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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


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