Top 10 Songs of the 1970s

A mixture of disco and rock & roll, anything that could be danced to, fast or slow.

1970

  1. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel

  2. American Woman - Guess Who

  3. Get Ready - Rare Earth

  4. Band of Gold - Freda Payne

  5. Raindrops Keep Fallin‘ On My Head - BJ Thomas

  6. ABC - The Jackson 5

  7. Let It Be - The Beatles

  8. Close To You - The Carpenters

  9. Mama Told Me Not To Come - Three Dog Night

  10. War - Edwin Starr

Through the years, the song that wins the Song of the Year is rarely included in the Top 10, and 1970 was no different. Bridge Over Trouble Water by Simon and Garfunkel won the honor that year, and it was the #1 single of the year.

As the 1970s were just beginning, two legendary lives tragically ended; Janis Joplin died on October 4 at the age of 27 and Jimi Hendrix dies on September 18, at the age of 37.

 

1971

  1. Joy to the World - Three Dog Night

  2. Maggie May - Rod Stewart

  3. One Bad Apple - The Osmonds 

  4. Family Affair - Sly And The Family Stone

  5. Knock Three Times - Tony Orlando & Dawn

  6. Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves - Cher

  7. Indian Reservation - Paul Revere and The Raiders

  8. Treat Her Like A Lady - Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose

  9. Black Magic Woman - Santana

  10. Draggin’ the Line - Tommy James

 

You've Got a Friend by James Taylor won Song of the Year

1971's top grossing movie of the year was Billy Jack, its soundtrack brought us songs such as Johnnie and Look, Look to the Mountain by Teresa Kelly, When Will Billy Love Me and A Rainbow Made of Children by Lynn Baker and The Ring Song by Katy Moffatt.

Future 1970s legends The Eagles and Queen got together in 1971.

 

1972 

  1. Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan

  2. I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash

  3. Black And White - Three Dog Night

  4. Brandy - Looking Glass

  5. My Ding-A-Ling - Chuck Berry

  6. A Horse With No Name - America

  7. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) - Hollies

  8. (Papa Was A) Rolling Stone - The Temptations

  9. Nights In White Satin - Moody Blues

  10. Back Stabbers - The O'Jays

The Grammy Song Of The Year was The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack

The Godfather was the top grossing film of the year. Its soundtrack included songs such as I Have But One Heart sung by Al Martino and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas sung by the legendry Bing Crosby.

The 1950s musical Grease opened on Broadway in 1972 and the band KISS formed this year.

 

1973

 

  1. Crocodile Rock by Elton John

  2. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce

  3. Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight and the Pips

  4. Brother Louie - The Stories

  5. Frankenstein - The Edgar Winter Group

  6. Will It Go Round in Circles - Billy Preston

  7. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John

  8. Let’s Get It On - Marvin Gaye

  9. Ramblin’ Man - The Allman Brothers 

  10. Love Train - The O’Jays

The cult classic film The Exorcist was the top-grossing movie with the suspenseful background music, it also included Ramblin’ Man by the Allman Brothers.

It was also the year Bruce Springsteen debuted.

 

1974

  1. Bennie and The Jets - Elton John

  2. The Loco-Motion - Grand Funk Railroad

  3. Nothing from Nothing - Billy Preston

  4. Come and Get Your Love - Redbone

  5. I Can Help - Billy Swan

  6. Dancing Machine - The Jackson 5

  7. The Joker - The Steve Miller Band

  8. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

  9. Boogie Down - Eddie Kendricks

  10. Rock On -David Essex

 

The Way We Were by Barbara Streisand won Song of the Year
Blazing Saddles
was the top grossing film of 1974, and gave us the theme song Blazing Saddles by Frankie Lane, and the soundtrack included a few Mel Brooks numbers such as I'm Tired, The French Mistake and The Ballad of Rock Ridge.
The biggest music event of the year was the start of the American Music Awards with Dick Clark in February.

 

1975


  1. Sister Golden Hair- America

  2. Island Girl - Elton John

  3. Love Will Keep Us Together - The Captain & Tennille

  4. When Will I Be Loved - Linda Ronstadt

  5. Fallin' In Love - Hamilton, Joe Frank And Reynolds

  6. Bad Blood - Neil Sedaka

  7. Philadelphia Freedom - Elton John

  8. Sky High- Jigsaw

  9. Jackie Blue - Ozark Mountain Daredevils

  10. Get Down Tonight - KC and The Sunshine Band

 

Send in the Clowns by Stephen Sondheim from the musical A Little Night Music won the honor of Song of the Year.
The movie Jaws caused beachgoer panic all over the world. The soundtrack introduced us to one of the most well known, hair-raising theme songs known and a few ditties that are still sung by men in bars up to this day. Who can forget Robert Shaw's rendition of Spanish Ladies or him and his buddies, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider, bonding over Show Me the Way to Go Home while getting drunk during the hunt for killer shark?

Linda Ronstadt, formerly of the Stone Poneys, released her first solo album, Heart Like a Wheel.

 

1976

  1. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee

  2. Dream Weaver - Gary Wright

  3. Love Machine (Part 1) - The Miracles

  4. Let Your Love Flow - The Bellamy Brothers

  5. Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry

  6. Saturday Night - Bay City Rollers

  7. Fooled Around and Fell In Love - Elvin Bishop

  8. I’d Really Love to See You Tonight - England Dan and John Ford Coley

  9. All By Myself - Eric Carmen

  10. Theme from SWAT - Rhythm Heritage

 

I Write the Songs by Barry Manilow won Song of the Year.

Rocky was the top-grossing movie and the theme music still pumps men up the world over. This movie also gave us such hits as Eye of the Tiger and Burning Heart by Survivor, No Easy Way Out by Robert Tepper and Hearts on Fire by John Cafferty. What American didn't love the inclusion of Living in America performed by James Brown?

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) created a new platinum award this year, due to the increased sales in music. This prestige goes to singles that sell more then 2 million copies and to albums that sell 1 million or more. The first single to receive the honor is Johnnie Taylor's Disco Lady and the first album to go platinum was The Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975.

 

1977

  1. Boogie Nights - Heatwave

  2. Undercover Angel - Alan O’Day

  3. Rich Girl - Hall And Oates

  4. I’m In You - Peter Frampton

  5. Don’t Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston

  6. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer

  7. I’m Your Boogie Man - KC & The Sunshine Band

  8. Got to Give It Up (Part 1) - Marvin Gaye

  9. Couldn’t Get It Right - Climax Blues Band

  10. Car Wash - Rose Royce

Two songs shared the honor of Song of the Year, Love Theme from a Star Is Born by Barbra Streisand and You Light Up My Life by Debby Boone, which was also the #1 in the year's Top 10 Singles.

The soundtrack from the top-grossing movie of the year, Star Wars, had unforgettbale space age background music.

For many people this was the saddest year of the 1970s, as "The King of Rock N' Roll", Elvis Presley, died on August 16.

 

1978

  1. We Are the Champions - Queen

  2. Hot Child in the City - Nick Gilder

  3. It’s a Heartache - Bonnie Tyler

  4. Take a Chance on Me - Abba

  5. Baby Come Back - Player

  6. Reminiscing - Little River Band

  7. Lay Down Sally - Eric Clapton

  8. If I Can't Have You - Yvonne Elliman

  9. Kiss You All Over - Exile

  10. I Go Crazy - Paul Davis

Song of the Year in 1978 was "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel.

The top grossing movie of 1978 was Grease, featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's duets of Summer Nights and You're the one That I Want, and John Travolta singing Greased Lightning and Olivia Newton-John's Hopelessly Devoted to You.

A movie soundtrack sold more than 10 million copies in the short time between it's December 1977 release and April 1978, making it the top-grossing album ever in music history. It was from the movie Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. The hits on this album included the Bee Gees' You Should Be Dancing, Jive Talkin, More Than a Woman, Night Fever, How Deep Is Your Love and the famous Stayin' Alive.

 

1979

 

  1. Heart of Glass - Blondie

  2. My Sharona - The Knack

  3. Just When I Needed You Most - Randy Van Warmer

  4. Escape - Rupert Holmes

  5. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor

  6. YMCA - The Village People

  7. Sad Eyes - Robert John

  8. Fire - The Pointer Sisters

  9. Ring My Bell - Anita Ward

  10. The Devil Went Down To Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band

What a Fool Believes by the Doobie Brothers won Song of the Year.

The musical Evita opened on Broadway starring Patti Lupone as Argentinian dictator Juan Peron's wife Eva Peron.