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article imageReview: Seventies Rock Music on YouTube

By Alexander Baron     Mar 3, 2013 in Entertainment
The 1970s were fantastic times for melodic rock, progressive, heavy metal and singer-songwriters. And you don't need a time machine to live the dream.
The maximum length of YouTube videos used to be ten minutes for most of us, then it was increased to fifteen minutes. Now, you can find full length feature films on the site. Over the past year or so a great deal of music including from the 1970s has been uploaded. Much of it is concert footage. Melodic rock and heavy metal in particular is almost always better live; there is the audience atmosphere and lengthier solos - keyboards and drums as well as guitar.
As a neophyte or total beginner you are spoilt for choice, but here are some recent uploads:
Wishbone Ash at the Rockpalast, Germany from 1976.
Uploaded last month, this hour and a half video features Andy Powell (when he still had hair) and Laurie Wisefield. Laurie replaced founder member Ted Turner, but they have on occasion been spotted together. His unique guitar style stands out on both the short but magnificent solo on Living Proof (from the double Live Dates II album), and here on the dream-like Persephone. (With a little help from Mr Powell, of course).
It really is difficult to overstate the influence of this band on the development of the duel lead guitar in melodic rock. Check them out now.
Although they produced a handful of more thoughtful tracks, glam rock band Slade were about good old rock 'n' rock. This 25 minute video from 1971 - uploaded last year - sees them performing live at Granada TV. The show stopping Get Down And Get With It was actually written by Bobby Marchan in the early 60s. And it never sounded better.
Progressive rock band Barclay James Harvest were formed in the 60s and really broke through in the 70s; the band have always been big in Germany, and in August 1980 - the back end of the 70s - they played a free concert in the City of Berlin. That was uploaded to YouTube in May of last year, and includes the John Lees classic Hymn, and of course the Les Holroyd composition Berlin. The band have also arguably the most magnificent and minutely documented website of any band, anywhere at any time. Check it out. Sadly, two of the band's members are now with us no more, but their music will live forever.
One person who was most definitely at his peak in the 1970s was Elton John - not that he hasn't produced some great music since, but you're only young once. In 1974, The Old Grey Whistle Test broadcast a live Elton John concert from Hammersmith. This was uploaded to YouTube in September last year. He kicked off with Bennie And The Jets from the double Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, a song that could reach only number 37 in the UK but topped the US chart. Though he'll remember that one forever, Elton and everyone else concerned will probably want to forget the end, because he is joined on stage by both Rod Stewart and Gary Glitter.
Finally, in January, concert footage was uploaded of the man who is rightly regarded as the father of Irish blues. Rory Gallagher was also a rock guitarist par excellence, and although the sound is not that great, this black and white video of a 1975 concert in Madrid shows him at his dynamic best.
Check out the above and much more, and be grateful you were born in an age when the greatest music ever recorded is yours at the click of a mouse.
Rory Gallagher (1948-95)  Ireland s first authentic guitar hero.
Rory Gallagher (1948-95), Ireland's first authentic guitar hero.
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More about wishbone ash, laurie wisefield, Andy Powell, twin lead guitar, YouTube
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