How Good Was The Year (in music) - 1972?

2002 placed joint 12th with 8.06 in the last thread, but now we’re taking the thread back another thirty years earlier to the longest year of any in this series, 1972.

A reminder of the premise of the thread

After a number of days of posting and reminiscing, we’ll be rating the music of the year out of ten, based on the albums, singles, gigs, whatever that stand out for you that year, and voting for our favourite nominated albums and songs.

Everyone can nominate one album and one song from the year which will then be collated into side-polls two days before the thread closes - please make it clear when you post a nomination for the poll (as opposed to just posting clips or lists of songs and albums you like, which are very welcome).

Rank Year Rating Top Album Top Song
1 1991 8.98 Slint - Spiderland Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
2 1997 8.6 Radiohead - OK Computer The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
3 1967 8.48 Love - Forever Changes Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning
4 1977 8.41 Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express Donna Summer - I Feel Love
5 1992 8.29 Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted Pulp - Babies
5 2013 8.29 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street
7 2019 8.14 Self Esteem - Compliments Please Big Thief - Not
8 1975 8.13 Neil Young - Tonight’s the Night / Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Cortez the Killer
8 2007 8.13 LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver / Radiohead - In Rainbows LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends / M.I.A. - Paper Planes
10 2004 8.1 Madvillain - Madvillainy / Arcade Fire - Funeral The Walkmen - The Rat
10 2001 8.1 The Strokes - Is This It Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope) / Mogwai - My Father My King
12 1981 8.06 The Cure - Faith New Order - Ceremony
12 2002 8.06 Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
14 1979 7.96 Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures Joy Division - Transmission
15 1982 7.76 The Cure - Pornography / Kate Bush - The Dreaming Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding / The Associates - Party Fears Two
16 2014 7.69 FKA Twigs - LP1 FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
17 2010 7.66 Kanye West - MBDTF / Joanna Newsom - Have One One Me / Beach House - Teen Dream Robyn - Dancing On My Own
18 1970 7.61 Neil Young - After the Goldrush Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up
19 1990 7.47 Sonic Youth - Goo The Cure - Pictures of You
19 1976 7.47 David Bowie - Station to Station Bob Dylan - Hurricane
21 1986 7.42 Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
22 2005 7.39 Sufjan Stevens - Illinois Amerie - 1 Thing
23 1965 7.38 The Beatles - Rubber Soul Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
24 2017 7.36 Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent Kendrick Lamar - Humble
25 1999 7.3 Mogwai - Come On Die Young Björk - All Is Full Of Love
26 2009 7.1 Fever Ray - Fever Ray Animal Collective - My Girls
27 1974 6.95 Neil Young - On The Beach Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - The Bottle
28 1985 6.53 Tom Waits - Rain Dogs Prince and the Revolution - Raspberry Beret
29 1962 6 Howlin’ Wolf - Howlin’ Wolf Dick Dale - Misirlou
30 1961 5.16 John Coltrane - My Favourite Things Roy Orbison - Crying



1972 was the year of the Watergate scandal, the Munich Olympics terrorist attack, the Bloody Sunday massacre in Northern Ireland during the worst year for casualties during The Troubles, the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash in the Andes as detailed in the later movie “Alive”, Mark Spitz won seven gold medals at the summer Olympics (a record that has only matched once when it was beaten by Michael Phelps in 2008), .

We said goodbye to Harry Truman, M.C. Escher, Jackie Robinson, Ezra Pound, Joi Lansing and Charles Atlas and hello to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Eminem, Cameron Diaz, Shaquille O’Neal, Sofia Vergara, Zinedine Zidane, Thandie Newton and Liam Gallagher.

But how good was the music?

You have roughly ten days to nominate one album and one song which will then go into a poll along with a number rating poll for year overall out of 10, which will close a few days later.

Some lists for inspiration:

Best Albums of 1972 : Best Ever Albums
100 Greatest Albums of 1972
All of these classic albums turn 50 this year
100 Greatest Songs From 1972

Nominations will be tallied here as the week goes on:

Album Nominations

Song Nominations

What a year. So many amazing records across multiple genres.

To paraphrase Captain Oates, I am just going to listen to some albums from 1972 and may be some time.

1 Like

Best release of 1972:

Worst release of 1972: me


Best album: Neu! - Neu!

Best song:


Album Nomination: Bill Withers - Still Bill

Was gonna say Lets Stay Together as the single nomination, but although it was on the album that came out in 1972, the single came out late 1971. Boo.



In terms of cultural significance it’s difficult to look beyond David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, however it’s not my favourite album from that year. This masterpiece from a very troubled soul very much is: Nick Drake Pink Moon


Song nomination: Al Green ‘How Can You Mend a Broken Heart’:


Album Nomination : Big Star - 1 Record



Nominate Album - Roxy Music - S/T



Nominate album Milton Nascimento & Lô Borges - Clube da Esquina


Ahhh perfect album

1 Like

Going to go early with my song nomination
Hawkwind - ‘Silver Machine’


Album nomination:
David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars


Some of my favourite ever lyrics from ‘Ziggy Stardust’.

''Ziggy played for time
Jiving us that we were voodoo
The kids were just crass
He was the nazz
With God-given ass
He took it all too far
But, boy, could he play guitar

Making love with his ego
Ziggy sucked up into his mind, ah
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man
I had to break up the band’’


No nominations from me yet, but some favourites:

Sound of the summer

One of the greatest ever gifted songs

The gift giver was busy with this immaculate album already mentioned and nominated on the thread. So many great tracks on here, but this is a personal favourite

The Gil Scott-Heron / Brian Jackson collaboration really starting to come into its own

The O’Jays!

The film and the soundtrack album came out in late 1972 but the single took off in 1973 so it’s one of those that could (should?) be nominated either year I reckon.

Big Roxy Music fan here. The debut isn’t my favourite but still pretty damn great.

Good year for prog. The finest moment for me is Aphrodite’s Child just about holding it together as a band to release the 666 album.

Decent year for glam too. Bad year for spelling pedants.

Warren Beatty was so vain he thought this song was about him (Carly Simon has said that the second verse is, the rest remains a mystery)

Neu! has already been nominated and deservedly so. Can’s album this year also worthy of attention

I reckon The Staple Singers might end up as one of my nominations if nobody else snaps them up in the meantime. Either for the superb Be Altitude: Respect Yourself album or this single


Nominate album: Can - Ege Bamyasi

Nominate song: Terry Callier - Ordinary Joe


Album nomination:
Lal & Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus

What a wonderful, singular album. The spine of it are some starkly captured beautifully written songs but then some of it is theatrical and well, pop, too, in a way that make comments about it being the folk Sgt Peppers not seem totally wild to me.

It’s depressingly difficult to actually hear for shitty label reasons though, it’s been so poorly served by Celtic Music that own the rights. I bought one of their crappy cdr editions before Domino worked with the Waterson family and released a truly loving remaster and reissue to great acclaim, finally after so many years of relative limbo it looked like it would get it’s due yet it seems Domino chanced their arm, did this without the required permissions, lost the court case with CM and now it’s disappeared again.

If you have an interest in folk, particularly where it starts to burst out of that scene’s seams it’s well worth tracking down however you care to do it.

When the male vocal part of this comes in it’s incredible

If anyone wants the story on the album and a look at the label woes Pete Paphides did a show called "Lost Albums: Bright Phoebus on Radio 4 in 2007 which is on up on Soundcloud but annoyingly I can’t link to it


Need to think hard on songs but what a belter this is, the bass, the organ :heart_eyes:


Revisited a few favorite albums yesterday…

Elton John - Honky Château
I’m not a huge Elton fan, though I liked some hits growing up (this being one of them). I like a few of his early country rock stuff and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, this being my favorite of those albums. Had it down as a 9/10 but after revisiting yesterday I knocked it down to 8 due to a couple stinkers on the B side (Slave and Amy). Really good album otherwise.

T. Rex - The Slider
It’s no Electric Warrior, but since it repeats a lot of the same ideas it’s still quite a good album.

Lou Reed - Transformer
What can I say about this one? Might be my runner-up album of 1972.


And with that I think I have to call my…

Song nomination: Lou Reed - Perfect Day
It made me weep in the car yesterday coming back from the hardware store with my g/f so come on, don’t see any other song from this year doing that in the next week or so.