15 Albums That Defined New York City In The 70s
via Billy Joel / Youtube
New York City in the ’70s was a melting pot of culture, music, and creativity. The sounds that emerged from the streets and venues of this vibrant city truly defined an era. Here are 15 albums that encapsulated the essence of 1970s NYC:
1. KISS – Destroyer (1976)
The rock album Destroyer by KISS perfectly conveys the grimy feel of the streets of New York. With tracks like “Shout it Out Loud” and “God of Thunder,” the album rocks to the beat of ’70s intensity, making it a defining sound of the time.
2. Television – Marquee Moon (1977)
Television’s album Marquee Moon breaks away from punk conventions, offering a unique post-punk sound. Led by Tom Verlaine, the band’s music mirrors the vibrant East Village scene, creating a sonic snapshot of ’70s NYC.
3. Billy Joel – 52nd Street (1978)
Billy Joel’s album 52nd Street paints a musical picture of New York City’s diversity and depth. Tracks like “Big Shot” and “Honesty” delve into mature themes, giving a glimpse into the city’s complex emotions during that time.
4. The Ramones – Rocket To Russia (1977)
With humor and eclecticism, Rocket To Russia takes punk to new places, reflecting NYC’s dynamic and evolving music scene. The album’s tracks go beyond punk boundaries, reflecting the city’s dynamic and ever-changing spirit.
5. New York Dolls – New York Dolls (1973)
New York Dolls debut album captures the glam rock scene that emerged from NYC’s underground. Tracks like “Trash” and “Personality Crisis” showcase the raw energy of the city’s music, eventually becoming a hallmark of the evolving punk genre.
6. Talking Heads – Talking Heads: 77 (1977)
The Talking Heads’ debut studio album, Talking Heads: 77, infuses an artistic vibe into the post-punk scene. With tracks like “Psycho Killer,” the album reflects the intensity of NYC streets while maintaining a unique sonic detachment.
7. Blondie – Parallel Lines (1978)
Parallel Lines by Blondie is a mix of punk, new wave, and pop, capturing the city’s musical diversity. Lead singer Debbie Harry’s magnetic vocals shine in hits like “Heart of Glass,” making the album a quintessential ’70s NYC sound.
8. Rolling Stones – Some Girls (1978)
The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls draws inspiration from NYC’s diverse music landscape. Tracks like “Beast of Burden” and “Miss You” reflect the city’s rebellious spirit and cultural relevance during that era.
9. Patti Smith – Horses (1975)
Patti Smith’s Horses captures the poetic essence of the NYC punk scene. The album’s lyrics and sound reflect the artistic rebellion of the era, making it a cornerstone of the city’s creative undercurrent.
10. Curtis Mayfield – Super Fly (Original Soundtrack) (1972)
Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack for Super Fly provides a socially aware perspective on NYC’s challenges. The album’s funky beats and powerful lyrics portray a city grappling with difficult realities while seeking hope.
11. Stevie Wonder – Innervisions (1973)
Innervisions by Stevie Wonder is a soulful album that offers a musical glimpse into urban life in NYC. Tracks like “Living for the City” capture the city’s diverse neighborhoods and the struggles faced by its residents.
12. Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
Bridge Over Troubled Water is a reflective album that captures the contrasts of ’70s NYC. With songs like “The Boxer” and the title track, Simon and Garfunkel paint a watercolor portrait of the city’s pain and pleasure.
13. Saturday Night Fever – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1977)
The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack embodies the disco craze that swept NYC in the ’70s. With Bee Gees hits like “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep Is Your Love,” the album captures the city’s dance-filled nights.
14. Billy Joel – The Stranger (1977)
Billy Joel’s The Stranger album encapsulates the emotional journey of NYC residents. Tracks like “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” and “Just the Way You Are” resonate with the city’s diverse feelings and experiences.
15. David Johansen – David Johansen (1978)
David Johansen’s self-titled solo album captures the intense and entertaining spirit of NYC. The album’s raw music and outrageous vocals reflect the city’s energy, resulting in an album that feels as alive as the bustling streets themselves.