1972: Carly Simon, Rolling Stones, Al Green

1972’s top records include Exile on Main StreetZiggy StardustLet’s Stay Together and Carly Simon’s breakthrough No Secrets.

Simon’s third effort spent more than a month at #1 on Billboard’s pop albums chart. And though overall the album didn’t receive outstanding reviews, single “You’re So Vain” has become ingrained in music pop culture possibly more than any other song released in 1972 (except perhaps Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”).

But yes, there were better records than No Secrets. In addition to those mentioned above, there’s Nick Drake’s cult favorite Pink Moon, Dr. John’s Dr. John’s Gumbo, Jimmy Cliff’s soundtrack to The Harder They Come and Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack to Super Fly.

Trilogy put prog rock trio Emerson, Lake and Palmer on the world stage, while Jethro Tull took a tongue-in-cheek punch at that band with Thick as a Brick, which was influenced by Monty Python.

And then there are the riffs. Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” are quintessential air-guitar songs that represent the rockier side of the year.

Was 1972 the Greatest Year in Music? Let us know what you think in the comments below and across social media with #XPNGreatestYear.


No Secrets – Carly Simon
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones
Ege Bamyasi – Can
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – David Bowie
For the Roses – Joni Mitchell
Can’t Buy a Thrill – Steely Dan
Transformer – Lou Reed
Garcia – Jerry Garcia
Cass Elliot – Cass Elliot
Got to Be There – Michael Jackson
Paul Simon – Paul Simon
Young, Gifted and Black – Aretha Franklin
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
Jackson Browne – Jackson Browne
Root Down – Jimmy Smith
Eat a Peach – The Allman Brothers Band
Harvest – Neil Young
Honky Chateau – Elton John
They Only Came Out at Night – Edgar Winter Group
The World Is a Ghetto – War
The Grand Wazoo – Frank Zappa
Whatever’s for Us – Joan Armatrading
Something/Anything? – Todd Rundgren
Music of My Mind – Stevie Wonder
Thick as a Brick – Jethro Tull
Machine Head – Deep Purple
Graham Nash David Crosby – Crosby & Nash
Homecoming – America
Raspberries – Raspberries
Dr. John’s Gumbo – Dr. John
Henry the Human Fly – Richard Thompson
Hobo’s Lullaby – Arlo Guthrie
There It Is – James Brown
A Lonely Man – The Chi-Lites
Never a Dull Moment – Rod Stewart
Of Rivers and Religion – John Fahey
Sail Away – Randy Newman
You Don’t Mess Around with Jim – Jim Croce
Cabbage Alley – The Meters
Demons and Wizards – Uriah Heap
American Eats Its Young – Caravan
Wind of Change – Peter Frampton
Understanding – Bobby Womack
Sailin’ Shoes – Little Feat
Skies of America – Ornette Coleman
Still Bill – Bill Withers
Eagles – Eagles
Looking Glass – Looking Glass
A Song for You – Carpenters
Roxy Music – Roxy Music
Carney – Leon Russell
#1 Record – Big Star
School’s Out – Alice Cooper
Trilogy – Emerson, Lake and Palmer
The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff
Chicago V – Chicago
The Slider – T. Rex
All Directions – The Temptations
All the Young Dudes – Mott the Hoople
St. Dominic’s Preview – Van Morrison
Superfly – Curtis Mayfield
Ben – Michael Jackson
Back Stabbers – O’Jays
Free Will – Gil Scott-Heron
Summer Breeze – Seals and Croft
Close to the Edge – Yes
Rocky Mountain High – John Denver
Catch Bull at Four – Cat Stevens
Give It Up – Bonnie Raitt
I’m Still in Love with You – Al Green
Greetings from LA – Tim Buckley
Lady Sings the Blues – Diana Ross

Category: 70s


Article by: Julie Miller