A Blast from the Past: Classic Rock Feb.1970

“We’re all awash in a sea of blood, and the least we can do is wave to each other.” John Minton

Feb. 1970 (Year and month that I was born)

February 11  – The film The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, is premiered in New York City. The film’s soundtrack album, including Badfinger’s “Come and Get It” (written and produced by Paul McCartney), is released on Apple Records.

February 13Black Sabbath release their self titled debut album in England.
The album cover features a depiction of Mapledurham Watermill, situated on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England. Standing in front of the watermill is a figure dressed in black. The silhouette of a raven is visible among the trees on the back cover.

On the original release, the inner gate-fold sleeve featured an inverted cross with a poem written inside of it.Allegedly, the band were upset when they discovered this, as it fueled allegations that they were Satanists or Occultists; however, in Osbourne’s recent biography, “I Am Ozzy”, he says that to the best of his knowledge nobody was upset with the inclusion.

“The Wizard” was inspired by the character of Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings.

February 14The Who records Live At Leeds in Yorkshire, England.

The Grateful Dead plays an equally historic concert on the same date at the Fillmore East, New York City

Burnt Weeny Sandwich – The Mothers of Invention

The LP included a large triple-folded black and white poster (“The Mothers Of Invention Sincerely Regret To Inform You”)

“Igor’s Boogie” is a reference to a major Zappa influence, composer Igor Stravinsky.
The album’s rather unusual title, Zappa would later say in an interview, comes from an actual snack that he enjoyed eating, consisting of a burnt Hebrew National hot dog sandwiched between two pieces of bread with mustard.

Moondance – Van Morrison

The single released was “Come Running” with “Crazy Love” as the B-side, which peaked at #39 on the Pop Singles chart.

In its original vinyl release, the album cover folds out, revealing A Fable, a short tale written by Morrison’s then wife, Janet Planet.

The fable pertains to a young man and his gifts.The album cover was taken from a photograph by Elliot Landy, the official 1969 Woodstock Festival photographer.

Atomic Roooster – Atomic Roooster

“Banstead” (Crane/Graham/Palmer) 3:29

Vincent Crane: Hammond organ, piano, backing vocals
Carl Palmer: drums, percussion
Nick Graham: bass guitar, vocals, flute
John Du Cann: guitar and vocals on tracks overdubbed for US release

February 17Joni Mitchell announces that she is retiring from live performances, following her show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. She would be back performing concerts within a year.

The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other – Van der Graaf Generator

Recorded at Trident Studios, London, 11–14 December 1969.

Trident was one of the most advanced studios in all of Europe at the time. Most of the album was recorded on an 8-track reel to reel machine.

However, the song After The Flood was recorded on a new state of the art 16-track recorder. It was one of the first such 16 track recordings made in the U.K

The title is taken from artist John Minton: “We’re all awash in a sea of blood, and the least we can do is wave to each other.”



Morrison Hotel – The Doors

The cover photo was taken at the actual Morrison Hotel located at 1246 South Hope Street in Los Angeles. The band asked the owners if they could photograph the hotel and they declined, so the band went inside when nobody was looking and took the photograph.

February 23 – Ringo Starr appears on the television show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.

Shazam – The Move


Like Led Zeppelin’s debut album, “Shazam” was basically a snippet of the Birmingham group’s 1969 stage act captured on vinyl. A crunchy mix of California psychedelia, heavy metal riffs, thundering drums and quotations from classic composers, the disc was generally praised by critics — “Rolling Stone” gave a glowing review in the spring of that year—and is generally regarded as the band’s best LP.

Roy Wood – lead vocals, guitars; keyboards.
Bev Bevan – drums.
Carl Wayne – lead vocals; guitars.
Rick Price – vocals, bass.
Tony Visconti – bass on “Beautiful Daughter”

Sweet Baby James – James Taylor

The album featured one of Taylor’s earliest single successes: “Fire and Rain“, which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song “Suite for 20 G” was so named because Taylor was promised $20,000 once the album was delivered. With one more song needed, he strung together three unfinished songs into a “suite,” and completed the album

Black Gold – Nina Simone

Black Gold is a live album by Jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone recorded in 1969 at the Philharmonic Hall, New York.

“To Be Young Gifted And Black“, Nina wrote this song, with lyrics by Weldon Irvine in memory of her late friend Lorraine Hansberry, writer of Raisin in the Sun.


 “It is not addressed to white people primarily. Though it doesn’t put you down in any way…it simply ignores you. For my people need all the inspiration and love that they can get.”  Nina

February 27Jefferson Airplane is fined $1,000 for using profanity during a concert in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

February 28Led Zeppelin perform in Copenhagen under the pseudonym The Nobs, to avoid a threatened lawsuit by Count Eva von Zeppelin, descendant of airship designer Ferdinand von Zeppelin.



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