Saints and Sinners: 60 Iconic Albums That Defined 1974 - Guitar World

Saints and Sinners: 60 Iconic Albums That Defined 1974

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Ah, memories.

We've glanced at the albums that defined 1984. Then we checked in with 50 albums that characterized 1994, followed by the big discs of a decade ago, 2004.

Now it's 1974's turn!

Seventy-four was one of rock's oddest years. It was a transition year that saw a moment of respite for its biggest names.

Into the void debuted some new names, ones that would come to grow and stake their own place in rock's map. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Who did not release new material, while the Rolling Stones, though still strong, had begun to show cracks after their beast mode period of '68 to '72.

In the place of these vacancies, some new bands emerged. Kiss and Rush released their self-titled debut albums, giving the world just a glimmer of the talent that would take them to platinum sales and worldwide fame. A British band called Queen released their second and third albums and experienced growing success in their native land and in the U.S. An American band called Aerosmith began their own rise, with their idiosyncratic take on the Rolling Stones' loose, blues-rock style.

A few solo stars took their music in strange, new directions. David Bowie took his glam-rock to more political directions with Diamond Dogs. Neil Young, reeling from a traumatic breakup, released his hazy, depressive masterpiece, On the Beach. Bob Dylan returned from another hiatus, found the Band again and released the ragged, accessible Planet Waves.

It was a strange year for rock, but one that would help set the course of the genre for years to come.

Here are 60 albums that define 1974! Enjoy! (P.S.: There might actually be 61 albums in the gallery. Hope you don't mind).

NOTE: As we say every year, this list is presented in no particular order. Once again, it is presented in no particular order. None.