Zig Zag Magazine Readers Poll for Most Played Album 1974

Zig Zag Magazine Readers Poll for Most Played Album 1974
Authored By John Nicholson

This was done in mid-1974. I guess Zig Zag’s audience was 16-25 long-hairs, rockers and freaks, possibly mostly in college, even so, it’s surprising to see three Beefheart albums in this top 10, especially Trout Mask Replica which can easily be filed under ‘Difficult Music.’

Another thing that stands out is how old these records already were. Nothing in the top 10 was released after 1970, when you think of the epoch making records that were released from 1970 - 1974, that’s quite amazing. No room for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin etc.

I was only 13 at the time so couldn’t have any nostalgia for the late 60s, but I do wonder if there was a feeling amongst those in their mid to late 20s in the USA especially, that the glory days were already over. Love’s classic album topping the listening suggests that there was already a wistful looking back to the summer of love.

I suppose there was, by 1974, a realisation that big business was buying up the cultural hippie real estate and selling it back to those who raised it for a good profit. 

It didn’t take long for big business to start milking the youthful desire for a revolution of body and mind. So if you came up on the Whole Earth Cookbook and counterculture values of the mid to late 60s, came up believing that all you did need was love and that the bomber jet planes in the sky really might turn into butterflies across the nation, then by 1974 you probably realised that it was all a beautiful hippie dream but not one that was going to happen, or at least, it was going to be a lot longer and harder to achieve and, as the history books tell it, so people preferred to take the private revolution route instead. 

Entirely understandable. If you lived through the LSD years and really breathed it into your DNA, there’s only so long you can keep running down that road before you burn out and need some time to get your head together and regroup. Perhaps this chart reflects that pause for consideration of where we had been, where we were and where we were going.  

  1. Forever Changes - Love
  2. Trout Mask Replica - Capt Beefheart
  3. Notorious Byrd Brothers - Byrds
  4. Moondance - Van Morrison
  5. American Beauty - Grateful Dead
  6. Clear Spot - Capt Beefheart
  7. Hot Rats - Zappa
  8. Safe As Milk - Capt Beefheart
  9. Liege & Lief - Fairport Convention
  10. Electric Ladyland - Hendrix

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