The 5 Biggest Debut Singles In 1973
via Joe Walsh/YouTube
In 1973, rock dominated the airwaves as the genre saw releases from new acts left and right. Some were largely ignored and forgotten while there were those that eventually achieved classic status.
Let’s revisit some of them:
Queen – Keep Yourself Alive
Queen was still a few albums away from finding what would become their classic sound and yet with their debut single, it’s undeniable that they will eventually become one of the biggest rock acts of all time. From their musicianship to Freddie Mercury’s vocal performance and stage presence, it was a promise of greater things to come.
Aerosmith – Dream On
Although Dream On didn’t crack the top 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100, it was a hit in the band’s native Boston. Frontman Steven Tyler worked on it on and off for about six years. It remains a staple in classic rock radio stations and is one of Aerosmith’s most enduring songs. Tyler explained that it’s “about the hunger to be somebody: Dream until your dreams come true.”
Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way
Joe Walsh’s debut single received heavy airplay and is one of the first songs that feature a guitar talk box. The lyrics reflected his anxiety on leaving his band James Gang and also his excitement in pursuing a solo career. He explained in The Guitar Greats, “I got kind of fed up with feeling sorry for myself, and I wanted to justify and feel good about leaving the James Gang, relocating, going for it on a survival basis.”
Tom Waits – Ol’ ’55
It was a minor hit when Tom Waits released it but has since been covered by several musicians including the Eagles. In an interview, Waits said he wasn’t a fan of the band’s version of his song. He even called it “a little antiseptic.”
New York Dolls- Trash
Although it failed to chart upon its release, it has since been considered as a glam rock and proto-punk anthem. The New York Dolls, while influential, is seriously underrated.