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1973: Rock at the Crossroads

Andrew Grant Jackson

Thomas Dunne Books

1973: Rock at the Crossroads Download image

ISBN10: 1250299985
ISBN13: 9781250299987


448 Pages



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1973 was the year rock hit its peak while splintering—just like the rest of the world. Ziggy Stardust travelled to America in David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. The Dark Side of the Moon began its epic run on the Billboard charts, inspired by the madness of Pink Floyd's founder, while all four former Beatles scored top ten albums, two hitting #1.

FM battled AM, and Motown battled Philly on the charts, as the era of protest soul gave way to disco, while DJ Kool Herc gave birth to hip hop in the Bronx. The glam rock of the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper split into glam metal and punk. Hippies and rednecks made peace in Austin thanks to Willie Nelson, while outlaw country, country rock, and Southern rock each pointed toward modern country. The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and the Band played the largest rock concert to date at Watkins Glen.

Led Zep’s Houses of the Holy reflected the rise of funk and reggae. The singer songwriter movement led by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell flourished at the Troubadour and Max’s Kansas City, where Bruce Springsteen and Bob Marley shared bill. Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite was NBC’s top-rated special of the year, while Elton John’s albums dominated the number one spot for two and a half months.

Just as U.S. involvement in Vietnam drew to a close, Roe v. Wade ignited a new phase in the culture war. While the oil crisis imploded the American dream of endless prosperity, and Watergate’s walls closed in on Nixon, the music of 1973 both reflected a shattered world and brought us together.


Praise for 1973: Rock at the Crossroads

“If 1973 were a record album, it would be awarded a Grammy. Jackson hits the musical high points, providing illuminating anecdotes and thoughtful musical commentary. For added context he covers the period’s significant social and cultural events. A well-researched and engrossing read.”—Harold Bronson, co-founder Rhino Records; author of My British Invasion and The Rhino Records Story

"Bowie, Dylan, Marley, Aretha, Marvin, Elton, Neil, Iggy, Joni, P-Funk: Andrew Grant Jackson’s 1973 is a capacious, informative, amusing, broad-minded history of the musical landscape in a single year, caught between the explosive creativity of the past and the corporatized near-future. Jackson wisely knocks down the barricades between rock and soul and pop, between guitars and synthesizers, between gospel choirs and Rastafarian chants and crocodile rock, taking it all in sympathetically and judiciously. Read it and rediscover one of the great years in musical history."—Saul Austerlitz, author of Just a Shot Away

“Andrew Grant Jackson tells the whole crazed story of 1973, a year when every corner of the music world was changing at warp speed. This book covers the whole epic tale, from Funkadelic to ‘Free Bird,’ from Iggy to Ozzy to Joni. It’s the excellent—and frequently hilarious—saga of a moment when the whole sprawling pageant of pop music was one great big band on the run.”—Rob Sheffield, author of Dreaming the Beatles

“Marching carefully through the singular musical events and releases of 1973, Jackson not only weaves the sounds of the times into a shared tapestry, but provides an illuminating portrait of a particularly weird and wonderful year.”—Erik Davis, author of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


The Dope’s That There’s Still Hope

Dylan finds inspiration for one of his greatest songs on a movie set in Mexico. Neil Young kicks off his tour in support of the bestselling album of 1972 on January 4. The...

About the author

Andrew Grant Jackson

ANDREW GRANT JACKSON is the author of Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers, Where’s Ringo? and Where’s Elvis? He has written for Rolling Stone, Slate, Yahoo!, and PopMatters. He directed and co-wrote the feature film The Discontents starring Perry King and Amy Madigan. He lives in Los Angeles.

Topher Hopkins