Blow by Blow: 50 Albums That Defined 1975

We've already taken a look at the albums that defined 1985, so let's turn back the clocks a decade.

Nineteen hundred and seventy-five was a year of ambition and introspection.

Confident in the wake of their incredible critical and commercial success, Led Zeppelin crafted their grandest work yet—the sprawling, masterful Physical Graffiti—while Queen put hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention months of work, into A Night at the Opera, which is best known for "Bohemian Rhapsody."

But while some were looking to increase the scope of their music, some turned inward for inspiration. Pink Floyd reflected on their troubled founder, Syd Barrett, and created a harrowing, profoundly moving tribute in Wish You Were Here. Pete Townshend struggled with alcoholism and writer's block and turned his struggles into The Who By Numbers, one of the most under-appreciated pieces of the band's discography.

Bob Dylan, who had mostly been treading water with uneven releases for the previous six years, turned his disintegrating marriage into Blood On the Tracks, a bleak, staggering masterpiece that stands as possibly the best of his career. Neil Young released two incredible albums, the ghostly Tonight's the Night and the powerful, solo-heavy Zuma.

The guitar was being pushed in entirely new directions by artists of all kinds.

Jeff Beck released his meticulous, hugely influential Blow By Blow, while Lou Reed released his hugely controversial—and unpopular—experiment in guitar feedback, Metal Machine Music. Kiss brought simplicity and pure fun into the picture with their breakthrough concert document, Alive!, and Ritchie Blackmore explored new, post-Deep Purple avenues with Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.

Nineteen hundred and seventy-five was a year of ambition, introspection and innovation. And consequently, it brought some truly unforgettable albums. Enjoy the photo gallery below. Remember you can click on each photo to take a closer look!

NOTE: This list is presented purely in alphabetical order, not an order of worst to best or best to worst. So there's no order of preference. Also, we decided to include a few bonus albums. Enjoy!

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