Pitchfork put out their top 100 albums of the 1970s (based on their group of writers) and it's an interesting list with a bunch of lesser known albums mixed in there among the usual suspects. I thought I'd go through a list of 10 recommended folk rock tracks from their list. The first half of the list follows, the rest to come soon:
1. Neil Young - After the Gold Rush - 1970 Though the songs Southern Man and After the Gold Rush are the most well known along with the studio cut of Don't Let it Bring You Down (overshadowed by the 4-Way Street live version), I think the opening track Tell Me Why, doesn't get quite enough credit.
2. Joni Mitchell - Blue - 1971 This is such a unified and cultural bedrock album, it's hard to single out any tracks, since they all work together. If I had to pick, though, I'd say This Flight Tonight and California make my hair tingle the most.
4. George Harrison - All Things Must Pass - 1970 Every now and then I wonder if I'm only the one who loves the song Apple Scruffs ? The other highlights of this massive formerly triple vinyl album include My Sweet Lord, What is Life, If Not for You, and All Things Must Pass.
5. Pink Floyd - Meddle - 1971 Catching Pink Floyd in the post-Syd Barrett transition between Atom Heart Mother and Dark Side of the Moon, this album is probably the only Pink Floyd album with Gilmour's folksy side ( wonderfully realized on his third solo album On An Island ) getting some of the limelight. The pastoral track Fearless has always been one of my favorites.
I spent a bit of today listening to some of the work of Richard Shindell, Dar Williams, and Lucy Kaplansky. The three were briefly (from 1998 until 2000) the acoustic trio, Cry Cry Cry, that resulted in an eponymously titled album (Razor & Tie Records) comprised largely of cover songs of lesser-known artists. Prior to that, Richard had produced three records under the Shanachie label. In 2000, Shindell and his family moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and recorded Vuelta (Koch Records, 2004). Ricahrd's most recent CD is an astonishing collection of covers called South of Delia which features guest appearances by Lucy Kaplansky, Viktor Krauss, Richard Thompson, Tony Trischka, Eliza Gilkyson and others, and relates to Richard's looking back at the USA through the eyes of an expat.