DJ Wax’s Favorite Albums Turning 50 in 2023

With the arrival of 2023, more classics of the early ’70s are reaching five decades. Here’s a look at DJ Wax’s Personal Favorites from 1973.


Tyler Weatherwax

The year of 1973 was a pretty great year for music and had some great albums. Of course, there are plenty of well-known and well-respected albums coming out of this year, but this list is a look at some of my personal favorites. My favorite genre of music is rock’ n roll, and the early 1970s was a great time for that genre.

“Goats Head Soup” by the the Rolling Stones – Released Aug. 31, 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Angie,” “Star Star” and “Coming Down Again”

One of the biggest British Invasion bands of the 1960s, the Rolling Stones were already well-established by 1973. The Rolling Stones were hot off their double album, “Exile on Main Street,” and were looking to create something that could match up with their latest masterpiece. The album is able to go from swinging, moody and bluesy rockers like “Dancing with Mr. D,” “Silver Train,” and “Star Star” to slow and delicate ballads such as “Coming Down Again,” “Angie” and “Winter.” The album offers a lot of what made the Rolling Stones so captivating to audiences 50 years ago and still to this day. The album featured what many consider to be the standard Rolling Stones lineup as well as Mick Taylor, who adds a lot to this album on guitar. The lyrics also touches on a lot of personal issues, such as substance abuse and past lovers.

“Band on the Run” by Wings – Released Dec. 5, 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Band on the Run,” Jet” and “Let Me Roll It”

Paul McCartney of the Beatles had been trying his best to create a career and a name for himself and his new band after the Beatles had fallen apart in 1970. “Band on the Run” is considered by many to be the best Wings album. The effort was led by Paul McCartney, whose time with the Beatles had expired only three years before he found himself facing a new issue with his newest band. Right before leaving for Nigeria to record the album, two of his primary band members decided to leave Wings. Despite having a much smaller band, McCartney delivered hard work along with his remaining bandmates to create a classic album. The album features great love songs such as “Let Me Roll It” and “No Words,” as well as some amazing rockers such as “Jet,” “Band on the Run” and “Nineteen-Hundred and Eighty-Five.” The songs on this album show off a great effort by talented musicians in a tough spot that still holds up.

“Living in the Material World” by George Harrison – Released May 30, 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Living in the Material World,” “Give Me Love” and “Sue Me, Sue You Blues”

Another Beatle to make this list, George Harrison’s second album of his solo career after the Beatles is one that has some really charming songs on it. His 1970 album, “All Things Must Pass,” was a massive hit and although this album may not match up as well, it should not be overlooked. The opening track, “Give Me Love,” is an inspiring and hopeful song for world peace that also happens to have a nice upbeat feel to it. Harrison has always been an advocate for using more foreign instruments and trading in his guitar for a sitar. This album continues his use of different instruments than what’s common on a rock album. The song “Living in the Material World” is a great example of his unique sound. Harrison’s inspiration for the song “Sue Me, Sue You Blues” came from the Beatles’ own legal troubles following the nasty split. This album is hard to compare to Harrison’s first album, but it’s still a nice and easy listen to enjoy on its 50th anniversary.

“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath – Released Dec. 1, 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” Killing Yourself to Live” and “A National Acrobat”

Arguably one of metal’s greatest albums by one of metal’s greatest bands. This album delivers that itch for a dark, angry and loud album. However, even the Prince of Darkness can have a soft side. The album’s title song is heavy, distorted and yet soft in the middle. The acoustic guitars sprinkled in is one of my favorite parts of this song with a heavy and screamed filled conclusion. The song “Killing Yourself to Live” is a great introspective piece with lyrics like “You work your life and what do they give you?” Another metal classic is the song “A National Acrobat,” which just scratches that loud, angry itch you look for in a metal song once again. This metal album does have some softer moments with the acoustic-focused instrumental, “Fluff,” which makes me feel like sitting back in the sun and soaking it all in, as well as the song “Spiral Architect,” which includes some interesting strings on a metal album. Fun fact: Black Sabbath guitarist, Tony Lommi, actually has the tip of his fingers missing, which only adds to the impressive skill of his playing on this album.

“Bio” by Chuck Berry* – Released August 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Bio,” “Woodpecker” and “Got it and Gone”

The “father of rock ‘n’ roll” may be best known for his hits in the 1950s, but one album of his that turns 50 this year is a great piece of music. The album’s title song, “Bio,” tells the story of Chuck Berry from Chuck Berry in his own words. The song touches on his childhood, early success and his career up until that point. Another one of my favorites off this album is the song “Woodpecker.” The tune has a great reggae feel to it and shows off some of the dynamics of Chuck Berry’s guitar playing and style. This album manages to balance itself well with both slow blues and groovy rockers. One of these rockers is “Got It and Gone,” which is just a great little boogie. The guitar playing on this album has that classic Berry sound that you can expect from him, but he’s also able to modernize it a bit more. Bio has always been an album that I like to touch back on. It’s a nice easy listen, clocking in at only half an hour, and just a great little blues album with some fantastic songs.
*KCSU does not support Chuck Berry or his actions.

“Aerosmith” by Aerosmith – Released Jan. 5, 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Dream On,” “Walkin’ the Dog” and “Write Me a Letter”

A recent revival of “Dream On” has had many people going back to this powerhouse debut album. Their first album also delivered this massive hit for them, which helped launch Aerosmith’s career and status. A great cover of Rufus Thomas’s classic groovy blues song, “Walkin’ the Dog,” is on this album and offers a unique take on it. The song has been covered plenty of times, but the use of a flute in Aerosmith’s version of it adds a great piece of originality. The album shows off some of 1973s best guitar playing, with bluesy and catchy riffs that have caught the attention of my ear and many others for the past 50 years. This album may not be everyone’s go-to, but is one that I feel still holds up to this day if you enjoy some good old rocking out. Long, shaggy hair is ideal to shake your head to along with this album.

“Red Rose Speedway” by Wings – Released April 30, 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Big Earn Bed,” “My Love” and “When the Night”

Another album from Paul McCartney and Wings that made this list, as Wings were able to produce two of their best albums in the same year of 1973. “Red Rose Speedway” has some really fun classic McCartney tunes on it which reminds us that he’s proven himself even more. It’s a ballad-heavy album that features touching tunes such as “My Love,” “One More Kiss,” “Little Lamb Butterfly,” “Single Pigeon” and “When the Night.” A couple of these romantic songs (“My Love” and “When the Night”) stand out to me. This album still offers a few rockers, with “Big Barn Bed” being a highlight of mine.

“The Marshall Tucker Band” by the Marshall Tucker Band – Released April 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Can’t You See,” Take the Highway” and “Ramblin'”

A great country-rock album that adds a little twang to this list has some really enjoyable songs. The great thing about this album that makes it so easy to go back to for me is its ability to take rock n’ roll and add some country to it without adding too much, something that really makes it stand out. The organ and flute playing on this album also adds a lot of flavor to the tracks. The flute solo on “Take the Highway” as well as the driving steady beat behind it is a great use of an out-of-the-ordinary instrument for a rock song. The Marshall Tucker Band also has their biggest hit on this album with “Can’t You See,” which tells a beautiful yet sad love story that can really hit you in the heart. Overall, the album is just a great mix between more country songs such as “Losing You,” “Hillbilly Band” and “See You Later, I’m Gone,” as well as some serious rockers like “Everyday,” “Take the Highway” and “Ramblin’.”

“(Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)” by Lynyrd Skynyrd – Released Aug. 13, 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Free Bird,” “Simple Man” and “Tuesday’s Gone”

The debut album of this powerhouse band of the 1970s is filled with some major hits and deep cuts. Another country-rock band that really knows how to make you tap your foot entered the music scene hot. This debut album helped launch their musical machine and take them to success on the billboard. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s breakthrough, nine-minute-long hit, “Free Bird,” features a face-melting guitar solo that takes you on a wild ride. The song starts off slow and thoughtful, and ends with an astonishing, roughly four-minute-long guitar solo that takes you on a million-mile-per-hour ride that doesn’t feel like it drags on by any means. Some more soothing tracks include the heartfelt “Simple Man” and the somber “Tuesday’s Gone.” Their country side shines with tracks like “Mississippi Kid ” and “Thing’s Goin’.” Just because “Free Bird” may take the spotlight doesn’t mean there aren’t some more fantastic rock n’ roll songs featured. “I Ain’t the One,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and “Poison Whiskey” are all satisfying bluesy rockers that keep you happy even before the album’s climatic end.

Brothers and Sisters by the Allman Brother Band – Released August 1973 – Highlighted Tracks: “Ramblin Man,” “Jessica” and “Wasted Words”

The final album for this list is another southern rocker. The Allman Brothers Band were already on a roll with hit songs like “Whipping Post,” “Midnight Rider,” and “Melissa.” This band was on a roll, and this album kept that streak alive. “Brothers and Sisters” features some fantastic crying guitars that wail with a heavy blues backbeat of bass and drums. Lyrics touch on subjects like being on the road without a place to stay or returning south to home. The track, “Ramblin’ Man,” is a great sing-along with some really bluesy southern guitars. Black and white keys ring in the back of this song and help add to the track and support the guitars. “Jessica” is an instrumental track that somehow still tells a love story through the use of a great piano jam and some seriously-good six string plucking. An overall great southern rock album.

DJ Wax is live on KCSUFM every Friday from midnight-1 a.m. for “Rockin at Midnight” and Friday from 2-3 p.m. with DJ BMO on “On the Corner of Jazz and Rock”
More articles, podcasts, interviews and more on KCSU music can be found here.