Wednesday, December 20, 2017

1977 Critics Poll - Part 1

The 1977 Village Voice PAZZ AND JOP  poll is a good contemporaneous look at what rocked the world for American rock critics who, for the most part, missed  U.K. only releases like The Clash debut, Wire's Pink Flag, Ian Dury's New Boots and Brian Eno's Before And After Science. It would take time before many would recognize albums we now take for granted like David Bowie's Low, Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue, the Bee Gees side of Saturday Night Fever and any of the three Iggy Pop albums released in 1977, The Idiot, Lust For Life or Kill City.

1. Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (Warner Bros.) 412 (32)
2. Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True (Columbia) 367 (33)
3. Television: Marquee Moon (Elektra) 327 (26)

Television  : Torn Curtain

4. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (Warner Bros.) 318 (26)
5. Steely Dan: Aja (ABC) 266 (23)
6. Ramones: Rocket to Russia (Sire) 238 (23)
7. Talking Heads: Talking Heads: 77 (Sire) 170 (17)
8. Randy Newman: Little Criminals (Warner Bros.) 160 (16)
9. Garland Jeffreys: Ghost Writer (AM) 153 (15)

Garland Jeffreys : Lift Me Up

10. Cheap Trick: In Color (Epic) 121 (11)
11. Jackson Browne: Running on Empty (Asylum) 113 (9)
12. Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane: Rough Mix (MCA) 105 (10)
13. Kate andAnna McGarrigle: Dancer with Bruised Knees (Warner Bros.) 104 (12)
 14. Al Green: The Belle Album (Hi) 89 (10)

Al Green : All n All

15. Ornette Coleman: Dancing in Your Head (Horizon) 83 (8)
 16. Bryan Ferry: In Your Mind (Atlantic) 80 (9)
 17. Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel (Atco) 75 (6)
 18. The Kinks: Sleepwalker (Arista) 74 (8)
 19. Graham Parker and the Rumour: Stick to Me (Mercury) 72 (10)
20. Neil Young: American Stars 'n Bars (Reprise) 69 (8)
21. David Bowie: Heroes (RCA) 66 (7)

David Bowie : Joe the Lion

22. The Persuasions: Chirpin' (Elektra) 63 (7)
 23. James Taylor: JT (Columbia) 61 (7)
24. The Jam: In the City (Polydor) 61 (6)
25. Ramones: Ramones Leave Home (Sire) 60 (8)
 26. The Beatles: The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (Capitol) 60 (7)
27. Linda Ronstadt: Simple Dreams (Asylum) 59 (7)
28. The Beach Boys: Love You (Brother/Reprise) 59 (6)

The Beach Boys : Let Us Go On This Way

29. Mink DeVille: Mink DeVille (Capitol) 57 (5)
30. Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (Capitol) 55 (4)

 Said poll organizer Robert Christgau of his fellow critics:

This year, the critics rejected albums by Mitchell, Stewart, the Cult, Scaggs, Thin Lizzy and Dylan while Bowie ceased to bust blocks, leaving only seven best-sellers: Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Randy Newman (heavy sales among leprechauns), Jackson Browne, James Taylor, the Beatles and Linda Ronstadt (who with the failure of Eno's Discreet Music is now the only artist to have made the last four Pazz and Jop polls, usually in the bottom five). And barring a punk breakthrough of proportions much larger than I think likely--although every night I gaze at the image of Maureen Tucker over my bedroom door and pray that I'm wrong--the only potential 1978 biggie I spy lurking amid this year's works of art is this year's sleeper, Cheap Trick. More and more, rock critics see themselves as guardians of an aesthetic of insurrection, and fuck what people are going to buy.

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