Bell bottoms, platform shoes, Gunne sax, rock star groupies, groovy afros, and All in the Family are all defining qualities of the decade that represents freedom and people pushing the boundaries. These characteristics were not only in fashion and behavior, but they were also in the music of the era. So, I’ve curated a playlist that has all my favorite tunes from each year of the seventies.
Though the track was originally released as a single by Fleetwood Mac in 1968, Santana covered the song with singer, Gregg Rolie. The song reached No. 4 on American and Canadian charts and is a very heady mix of blues and Latin flavor. This song is great for some Latin dance.
1971: Janis Joplin/Move Over
From her last album Pearl, Janis Joplin ends her career with a final display of why she deserved her place in our hearts and musical history. This track starts off the album with raw,heartbroken lyrics and shows the musical prowess of the Full Tilt Boogie Band who she was recording and touring with at this point of her career. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200, and held the spot for nine whole weeks. This song is awesome for breakups.
Every time I listen to Jim Croce play, I wonder what more he could have done with music as time rambled on. Croce is a wonderful display of 70s folk rock with poetic lyrics and an acoustic guitar style that tugs at your heartstrings just as much as his lyrics do. This is best for rainy days.
1973: Led Zeppelin/No Quarter
Honestly, it’s hard for me to choose just one track from this album because it has Over the Hills and Far Away as well as The Ocean , but I went with No Quarter because it’s a trippy, relaxing tune and displays the many talents of every member of the band with Jimmy Page on the theremin and electric guitar and John Paul Jones on the synthesizer bass and electric and acoustic pianos.
1974: Queen/ Killer Queen
I was actually just turned on to this song recently. I’ve been listening to it a lot and it still get me with its lyrics and musical style. It definitely has the flavors that have made Queen one of the greatest bands of all time. It’s a good tune for cruising around and getting a good dance in too.
Coming from Blues for Allah, this song takes on a new style for the dead that I feel they only tampered with in their album Anthem of the Sun from 1968. It’s one of their best studio tracks, but the live versions will often tear your head off in a much different way. This song is really good for kicking back and spacing out before bed.
1976: Heart/ Crazy on You
This song is driven by feminine fury. Best to listen to after a breakup or if you’re just really feeling the need for a feminine touch in your day.
1977: Fleetwood Mac/Dreams
The Fleetwood Mac classic is a seventies novelty. Blending the dreamy sound of Stevie Nicks’ voice with the cosmic wonders of the band playing behind her. From their Rumours album, the song is nothing but seventies groove and vibes. Best to listen to during a drive or any kind of travel.
Coming from Jerry’s fourth solo album, Cats Under the Stars plays with some of his more experimental styles. The track also features Donna Godchaux who he played and sang with while in the Dead. This track is awesome for kicking back and listening to a jam for a bit.
1979: Talking Heads/Cities
I feel this song, defines the bridging of the seventies into the eighties. Talking Heads and Joy Division, in my opinion, were a huge part of what defined eighties tunes. This tune still has the dreamy seventies sound with a a groove being laid down by the bass that makes you wanna get down. Best to listen to while driving. Listen to a live version here.
While this playlist gives you some seventies insight, it can’t possibly capture the entire music genius that came out in that decade. I recommend checking out Jethro Tull, Crosby,Stills,and Nash, Joy Division, The Rolling Stones, The Who, George Harrison, John Lennon, Eric Burdon with War, The Guess Who, and many other bands that made that time great. I would also recommend listening to the entire album each of these songs from to get the full experience.