Some Of The BEST Songs Of The Groovy '70s
George Harrison English singer-songwriter, guitarist and former Beatle, George Harrison (1943 - 2001), Cannes, France, 30th January 1976. Harrison is in Cannes for the Midem music industry trade fair. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
The groovy era was a time of cultural change. Changes in civil rights, tolerance, social norms, morals fashion and more. Second, only to civil rights, music was quite arguably one of the most significant movements in the United States during that era. The '60s definitely had its share of game changers but the '70s decade was a time when hippies ruled. As the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” The counterculture generation definitely helped shape music history.
Groovy songs from the '70s in descending order of their reported popularity at the time.
Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven
During the '70s, Stairway To Heaven was the single most requested song on then-popular FM radio stations but surprisingly was never released as a single. This awesome song was also the theme of plenty of junior and senior high school dances back in the groovy '70s.
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody
This is one of those songs that you either loved or hated back in the day and it is pretty much no different now. If you hated it, it was pure agony considering it was six minutes long. Bohemian Rhapsody sold a whopping one million copies of the single within just three months and was No. 1 on the UK Top 40 chart for nine weeks straight.
ABBA: Dancing Queen
ABBA was a Swedish group that hit it big here in America in the '70s. Dancing Queen was released in 1976 and was ABBA’s first song to top the U.S. and U.K. music charts.
Eric Clapton: Layla
Layla was written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon. Each of these artists composed their parts independently of each other and it all came together to be “one for the books.” This memorable and groovy song was first released in 1970 by Clapton’s and Gordon’s blues-rock band called Derek And The Dominos. Layla was inspired by an ancient Arabian love story, of all things. Its popularity has earned it the distinction of being “one of the truly great rock anthems” of its time although not everyone agrees.
George Harrison: My Sweet Lord
When George Harrison released his hit song, My Sweet Lord, he was already a former member of The Beatles. Historically, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were considered to be the major talent behind the Fab Four, but Harrison stepped up to show what he was made of. My Sweet Lord ended up being the best-selling single in the U.K. in 1971 and incidentally became the first No. 1 hit by a former member of The Beatles.
Bee Gees: Stayin’ Alive
Stayin’ Alive was included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack at the height of the disco craze… yes, unfortunately, disco was part of the groovy era. This particular song was an all-time favorite!
David Bowie: Starman
When he released Starman in 1972, David Bowie hadn’t had a major hit for three years. Up until that point, he had been considered a one-hit wonder after releasing, Space Oddity. After Starman was released he rose to stardom and it became one of his most influential songs.
Fleetwood Mac: Go Your Own Way
This groovy song was one of the four huge hits included on Fleetwood Mac’s, Rumours album in 1977. Over 40 million copies of the Rumours album were sold all over the world.
The Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar was released on The Rolling Stones’s album, Sticky Fingers in 1971. For its time, it was very racy with some questionable lyrics which may have boosted its popularity.
Blondie: Heart Of Glass
Blondie was one of those artists that fit in more than one genre. Her hit, Heart Of Glass was released in 1979 and was a huge success.
Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back In Town
This epic song was considered one of the group’s signature songs. It was released in 1976.
Bob Marley & The Wailers: No Woman No Cry
This song by the talented, Bob Marley, is said to have been one that helped introduce the reggae genre to international audiences.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John: You’re The One That I Want
The movie, Grease, certainly didn’t hurt the popularity of this iconic song. While this song stands on its own, it is widely associated with those derelict high school seniors at the fictitious Rydell High.
Sex Pistols: God Save The Queen
This song is considered to be the all-time greatest punk rock single ever released... and what a great name for a band!
Last, but not necessarily least of the best of the groovy '70s songs…
The Knack: My Sharona
My Sharona was said to have rivaled I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles. In 1979 it was at the top of the Billboard chart for six weeks in a row.
This list is by no means all inclusive of the songs from the best era in the world but no list could ever do justice to all the music that shaped a groovy generation.
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