Many people may remember the songs from the 1970s. These songs defined the decade and transported listeners to a different time. From “Dancing Queen” to “American Pie,” these songs captured the spirit of the time. Many of these hits reached the Billboard Hot 100 at one point or another. If you miss the era, listen to these great songs now. You’ll be glad you did.
‘Wish You Were Here’ by Cat Stevens
In ‘Wish You Were Here,’ Cat Stevens explores the underlying meaning of loneliness through lyrical expression. In contrast to the sombre and depressing nature of his previous music, this track is a lyrical and musical journey of hope, acceptance, and a journey back to the core of reality. Fans of his classic material may feel that he is making up for a break from music many years ago.
The trilogy of albums recorded during this period reflect the artist’s spiritual awakening. The albums’ songs reveal a gradual transition from an early secular mindset to a spiritual one, a process he began to pursue after a near-death experience with tuberculosis. The songs are filled with a sense of self-awareness and a desire to help others.
The song’s lyrics express a feeling of change and hope, as the singer speaks about his own life and calls upon his listeners to take part in this movement. In this way, the listener is invited to take an active role in his quest for peace and understanding.
Stevens first made waves as a teenage pop star in Britain’s late 1960s. Following a bout of tuberculosis, Stevens had a difficult time in the ’70s and underwent a career change. He eventually returned to pop music under the name Yusuf and recorded new songs under the new name. The singer then rebranded as Yusuf/Cat Stevens and embarked on his first American tour.
‘Ramblin’ Man’ by Uncle John’s Band
‘Ramblin’ Man’ by the Uncle John’s Band is one of the great songs in bluegrass music. This song has a tempo of 182 beats per minute and a key of A-flat major. The lyrics are very entertaining and tell the story of an ill-fated journey through a river. The song includes lines like “by the riverside,” “cannon balls”, and “don’t tread on me.”
The song is based on the 1951 Hank Williams song of the same name. Dickey Betts, who was a member of the Allman Brothers Band’s house band, wrote the song and sang lead on the track. The band performed ‘Ramblin’ Man’ on the premiere of the ABC show, In Concert. The band’s bassist, Berry Oakley, died in a motorcycle accident a week after the performance. This was the first time the band performed this song on television.
‘Brown Sugar’ by Marsha Hunt
The lyrics of ‘Brown Sugar’ by Marshia Hunt are both a delight and a reminder of the era’s sexual and racial ambiguity. A sultry black woman wooes a rich white guy with a single glance. In the 1970s, Marsha Hunt was a popular British actress and model, but her most famous role was as Dionne in the West End hit Hair. Her character struck a chord with the audience and attracted the attention of Mick Jagger, who was so keen on her as a lead actress in the movie. Her afro also inspired the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Brown Sugar,’ which was one of the year’s most famous songs of the era.
While the song itself isn’t about sexual harassment, it does feature an all-too-fascinating lyric about slavery and its effects on African slaves. Some scholars have suggested that references to slaves in the song’s lyrics may also symbolically represent the power of heroin. The song, which debuted at No. 1 on the US charts, eventually climbed to the top of the UK and Canadian charts.
The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” is one of their most famous singles, and was recorded in Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama in 1969. The song was initially recorded live but did not become a commercial release until a year later, because the band had legal wranglings with their former label. During the recording of this single, guitarist Mick Taylor had a request from the band to play the song live.
The song was produced by Tony Visconti and featured future Yes-man Rick Wakeman on the track. This song peaked on the charts and is still a classic on classic-rock radio.
‘Baby O’Riley’ by The Who
‘Baby O’Rilie’ by The Who is a 1970s rock song. It is the opening track of the band’s fifth studio album, Who’s Next. The song was first released as a single in Europe on 23 October 1971. It was followed by the single “My Wife”.
The song’s title is a combination of the names of two figures who influenced the band. The “Baba” in the title refers to the spiritual figure Meher Baba, who was a Buddhist, and the classical composer Terry Riley. Townshend had written the song after Woodstock, but it wasn’t released until after the band was no longer together.
The track’s organ section, inspired by Terry Riley and Meher Baba, has been included in several lists. It has also been covered numerous times and been featured in several films and television shows. The song was also featured in an unfinished rock opera called Lifehouse, which would follow Tommy.
The Who used the song in Cisco advertisements and Nissan Pathfinder ads. Though The band struggled in the early years, the song was a huge hit in concert and soon became a favorite among fans. The band’s live versions of the song can be found on their albums The Kids Are Alright (1978), Concerts For The People of Kampuchea (1979), The Who’s Last (1982) and The Blues To The Bush (1999).
The song was originally part of a song called Teenage Wasteland, which Townshend had written, but that section was not used in the song. The song’s lyrics are also inspired by the biblical stories of Exodus and Sodom. Its lyrics are about music healing and making people whole.
‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John
‘Rocket Man’ by Eleton John is one of the most recognizable songs from the ’70s. It was released as a single in 1972 and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. The song later made it to the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it reached No. 6. This song has been rated among the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone. In addition, The Current’s listeners ranked it No. 668 of 893 essential songs. The song also helped kick off Paul Simon’s first tour without Art Garfunkel.
The song is about an astronaut who is preparing for his trip to outer space. The song tells the story of how the astronaut’s wife is missing him when he is floating through space. Despite the joy and excitement of the astronauts’ journey, many astronauts return home a flawed individual and may never be able to have a “normal” life.
The song was written around the time of the Apollo 16 mission, when men landed on the moon for the fifth time. The lyrics were based on a short story written by Ray Bradbury, The Rocket Man, which is about an astronaut who leaves his family behind to pursue his dreams. The story was first published in 1951, in an anthology called The Illustrated Man.
‘Rocket Man’ by Erton John was released in 1972. It was recorded at Chateau d’Herouville, France, and mixed in London’s Trident Studios. The single was released on April 17 and featured the B-side ‘Susie (Dramas).