The 1970’s – We put the “wretched” in “wretched excess”

It’s Friday, and my give a krep index is at an all time low. Sitting here at my desk in the fluorescent hum of my Dark Corporate Lair, I’m in no mood to be productive. So I think I will just sit here sipping coffee and listening to music because there’s no one around to stop me.

Take that shareholders.

Every morning on my drive to work, 89.3 The Current has a feature called “random vinyl” where the DJ’s bring in an obscure record from their collection and play something you wouldn’t expect. This morning’s feature was a truly awful song from Kiss’ first album.

As a child of the 70’s, I have a strange attraction/revulsion to 1970’s culture. Nowhere is this revulsion stronger than in the music of Kiss. Whether it was their schlocky, cliched guitar solos, the ridiculous platform shoes, or the clown make up






I was born old before my time. While the kids of the 70’s were indulging themselves in things like Kiss, and Disco, I was listening to my big bruddah’s Beatles Albums, and Neil Young. My musical tastes were formed by digging through his record collection and listening to anything and everything, and seeing what I liked.

Like – The Beatles, Pure Prairie League, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Jackson Brown, Boston (embarrassed to admit that last one, but I was 10 people, cut me slack)

Meh – Grateful Dead, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Elton John, Earth Wind & Fire…

Later in the 70’s, my Bratty Big Sis’ even chipped in some…Cheap Trick (like), and Van Halen (dislike)

Now, his collection was far from complete. There was a lot of 70’s music that I just never heard until people started “re-discovering” it in the 80’s and 90’s and claiming it as the inspiration for punk and alternative music. That’s when I finally heard stuff like Big Star, Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople, Iggy Pop, Graham Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers…

From a distance of 20, 30, 40 years, it’s a lot easier to laugh off the ridiculous fashion, and “rawk star” excess that encrusted these albums like a bunch of glittery barnacles. I can look past the costumes and posing, and just listen to the music and enjoy it for what it is. Like sugary RC Cola, Pop Rocks, and Bubble Yum, it may be bad for you, but it still feels good.

Except for Kiss.





Here’s some sparkly, itchy 70’s music for your weekend. Deal with it.


20 thoughts on “The 1970’s – We put the “wretched” in “wretched excess”

  1. Glittery and itchy? Are you talking about my ladybits??

    I’ve never understood KISS. Nor that young, hot (energy drink?) model that was “filmed” with the old. wrinkly singer guy.

    I also don’t understand Mick Jagger. He repulses me. However, I do have the moves like Jagger.

    In case you weren’t sure.

  2. We need to talk.
    Regardless of my tendancy to be a bit of a music snob at times I have a confession to make.
    During several Halloween outings for a number of years I donned the face makeup, black spandex and glittery platform shoes of one Ace Frehley while my cousin suited up as Peter Criss.
    Kiss Alive II was my first album bought with milk money.
    Now recant.

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