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History of Technology of Music

This file updated 14 October 2014

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1970: March: Release of last-ever Beatles single, Let It Be.

1970: April: Paul McCartney issues his first post-Beatles album, McCartney.

1970: December: Release of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album.

1970: The break-up of The Beatles: After the release of the John Lennon album, Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon instigated the break-up of The Beatles. "Well, that's it, lads, let's end it." As revealed in a new book written jointly by the other three Beatles. The revelation may re-ignite resentment of Yoko Ono, whose presence loomed large as the fab four split. (Reported in world press, 4 April 2000) (By 1 February 2000, Yoko Ono was fearing for her family's safety as authorities were considering releasing Mark Chapman, assassin of John Lennon.)

1970: Soul singer James Brown issues album Sex Machine.

1971

1971: Led Zeppelin issue album Led Zeppelin IV.

p>1971: Roger Miller issues the now-famous tramp song, King of the Road.

1971: Beethoven's rendition of Schiller's Ode to Joy (as in Beethoven's Ninth) becomes the anthem for a United Europe.

1971: Carole King issues what becomes a classic album, Tapestry.

27 January 1971: Conviction of Charles Manson for the Sharon Tate murders, strange allegations re Beatles song, Helter Skelter, etc.

1971: 21 May: Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney issues second solo album, Ram, taken by critics to be rather lightweight. Three months later he formed new band Wings.


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1971: Ex-Beatle George Harrison organises giant benefit concert, Concert for Bangladesh, at Madison Square Garden, New York. Later an album release. Contributing musicians included Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Bill Preston.

1971: Early October: Release of John Lennon's famous album, Imagine.

1971: November: Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney releases first album for his new band, Wings.

Year in review: Nick Kent, The Dark Stuff: Selected Writings on Rock Music, 1971-1993. 1995.

1971: Led Zeppelin issue album Led Zeppelin IV.

Graphic from Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here
The music business is
not for amateurs, as
Pink Floyd once told us
(Wish You Were Here)

1971: Carole King issues what becomes a classic album, Tapestry.

1971: Beethoven's rendition of Schiller's Ode to Joy (as in Beethoven's Ninth) becomes the anthem for a United Europe.

1971: US singer Roger Miller issues the now-famous tramp song, King of the Road.

1971-1972 - Item from cover of soundtrack album, A Clockwork Orange (Notes by Phillip Ramey).
"Walter Carlos - A Biographical Sketch - With the appearance of Switched on Bach in the fall of 1968, its creator, Walter Carlos, became an instant celebrity and the album became the best selling classical record of all time. Carlos has continued his unique work in electronic music with a second record, The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, and now, music for Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange. Since his early youth, Carolos (born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1939), displayed a strong interest in both music and scientific technology: at the precocious age of 10 he composed a Trio for Clarinet, Accordion and Piano, and four years later constructed a small computer. When he was 17 years old he assembled an electronic music studio and produced his first electronic musical composition which utilized sounds created and manipulated on tape recorders. As a student at Brown University (1958-1962), Carlos studied music and physics and taught electronic music at informal sessions; later at Columbia University (1962-1965), he did extensive at the Columbia-Princeton electronic music center. During that period, Carlos assisted Leonard Bernstein in a concert of electronic music at Philharmonic Hall Lincoln Center, and also saw two of his scores, Dialogue for Piano and Two Loudspeakers and Variations for Flute and Electronic Sound, commercially recorded. Intending to develop an electronic sound producer which could validly be termed a musical instrument, Carlos began a collaboration with engineer Robert Moog in 1966. The result was a prototype of Carlos' special synthesizer on which he performed and recorded his realizations of Bach and other composers and his music for A Clockwork Orange."

1972

1972: Neil Young issues classic album, Harvest.

1972: Rolling Stones issue album Exile on Main Street

1972: September: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band with some help from Frank Zappa's band release Some Time In New York City. One track is Happy Xmas War Is Over.

1972: Rolling Stones issue album Exile on Main Street.

1972: bluepin1.gif - 947 BytesAt 2TM Tamworth, plans are developed to make a series of award presentations for country music songwriters, performing artists and notable recordings, a prelude to January 1973 and the beginnings of the Australasian Country Music Awards system.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)

1972: Neil Young issues classic album, Harvest.

1973

1973: Pink Floyd issue classic album, Dark Side of the Moon.

January 1973: Staging in Tamworth of the first Australasian Country Music Awards.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)

1973: April: Paul McCartney talks of a possible Beatles re-union, fruitlessly as it happens. Ringo one month before had said any such thing was impossible. Around this time, McCartney is writing theme song Live and Let Die for a James Bond movie of same name.

1973: Spanish cellist, conductor and composer Pablo Casals dies in Puerto Rico, aged 96.

bluepin1.gif - 947 Bytes20 October 1973: Queen Elizabeth II opens new Sydney Opera House.

1973: Release of phenomenally successful album Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. It sells 30 million copies to 2003 and is re-released on its 30th anniversary. It was produced in 38 working days, before a tour, and is seen as "a classic in the craft of rock 'n" roll recording" by Noel Mengel in Brisbane's Courier-Mail writing in 2003.

1973: The Early 1970s: Tom Waits becomes a cult-figure musician for his early albums such as Closing Time and The Heart of Saturday Night. (Tom Waits once said, "The beauty of show business is you can still have a career after you're dead." Also, the line is attributed to Waits, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy", which he uttered on a 1977 TV show. He also produced the line, "Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends." Waits once arranged an extraordinary (and strangely sad) version of the famous Australian song, Waltzing Matilda. It is said of Waits ("a prince of melancholy"), that he "uses his vignettes as platforms for wry and truthful observations about the cavity of desperation and disillusionment beneath the bravura of American life", treating as Gavin Martin once wrote (in UK magazine, Uncut), "a phantasmagorical American dreamscape" of bars, dime stores, carnivals and B-grade movies. Waits was born on 7 December 1949 in Pomona, California. In 1983 he released the album, Swordfish-trombones.

1973: Pink Floyd issue classic album, Dark Side of the Moon. (Later voted one of Australia's favourite albums of all time in a 2006 poll conducted by ABC TV.)


1973: Multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield issues his long LP, Tubular Bells taken up for distribution by Richard Branson at Virgin Records and sells 16 million. Followed by Tubular Bells II and III.


1973: November: Lennon, Harrison and Starr as three former Beatles sue management agent Allen Klein. Matters not exactly settled till 1977.

1973: Lou Reed from New York releases new album, a third solo album, Berlin, which was once branded “the most depressing album ever” (that is, from anyone). Later, Reed issued a “famously unlistenable album”, Mean Machine Music (1975). In 2003 he released The Raven. Reed often aims, he has said, to issue his listener a challenge: “My primary thing has always been to spark an emotion in the listener that they might not be prepared for ...” He certainly did that for certain people this website knew in 1971, with Walk on the The Wild Side.

1974

1974: John Denver issues now-classic album, Back Home Again.

1974: Jamaican reggae maestro Bob Marley issues album, No Woman No Cry. See later book by his widow, Rita Marley, No Woman, No Cry. Sidgwick and Jackson, 2004, 209pp.

Abba: Week ending 9 April 2004: It is now 30 years since ABBA won the Eurovision song contest with Waterloo. Make that 1974 then!

1974: June: Former Beatle George Harrison forms his own recording company, Dark Horse.

1974: July: Holding of first-ever Boston Beatle Convention. A little later, another such event is promoted by Sid Bernstein (who had promoted some US 1960s Beatles appearances, and who in 1975 became American manager for Bay City Rollers).

1974: Appointment by 2TM Tamworth of Sydney PR manager David Douglas, who works with metropolitan media outlets to promote the Tamworth country music festival till 1995.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)

1974: John Denver issues now-classic album, Back Home Again.


1974: Jamaican reggae maestro Bob Marley issues album, No Woman No Cry.


1974: Follows a gem of "music genre writing": On Lou Reed - "Recorded live in the same year he released Berlin, his Brechtian trawl through a demimonde of drug use, physical abuse, suicide and general nihilism, Rock 'n' Roll Animal was Lou reed's comedy album by comparison. Gone were the playfully ambiguous trappings of Transformer, his solo debut; Reed's stage persona was now all skin-tight leather, dog collar, close-cropped skull and pre-Goth make-up, equal parts S&M menace, hollow-cheeked glam and heroin chic. Animal kicks off with, of all things, an overture. Reed's band preferred to understate it as an Intro, four minutes of highly orchestrated dual guitar interplay that leads into one of rock's truly great chord progressions, Sweet Jane. The album's centrepiece follows, an epic song from Reed's Velvet Underground past and probably his most controversial Heroin. Vilified at the time for acting out its subject matter onstage, he still makes no apology and insists he never set out to glorify heroin use. But Reed hardly discriminated when it came to drugs; this album also contains the Velvet's White Light/White Heat, his paen to speed. That he's still with us 30 years on suggests it was all, in fact, part of the act.
(From Phil Stafford in Culture Vulture section of Weekend Australian Magazine, 6-7 March 2004)

You can find an excellent music-and-recording history timeline at: http://history.acusd.edu/gen/recording/notes.html -

1974: Ex-Beatle George Harrison tours Canada and US.

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1975

1975, January: Tour of Australia by Rod Stewart and The Faces (The Small Faces?) cancelled due to Stewart'a decision to go solo.

1975: January: Bands appearing in Melbourne on New Year´s Day include: Split Enz, Lobby Lloyd, Spo-Dee-O-Dee, the Pelaco Brothers, Mandu, Jo Jo Zep, and Razzle Dazzle. Who knows how many of these musicians are still musicians in 2005? (Jo Jo is actually Joe Camalleri, the saxophonist with the Pelaco Brothers – and early in the C21st he is still going strong.)

1975: Tamworth: Establishment of Country Capital News (a monthly tabloid newspaper) as part of further promotion of Tamworth country music festival.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)

1975: Debut album for The Patti Smith Group, Horses, produced by John Cale, a member of the Velvet Underground. This album was in punk mode before the mode really began to seize New York and London and was preceded by a single, Hey Joe/Piss Factory (1974). Patti Smith albums following included Radio Ethiopia (1976), Easter (1978) and Dream of Life (1988)

1975: Death of US singer Tim Buckley, aged 28. Buckley's legacy lives on today, still providing inspiration. He was originally from Washington DC, and began his career singing in the folk clubs of Los Angeles, where he was discovered by Herbie Cohen, manager of Frank Zappa's band, Mothers of Invention. Buckley later signed to US folk label, Elektra Records. Some of Buckley's songs which crossed the folk-rock divide were co-written with Larry Beckett.


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1975: New Musical Express Book of Rock declares that: "The band (Paul McCartney and Wings) has gone on to become the most commercially successful of all Beatles 'solo' projects."

1975: Appearance of Jeff Beck's album, Blow by Blow, in which, and already regarded as one of the truly great rock guitarists, Beck attempted to outline a new genre, jazz-funk, a seamless fusion of jazz with rock. Album produced by George Martin who produced The Beatles.

1976

1976: Australian national broadcaster ABC launches new FM station, which carries jazz program, Jazztracks, presented by Jim McLeod 1976 to his retirement in 2004 as ABC radio's longest-serving employee.

1976: Tamworth: Establishment of Roll of Renown (a set of granite boulders for the placement of commemorative plaques) as part of further promotion of Tamworth country music festival. Roll of Renown was located to the front of 2TM's premises on Goonoo Goonoo Road, Tamworth.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)

1976: Death of British composer Benjamin Britten, composer of the operas Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and Death in Venice.

1976: Australian national broadcaster ABC launches new FM station, which carries jazz program, Jazztracks, presented by Jim McLeod 1976 to his retirement in 2004 as ABC radio's longest-serving employee.

1977

1977: New York: Recording of Beatles' song, Free As A Bird, later remixed in England in 1994 - basically a demo tape left behind by John.


1977: Fleetwood Mac release top-seller album Rumours. This year they tour Australia.

1977: Tamworth: Establishment of Hands of Fame (artists' handprints set in concrete) as part of further promotion of Tamworth's country music festival.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)

16 August 1977: Death of Elvis Presley. His last live performance was on 25 June 1977 in Indianapolis. He was at the time said to be horrified by the impending publication date of an expose book on him by three of his ex-bodyguards and various of the "Memphis mafiosi". It was published on 12 August, four days before he died.

1978

1978: Willie Nelson issues CM classic album, Stardust.

1978: (From one of HotM's favourite emailers) The building of the Sydney Entertainment Centre, completed at a final cost of $43 million in the early 1980's, was triggered by heavy rain on an Abba concert in 1978 at Randwick Racecourse. Fact not hearsay - all the mummies and daddies got wet, so it is said.


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1978: Computing history: Electronics companies, mostly Japanese, gather to consider standards for encoding sound digitally, with Sony and Phillips leading, resulting in the CD (Part of the effort was the need to find a way to make video disks as an alternative to video cassettes.) The use of the laser beam as suggested by Phillips won the technical battle. An early computer CD disc drive is developed by Mitsumi. The Soundblaster Card later becomes an industry standard for multimedia computers.

Whatever happened to Ken Brumby?: Rummaging in its old archives, HoTM comes across a story on a bushman become singer/songwriter, Ken Brumby, whom we remember hearing. Aged 39, Brumby after busking around Melbourne has recently released an album, Yesterday's Blue following as link-up with Terry Dean of Image Music. Brumby at this time had a second album planned, to be "all bush ballads". By 2004 he has not been heard of for years.
(From The Age newspaper, 23 September 1978, story by Margaret Geddes)

1978: Willie Nelson issues CM classic album, Stardust.

1979

1979: Australian rockers AC/DC issue album, Highway to Hell.

1979: Tamworth: Establishment of National Bluegrass Championships (Banjo, Fiddle and Flat Pick Guitar) as part of further expansion of Tamworth country music festival.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)


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1979: Tamworth: Establishment of Star Maker Quest as part of further expansion of official elements of the Tamworth country music festival.
(Milestone in history/development of Tamworth, the Country Music Capital of Australia)

1979-4 July 2003: Dali dream comes true in Spain: Famed surrealist painter Salvador Dali (d. 1989) at the end of the 1970s dreamt up a surrealist organ, a giant organ which would be played by the wind. This would be heard by the people of the Ampurdan region, as played by the fierce tramontane wind from their north. Locals say this wind can drive people mad. Design problems set in due to the wind's irregularity, however. Engineers set to work to try to develop "a wind accumulator". The wind would blow into the organ via a huge funnel, then channelled past a pressure regulator to be blasted out of the organ 500 pipes. Feasibility studies have been carried out by engineers at Ramon Llull University at Barcelona, and two prototypes produced. Three local entrepreneurs have funded the venture. German organist Wolfgang Seifen is now working on special compositions for the organ, and an inaugural concert was set for 6 September, 2004. The surreal organ will possibly be housed in the ruined 10th-century castle of Quermanco in Vilajuiga, a village near Dali's birthplace of Figueras, which castle Dali had once tried to buy. Dali also wanted to see a domesticated rhinoceros guarding the hilltop housing the organ. (Domesticated? - Ed)

1979: New York: John Lennon records a basic-unfinished demo in mono of song Real Love, which Yoko Ono in 1994 gives to the remaining Beatles, which in February 1995 is rehandled in England as a proper "Beatles track". With the re-handling, Paul played electric bass and added extra from a stand-up double bass actually used by Bill Black on Presley's Heartbreak Hotel.

1979, Australian rockers AC/DC issue album, Highway to Hell.


Year in review: Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler, Encyclopedia of Jazz in the 70s. 1987.


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1980

1980: Computing history: December, Apple Computers is worth approx $1.8 billion. Appearance of Softcard. Re Bill Gates developing a BASIC program for Atari computers run by Ray Kassar, to assist with developing video games. Atari computers are taking advantage of inattention by Fairlight, an Australian company, and later becomes popular with musicians using MIDI, taking much of the market.

8 December, 1980, Ex-Beatle John Lennon is shot in New York outside his Dakota apartment. (Why discrepant dates arising?)

10 December, 1980: Famed rock musician and ex-Beatle, John Lennon, aged 40, shot dead from the back by Chapman. Lennon said, "I'm shot", and Yoko said, "Someone help me, someone help me".


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In review: 1968-1980 - Major period of career of Led Zeppelin, the band credited with inventing heavy metal music. Drummer John Bonham's death in 1980 ended the band.


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For useful lists of songs songs songs by year. etc – and very impressive – see compilations at (well, once available at): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Songs_by_year -




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