Greatest Albums Of The 70s: 42-32
From Khan and Procol Harum to Dr Feelgood and Status Quo, our 70s countdown continues
Our Greatest Albums Of The 70s, numbers 42 to 32.
42) SPACE SHANTY – Khan (Deram, 1972)
The only album recorded by the short-lived Canterbury-scene band whose principal players were guitarist Steve Hillage and former Egg/future Hatfield And The North keyboard whizz Dave Stewart, Space Shanty is buried treasure. Musicianly, at times heavyweight, at others spacey or jazzy, it’s a true 70s prog classic that deserves to be known by more than just the genre’s know-it-alls. The playing of Hillage and Stewart in particular is highly accomplished, although heard today the occasionally cringeworthy lyrics and some space-cadet song titles – try Stranded (Including Effervescent Psycho Novelty No. 5 or Space Shanty (Including ‘The Cobalt Sequence’ And ‘March Of The Sine Squadrons’) for size – might deter the more earth-bound punter.
41) GRAND HOTEL – Procol Harum (Chrysalis, 1973)
All you really need to know about Grand Hotel is that the epic immensity of its title track’s choir, orchestra, soaring guitar solo and kitchen sink-encumbered mid-section inspired Douglas Adams to conceive The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Obviously, ear‑witnesses of less vision condemned the Procols’ ever-expanding conceptual immensity, but there’s an album’s worth of ear-bleeding pomp crammed into every single stanza.
What they said at the time: “Grand Hotel is a collection of overblown production jobs that at their worst approach self-parody, and simpler, less grandiose tracks that suggest Procol Harum may yet find a way out.” Rolling Stone