As you already know from one of your humanities classes, no artist exists in a vacuum. Kraftwerk’s inspiration stemmed more from robotic engineering than any musicians before the band. To be sure, Kraftwerk is truly an original band that could only exist through the will of its members. The band nearly single-handedly created a new genre of music called electronica.
“Trans-Euro Express,” the title song of the album, is the synth-trance anthem released in 1977 that became prime source material for some of hip-hop’s founding fathers, including Bambaataa, Planet Patrol, Jonzun Crew and Nucleus. A wonderful companion piece to Trans-Euro Express is Kraftwerk’s Computer World.
In comparison to the massive success of bands we now think of as typical in the ’70s, such as Fleetwood Mac, Queen and The Eagles, Television could have been considered what we now call “indie” music, finding airplay mostly in Europe and on independent stations. Sometimes considered punk, possibly just because Marquee Moon came out in 1977, Television’s sound is cleaner, with powerful lead guitars (an atypical trait for punk bands).
Glam is perhaps one of the most fascinating movements in rock history, bridging the counter-cultural gap between grass-fiddling hippies and the “excess is not enough” mentality of punk. Predating Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Electric Warrior kicks off the glam craze in 1971, featuring the space-groove hit “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” Warrior includes “Lean Woman Blues,” a mellow hippie-type trollop with the progressively punk “Rip Off,” demonstrating the pool of talent and potpourri of sensibilities of which this banner glam band consisted.
Before acting like a punk was a commodity in the music industry, the psychopathic howl of Iggy Pop won its way into the shocked hearts of music critics like Lester Bangs and one-night stands nationwide. Every song on this album “rawks,” dripping with oily libido and raving head-slamming desperation. “T.V. Eye” harkens to a drunken sexual hunger of some chick coveting Mr. Pop (who was a sleek sexual devil in the ’70s). Funhouse devolves from its ambitious streetwalking id to a Hunter S. Thompson-like cacophonous carnival by album’s end, featuring the more rare moments of successful punk-saxophone work, played on the album by Steven McKay.
— Compiled by Harold Valentine
Animal House (1978)
“Thank you sir, may I have another?” is the most famous phrase from the film that defined college delinquency. The boys of the Delta fraternity house took pride in being the kings of hi-jinks in the classic film from National Lampoon. John “Bluto” Belushi’s comic genius will live forever in this film.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Dog Day is a controversial and intense film starring a young Al Pacino as a novice bank robber. Pacino needs to get money in order for his lover to have a sex-change operation. The characters are unique and enthralling, and the film is based on actual events.
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather is the absolute classic of modern classic films. Francis Ford Coppola’s mobster epic about the violent Corleone family business is filled with raw emotion and a captivating story. The film launched some of today’s most respected actors to their rightful thrones at the top.
The creepy theme music from Halloween was enough to scare audiences in the ’70s. The film is a truly great horror flick because it has what many horror films today lack: a plot. The murderer, Michael Myers, escapes his institutionalized prison and goes on the hunt for young Jamie Curtis’ blood.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Bust out the platform shoes and watch the disco fever unleash. John Travolta’s dancing feet got moving as a Brooklyn youth-turned-disco-king long before his Pulp Fiction days. The film has some of the most imitated motions in film history and a swinging soundtrack to go along with it.
The Way We Were (1973)
The romantic drama starring a young Babs Streisand and handsome Robbie Redford is about two young, struggling lovers torn apart by their political convictions. This is the best post-breakup movie around. “She’s lovely Hubble.” Oh God, pull out the Kleenex for this one.
Compiled by Lori Bartlett