The 11 best songs from 1973, by Mikko Von Hertzen

1973 – or MCMLXXIII, if you’re a Roman – was a pivotal year for rock.

It saw debut releases from Aerosmith and Queen (both self-titled), as well Pink Floyd’s epic The Dark Side Of The Moon.

Mikko Von Hertzen of the Von Hertzen Brothers picks the 11 best songs from this golden 12-month period.

AEROSMITH – Dream On (Aerosmith, 1973)
“This song is nothing short of magical for me. So much longing and beauty. Every time I hear it, it takes me back to a certain point… I had a serious crush on a girl and tried to woo her with this song. But she was into one of my pals. I still connect this song with the emptiness and hurt I felt.”

FREE – Wishing Well (Heartbreaker, 1973)
“I remember my big brother Kie listening to this one and learning the licks. One of his friends had recorded Heartbreaker together with their previous album, Free at Last, on a 90-minute tape. Out of those two amazing albums, I took only this song to my mix tape. I was very proud of my double-deck cassette player recorder and spent my time recording all these cool tracks to listen to on my Walkman. This is my favourite Free song. I especially adore the breakdown, ‘…but I know what you’re wishing for – love in a peaceful world’.

PINK FLOYD – Time (The Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973)
Dark Side of the Moon is the desert island album for me. I could have picked any of the songs on that album, but for a kid, Time was so very cool with its threatening ticking of clocks in the beginning. I know Pink Floyd’s music is not often talked about as a dark entity but rather a psychedelic band, but for me it has always been a little dark.”

LED ZEPPELIN – The Rain Song (Houses Of The Holy, 1973)
“In my opinion, this is not just a song. When you listen to it, you’ll experience an unexplainable beauty which can be only described as spiritual. It’s like a huge painting with immeasurable depth and so many details. They say the music you listen to when you’re 18 to 20 years old, becomes the music you love for the rest of your life. Well, this song truly was “the sunlight in my growing” (not groin).”

NAZARETH – Razamanaz (Razamanaz, 1973)
“This, along with some later AC/DC songs, is one of my favourite rock songs of all time. The riff is outrageously cool. And the attitude of Dan McCafferty’s vocals is something between spitting, nagging and singing. It’s punk rock in its early stages. I love how it feels like the whole band is on the edge all the time.”

QUEEN – Liar (Queen, 1973)
“This is trademark early Queen – an amazing composition with great harmonies. Queen as a band has been very influential to us. Liar kicks off with one intro after another and then when Freddie comes in with the vocals, the song has already gone through many mood changes. Simply brilliant.”

**ZZ TOP – La Grange (Tres Hombres, 1973)
**“Southern Rock. Our dad. The groove of this song so kick ass. I still remember the moment our father brought the green LP from Texas. Tres Hombres must be the best boogie record ever made. Later on, when we opened for ZZ Top in Helsinki, our father brought his Passport of Texas with him, which he wanted Billy [Gibbons] to sign. Billy not only signed the little book but also drew himself in it. Our father was a happy fellow.”

THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND - Ramblin’ Man (Brothers and Sisters, 1973)
“This song was one of the summer soundtrack songs of our childhood. One of our father’s favourite records, he always played this while driving us to the summer cottage. Along with The Eagles, the Allman Brothers contributed a lot to how we build our songs and the harmonies for the melodies.”

**THE WHO – 5:15 (Quadrophenia, 1973)
**“Out of The Who’s magical movies, I especially got into Quadrophenia. The movie, with it’s oddities, was so psychedelic and intriguing. It was also the first peek into the mod culture for us Helsinki youngsters. Also, visiting Brighton became a must after seeing this movie. Hardly any other movie has made me want to visit a place so badly.”

ALICE COOPER – No More Mr. Nice Guy (Billion Dollar Babies, 1973)
“I think I was a little afraid of Alice when I was a kid. He was this scary and intimidating guy. I hung his poster on the wall and my parents didn’t like that at all. Exactly how Alice wanted it!”

BLACK SABBATH – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, 1973)
“I still remember the first time I heard this. I was at my friends house and I immediately wanted to copy it on a cassette, since his parents had this cool sound system you could record stuff with. Sabbath was scary and rough. Just the way I liked my music when I was 13. Still do.”

Von Hertzen Brothers’ album New Day Rising is out now. For more information, visit the band’s official website.