Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974. It’s a scientific fact.

The post title here is an observation made by Homer Simpson in “Homerpalooza.” It’s stuck with me because so many times I’ve enjoyed an album, only to notice it was indeed released in 1974. So I figured I’d do a little bit of digging and put together an abbreviated list of truly great stuff released in that ostensibly magical year, and, sure enough, it looks like Homer has a legitimate argument here. I omitted anything that can’t be classified as rock, and a few others that were hugely well-received but with which I have no personal experience, and…well…it’s still a hell of a list.

Diamond Dogs, David Bowie
David Live, David Bowie
Okie, J.J. Cale
Planet Waves, Bob Dylan
Before the Flood, Bob Dylan & The Band
Here Come the Warm Jets, Brian Eno
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis
Dark Horse, George Harrison
Walls and Bridges, John Lennon
Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, Little Feat
Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot
Son of Dracula, Harry Nilsson
Grievous Angel, Graham Parsons
Queen II, Queen
Rock N Roll Animal, Lou Reed
It’s Only Rock N Roll, The Rolling Stones
Country Life, Roxy Music
Live Rhymin’, Paul Simon
Pretzel Logic, Steely Dan
Walking Man, James Taylor
The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits
We Had It All, Scott Walker
Odds & Sods, The Who
On the Beach, Neil Young
Apostrophe, Frank Zappa
Roxy & Elsewhere, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

No wonder the Simpsons are always in financial trouble. I’d be broke too if I lived through a year that had even a fraction of those records worth buying. Homer, you indeed win this round. If only my adolescence were as culturally rich as yours.

6 thoughts on “Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974. It’s a scientific fact.”

  1. Wouldn’t disagree, less so considering you missed two masterpieces – Eno’s second album…Taking Tiger Mountain, and Richard Thompson’s masterpiece…I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight.

    1. Here’s where I confess I haven’t heard those two…and subsequently feel massive and appropriate shame. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. I keep seeing this post in the “you might also like” section of the ALF reviews, so I figured I’d share this here. This is a Spotify playlist that is the result of my journey through 1974’s (mostly) rock albums: http://open.spotify.com/user/jimmyjone/playlist/3Akd2AfjtMr72erjDJDyWn

    I listened to whatever was on Wikipedia’s 1974 albums pages that Spotify had available as full albums. I make no claim that this is the “best” music from 1974–just the songs I liked the most.

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