November 19 – Desert Island Album Draft, Final Round (Box Sets): Superstars of the 70’s

I’m participating in an album draft with nine other bloggers, organized by Hanspostcard. There were ten initial rounds, and this is my final selection of four bonus rounds which have covered soundtracks, compilations, music-related movies, and now box sets, with draft order determined randomly by round.

popsike.com - Superstars of the 70's 4 LP set, Warner SP-4000, 1973, 41  Various Artists - auction details

With my final desert island draft pick I’m sharing this rabbit trail off my personal memory lane as a nod to my oft-mentioned older brothers who got me started on my journey in music when I was still in diapers. Thanks brudduhs.

The four LP Superstars of the 70’s box set, released by Warner Bros. in 1973, represents an odd case in my music listening life. My older brothers owned it, but I have little memory of them playing it. I can see it in my mind’s eye resting flat on the musty indoor/outdoor carpet in our somewhat finished basement underneath their stereo stand. I’d pull it out from time to time out of curiosity but was probably nine or ten years old before I started to recognize many of the names (other than Roberta Flack, whose albums my mom played upstairs on her Motorola console, and Judy Collins because I’d seen her on Sesame Street).

As much as I learned about music from my brothers, they weren’t really into most of the artists included in this set until they were older, at least not enough to spend after school part-time job paychecks on individual albums by the likes of Black Sabbath or Emerson, Lake & Palmer. One of them recently told me, looking back, that they kind of cherry picked the songs they liked, but otherwise they tended to think of it as one of those “As Seen on TV” types of releases. And it may have been just that.

When my interest in music from the era other than the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Elton was beginning to take off in the mid-1980s, I copied most of the songs from Superstars of the 70’s onto cassette. To my surprise, there were some snaps, crackles, pops, and even a skip or two. Evidently it had been spun a few times over the years after all! Yet while giving it a listen when trying to decide which songs to tape, I still wasn’t familiar with some of them, such as the Byrds’ version of Cowgirl in the Sand (which was actually a new track from their ill-fated reunion album that came out about the same time as this release) and the post-Morrison Doors’ Tightrope Ride.

By no means is this the box set that I’ve listened to the most over the years. Retrospectives by Clapton, Dylan, Bruce, and others top that list. But as it turned out, the songs in this collection – which has now probably spent way too many North Texas summers in my brother’s attic to be playable – formed a cornerstone or two of the foundation of my music tastes going forward.

Tracklist:

A1 – Alice Cooper – School’s Out
A2 – Seals & Crofts – Summer Breeze
A3 – Beach Boys – Surf’s Up
A4 – Randy Newman – Sail Away
A5 – Judy Collins – Both Sides Now
A6 – The Doors – Tightrope Ride
B1 – The Bee Gees – Lonely Days
B2 – James Taylor – Fire & Rain
B3 – The Grateful Dead – Truckin’
B4 – Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – Where Is The Love
B5 – Stephen Stills – Love The One You’re With
B6 – Yes – Roundabout
C1 – The Doors – Light My Fire
C2 – Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit
C3 – CSN – Marrakesh Express
C4 – Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
C5 – The Bee Gees – To Love Somebody
C6 – The Kinks – Lola
D1 – Carly Simon – Anticipation
D2 – The Guess Who – American Woman
D3 – Todd Rundgren – We Gotta Get You A Woman
D4 – America – Ventura Highway
D5 – Jo Jo Gunne – Run, Run, Run
D6 – Rolling Stones – Tumbling Dice
E1 – Otis Redding – (Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay
E2 – Deep Purple – Hush
E3 – Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind
E4 – Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
E5 – Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady
E6 – Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
F1 – Eagles – Take It Easy
F2 – America – A Horse With No Name
F3 – The Byrds – Cowgirl In The Sand
F4 – Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi
F5 – The Guess Who – These Eyes
F6 – Van Morrison – Domino
F7 – Judy Collins – Amazing Grace
G1 – Doobie Brothers – Listen To The Music
G2 – Joni Mitchell – Woodstock
G3 – Wilson Pickett – In The Midnight Hour
G4 – Arlo Guthrie – City Of New Orleans
G5 – Jackson Browne – Doctor My Eyes
G6 – Black Sabbath – Paranoid
H1 – Allman Brothers Band – One Way Out
H2 – Aretha Franklin – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
H3 – Faces – Stay With Me
H4 – Graham Nash – Chicago
H5 – Rolling Stones – Happy
H6 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Lucky Man

-Stephen

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Superstars-Of-The-70s/release/512289

6 thoughts on “November 19 – Desert Island Album Draft, Final Round (Box Sets): Superstars of the 70’s”

  1. Great choice Stephen…I remember having some of those thin K-Tel albums that grouped a lot of bands and artists. I loved those back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Stephen…My last choice…I’ve seen it listed as a box set and as a compilation… is there a big difference?

        Like

      2. I don’t know if there’s a technical delineation between box set and comp. I actually had this post ready to go for the compilations round, then remembered that box sets were excluded from that round so I stuck with a greatest hits. I doubt Superstars of the 70’s was called a “box set,” but the albums are in a box-like package. I’m not sure when that came into the lexicon. Maybe with Springsteen’s Live 1975-85? Or, how about this: any box set can be a compilation, but not all compilations (i.e., greatest hits) are box sets.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yea good point on the Springsteen…that was the first I can remember…that one and I remember The Who Maximum R&B.
        That definition sounds good to me!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s