Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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CG-70s Book Cover

The Seventies and 1980

Below is a year-by-year listing of every '70s LP I've graded A minus or better--that is, every one I recommend (more or less) unequivocally. They appear in roughly descending order of quality, though I make no guarantee as to the permanence of the mood that pertained while I was preparing the lists. I've added a list for 1980, and omitted the grades themselves. The total number of albums to qualify each year is indicated in parentheses.

1970 (56)

  • Derek & the Dominos: Layla (Atco)
  • Sly & the Family Stone: Greatest Hits (Epic)
  • Randy Newman: 12 Songs (Reprise)
  • Van Morrison: Moondance (Warner Bros.)
  • Neil Young: After the Gold Rush (Reprise)
  • James Brown: Sex Machine (King)
  • John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band (Apple)
  • Aretha Franklin: Spirit in the Dark (Atlantic)
  • John McLaughlin: Devotion (Douglas)
  • The Velvet Underground: Loaded (Cotillion)
  • Dolly Parton: The Best of Dolly Parton (RCA Victor)
  • Al Green Gets Next to You (Hi)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival: Cosmo's Factory (Fantasy)
  • The Grateful Dead: Workingman's Dead (Warner Bros.)
  • The Insect Trust: Hoboken Saturday Night (Atco)
  • The Beatles: Hey Jude (Apple)
  • Van Morrison: His Band & the Street Choir (Warner Bros.)
  • Tracy Nelson: Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson Country (Mercury)
  • The Stooges: Fun House (Elektra)
  • Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Columbia)
  • Fleetwood Mac: Kiln House (Reprise)
  • Janis Joplin: Pearl (Columbia)
  • Fairport Convention: Unhalfbricking (A&M)
  • Delaney & Bonnie & Friends with Eric Clapton: On Tour (Atco)
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips: Greatest Hits (Soul)
  • Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Lick My Decals Off, Baby (Straight/Reprise)
  • Love: False Start (Blue Thumb)
  • Lee Dorsey: Yes We Can (Polydor)
  • Ann Peebles: Part Time Love (Hi)
  • The Doors: 13 (Elektra)
  • Joni Mitchell: Ladies of the Canyon (Reprise)
  • Johnnie Taylor: Johnnie Taylor's Greatest Hits (Stax)
  • Bob Dylan: New Morning (Columbia)
  • Jerry Butler: The Best of Jerry Butler (Mercury)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival: Pendulum (Fantasy)
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson: The Original Cleanhead (BluesTime)
  • The Temptations: Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Gordy)
  • Jerry Lee Lewis: The Best of Jerry Lee Lewis (Smash)
  • Rod Stewart: Gasoline Alley (Mercury)
  • Booker T. & the MGs: Greatest Hits (Stax)
  • MC5: Back in the USA (Atlantic)
  • Otis Redding/the Jimi Hendrix Experience: Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival (Reprise)
  • The Grateful Dead: American Beauty (Warner Bros.)
  • Jesse Winchester: Jesse Winchester (Ampex)
  • The Beach Boys: Sunflower (Brother/Reprise)
  • Ike & Tina Turner: Come Together (Liberty)
  • The Beatles: Let It Be (Apple)
  • Loretta Lynn: Loretta Lynn Writes 'Em and Sings 'Em (Decca)
  • Canned Heat: Future Blues (Liberty)
  • Mother Earth: Satisfied (Mercury)
  • Delaney & Bonnie: To Bonnie from Delaney (Atco)
  • James Brown: Super Bad (King)
  • Nolan: No Apologies (Lizard)
  • Charlie Rich: The Fabulous Charlie Rich (Epic)
  • Allen Ginsberg: William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience (Verve/Forecast)
  • Big Brother & the Holding Company: Be a Brother (Columbia)

1971 (45)

  • Miles Davis: Jack Johnson (Columbia)
  • Ray Charles: A 25th Anniversary in Show Business Salute to Ray Charles (ABC)
  • Rod Stewart: Every Picture Tells a Story (Mercury)
  • Sly & the Family Stone: There's a Riot Goin' On (Epic)
  • John Lennon: Imagine (Apple)
  • The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones)
  • The Who: Who's Next (Decca)
  • Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV (Atlantic)
  • Joni Mitchell: Blue (Reprise)
  • Jimi Hendrix: The Cry of Love (Reprise)
  • Wilson Pickett: The Best of Wilson Pickett--Vol. II (Atlantic)
  • Joy of Cooking: Joy of Cooking (Capitol)
  • John Prine: John Prine (Atlantic)
  • The Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin: The Inner Mounting Flame (Columbia)
  • Nils Lofgren/Grin: 1+1 (Spindizzy)
  • Tom T. Hall: In Search of a Song (Mercury)
  • Stevie Wonder: Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (Tamla)
  • Delaney & Bonnie: Motel Shot (Atco)
  • Nilsson: Nilsson Schmilsson (RCA Victor)
  • Crazy Horse: Crazy Horse (Reprise)
  • Hound Dog Taylor & the HouseRockers: Hound Dog Taylor & the HouseRockers (Alligator)
  • Jackson 5: Greatest Hits (Motown)
  • Clarence Carter: The Best of Clarence Carter (Atlantic)
  • Bonnie Raitt: Bonnie Raitt (Warner Bros.)
  • Helen Reddy: Helen Reddy (Capitol)
  • Van Morrison: Tupelo Honey (Warner Bros.)
  • The Who: Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (Decca)
  • Howlin' Wolf: The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (Chess)
  • Faces: A Nod is as Good as a Wink . . . to a Blind Horse (Warner Bros.)
  • The Stylistics: The Stylistics (Avco)
  • Carole King: Tapestry (Ode)
  • The Doors: LA Woman (Elektra)
  • The Move: Message from the Country (Capitol)
  • Jimi Hendrix: Rainbow Bridge (Reprise)
  • B.B. King: Live in Cook County Jail (ABC)
  • Michael Hurley & Pals: Armchair Boogie (Raccoon)
  • Miles Davis: Live Evil (Columbia)
  • The Chi-Lites: (For God's Sake) Give More Power to the People (Brunswick)
  • Ray Charles: Volcanic Action of My Soul (ABC)
  • David Bowie: Hunky Dory (RCA Victor)
  • Sir Douglas Qunitet: The Return of Doug Saldana (Philips)
  • Dolly Parton: Coat of Many Colors (RCA Victor)
  • Leonard Cohen: Songs of Love & Hate (Columbia)
  • Bill Withers: Just as I Am (Sussex)

1972 (49)

  • Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St. (Rolling Stones)
  • Paul Simon: Paul Simon (Columbia)
  • Manfred Mann's Earth Band: Manfred Mann's Earth Band (Polydor)
  • Bonnie Raitt: Give It Up (Warner Bros.)
  • Joni Mitchell: For the Roses (Asylum)
  • The Kinks: The Kink Kronikles (Reprise)
  • Aretha Franklin: Young, Gifted and Black (Atlantic)
  • The Wailers: Catch a Fire (Island)
  • Steely Dan: Can't Buy a Thrill (ABC)
  • Stevie Wonder: Talking Book (Tamla)
  • Mississippi John Hurt: Last Sessions (Vanguard)
  • Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II (Columbia)
  • Bill Withers: Still Bill (Sussex)
  • The Chi-Lites: Greatest Hits (Brunswick)
  • Delaney & Bonnie: The Best of Delaney & Bonnie (Atco)
  • Mott the Hoople: All the Young Dudes (Columbia)
  • Al Green: I'm Still in Love with You (Hi)
  • Curtis Mayfield: Superfly (Curtom)
  • Rod Stewart: Never a Dull Moment (Mercury)
  • Howard Tate: Howard Tate (Atlantic)
  • Van Morrison: Saint Dominic's Preview (Warner Bros.)
  • James Brown: There It Is (Polydor)
  • Richard Thompson: Henry the Human Fly (Reprise)
  • Ann Peebles: Straight from the Heart (Hi)
  • Johnny Shines: Johnny Shines (Blue Horizon)
  • Jimi Hendrix: Hendrix in the West (Reprise)
  • Buddy Guy & Junior Wells: Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues (Atco)
  • Chris Smither: Don't It Drag On (Poppy)
  • Elton John: Honky Chateau (Uni)
  • Randy Newman: Sail Away (Reprise)
  • John Prine: Diamonds in the Rough (Atlantic)
  • Joy of Cooking: Castles (Capitol)
  • Al Green: Let's Stay Together (Hi)
  • Peter Townshend: Who Came First (Track)
  • Dr. John: Gumbo (Atco)
  • Grin: All Out (Spindizzy)
  • Loudon Wainwright III: Album III (Columbia)
  • Brinsley Schwarz: Nervous on the Road (United Artists)
  • Manu Dibango: Soul Makossa (Atlantic)
  • Conway Twitty's Greatest Hits Vol. I (MCA)
  • Janis Joplin: Joplin in Concert (Columbia)
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Will the Circle Be Unbroken (United Artists)
  • Paul Pena: Paul Pena (Capitol)
  • Charlie Rich: The Best of Charlie Rich (Epic)
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Golden Butter: The Best of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (Elektra)
  • Todd Rundgren: Something/Anything? (Bearsville)

1973 (47)

  • Al Green: Call Me (Hi)
  • New York Dolls: New York Dolls (Mercury)
  • Jimmy Cliff et al.: The Harder They Come (Mango)
  • Wilson Pickett: Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits (Atlantic)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Pronounced Leh-nerd Skeh-nerd (Sounds of the South/MCA)
  • John Prine: Sweet Revenge (Atlantic)
  • Sly & the Family Stone: Fresh (Epic)
  • Africa Dances (Authentic)
  • Janis Joplin: Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits (Columbia)
  • Al Green: Livin' for You (Hi)
  • Steely Dan: Countdown to Ecstasy (ABC)
  • Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (Tamla)
  • Neil Young: Time Fades Away (Reprise)
  • Alseep at the Wheel: Comin' Right at Ya (United Artists)
  • Bruce Springsteen: The Wild the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (Columbia)
  • Bill Withers Live at Carnegie Hall (Sussex)
  • Slade: Slayed? (Polydor)
  • Mahavishnu Orchestra: Birds of Fire (Columbia)
  • The Move: Split Ends (United Artists)
  • Coulson, Dean, McGuinness, Flint: Lo and Behold (Sire)
  • Bonnie Raitt: Takin' My Time (Warner Bros.)
  • Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (Atlantic)
  • Tom T. Hall: The Rhymer & Other Five and Dimers (Mercury)
  • Spinners: Spinners (Atlantic)
  • Roy Brown: Hard Times (BluesWay)
  • The Who: Quadrophenia (Track)
  • The Kinks: The Great Lost Kinks Album (Reprise)
  • Mott the Hoople: Mott (Columbia)
  • Laura Lee: The Best of Laura Lee (Hot Wax)
  • James Brown: Soul Classics Volume II (Polydor)
  • Marvin Gaye: Let's Get It On (Tamla)
  • The Hollies: The Hollies' Greatest Hits (Epic)
  • The Allman Brothers Band: Brothers & Sisters (Capricorn)
  • Manfred Mann's Earth Band: Get Your Rocks Off (Polydor)
  • Elliott Murphy: Aquashow (Polydor)
  • Frederic Rzewski: Coming Together; Attica; Moutons de Panurge (Opus One)
  • Roy Wood: Boulders (United Artists)
  • Howlin' Wolf: The Back Door Wolf (Chess)
  • Charles Bevel: Meet "Mississippi Charles" Bevel (A&M)
  • Marlo Thomas: Free to Be . . . You and Me (Bell)
  • Derek & the Dominos: In Concert (Atco)
  • Miles Davis: Miles Davis in Concert (Columbia)
  • Loudon Wainwright III: Attempted Mustache (Columbia)
  • Mike Seeger: The Second Annual Farewell Reunion (Mercury)
  • Esther Phillips: Black Eyed Blues (Kudu)
  • Swamp Dogg: Gag a Maggott (Stone Dogg)
  • Taj Mahal: Ooh So Good 'n Blues (Columbia)

1974 (46)

  • New York Dolls: In Too Much Too Soon (Mercury)
  • Steely Dan: Pretzel Logic (ABC)
  • Big Star: Radio City (Ardent)
  • The Wailers: Burnin' (Island)
  • Randy Newman: Good Old Boys (Reprise)
  • Andy Fairweather Low: Spider Jiving (A&M)
  • Gram Parsons: Grievous Angel (Reprise)
  • Van Morrison: It's Too Late to Stop Now (Warner Bros.)
  • Joni Mitchell: Court and Spark (Asylum)
  • Eric Clapton: 461 Ocean Boulevard (RSO)
  • Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets (Island)
  • Thomas Jefferson Kaye: First Grade (ABC/Dunhill)
  • Richard & Linda Thompson: Hokey Pokey (Island)
  • Bob Dylan/the Band: Before the Flood (Asylum)
  • The Wild Magnolias: The Wild Magnolias (Polydor)
  • Velvet Underground: 1969 Velvet Underground Live (Mercury)
  • Miles Davis: Get Up with It (Columbia)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Second Helping (MCA)
  • Labelle: Nightbirds (Epic)
  • Stevie Wonder: Fulfillingness' First Finale (Tamla)
  • Millie Jackson: Caught Up (Spring)
  • Miles Davis: Big Fun (Columbia)
  • Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers: Natural Boogie (Alligator)
  • Lou Reed: Rock n Roll Animal (RCA Victor)
  • Bob Dylan: Planet Waves (Asylum)
  • King Crimson: Red (Atlantic)
  • Raspberries: Starting Over (Capitol)
  • Bryan Ferry: "These Foolish Things" (Atlantic)
  • Willie Nelson: Phases & Stages (Atlantic)
  • Parliament: Up for the Down Stroke (Casablanca)
  • Linda Ronstadt: Heart Like a Wheel (Capitol)
  • Loretta Lynn: Loretta Lynn's Greatest Hits Vol. II (MCA)
  • John Cale: Fear (Island)
  • Alice Cooper: Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
  • Leonard Cohen: New Skin for the Old Ceremony (Columbia)
  • Average White Band: Average White Band (Atlantic)
  • Betty Wright: Danger High Voltage (Alston)
  • The Mighty Clouds of Joy: It's Time (ABC)
  • Neil Young: On the Beach (Reprise)
  • Mary McCaslin: Way Out West (Philo)
  • Gladys Knight & the Pips: Claudine (Buddah)
  • Moe Bandy: I Just Started Hating Cheating Songs Today (GRT)
  • Earth Wind & Fire: Open Our Eyes (Columbia)
  • Shirley Brown: Woman to Woman (Truth)
  • Ry Cooder: Paradise & Lunch (Reprise)

1975 (40)

  • Bob Dylan/The Band: The Basement Tapes (Columbia)
  • Dolly Parton: Best of Dolly Parton (RCA Victor)
  • Al Green's Greatest Hits (Hi)
  • James Talley: Got No Bread, No Milk, No Money, but We Sure Got a Lot of Love (Capitol)
  • Neil Young: Tonight's the Night (Reprise)
  • Patti Smith: Horses (Arista)
  • Bonnie Raitt: Home Plate (Warner Bros.)
  • Bob Marley & the Wailers: Natty Dread (Island)
  • Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks (Columbia)
  • Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run (Columbia)
  • Steely Dan: Katy Lied (ABC)
  • Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy) (Island)
  • Fleetwood Mac: Fleetwood Mac (Warner Bros.)
  • Funkadelic: Funkadelic's Greatest Hits (Westbound)
  • The Staple Singers: The Best of the Staple Singers (Stax)
  • Elton John: Rock of the Westies (MCA)
  • The Stylistics: The Best of the Stylistics (H&L)
  • Toots & the Maytals: Funky Kingston (Island)
  • Roxy Music: Siren (Atlantic)
  • Andy Fairweather Low: La Booga Rooga (A&M)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Nuthin' Fancy (MCA)
  • The Meters: Cissy Strut (Island)
  • Gary Stewart: Out of Hand (RCA Victor)
  • Funkadelic: Let's Take It to the Stage (Westbound)
  • Beserkely Chartbusters Volume 1 (Beserkley)
  • Leonard Cohen: The Best of (Columbia)
  • Parliament: Mothership Connection (Casablanca '76)
  • Loudon Wainwright III: Unrequited (Columbia)
  • Barry White: Barry White's Greatest Hits (20th Century)
  • The Allman Brothers Band: The Road Goes on Forever (Capricorn)
  • Bill Withers: The Best of Bill Withers (Sussex)
  • Neil Young: Zuma (Reprise)
  • John Cale: Slow Dazzle (Island)
  • John Prine: Common Sense (Atlantic)
  • Amazing Rhythm Aces: Stacked Deck (ABC)
  • Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Columbia)
  • Terry Garthwaite: Terry (Arista)
  • Stoney Edwards: Mississippi You're on My Mind (Capitol)
  • Spinners: Pick of the Litter (Atlantic)
  • Bobby Bare: Cowboys and Daddys (RCA Victor)

1976 (48)

  • Michael Hurley/the Unholy Modal Rounders/Jeffrey Fredericks & the Clamtones: Have Moicy! (Rounder)
  • Eno: Another Green World (Island)
  • The Wild Tchoupitoulas: The Wild Tchoupitoulas (Island)
  • Ramones: Ramones (Sire)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival: Chronicle (Fantasy)
  • Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band: Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band (RCA Victor)
  • David Bowie: Station to Station (RCA Victor)
  • Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Kate & Anna McGarrigle (Warner Bros.)
  • Graham Parker: Howlin Wind (Mercury)
  • David Bowie: Changesonebowie (RCA Victor)
  • Graham Parker: Heat Treatment (Mercury)
  • Miles Davis: Agharta (Columbia)
  • Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life (Tamla)
  • The Modern Lovers: The Modern Lovers (Home of the Hits)
  • Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey (Island)
  • Arlo Guthrie: Amigo (Warner Bros.)
  • Mighty Diamonds: Right Time (Virgin)
  • Ohio Players: Gold (Mercury)
  • War: Greatest Hits (United Artists)
  • Mott the Hoople: Greatest Hits (Columbia)
  • New York Shakespeare Festival: Threepenny Opera (Columbia)
  • Patti Smith Group: Radio Ethiopia (Arista)
  • Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band: Night Moves (Capitol)
  • K.C. & the Sunshine Band: K.C. & the Sunshine Band (T.K.)
  • Funkadelic: Hardcore Jollies (Warner Bros.)
  • Aerosmith: Rocks (Columbia)
  • Hound Dog Taylor & the Houserockers: Beware of the Dog (Alligator)
  • Al Green: Full of Fire (Hi)
  • Billy Swan: Billy Swan (Monument)
  • Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson: It's Your World (Arista)
  • Ike & Tina Turner: Greatest Hits (United Artists)
  • Fairport Convention: Fairport Chronicles (A&M)
  • Son Seals: Midnight Son (Alligator)
  • Grin: The Best of Grin Featuring Nils Lofgren (Epic)
  • The Rolling Stones: Black & Blue (Rolling Stones)
  • Hot Chocolate: Man to Man (Big Tree)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: One More for the Road (MCA)
  • Raspberries: Raspberries' Best Featuring Eric Carmen (Capitol)
  • Bob Marley & the Wailers: Live! (Island)
  • George Jones: Alone Again (Epic)
  • Hi Rhythm: On the Loose (Hi)
  • Esther Phillips: Confessin' the Blues (Atlantic)
  • Boz Scaggs: Silk Degrees (Columbia)
  • Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes: Collectors' Item (Philadelphia International)
  • Gasolin': Gasolin' (Epic)
  • Bunny Wailer: Blackheart Man (Island)
  • James Talley: Tryin' Like the Devil (Capitol)

1977 (56)

  • Television: Marquee Moon (Elektra)
  • Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Dancer with Bruised Knees (Warner Bros.)
  • Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (Warner Bros.)
  • Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols (Warner Bros.)
  • Ramones: Rocket to Russia (Sire)
  • Andy Fairweather Low: Be Bop 'n' Holla (A&M)
  • Parliament: Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome (Casablanca)
  • Ornette Coleman: Dancing in Your Head (Horizon)
  • Al Green: The Belle Album (Hi)
  • Hot Chocolate: 10 Greatest Hits (Big Tree)
  • Funkadelic: The Best of the Early Years Volume One (Westbound)
  • The Beach Boys: Love You (Brother/Reprise)
  • The Beatles: The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (Capitol)
  • Ramones: Ramones Leave Home (Sire)
  • Roxy Music: Greatest Hits (Atlantic)
  • John Cale: Guts (Island)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Street Survivors (MCA)
  • Paul Simon: Greatest Hits, etc. (Columbia)
  • Muddy Waters: Hard Again (Blue Sky)
  • Richard Hell and the Voidoids: Blank Generation (Sire)
  • Ray Charles: True to Life (Atlantic)
  • George Jones & Tammy Wynette: Greatest Hits (Epic)
  • Talking Heads: 77 (Sire)
  • Johnny Shines: Too Wet to Plow (Blue LAbor)
  • Freddy Fender: The Best of Freddy Fender (ABC/Dot)
  • Moe Bandy: The Best of Moe Bandy (Columbia)
  • George Jones: All-Time Greatest Hits--Volume 1 (Epic)
  • Iggy Pop: Lust for Life (RCA Victor)
  • Richard & Linda Thompson: Live (More or Less) (Island)
  • Johnnie Taylor: Chronicle--The Twenty Greatest Hits (Stax)
  • Joe Cocker: Joe Cocker's Greatest Hits (A&M)
  • Lou Reed: Walk on the Wild Side--The Best of Lou Reed (RCA Victor)
  • Bizarros/Rubber City Rebels: From Akron (Clone)
  • The Jam: In the City (Polydor)
  • Fela and Afrika 70: Zombie (Mercury)
  • Taj Mahal: The Taj Mahal Anthology Volume One (Columbia)
  • Merle Haggard and the Strangers: Songs I'll Always Sing (Capitol)
  • Elvin Bishop: Raisin' Hell (Capricorn)
  • Al Green: Greatest Hits Volume II (Hi)
  • Joe Ely: Joe Ely (MCA)
  • Asleep at the Wheel: The Wheel (Capitol)
  • Brian Eno: Discreet Music (Antilles)
  • Bette Midler: Live at Last (Atlantic)
  • Garland Jeffreys: Ghost Writer (A&M)
  • Gary Stewart: Your Place or Mine (RCA Victor)
  • Tavares: The Best of Tavares (Capitol)
  • The Scruffs: Wanna Meet the Scruffs? (Power Play)
  • Merle Haggard and the Strangers: A Working Man Can't Get Nowhere Today (Capitol)
  • The Guess Who: The Greatest of the Guess Who (RCA Victor)
  • Graham Parker and the Rumour: Stick to Me (Mercury)
  • Peter Townshend-Ronnie Lane: Rough Mix (MCA)
  • Philip Glass: North Star (Virgin)
  • Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (Capitol)
  • Bonnie Raitt: Sweet Forgiveness (Warner Bros.)
  • Ashford & Simpson: So So Satisfied (Warner Bros.)
  • Iggy Pop: The Idiot (RCA Victor '76)

1978 (62)

  • Blondie: Parallel Lines (Chrysalis)
  • Wire: Pink Flag (Harvest)
  • Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food (Sire)
  • The Rolling Stones: Some Girls (Rolling Stones)
  • Nick Lowe: Pure Pop for Now People (Columbia)
  • Elvis Costello and the Attractions: This Years Model (Columbia)
  • The Clash: Give 'Em Enough Rope (Epic)
  • Neil Young: Comes a Time (Reprise)
  • The Vibrators: Pure Mania (Columbia)
  • Neil Young: Decade (Reprise)
  • Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band: Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (Warner Bros.)
  • Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove (Warner Bros.)
  • Ramones: Road to Ruin (Sire)
  • Joe Ely: Honky Tonk Masquerade (MCA)
  • Lee Dorsey: Night People (ABC)
  • Television: Adventure (Elektra)
  • Ashford & Simpson: Is It Still Good to Ya (Warner Bros.)
  • Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance (Blank)
  • Willie Nelson: Stardust (Columbia)
  • Bob Marley: Kaya (Island)
  • Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (ECM)
  • Willie Nelson: Face of a Fighter (Lone Star)
  • Parliament: Motor-Booty Affair (Casablanca)
  • Dave Edmunds: Tracks on Wax 4 (Swan Song)
  • David Johansen: David Johansen (Blue Sky '77)
  • The Steve Miller Band: Greatest Hits 1974-78 (Capitol)
  • Billy Swan: At His Best (Monument)
  • David Behrman: On the Other Ocean/Figure in a Clearing (Lovely)
  • The Trammps: The Best of the Trammps (Atlantic)
  • Ducks Deluxe: Don't Mind Rockin' Tonite (RCA Victor)
  • Professor Longhair: Live on the Queen Mary (Harvest)
  • Ian Dury: New Boots and Panties!! (Stiff)
  • Merle Haggard and the Strangers: The Way It Was in '51 (Capitol)
  • The Marshall Tucker Band: Greatest Hits (Capricorn)
  • Spinners: The Best of Spinners (Atlantic)
  • Max Romeo: Open the Iron Gate (United Artists)
  • Al Green: Truth n' Time (Hi)
  • Earth, Wind & Fire: The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. I (Columbia)
  • Raydio: Raydio (Arista)
  • Big Star: Third (PVC)
  • Albert Collins: Ice Pickin' (Alligator)
  • Shoes: Black Vinyl Shoes (PVC)
  • Johnny Paycheck: Greatest Hits Volume II (Epic)
  • Pablo Moses: I Love I Bring (United Artists)
  • Tom Robinson Band: Power in the Darkness (Harvest)
  • Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy (Asylum)
  • Michael Mantler: Movies (Watt)
  • Brian Eno: Before & After Science (Island)
  • Patti Smith Group: Easter (Arista)
  • Loleatta Holloway: Queen of the Night (Gold Mind)
  • The Yankees: High 'n' Inside (Big Sound)
  • Steppin' Out: Disco's Greatest Hits (Polydor)
  • Son Seals: Live and Burning (Alligator)
  • Robert Ashley: Private Parts (Lovely)
  • The Carla Bley Band: European Tour 1977 (Watt)
  • Ornette Coleman: Body Meta (Artists House)
  • Mary McCaslin & Jim Ringer: The Bramble and the Rose (Philo)
  • McKinley Mitchell: McKinley Mitchell (Chimneyville)
  • Residents: Duck Stab/Buster & Glen (Ralph)
  • Steve Gibbons Band: Down in the Bunker (Polydor)
  • Tapper Zukie: Man ah Warrior (Mer)
  • Rodney Crowell: Ain't Living Long Like This (Warner Bros.)

1979 (59)

  • The Clash: The Clash (Epic)
  • Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Chrysalis)
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Gold and Platinum (MCA)
  • Van Morrison: Into the Music (Warner Bros.)
  • Nick Lowe: Labour of Lust (Columbia)
  • Arthur Blythe: Lenox Avenue Breakdown (Columbia)
  • Air: Air Lore (Arista Novus)
  • Michael Jackson: Off the Wall (Epic)
  • Donna Summer: On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II (Casablanca)
  • The B-52's: The B-52's (Warner Bros.)
  • Burning Spear: Harder Than the Best (Mango)
  • The Roches: The Roches (Warner Bros.)
  • Graham Parker & the Rumour: Squeezing Out Sparks (Arista)
  • Donna Summer: Bad Girls (Casablanca)
  • Tom Verlaine: Tom Verlaine (Elektra)
  • Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band: James Monroe High School Presents Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band Goes to Washington (Elektra)
  • Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Sire)
  • Marianne Faithfull: Broken English (Island)
  • Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (I.R.S.)
  • Chic: Risque (Atlantic)
  • XTC: Drums & Wires (Virgin)
  • Pretenders: Pretenders (Sire)
  • Wreckless Eric: The Whole Wide World (Stiff)
  • The Only Ones: Special View (Epic)
  • Shoes: Present Tense (Elektra)
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Live Rust (Reprise)
  • Cory Daye: Cory & Me (New York International)
  • Steel Pulse: Tribute to the Martyrs (Mango)
  • Linton Kwesi Johnson: Forces of Victory (Mango)
  • Si Kahn: Home (Flying Fish)
  • Chic: Les Plus Grands Succes de Chic/Chic's Greatest Hits (Atlantic)
  • Dave Edmunds: Repeat When Necessary (Swan Song)
  • Fashion: Product Perfect (I.R.S.)
  • The Best of Don Williams Volume II (MCA)
  • Living Chicago Blues Volume I (Alligator)
  • Millie Jackson: Live & Uncensored (Spring)
  • Culture: International Herb (Virgin International)
  • Roxy Music: Manifesto (Atco)
  • Ian Hunter: Shades of Ian Hunter: The Ballad of Ian Hunter & Mott the Hoople (Columbia)
  • Mutiny: Mutiny on the Mamaship (Columbia)
  • Lene Lovich: Stateless (Stiff/Epic)
  • Terry Allen: Lubbock (on Everything) (Fate)
  • Henry Cow: Unrest (Red)
  • James Brown: The Original Disco Man (Polydor)
  • The Brides of Funkenstein: Never Buy Texas from a Cowboy (Atlantic)
  • Smokey Robinson: Where There's Smoke . . . (Tamla)
  • David Bowie: Lodger (RCA Victor)
  • Blondie: Eat to the Beat (Chrysalis)
  • Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Armed Forces (Columbia)
  • Heartbreakers: Live at Max's Kansas City (Max's Kansas City)
  • Taana Gardner: Taana Gardner (West End)
  • Tom Robinson Band: TRB 2 (Harvest)
  • ZZ Top: Deguello (Warner Bros.)
  • Irakere: Irakere (Columbia)
  • James Blood: Tales of Captain Black (Artists House)
  • Midnight Rhythm: Midnight Rhythm (Atlantic)
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson: Kidney Stew is Fine (Delmark)
  • George Jones: My Very Special Friends (Epic)

1980 (49)

  • The Clash: London Calling (Epic)
  • Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Sire)
  • Prince: Dirty Mind (Warner Bros.)
  • Tom Robinson: Sector 27 (I.R.S.)
  • Wanna Buy a Bridge? (Rough Trade)
  • John Lennon/Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy (Geffen)
  • Jon Hassell/Brian Eno: Fourth World Vol. I: Possible Musics (Editions E.G.)
  • Chic: Real People (Atlantic)
  • Bruce Springsteen: The River (Columbia)
  • Professor Longhair: Crawfish Fiesta (Alligator)
  • Gang of Four: Entertainment! (Warner Bros.)
  • Alberta Hunter: Amtrak Blues (Columbia)
  • Robert Ashley: Perfect Lives (Private Parts): The Bar (Lovely)
  • Public Image Ltd.: Second Edition (Island)
  • The Jacksons: Triumph (Epic)
  • Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band: Doc at the Radar Station (Virgin)
  • Feelies: Crazy Rhythms (Stiff)
  • John Prine: Storm Windows (Asylum)
  • Michael Hurley: Snockgrass (Rounder)
  • Stevie Wonder: Hotter Than July (Tamla)
  • Robert Jr. Lockwood & Johnny Shines: Hangin' On (Rounder)
  • The English Beat: I Just Can't Stop It (Sire)
  • The Psychedelic Furs: The Psychedelic Furs (Columbia)
  • Dollar Brand: African Marketplace (Elektra)
  • Pere Ubu: The Art of Walking (Rough Trade)
  • Henry Cow: Western Culture (Interzone)
  • The Undertones: Hypnotised (Sire)
  • Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Factory)
  • Aerosmith: Aerosmith's Greatest Hits (Columbia)
  • Rap's Greatest Hits (Sugarhill)
  • Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns: Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns (Hannibal)
  • Neil Young: Hawks and Doves (Reprise)
  • Rockers (Mango)
  • Smokey Robinson: Warm Thoughts (Tamla)
  • X: Los Angeles (Slash)
  • Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson: 1980 (Arista)
  • Steel Pulse: Reggae Fever (Mango)
  • The Clash: Black Market Clash (Epic Nu-Disk)
  • Bootsy: Ultra Wave (Warner Bros.)
  • Popeye (Boardwalk)
  • T-Bone Burnett: Truth Decay (Takoma)
  • Donna Summer: The Wanderer (Geffen)
  • The Brains: The Brains (Mercury)
  • B.T. Express: Greatest Hits (Columbia)
  • Rockpile: Seconds of Pleasure (Columbia)
  • The Suburbs: In Combo (Twin/Tone)
  • Lydia Lunch: Queen of Siam (ZE)
  • Bunny Wailer: Bunny Wailer Sings the Wailers (Mango)
  • Teddy Pendergrass: TP (Philadelphia International)

Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s, 1980

Basic Record Library: '50s/'60s Acknowledgments

Postscript Notes:

The 1980 list here was included because the book itself wasn't published until 1981. But the book did not include reviews of any of the 1980 records. They were held back for the 1980s book, which offered a longer 1980 list: 65 records instead of the 49 here.