held sustenance, while combo types astounded with solo bravery (Barry Hay, Dave Cousins, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Jan Akkerman, Jim Capaldi, John Entwistle, Mick Grabham, Pete Townshend, Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny).
Cluster, Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream took synthesizers out of the labs and into your headphones, while rusticism endured through vintage charms (The Druids, Jackson Heights, JSD Band, Morris On) and homespun virtues (America, Help Yourself, Jonathan Kelly, Tranquility).
Italy burst onto the global stage with the masterful entrées of Alan Sorrenti, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Circus 2000, Delirium, Flea, Garybaldi, Hunka Munka, Il Balletto di Bronzo, Il Paese Dei Balocchi, J.E.T., Jumbo, Perigeo, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Riccardo Cocciante, while Germany hit a gold run thanks to Brainstorm, Birth Control, Creative Rock, Embryo, Emtidi, Frame, Franz K., Gomorrha, Kraan, Kravetz, Missing Link, Passport, Pell Mell, Pinguin, Sixty Nine, Subject Esq., Thirsty Moon, Triumvirat, Zarathustra and 2066 & Then. Betwixt it all, the landlocked nations got themselves in gear (After Shave, Brainticket, Cardeilhac, Gipsy Love, Krokodil, Paternoster, Phafner, Pyranha, Toad, Waterfall).
Inspiration formed an arc from the North Atlantic Rim to the Barents Sea, with gems from France (Alice, Sandrose, Claude Engel, Saint Preux), Belgium (Pazop, Recreation, Irish Coffee, Raymond Vincent), Holland (Alquin, Pantheon, Topaz, Greenfield & Cook), Norway (Prudence, Popol Ace, Hole In the Wall), Sweden (Mendoza, Splash, Flasket Brinner, Mats Glenngård), Finland (Haikara, Kalevala, Pekka Pohjola, Pekka Streng), Iceland (Nattura, Svanfríður, Trúbrot, Jonas Og Einar) and Denmark‘s The Old Man & the Sea, whilst the red states flared with the stridency of Flamengo, Korni Grupa, Locomotiv GT, Nurt, Phoenix and Syrius.
Brazil stood tall with the warming festivities of Amado Maita, Arthur Verocai, Fabio, Karma, Marcos Valle, Os Novos Baianos and Quinteto Violado, whilst Argentina stepped to the plate with Aquelarre, Arco Iris, Huinca, Materia Gris and Sui Generis.
North America renewed itself with songsters both stately (Stories, The Sidewinders, Sleepy Hollow, Steely Dan) and sublime (Phantasia, Propinquity, Providence, Prentice & Tuttle), rockers both precise (Good Thunder, McLuhen, Polyphony, Ram) and pummeling (Goliath, Morly Grey, Ramatam, Swampgas), belters both glorious (Bette Midler, Chi Coltrane, The Spinners, Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose) and gutsy (Birtha, Mama Lion, The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes), instrumentalists that shredded (Barry Miles, Good God, Joe Farrell, Return to Forever) and smoldered (Peter Kaukonen, Randy California, Ronnie Foster, Velvert Turner Group). Canada stabilized (Borealis, Fludd, Horn, Roger Rodier), Jamaica initialized (Big Youth, Horace Andy, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Byles) and Mexico qualified (39.4, Dug Dug’s, La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata).
Australasia, meanwhile, solidified its share of the Anglo-rock market with stellar releases from Buffalo, Carson, Mississippi, Spectrum, Space Farm, Sun, Ticket, Brian Cadd and The Masters Apprentices.