When Rolled Gold was initially released in 1975, there was no shortage of Rolling Stone compilations — hell, there were two others released that year, the useful Decca/London-era rarities compilation Metamorphosis and the slapped-together Rolling Stones Records singles comp Made in the Shade, containing the American singles released on Rolling Stones Records in the early ’70s, along with assorted album tracks.
Sweet struggled to earn credibility as album artists and/or score hits after finally wresting themselves free of songwriting/production team Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman in the summer of 1974. They turned out a few albums before achieving both goals with Level Headed. The album gave them their final Top Ten hit with the dreamy “Love Is Like Oxygen,” a single that suggested that its accompanying record was a trippy mainstream pop record. Instead, it was one part of an ambitious sonic mosaic where Sweet tried a little bit of everything, cloaking it all in a neo-prog aesthetic.
Al Stewart had found his voice on Past, Present & Future and found his sound on Modern Times. He then perfected it all on 1976’s Year of the Cat, arguably his masterpiece.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
AFFINITY was a short-lived band that released one album and one single in 1970 and then spilt up. They were a highly regarded band and looked upon with much promise as the one of the new wave of jazz-rock fusion artists. With an effective blend of folk, jazz, soul, blues, and rudiments of modern-day psychedelia and progressive rock, it simply was not fair to put them into any one classification of music. With the powerful vocals of Linda Hoyle leading the way, it looked as though the band had quite a future ahead of them. It was not in the cards unfortunately. What they left for us was a superb achievement by any musical standards, and that includes the most important factors such as sound, production, and musicianship.