If you think about it, today’s acts—especially the ones highlighted on this blog—either sample or are inspired by the songs and artists of the 20th century. So, I was thinking, why not highlight my favorite songs from the 1970’s? The music was fantastic and original, oh, and the best part: they had talent back then! The benefits of not having autotune! J
So, in no particular order—because I’m terrible at ranking songs—here are my top 7 (get it? 7 songs for the ‘70’s) favorite songs from the 1970’s!
7. Reelin’ in the Years by Steely Dan- Cool track. It has everything artists today try to recreate, but usually, they fail. 1) A distinctive male vocalist. 2) gorgeous harmonies. 3)one of the most recognizable guitar solo ever. This song just never gets old.
6. Breakfast in America by Supertramp- One of the most memorable opening lines: “Take a look at my girlfriend/she’s the only one I got/ not much of a girlfriend/I never seem to get a lot.” Besides the fact that the Gym Class Heroes sampled this song, people have left this golden song well enough alone. And for a good reason…this song is perfect. Supertramp did it right, using the trombone, tuba, clarinet and harpsichord lines. They really made the song something special.
5. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot- Leave it to Mr. Lightfoot to make history sound appealing. Little side note, I went up to Duluth, Minnesota two years ago, and we visited a cool lighthouse where they talked about the Edmund Fitzgerald, mentioning this song; the music nerd inside me jumped at even a brief mention of Gordon Lightfoot. Anyways, that guitar…insert sighs here…the first time I heard it, I actually got goosebumps and begged my poor mother to turn up the SiriusXM radio. Haha she agreed, surprised I was so into folk. Well, we’re all full of surprises, aren’t we?
4. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot- I told you; I really like Gordon Lightfoot. This song also came on SiriusXM and my mom turned it down, noting the slightly sexual lyrics, which I didn’t get until much later (like I didn’t understand Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff.” I really thought she was saying pasta, for the longest time. “I want some pasta…” Silly children) But, now, in comparison to what’s on the radio, these lyrics are like KidzBop’s. So, back to the actual song. J I love that simple guitar at the beigning, slowly adding in the drums and then the vocals. Amazing example of songwriting at its best.
3. Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves by Cher- Okay, I admit it, I liked a little bit of everything from the 1970’s (I’ve been known to turn up the Bee Gee’s sometimes). I’m not a big Cher fan, but this song is kind of legendary. I think I see where today’s pop stars got their inspirations from; they all practically sampled/stole from this song and many of her other songs. So, this song is hardcore pop—and kind of stupid—but, I like it anyways. Don’t judge me for my musical indiscretions. J
2. A Horse With No Name by America- Ah, another brilliant, simplistic song of the seventies. (Try saying that three time faster) I really love this song because of how calm, gritty, haunting, and ageless it is. By just using an acoustic guitar, bass guitar, bongo drums, and a drum kit, it has a sort of back of basics feel. Now, I understand that the lyrics are stupid. I figured, hey, it’s the seventies. They were probably just doing drugs. Yeah, I was right. Drugs explain so much in music, it seems. J Nonetheless, it’s still a great song, if you can look past “the heat was hot” and “cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”
1. Evil Woman by Electric Light Orchestra- this song brings back so many memories! I distinctly remember riding around in the car with my dad, blasting this song. Good times. First and foremost, the song makes the list because of that opening orchestral section leading into those beautiful piano riffs, adding in the guitar and drums. Classic stuff, right there.
So, that wraps it up for this week. Next week, I’ll do my favorite songs of the 1980’s. J
Until next week,