1973 marked the pinnacle of rock’s classicalized maturation, with artistic frontrunners Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd and a mightier-than-ever Who unveiling crowning capsules of complex glory.
Lining the English Channel and North Sea were the dashing upstart talents of Cockney Rebel, Mike Oldfield, Clearlight, Esperanto, Kayak and Zao; the graduate triumphs of Ange, Aunt Mary, Brian Eno, CMU, Gong, Home, Kevin Coyne, The Pink Fairies, Renaissance, Robin Trower, Stealers Wheel and Titanic; as well as the momentary might of Cirkus, Fantasy, Fusion Orchestra, Gygafo, Ithaca, Magenta, Mayfly, Mouse, Sindelfingen, Travelling, Weaselsnout and Public Foot the Roman.
The lone-gunner was embodied by the transatlantic likes of Andy Pratt, Danny O’Keefe, Dave Ellis, Duncan Browne, Gary Farr, John Martyn, Peter Hammill, Peter Tessier, Ron Davies and Tony Hazzard, while songbirds Carita Holmström, Cheryl Dilcher, Collie Ryan, Jane Getz, Judee Sill, Lynsey De Paul, Shona Laing and Turid lyricized the feminine side.
Italy enjoyed a banner year with classics from Alphataurus, Area, Blocco Mentale, Campo di Marte, Cervello, Dalton, De De Lind, Dedalus, Duello Madre, Festa Mobile, Il Giro Strano, Le Orme, Museo Rosenbach, Nuova Idea, Osanna, Pholas Dactylus, Rocky’s Filj, Rovescio Della Medaglia, Semiramis and The Trip; whilst Germany stood ground by the weight of Amos Key, Analogy, Cornucopia, Dyzan, Kollektiv, Lily, Nektar, Parzival, Sahara and Andy Marx. Eastward, Yugoslavia emerged as the most thriving Balkan nation with the formidable talents of Fire, Josipa Lisac, Pop Masina, Tomaž Pengov and YU Grupa.
MPB warmed the South Seas with the sensual swagger of Gal Costa, Maria Creuza, Edu Lobo, Guilherme Lamounier, Milton Nascimento and Satwa, whilst Color Humano and Pescado Rabioso packed double wallops of Argentinean pride.
The USA extended in all directions, wielding tunefulness (Billy Joel, Buckingham & Nicks, Hall & Oates, Michael Fennelly) emotiveness (Betty Davis, Bloodstone, Stevie Wonder, The Stylistics) dexterity (Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Eddie Henderson, Michael White) stridency (Blue Oyster Cult, Granicus, Montrose, Zerfas) rusticism (Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merry Airbrakes, Space Opera) and eccentricity (Maelstrom, Nik Raicevic, Roger Powell, Stardrive), while Canada claimed one from each respective slot (Cousineau, Zylan, Jackal, Thundermug, Scrubbaloe Caine, John Mills-Cockell).
Greener still were the clover crops of Ireland, where Clannad, Fruupp, Horslips, Mushroom, Peggy’s Leg, Planxty, Tír na nÓg and Thin Lizzy commanded applause.
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