A History of Pop Music – Albums 1972

Featured Album:

David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

This is a series of articles looking at albums from 1960 to whatever year we end up in.

I will select a featured album for each year and the link for the whole album, Plus list the songs on it.

As before, it is not just about the songs and tunes, it is very much about memories, and good ones, I hope.

Not everyone will like my choices of course, and you may remember some from each particular year that you feel should have been included, so do please post a link to the song.

1st January and a New year.  Our first out the EU, unless it turns out to be a BRINO of course.  Another 5 days to see what happens with No 45, or do we get a Chinese No 46?  Time will tell.  Lockdown is not good, but there really does have to be an end to this nonsense.  So I wish you all the very best for the new year, keep your pecker up and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

In 1972 I remember there were lots of strikes, miners, then dockers.  Lots of IRA bombings.  I left school on my 16th birthday in November, then straight into a job as an upholstery cutter.  I earned £7 per week, gave me mum £3.  It would take me 6 months before I was good enough to go onto piecework, so the more you did, the more you got paid.  It then became £11 a week, good money in those days!

The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars by David Bowie was an album I played pretty much non-stop for a very long time.  One of only a few albums that I had in vinyl, then tape, then CD and now a regular on my music memory stick.

Track listing

All tracks written by David Bowie, except where noted:

Side one

  1. Five Years” – 4:42
  2. Soul Love” – 3:34
  3. Moonage Daydream” – 4:40
  4. Starman” – 4:10
  5. “It Ain’t Easy” (Ron Davies) – 2:58

Side two

  1. Lady Stardust” – 3:22
  2. “Star” – 2:47
  3. Hang On to Yourself” – 2:40
  4. Ziggy Stardust” – 3:13
  5. Suffragette City” – 3:25
  6. Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” – 2:58

The recording sessions featured the musicians who would later become known as the Spiders from Mars – comprising Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey. Ken Scott, who previously worked as an engineer for Bowie’s two previous albums and the Beatles, was chosen as producer.  The sessions also featured keyboardist Rick Wakeman on piano who, after completing work on the album, declined Bowie’s offer to join the Spiders to instead join   rock band Yes.

More writings on this album here: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

So, on we go with 1972:

The Top 10 Albums with a You Tube hyperlink on the title:

Top Tip: Right-click and open in new tab

Top Albums of 1972
   1 Various artists (K-Tel) 20 Dynamic Hits
   2 Various artists (K-Tel) 20 All Time Hits Of The 50’s
   3 Simon & Garfunkel Simon And Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits
   4 Rod Stewart Never A Dull Moment
   5 Various artists (Arcade) 20 Fantastic Hits
   6 Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water
   7 Slade Slade Alive
   8 Lindisfarne Fog On The Tyne
   9 Various artists (K-Tel) 25 Rockin’ And Rollin’ Greats
   10 Don McLean American Pie

Simon & Garfunkel still there, now with 2 albums in the top 10.  Big time for “various Artists albums (K-Tel, with non-stop TV adverts), and there are some terrific tracks on all of them, well worth a click.  I do like Rod and Slade.  Elton John had a good album as well, all could easily have been the featured album, hopefully their time will come.  Big shout out to Don Mclean as well.

Music was a major source of entertainment for me in 1972.  There were so many utterly awesome songs about.

In my view the best albums of the year, after the featured one and a few others are:

Elton John – Honky Château – Honky Cat, Mellow and Rocket Man – super album

Mott The Hoople – All the Young Dudes – written by Bowie of course.

Yes – Close To The Edge – Never a big lover, but superb musicians.

  1. Rex – The Slider – Metal Guru and Telegram Sam being the stand-out tracks

The Allman Brothers Band – Eat A Peach – did not play this at the time, glam rock was much more important.  However, the Allman’s are frequently posted on the site, and I have been converted.

Paul Simon – Paul Simon – Cannot get enough of him.  Mother and Child Reunion, Me and Julio plus other superb tracks from a very listenable album

The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St. – Tumbling Dice being the stand-out track for me.

Albert Hammond  – It Never Rains In Southern California – I think much underrated, the title track is a tune I think very few will not enjoy.

Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show – Dr. Hook (Includes Sylvia’s Mother)

Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show – Sloppy Seconds (Includes Cover of the Rolling Stone)

Their greatest hits album is awesome.


As you know I like to review your “tunes” that you post.

*Note. Anyone scoring a Morrissey (lowest score possible) will be reported and blocked.

Hat tips to:

https://www.albumoftheyear.org/ratings/8-all-music-highest-rated/1972/1  these give the top 100 selling charts for each year

http://www.everyhit.com/chart1.html   these give the top 10 songs for each year

https://www.youtube.com/  you know them.

Next Time: 1973.

Featured image: Rik Walton, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

© Phil the ex test manager 2020/21