In pop, it was the year of the Hairy Monsters – Sweet, Gary Glitter, Wizzard and Slade and Suzy Quatro, who while sticking to the glam style programme of unfeasibly high heels, pudding bowl fringes and spangly make up, were a good deal more laddish than effete predecessors like Bolan and Bowie – especially Suzy Quatro. Their cartoonish pop stomped all over the opposition, though the biggest hit of the year belonged to the softies – Dawn‘s ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon’.
Gone: Peters & Lee were an unlikely combination – he a blind, middle aged pianist, she an insipidly blonde warbler but with their Number One, ‘Welcome Home’, they proved there was still a big market for almost maliciously mawkish MOR in the early Seventies.
Album of the year: Innervisions – Stevie Wonder
Single of the year: Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
Band/artist of the year: Stevie Wonder
1973 belonged to: Pink Floyd, Slade (straight in at number one with ‘Skweeze Me’)
Key event of the year: Bowie sheds another pop skin onstage at Hammersmith Odeon, “retiring” Ziggy Stardust Prog-rock continued to sell in droves while maintaining a very low profile. Mike Oldfield‘s mellifluously mediocre Tubular Bells spent months in the charts, thanks perhaps to its being used in the soundtrack to The Exorcist, while Pink Floyd ascended to rock god-dom with Dark Side Of The Moon, whose lofty anti-consumerist message was the ultimate soundtrack to any home equipped with stereo hi-fi unit and shagpile carpet.
With rock cosmically remote and pop hyper-silly, only The Strawbs touched base with the “real” world. Their ‘Part Of The Union’ broadly satirised the endless industrial disputes of the Heath era. The best music was coming from black America – Stevie Wonder, The Isleys, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield – out of sight but still in touch.