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Rhonda's Top 100 Songs Of The 1970s

Top Of the 1970s

 Putting together this list was MUCH harder than I expected. This was the decade when I went to both high school and college and began a career in the music biz, and music was a constant. So I focused on the songs that really meant something to me over the years versus what seemed historically “important.” As you will see, I was not a member of the “Burn the Disco Down” crowd. Some of these songs I listened to constantly in the 70s but rarely listen to now. Some I still play regularly. Others, like Can, I discovered later and put into a heavy rotation. As far as the order of the tunes, it would probably be different had I compiled it on any other day. Omissions worth a mention: Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, the Doors, and Simon and Garfunkel – because in my mind, their strongest work wasn’t in the seventies. In the no accounting for taste department: I have a soft spot for Steve Miller, what can I say? And I know Elton John’s “Your Song” isn’t at all cool, but I felt vindicated by the way Baz Luhrmann used it in “Moulin Rouge.” Looking forward to your deconstruction…pick away!!! 

 1.  Lou Reed: Walk on the Wild Side (1972)

2.  Neil Young: The Last Dance (1973)

3.  Traffic: John Barleycorn Must Die (1970)

4.  Marvin Gaye: Got to Give It Up (Part 1) (1977)

5.  James Brown: Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine) (1970)

6.  Al Green: Let’s Stay Together (1972)

7.  The Kinks: Lola (1970)

8.  Townes Van Zandt: Pancho and Lefty (1972)

9.  Edwin Starr: War (1970)

10.  Isaac Hayes: Theme from Shaft (1970)

11.  Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Alison (1977)

12.  PiL: Public Image Limited (1978)

13.  T Rex: Mambo Sun (1971)

14.  Can: I’m So Green (1972)

15.  Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On  (1971)

16.  Curtis Mayfield: Superfly (1972)

17.  Stevie Wonder: Living for the City (1973)

18.  The Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the U.K. (1976)

19.  Neil Young: Danger Bird (1975)

20.  John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band: Instant Karma (1970)

21.  The Cars: Just What I Needed (1978)

22.  Joni Mitchell: Hejira (1976)

23.  Gram Parsons: Return of the Grievous Angel (1975)

24.  Steely Dan: Rikki Don’t Lose That Number (1974)

25.  Joy Division: Shadowplay (1979)

26.  Wire: The 15th (1979)

27.  Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes: Don’t Leave Me This Way (2004)

28.  Patti Smith: Gloria (1975)

29.  Brian Eno: The Big Ship (1975)

30.  David Bowie: Changes (1971)

31.  Suicide: Cheree (1977)

32.  The Only Ones: Another Girl, Another Planet (1978)

33.  Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Watching the Detectives (1977)

34.  Ian Dury & the Blockheads: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (1979)

35.  David Bowie: Fame (1975)

36.  Bruce Springsteen: Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (1973)

37.  The Bee Gees: You Should be Dancing (1978)

38.  XTC: All Along the Watchtower (1978)

39.  Neil Young: Tonight’s the Night (1975)

40.  The Velvet Underground: Sweet Jane (1970)

41.  David Bowie: Rebel Rebel (1974)

42.  The Clash: Clampdown (1979)

43.  KC and the Sunshine Band: Get Down Tonight (1975)

44.  Vicky Sue Robinson: Turn the Beat Around (1976)

45.  Sister Sledge: We Are Family (1979)

46.  The Rolling Stones: Shattered (1979)

47.  Diana Ross: Love Hangover (1976)

48.  Kraftwork: Trans Europe Express (1977)

49.  Gang of Four: Anthrax (1979)

50.  Talking Heads: Psycho Killer (1977)

51.  Freda Payne: Band of Gold (1970)

52.  Althea and Donna: Downtown Top Ranking (1977)

53.  The Cure: Desperate Journalist (John Peel session) (1979)

54.  Leonard Cohen: Take This Longing (1974)

55.  Hot Chocolate: You Sexy Thing (1975)

56.  Jean Knight: Mr. Big Stuff (1971)

57.  Donna Summer: Love to Love You Baby (1975)

58.  X-Ray Spex: Oh Bondage, Up Yours (1977)

59.  Siouxsie & the Banshees: Hong Kong Garden (1978)

60.  John Lennon: Working Class Hero (1970)

61.  Sylvester: You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (1978)

63.  Blondie: In the Flesh (1977)

64.  Dead Boys: Ain’t it Fun (1978)

65.  Bob Marley and the Wailers: Is This Love (1978)

66.  The Police: Roxanne (1978)

67.  Heart: Magic Man (1976)

68.  Elton John: Your Song (1971)

69.  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: Tears of a Clown (1970)

70.  Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (1973)

71.  Dire Straits: Sultans of Swing (1979)

72.  Fleetwood Mac: Gold Dust Woman (1977)

73.  Fleetwood Mac: Go Your Own Way (1977)

74.  Fleetwood Mac: The Chain (1977)

75.  Nick Lowe: Cruel to be Kind (1979)

76.  Jackson Five: I Want You Back (1970)

77.  The Clash: Train in Vain (1979)

78.  Van Morrison: Moondance (1970)

79.  Heart: Crazy on You (1976)

80.  The Ohio Players: Love Rollercoaster (1976)

81.  Eric Clapton: Layla (1970) 

82.  Steve Miller Band: The Joker (1974)

83.  Commodores: Brick House (1977)

84.  The Modern Lovers: I’m Straight (1973)

85.  The Jackson 5: I’ll Be There (1970)

86.  Van Morrison: Wavelength (1978)

87.  Michael Jackson: Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough (1979)

88.  Rickie Lee Jones: Chuck E’s in Love (1979)

89.  Neil Young: Sedan Delivery (1979)

90.  Squeeze: Cool for Cats (1979)

91.  Jackson Browne: Running on Empty (1978)

92.  The Ramones: Teenage Lobotomy (1977)

93.  Labelle:  Lady Marmalade (1975)

94.  The Clash: (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais (1979)

95.  Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back in Town (1976)

96.  O-o-h Child,” Five Stairsteps (1970)

97.  Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive (1979)

98.  Yvonne Elliman: If I Can’t Have You (1978)

99.  The B52s: 52 Girls (1979)

100.  Nina Hagen: African Reggae (1979)

Linda Ronstadt: You’re No Good (1975)

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