Hello dear friends of Elvis Radio 24h, we meet again, this time to analyze the most important musical events that occurred in 1973, making special mention, in what refers to Elvis’ adventures, to one of the best moments of his career, the Aloha From Hawaii.
But not only this event took place that year, so we will also see what the rest were and what repercussions they had, both critically and on the lists. As usual, we will also review the music that dominated Billboard at that time, where we will see how the former ex-Beatles (or what could be related to those from Liverpool) continued to be the clear dominators. We will also have the appearance of the so-called “Philadelphia Sound“, which will be the origin of what will come later with the so-called “Disco” sound, and which will sound on all the dance floors, with emblematic rooms such as the Studio 54 nightclub in New York, and reaching its peak with the movie “Saturday Night Fever“, in which we will see John Travolta moving to the rhythm of the Bee Gees songs, creating a true madness in these places.
But this will be in the future, so let’s not anticipate events, enjoy this new article and be happy.
Cesar Valle (Torrelavega, Spain)
ELVIS IN 1973
The television special Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite, broadcast on January 14, 1973, live for Asia, and delayed the next day for Europe, was one of the most important events in Elvis’s long career. The concert acquired even greater magnitude when on April 4 it gave rise to a special program, broadcast to the United States, and which included a special montage produced by the director Marty Passeta.
Aloha From Hawaii was the perfect visual description of Elvis live, an activity that led to the so-called spring tours, as well as a series of performances at the Hilton in Las Vegas (17 shows between June 20 and July 3) and at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel in Nevada (between May 4 and 20).
Regarding the studio recordings of that year, those produced at the mythical Stax studios in Memphis stand out, where artists such as Isaac Hayes or Rufus Thomas had recorded. The Elvis sessions were recorded in two batches, from July 21 to 25, and from December 10 to 16, giving rise to the backbone of 3 Lp’s: “Raised On Rock“, “Promised Land” and “Good Times“.
Perhaps with these recordings Elvis wanted to achieve a funkier, blacker sound, but the final result left much to be desired.
On a personal level, in October 1973 the singer and Priscilla divorced. For many, this separation meant the beginning of a depression that accompanied Elvis until his death in 1977.
THE BILLBOARD IN 1973
1973 will be an amazing year in the history of music. This year a series of albums were recorded that will remain forever engraved with letters of gold, and that time has certified as historical. Thus, to the Elvis concert in Hawaii, we would have to add “Dark Side Of The Moon“, by Pink Floyd, or the hard rock of Deep Purple with “Made in Japan“, Led Zeppelin with “Houses of Holy“, or the “Glam” of David Bowie and Aladdin Sane. But, since here what we analyze are the singles, well let’s get to it.
In England they followed their own, that is, with Glam Rock occupying top positions in sales, with soloists like Gary Glitter and groups like The Sweet, Suzy Quatro or Slade. But, in the United States, history was written in a rather different way. For example, we have that the song that will be at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the longest time is “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree“, by Tony Orlando. Another song this year that would remain for posterity would be the version of “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Roberta Flack.
We continue to find during this year 1973 that the shadow Beatle still hangs directly or indirectly on the charts, and we find that Ringo Starr has two number 1s this year, on the one hand “Photograph“, a song composed by his friend George Harrison (who also collaborated on guitar and choirs), and on the other hand, a version of a Johnny Burnette classic from 1960, “You’re Sixteen“, in which he had the collaboration of another former Beatle, Paul McCartney. This, for his part, will also reach the top with his band, The Wings, and his song, “My Love“, a theme that will be displaced from number 1, by another old acquaintance ex-Beatle, George Harrison, with “Give Me Love“.
Another musician who took advantage of his relationship with the Liverpool quartet to find success was keyboardist Billy Preston. Let’s not forget that he was the one who lent his services to the song “Get Back“, where he appeared as a co-interpreter with the boys from Liverpool. Preston managed to reach the top with “Will It Go Round In Cercles“. Finally, to bring Bealte full circle, we have Carly Simon with “You’re So Vain.” The spectacular bass line that sounds in the song is executed by the German Klaus Voorman, who had already collaborated with The Beatles on their album “Revolver“, and later on some solo works by the “Fab Four“.
This year we also find Elton John who, with “Crocodile Rock” (a song that evoked the rhythm of the 50s) would reach the top.
Also a lot of people of color have their number 1 that year. From Detroit’s Motown label comes Stevie Wonder with “Superstition” and “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life“; Diana Ross and “Touch Me In The Morning“; Marvin Gaye and “Let’s Get It On” and Eddie Hendricks, formerly of The Temptations, who had his hit with “Keep On Truckin’.”
The “Philadelphia Sound” also appears, which was already beginning to make itself felt on the charts and on the dance floors. Among its representatives, The Ojays with “Love Train” and Gladys Knight with a version of the classic “Midnight Train To Georgia“.
The central theme of the film “The Poseidon Adventure“, by Maureen MacGovern and her “The Morning After“, which also won the Oscar for best song, came to us as a great success that year from the world of cinema.
Also the classics have their number 1 this year, like the Rolling Stones, with “Angie” (a song that seems to be dedicated to David Bowie’s then girlfriend, Angela, and for which Mick Jagger sighed), or Cher with her song “Half-Breed“.
We get into the Country genre, that year The Carpenters were successful with “Top Of The World“, Charlie Rich with “The Most Beautiful Girl“, Jim Crooce with “Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time In A Bottle“, or Hellen Reddy with “Delta Dawn“.
Finally, to close musically speaking this year 1973, we have Edgar Winter (brother of the famous white-haired guitarist Johnny Winter) and his “Frankenstein“, the “electro funk” sound of Grand Funk and his “We Are American Band“, and The Stories, with “Brother Lou“.
That year, 1973, Richard Nixon began his second term in the White House, in a very troubled economic year due to the so-called oil crisis, caused by the boycott of the OPEC countries, but in which the Vietnam War would also end. A year in which geniuses such as director John Ford or Italian actress Anna Magnani left us, and in which in North American cinemas viewers left terrified after seeing the adventures of Father Karras in “The Exorcist“, with Mike Oldfield‘s “tubular bells” ringing in the background.
Information Provided by Cesar Valle, Torrelavega (Spain)
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