Posted in Cover Art, Playlists

’70s Compilation Albums that helped shape my music tastes

Growing up in the ’70s, I discovered a number of bands, and their back-catalogues, through compilation albums. It surprises many people when I tell them my favourite Beatles album is the Red Album, for example.

24 Golden Oldies

A double album released in South Africa only in 1973. Included “Cry To Me” by The Staccatos and “For Your Precious Love” by The Flames. I discovered Frijid Pink’s psychedelic version of “House Of The Rising Sun” because of this album.

1. Time Is Tight – Booker T & The MG’s
2. Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers
3. Runaround Sue – Dion
4. For Your Precious Love – The Flames
5. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard
6. Cry To Me – The Staccatos
7. Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers
8. Lazy Life – Quentin E KlopJaeger
9. Land Of 1000 Dances – The Dream Merchants
10. Shabby Little Hut – The Bats
11. Chapel Of Love – June Muscat
12. Silence Is Golden – The Square Set
13. Jenny Jenny – Little Richard
14. Be Bop A Lula – The Everly Brothers
15. Black Is Black – Los Bravos
16. What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For – Mickie Most
17. Someone, Someone – Brian Poole & The Tremeloes
18. House Of The Rising Sun – Frijid Pink
19. Singing The Blues – Tommy Steele
20. Sunglasses – Hilary
21. The First Cut Is The Deepest – Cat Stevens
22. Green Grow The Lilacs – Judy Page & Peter Lotis
23. The Wedding – Julie Rogers
24. Hello Operator – Billy Forrest

The Rolling Stones – Hot Rocks 

South African Pressing
The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks 1964-1971

The South African version had a different track listing to the US release. Included ‘Little Red Rooster’ and ‘Under The Boardwalk’ for example, and omitted ‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘Wild Horses’.

Track list for South African Album

  1. Time Is On My Side
  2. Heart Of Stone
  3. Play With Fire
  4. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  5. As Tears Go By
  6. Get Off Of My Cloud
  7. Mothers Little Helper
  8. 19th Nervous Breakdown
  9. Paint It Black
  10. Under My Thumb
  11. Ruby Tuesday
  12. Let’s Spend The Night Together
  13. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  14. Street Fighting Man
  15. Sympathy For The Devil
  16. Honky Tonk Women
  17. Gimme Shelter
  18. Tell Me
  19. Under The Boardwalk
  20. Little Red Rooster
  21. Midnight Rambler (edit)
  22. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (single version)

More info on Hot Rocks

The Beatles – The Red And The Blue Albums

The Beatles – The Red & The Blue Albums

Two double albums, with every song a masterpiece. When these were re-released on CD in 1993, I bought them the day they came out. And though the whole of the Red Album could have been fitted onto a single CD, I didn’t mind paying full double album price. How many double CDs have so many classic chart-topping and million-selling songs on them? Worth every cent.

The Beatles – The Red & The Blue Albums

American Graffiti (soundtrack)

American Graffiti

My introduction to rock ‘n roll history.

The Who – Pinball And Other Wizards 1965-1975 (South African only release)

The Who – Pinball And Other Wizards ’65-’75

Actually only goes up to 1971, despite the title, but a great collection, nonetheless. I compiled an imaginary disc 3 to help fill in the gap.

Deep Purple – Mark I and Mark II

Deep Purple - Mark I & II
Deep Purple – Mark I & II

Brilliant collection, and this was the only place to find ‘When A Blind Man Cries’ for many years.

Music Of Our Time

Music Of Our Time

A CBS sampler from 1971, that was sold cheaply. Amazing collection. Still one of my favourites.

Golden EarringHearing Earring

Golden Earring - Hearing Earring
Golden Earring – Hearing Earring

This was a compilation only released in South Africa and Holland, I think, which featured the best tracks from ‘Together’ and ‘Seven Tears’.

Golden Earring – Hearing Earring

Sound track recordings from the film Jimi Hendrix

Sound track recordings from the film Jimi Hendrix

A compilation of various live tracks and interviews. My main introduction to the live experience that was Jimi Hendrix

Track listing (interviews excluded)

  1. Rock Me Baby from Monterey Pop Festival (June 1967)
  2. Wild Thing from Monterey Pop Festival (June 1967)
  3. Machine Gun I from Isle of Wight Festival (August 31, 1970)
  4. Johnny B. Goode from Berkeley Community Center, Berkeley, California (May 30, 1970)
  5. Hey Joe  from Monterey Pop Festival (June 1967)
  6. Purple Haze from Berkeley Community Center, Berkeley, California (May 30, 1970)
  7. Like a Rolling Stone from Monterey Pop Festival (June 1967)
  8. The Star Spangled Banner from Woodstock (August 1969)
  9. Machine Gun II (Band of Gypsys) from Fillmore East (January 1, 1970)
  10. Hear My Train A Comin’ (acoustic) from London (1967)
  11. Red House from Isle of Wight Festival (August 31, 1970)
  12. In From the Storm from Isle of Wight Festival (August 31, 1970)



Triple album collection from Glastonbury Fayre in 1971. A strange mixture of artists and genres that introduced me to bands like Gong, Pink Fairies and The Grateful Dead.

Thin Lizzy – The Continuing Saga Of The Aging Orphans

Thin Lizzy – The Continuing Saga Of The Aging Orphans

Great album, that helped me discover the early years of Thin Lizzy, though I already knew Vagabonds Of The Western World, which is still one of my all-time favourite albums.

This Is The Moody Blues

This Is The Moody Blues

A double compilation album with all the songs crossfading into each other. Like Pink Floyd’s Echoes collection many years later.

Suck It And See!

Suck It And See SA

Double album sampler from Vertigo, this time. From Folk (Magna Carta) to Metal (Black Sabbath) and most places in-between. The South African pressing had a different track listing to the overseas version.


Honourary mention

Let The Good Times Roll (soundtrack)

Let The Good Times Roll

Not really a compilation but the soundtrack to a film of a live rock and roll revival, that I saw over and over again. Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Chubby Checker and others just blew me away. And the sampled soundbites from old TV shows, backstage comments and DJ introductions made it even better.


Playlist Creator & Web Marketer. The son of a church organist father and pianist mother, South African born Brian Currin grew up surrounded by music. In his pre-teen years he realised that he had no real talent for playing music and he couldn't sing, so he immersed himself in the world of music by listening, exploring and researching. Which he still does today. He served in the military for five years, then spent many years in corporate sales and marketing until his involvement in the re-discovery of Rodriguez, opened up a whole new world for him. He was the Content Editor for Rhythm Online, South Africa's first online music store, from 2006 to 2012. He ran Mabu Vinyl, the iconic music store seen in the Oscar-winning "Searching For Sugar Man" film from 2013 to 2019. His voice could be heard on the streaming radio station All Jazz Radio where he hosted the Vagabond Show from 2012 to 2019. He is very involved in promoting South African music, and is the co-owner of a number of music-related websites including which he founded in 1999.

6 thoughts on “’70s Compilation Albums that helped shape my music tastes

  1. Hello Brian, this is Neil from PMB, your list of compilation albums brought a huge smile to my face, back in the 70s when at school then moving onto Varsity when you think about it these compilation albums, esp the double LPs were a life saver, we simply couldn’t afford to buy the original albums and listening to these compilation LPs and doing a TDK C90 mix tape of all your favorite tracks from all one’s LPs was the best way to listen to music, we had as much fun making the tapes as listening to them through the years, agreed? I am still a Tapehead, still have my tapes from the 70s, 2 Nakamitchi decks and 5000 LPs, including my 1st LP I bought in 1968, a compilation of course, “Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth Vol 2” Buddha records! Oh Boy, what memories, good days indeed! Thanks for prompting the smile…cheers


  2. The one that I remember with fondness was ‘El Pea’, a compilation of artists on the Island label from the 70’s. Started me off with Free, Fairport Convention, Traffic, ELP, and so many other great bands. So much so, that I eventually collected every release from the Island record catalogue of 1976, which I’m sure I still have somewhere.


  3. Absolutely Brian! I recognised most of those album covers from my own collection of the day!! Strange thing is that the youth of today are also still listening to a lot of our old favourites…like Boston, “More than a feeling” for example. We were at Dizzy’s last Tuesday and my son and his mates sang “Hey Jude” (60’s) and “I will walk 500 miles” (80’s) – it’s remarkable. I suppose we loved Frank Sinatra along with our folks too.
    Thanks for this – nice blast from the past and although we are trying not to be nostalgic and move with the times, music does serve as the most poignant of reminders of exactly what we were doing at the time, who we were with, who we loved etc. We can’t live without music that’s for sure!


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