The So-So Seventies

It wasn’t the best of times, but it wasn’t the worst of times either.  Not so much the Me Decade, as the meh decade.  Soft rock – the oxymoronic soundtrack to the 70s, that and disco, and the Grateful Dead.  I’m OK, You’re OK.  Transcendental meditation.  I watched Watergate, the Bicentennial, and Son of Sam on TV.  The Vietnam War ended and Saturday Night Live began.  Nixon, Ford and Carter occupied the White House.  We waited in line for gas, first in ’74, then again in ’79.  I saw Godspell – twice.

Here are some of my favorite films, books and music from the 1970s.

Favorite 60s Books

Thomas Pynchon  Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn  The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 (1973)
Kurt Vonnegut  Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Richard Dawkins  The Selfish Gene (1976)
E.E. Cummings  Complete Poems 1913-1962 (1972)
Toni Morrison  Song of Solomon (1977)
John Rawls  A Theory of Justice (1971)
Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward  All the President’s Men (1974)
Robert M. Pirsig  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (1974)
Frances Moore Lappé  Diet for a Small Planet (1971)
Alice S. Rossi (ed.)  The Feminist Papers: From Adams to de Beauvoir (1973)
E.L. Doctorow  Ragtime (1975)
Tom Robbins  Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976)
John Cheever  The Stories of John Cheever (1978)
Augustus Napier & Carl Whitaker  The Family Crucible (1978)
Leon Edel  Henry James: A Life (1953-1972)
E.O. Wilson  On Human Nature (1978)
Steve Martin  Cruel Shoes (1979)

Favorite 70s Music

The Velvet Underground  Loaded (1970)
Van Morrison  Moondance (1970)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young  Déjà vu (1970)
Derek and The Dominos   Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
John Lennon  John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
Al Green  Compact Command Performances: 14 Greatest Hits (1970-1974)
Hound Dog Taylor  Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers (1971)
Carole King  Tapestry (1971)
Joni Mitchell  Blue (1971)
The Who  Who’s Next (1971)
T. Rex   Electric Warrior (1971)
Neil Young  Harvest (1972)
Randy Newman  Sail Away (1972)
Yes  Close to the Edge (1972)
The Modern Lovers  The Modern Lovers (rec. 1972, rel. 1976)
Bob Marley  Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers (1972-1983)
Dave Holland  Conference of the Birds (1973)
Pink Floyd  The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
Paul Simon  There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)
The Who  Quadrophenia (1973)
Yes  Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973)
Joe Pass  Virtuoso (1974)
Bob Dylan  Blood on the Tracks (1975)
Bruce Springsteen  Born to Run (1975)
Pink Floyd  Wish You Were Here (1975)
Patti Smith  Horses (1975)
Early Music Consort of London  Music of the Gothic Era (1976)
Renaissance  Live at Carnegie Hall (1976)
Albert Collins  Ice Pickin’ (1978)
Giuseppe Verdi  Otello (Domingo; Scotto; Levine) (1978)
Elvis Costello  This Year’s Model (1978)
The Roches  The Roches (1979)
Talking Heads  Fear of Music (1979)

Favorite 70s Films

Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
The Godfather: Part II (Coppola, 1974)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman, 1975)
Taxi Driver (Scorcese, 1976)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Herzog, 1974)
Chinatown (Polanski, 1974)
Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
3 Women (Altman, 1977)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Buñuel, 1972)
Badlands (Malick, 1973)
Last Tango in Paris (Bertolucci, 1972)
Cries and Whispers (Bergman, 1972)
A Woman Under the Influence (Cassavetes, 1974)
Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Herzog, 1972)
Five Easy Pieces (Rafelson, 1970)
The Last Picture Show (Bogdanovich, 1971)
A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)
MASH (Altman, 1970)
Harold and Maude (Ashby, 1971)
The Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1975)
Nashville (Altman, 1975)
Eraserhead (Lynch, 1977)
The Marriage of Maria Braun (Fassbinder, 1979)

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