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Montreux Celebration

Montreux musical history in 1972


Super Pop 1972

From 1972 on, "Super Pop Montreux" reduces its activities in Montreux and manages many concerts in the German part of Switzerland, particularly as a joint venture with the Good News agency. This collaboration is mostly to secure the venue to Switzerland of Rock bands most Swiss people expect to see and hear. The Montreux audience still gets a quite a nice selection this year.

Blood Sweat and Tears

An American music group, formed 1967 in New York City. The band fuses Rock, Blues, Pop music, horn arrangements and Jazz improvisation into a hybrid that comes to be known as Jazz-Rock. Unlike Jazz fusion bands, which tend toward virtuosic displays of instrumental facility and some experimentation with electric instruments, the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears merge the styling of Rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of small combo Jazz traditions. Al Kooper, Jim Fielder, Fred Lipsius, Randy Brecker, Jerry Weiss, Dick Halligan, Steve Katz, and Bobby Colomby forme the original incarnation of the band. Kooper is the group's initial bandleader, insisting on that position based on his experiences with The Blues Project, his previous band with Steve Katz, which has been organized as an egalitarian collective. Jim Fielder is from Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention and has played briefly with Buffalo Springfield. But undoubtedly, Kooper's fame as a high-profile contributor to various historic sessions of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and so forth, is the catalyst for the prominent debut of Blood, Sweat & Tears in the musical counterculture of the mid-sixties.

Paul McCartney and the Wings

In 1970, Paul McCartney announces the dissolution of the Beatles. In 1972, McCartney makes a return to touring for the first time since the Beatles stopped in the mid 1960s. Playing primarily at different universities around the UK with little or no advance promotion, he starts building up a new audience, without any reference back to his earlier career.

He pays his first visit to Montreux on July 22nd at the Pavillon. The members of the band were Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney whom he had wed in 1969, former guitarist/vocalist for The Moody Blues Denny Laine, former Joe Cocker/The Grease Band guitarist Henry McCullough, and Denny Seiwell.

Roberta Flack

Second Montreux appearance. The first one was at the "Golden Rose" Gala in 1970.

Mahavishnu Orchestra (European tour first concert)

Led by the incomparable guitar of John McLaughlin, The Mahavishnu Orchestra combines Jazz, Rock, and eastern influences into a fiery, dynamic tour de force. Its first two albums are absolute masterpieces of the genre. A stunning achievement and surely one of the greatest albums ever made, The Inner Mounting Flame defies categorization as it juxtaposes Rock, Jazz, classical, Indian, and Celtic influences in a way that is at once aggressive and subtle just one short year after Miles Davis' Bitches Brew milestone album. Birds of Fire is the culmination of a solid year opening gigs for the likes of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Yes. The incredible Visions Of The Emerald Beyond is the essential album from the second formation. The focus is the interplay between guitar and violin and it is complex and intertwined.

The band is led by Mahavishnu John McLaughlin on acoustic and electric guitars, with members Billy Cobham on drums, Rick Laird on electric and acoustic bass, Jan Hammer on electric and acoustic piano and synthesizer, and Jerry Goodman on violin.

Brian Auger with Oblivion Express

Jazz organist Brian Auger puts together the fusion group Oblivion Express following the demise of The Brian Auger Trinity. The band enjoyes a sustained period of commercial success with albums such as Second Wind, released in June 1972. This album marks the debut with the band of versatile Rock singer born in Glasgow, Alex Ligertwood. Alex is lead vocalist for the Jeff Beck Band in the early seventies and is best known for his partnership with Carlos Santana.

The Oblivion Express is Brian Auger (organ, electric piano, piano); Alex Ligertwood (vocals, tambourine); Jim Mullen (guitar); Barry Dean (bass guitar); Robbie McIntosh (drums, percussion). Brian Auger plays at the "Super Pop Montreux" in 1969 and 1970.

Led Zeppelin

The band gives two outstanding gigs on October 28th and 29th in Montreux.

Led Zeppelin playing in Montreux becomes a sort of a tradition, after 1970 and ‘71 on which dates the walls of the Casino building are shaking. Led Zeppelin IV is the band's most musically diverse effort to date, featuring everything from the crunching Rock of Black Dog to the Folk of The Battle of Evermore, as well as Stairway to Heaven, which founds the bridge between the two genres. Stairway to Heaven is an immediate radio hit, eventually becoming the most played song in the history of album-oriented radio; the song is never released as a single.

Despite the fact that the album never reaches number one in America, Led Zeppelin IV is their biggest album ever, selling well over 16 million copies over the next two and a half decades.

A detailed report of this concert is available on our Montreux Celebration website on the dedicated page: Led Zeppelin 1972


Santana’s brilliant fourth album - Caravanserai – released in October 1972, one month before the Montreux concert at the Pavillon, on November 25th, is unquestionably one of the most amazing recordings of our time.

Even today, Carlos Santana himself claims Caravanserai as his own personal favourite among all his recorded body of work. In 1972, after the release of its first three albums - all of which were incredibly critical and commercial successes - Santana takes a radical turn in a direction no one was expecting. On Caravanserai, Santana explores the spiritual, Jazz, Rock, Latin and fusion genres - as well as an amalgam of others - in a way never done before or since. With clearly no hits included in the albums 10 tracks, it could be a commercial suicide. It is not. Caravanserai is another in a string of hits.

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