Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hey Kids, Shake It Loose Together: My 200 Top Songs of the 1970s

The four-eyed shrimp with a broken arm sitting next to the principal in the faded class photo played Band On the Run every day in his bedroom in suburban Kansas City.  His dad blasted country hits when he got home from work.

I admire the revisionist The 200 Best Songs of the 1970s list published by Pitchfork two months ago, but the exercise doesn’t reflect my experience during the decade. 

I’ve compiled a list of 200 songs that I actually listened to and enjoyed during the 1970s (Spotify playlist).  I included songs released in the 1970s that I encountered at any point between 1969 and 1980.  For instance, I only learned of Toots and the Maytal’s 1970 song “Pressure Drop” when I bought the 1973 soundtrack of “Harder They Come” album in 1978.  And lest the list be dominated by Stevie Wonder and Elton John, I allowed myself only one song per artist.

The inclusion of selections like “My Ding-a-Ling” and “Seasons in the Sun” should make it clear that my list isn’t intended to confer importance or quality.  Instead, it’s a warts and all account that reflects the evolution of my musical education.

Johnny Cash- Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
James Gang- Funk #49
Kris Kristofferson- The Law Is For the Protection of the People
Ray Price- For the Good Times
Charlie Pride- Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone
Jerry Reed- Amos Moses
Simon & Garfunkel- Bridge Over Troubled Water
Sly And The Family Stone - Family Affair
Cat Stevens- Wild World
Toots and the Maytals- Pressure Drop
Conway Twitty- Hello Darlin’

Badfinger- Day After Day
Isaac Hayes- Theme From “Shaft”
Jethro Tull- Aqualung
Harry Nilsson- Coconut
Dolly Parton- Coat of Many Colors
John Prine- Sam Stone
Three Dog Night- Never Been to Spain

Chuck Berry- My Ding-a-Ling
Jimmy Castor Bunch- Troglodyte (Cave Man)
Chicago- Saturday In the Park
Jim Croce- Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
Sammy Davis Jr.- Candy Man
Dr. Hook- The Cover of Rolling Stone
Emerson, Lake & Palmer- Hoedown
Roberta Flack- The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Genesis- Watcher of the Skies
Humble Pie- 30 Days in the Hole
Michael Jackson- Ben
George Jones- A Picture of Me (Without You)
Mott the Hoople - All the Young Dudes
Johnny Nash- I Can See Clearly Now
O’Jays- Back Stabbers
Billy Paul- Me and Mrs. Jones
Elvis Presley- Burning Love
The Raspberries- Go All the Way
Seals and Crofts- Summer Breeze
Temptations- Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone
Tanya Tucker- Delta Dawn

Alice Cooper- Elected
Bloodstone- Natural High
Cher- Half-Breed
David Essex- Rock On
Aretha Franklin- Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)
Marvin Gaye- Let’s Get It On
Al Green- Here I Am (Come and Take Me)
Herbie Hancock- Chameleon
Bobbi Humphrey- Harlem River Drive
Elton John- Bennie and the Jets
Paul McCartney and Wings- Band On the Run
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes- The Love I Lost
Joni Mitchell- Help Me
Willie Nelson- Whiskey River
Ozark Mountain Daredevils- If You Wanna Get to Heaven
Billy Preston- Will It Go Round in Circles
Charlie Rich- Behind Closed Doors
Johnny Russell- Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer
Son Seals- Sitting At My Window
Ringo Starr- I'm the Greatest
The Three Degrees- When Will I See You Again
Jerry Jeff Walker- Up Against the Wall
The Who- The Real Me
The Edgar Winter Group- Frankenstein
ZZ Top- Waitin' For the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago

Average White Band- Pick Up the Pieces
Bachman Turner Overdrive- Not Fragile
Bobby Bare- Marie Laveau
William DeVaughn - Be Thankful for What You Got
Neil Diamond- Longfellow Serenade
Merle Haggard- If We Make It Through December
Hues Corporation- Rock the Boat
Terry Jacks- Seasons in the Sun
The Jackson 5- Dancing Machine
J. Geils Band- Musta Got Lost
LaBelle- Lady Marmalade
Latimore- Let’s Straighten It Out
Ramsey Lewis- Sun Goddess
Gordon Lightfoot- Sundown
Lynyrd Skynryd- Sweet Home Alabama
Barry Manilow- Mandy
George McCrae- Rock Your Baby
Ohio Players- Fire
Queen- Killer Queen
Rufus- Tell Me Something Good
Dionne Warwick and the Spinners- Then Came You
Barry White- Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
Stevie Wonder- Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away

Amazing Rhythm Aces- Third Rate Romance
Jeff Beck- Freeway Jam
The Blackbyrds- Walking in Rhythm
Glen Campbell- Rhinestone Cowboy
Natalie Cole- This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)
Jessi Colter- I’m Not Lisa
Bob Dylan- Idiot Wind
Earth, Wind & Star- Shining Star
Electric Light Orchestra- Can’t Get It Out of My Head
Freddy Fender- Wasted Days and Wasted Nights
Tom T. Hall- Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet)
Peter Hammill- Nadir's Big Chance
Hot Chocolate- You Sexy Thing
Janis Ian- At Seventeen
Kansas- Carry on Wayward Son
Kraftwerk- Autobahn
Led Zeppelin- Houses of the Holy
Van McCoy- The Hustle
Ted Nugent- Stranglehold
Pure Prairie League- Amie
Rainbow- Man On the Silver Mountain
Minnie Riperton- Lovin’ You
Smokey Robinson- Baby That’s Backatcha
Diana Ross- Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)
Roxy Music- Love Is the Drug
Rush- Fly By Night
Gary Stewart- She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)
Sweet- Ballroom Blitz
The Sylvers- Boogie Fever
10cc- I’m Not In Love
Andrea True Connection- More More More
UFO- Shoot Shoot
U-Roy- Chalice In the Palace
War- Low Rider
Grover Washington Jr.- Mister Magic

Abba- Knowing Me, Knowing You
Aerosmith- Back In the Saddle
Roy Ayers- Everybody Loves the Sunshine
George Benson- Breezin’
Brick- Dazz
Stanley Clarke- School Days
David Allan Coe- Longhaired Redneck
George Harrison- Crackerbox Palace
Jean Michael Jarre- Oxygène Pt. 4
Dorothy Moore- Misty Blue
Ramones- Beat On the Brat
Rose Royce- I Wanna Get Next to You
The Runaways- Cherry Bomb
Sex Pistols- Anarchy in the U.K.
Red Sovine- Teddy Bear
Candi Staton- Young Hearts Run Free
Thin Lizzy- Jailbreak
Trammps- Disco Inferno
The Tubes- Don’t Touch Me There
The Whispers- One For the Money

Bootsy Collins- The Pinocchio Theory
Commodores- Brick House
Elvis Costello- Mystery Dance
Devo- Uncontrollable Urge
Joe Ely- Treat Me Like a Saturday Night
Emotions- Best of My Love
Isley Brothers- Footsteps in the Dark
Waylon Jennings- The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don't Want to Get Over You)
Randy Newman- Short People
Kenny Rogers- Lucille
Slave- Slide
Television- See No Evil
Peter Tosh- Stepping Razor
Muddy Waters- Mannish Boy
Weather Report- Birdland

The Cars- All Mixed Up
Cheech and Chong- Earache My Eye
The Clash- Stay Free
George Duke- Dukey Stick
Nick Gilder- Hot Child in the City
Emmylou Harris- Two More Bottles of Wine
Joe Jackson- Is She Really Going Out With Him?
The Jam- In the Crowd
Jeff Lorber Fusion- Curtains
Nick Lowe- Heart of the City
Parliament- Flash Light
Peaches & Herb- Reunited
Police- Roxanne
Lou Reed- Street Hassle
Rolling Stones- When the Whip Comes Down
Linda Ronstadt- Poor Poor Pitiful Me
Patti Smith- Because the Night
Bruce Springsteen- Prove It All Night
Van Halen- Runnin' With the Devil

AC/DC- Girls Got Rhythm
Moe Bandy and Janie Frickie- It’s a Cheating Situation
Cameo- Sparkle
Cheap Trick- I Want You to Want Me
Chic- Good Times
John Conlee- Backside of Thirty
Crusaders- Street Life
Ian Dury & the Blockheads- Sink My Boat
Dave Edmunds- Girls Talk
The Kinks- Low Budget
The Knack- My Sharona
Bob Marley & the Wailers- So Much Trouble in the World
Graham Parker- Passion Is No Ordinary Word
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Even the Losers
Pretenders- Precious
Sister Sledge- He's the Greatest Dancer
The Specials- You’re Wondering Now
Squeeze- Up the Junction
Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Donna Summer- Bad Girls
Talking Heads- Memories Can’t Wait
Tubeway Army- Down In the Park
Anita Ward- Ring My Bell
Hank Williams, Jr.- Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha! Thanks for sharing. What a nutso list. Great songs interspersed with some schlock I never want to hear again. Does serve to remind you can never have enough early 70's Jerry Reed. Son!