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50 Greatest Songs of the 1970s

top 1970s greatest hits songs

Counting Down the Best Songs of the 70s

Cast your memory back to a time of bell-bottoms, platforms, and Farrah Fawcett haircuts. A time when social commentary came in the form of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song and wearing a miniskirt. The 70s launched off from an international space-age dream and thrust the world into a fabulous new age that celebrated revolution, science, and boogie fever.

This turbulent decade was a cornerstone in the expansion of musical subcultures. From Glam Rock to Eurodisco, the 1970s broke down the previous barriers of commercial success and honed in on artistry from all walks of life that spoke deeply to unified human experience. Can you dig it?

50. Burning Love by Elvis Presley

50. Burning Love by Elvis Presley - Greatest Songs 1970s - Top Songs 1970s“I just might turn into smoke, but I feel fine.”

Why it’s the 50th Greatest song of the 70s

From the King of classic Rock’n’Roll, “Burning Love” of the album Elvis (Fool) (1973) sways its way into the 70s with the familiar charm of gospel and blues that brought Elvis Presley his rising fame throughout the 50s and 60s. The King shines in all of his rockabilly glory by enthralling listeners with the chugging line of “just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.”

49. Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ by The Velvet Underground

49. Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ by The Velvet Underground - Best Songs 1970s“But just like a cat, she landed on her feet.”

Why it’s the 49th Best song of the 70s

Meandering from a steady ballad that gently nods at the unfortunate, “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’” lifts itself into an anthem that captures the ironic freedom of those who “ain’t got nuthin’ at all.” Echoing the lyric “sweet nuthin’” with the final guitar solo, The Velvet Underground builds a calm strength to close out their album Loaded (1970) on a powerful, hopeful note.

48. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush

48. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush - Top Songs 1970s“Cruel Heathcliff, my one dream.”

Why it’s the 48th Top song of the 70s

Retelling the story of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush’s whimsical and playful song by the same name sweeps up listeners. The eclectic sound of female falsetto combined with the passionate retelling of a well-loved story has made “Wuthering Heights” a shining track on the album The Kick Inside (1978), so much so it’s even inspired parodies.

47. Pink Moon by Nick Drake

47. Pink Moon by Nick Drake - Greatest Songs 1970s“And none of you stand so tall, pink moon gonna get ye all.”

Why it’s the 47th Greatest song of the 70s

Stripped back and understated, the title track to the album Pink Moon (1972) is a song that flew under the radar until the late 70s. Having repackaged Nick Drake’s work, Island Records released the album as part of the Fruit Tree box set in 1979. The reclusive history of Nick Drake fueled his posthumous commercial success and creates an intimate charm to this particular track.

46. I Feel The Earth Move by Carole King

46. I Feel The Earth Move by Carole King - Best Songs 1970s“Ooh baby, when I see your face, mellow as the month of May.”

Why it’s the 46th Best song of the 70s

Whether you know it or not, everyone knows at least one Carole King song. “I Feel The Earth Move”, from the album Tapestry (1971), is a classic, from that punchy piano to the flowing harmonies, the song hits audiences with that soul sound that transports you straight back into the 70s.

45. Cry Baby by Janis Joplin

45. Cry Baby by Janis Joplin - Top Songs 1970s“You only gotta do one thing well to make it in this world, babe.”

Why it’s the 45th Top song of the 70s

Launching from a huge swell of emotion, “Cry Baby, from the album Pearl (1971), is Janis Joplin at her finest. Gorgeous riffs swing through and land harmoniously with Joplin’s voice, making you reminisce a heartbreak that you didn’t even know you’d had. Only Janis Joplin can carry the weight of such a feeling and hit you with the reality that “the road’ll even end in Kathmandu.”

44. Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell

44. Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell - Greatest Songs 1970s“They took all the trees, put ’em in a tree museum, and they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ’em.”

Why it’s the 44th Greatest song of the 70s

Few do social commentary as eloquently as Joni Mitchell does in “Big Yellow Taxi”. From the album Ladies of the Canyon (1970), this upbeat track jolts us to see the irony in what it means for society to progress. The chorus echoing “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” gives a down-to-earth perspective that is just as relevant today as it was in 1970.

43. Live and Let Die by Wings

43. Live and Let Die by Wings - Best Songs 1970s“When you were young and your heart was an open book, you used to say live and let live.”

Why it’s the 43rd Best song of the 70s

One of the most notable Bond themes, “Live and Let Die” by Wings (released in 1973) stands out as a huge commercial success for Paul McCartney in his years since leaving The Beatles. Building brilliant instrumentals whilst continuing to live up to Wings’ exuberant nature, the song shows the artistry of playing with tempo.

42. Piano Man by Billy Joel

42. Piano Man by Billy Joel - Top Songs 1970s“Well, I’m sure that I could be a movie star if I could get out of this place.”

Why it’s the 42nd Top song of the 70s

Making a lasting impression, “Piano Man” (1973) is the title track of the album that launched Billy Joel’s career. Witty and observational, the narrative of the song makes a point of acknowledging the collective experience of feeling out of place. With rapturous lines that celebrate the hardships of his characters, Billy Joel introduces himself as an artist who can see people for their anguish and lift their spirits.

41. Up And Around The Bend by Creedence Clearwater Revival

41. Up And Around The Bend by Creedence Clearwater Revival - Top Songs 1970s“Catch a ride to the end of the highway and we’ll meet by the big red tree.”

Why it’s the 41st Greatest song of the 70s

Although Creedence Clearwater Revival didn’t stay together for all of the 70s, it’s safe to say they left a lasting impression on the music industry. From the album Cosmo’s Factory (1970), “Up And Around The Bend” starts with an iconic guitar riff that perfectly introduces lead singer John Fogerty’s rugged voice. Pioneering American Rock and Roll from Woodstock to the Forrest Gump’s soundtrack, this track shines as a perfect example of the band coming together in their prime.

40. Heart of Glass by Blondie

40. Heart of Glass by Blondie - Best Songs 1970s“Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind.”

Why it’s the 40th Best song of the 70s

Sliding in at the end of the 70s, Blondie’s hit “Heart of Glass” from the album Parallel Lines (1978) opened up new wave and pop-rock to the coming decades. With a mix of disco sound and synthesizers cooing, Debbie Harry floats in and out of this dreamy song to share her misfortune in love. This track explores new territory for the 1970s but keeps the best parts of all the rock and glamour.

39. Ramblin’ Man by The Allman Brothers Band

39. Ramblin’ Man by The Allman Brothers Band - Greatest Songs 1970s“They’re always having a good time down on the bayou, Lord. Them Delta women think the world of me.”

Why it’s the 39th Top song of the 70s

From the album Brothers and Sisters (1973), “Ramblin’ Man” is a country-rock hybrid that has become a staple sound of the 1970s. With a strong southern influence, this track holds sweet harmonies and intricate guitar solos, combining into a rich sound that is entirely unique to The Allman Brother’s Band. Whether you’re a fan of country or not, there is no doubt that you know this song!

38. Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones

38. Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones - Top Songs 1970s“I’ll tell ya, you can put me out on the street. Put me out with no shoes on my feet. But put me out, put me out, put me out of misery, yeah.”

Why it’s the 38th Greatest song of the 70s

Coming into the 70s as seasoned rock stars, “Beast of Burden” is a track that doesn’t fall prey to The Rolling Stone’s accustomed hunt for shock value. Instead, this track sits quietly at the end of the album Some Girls (1978) and seductively lures listeners into something more intimate. Mick Jagger’s plea to be relieved in this song is a shift from more thrashing tracks like “Respectable”.

37. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead

37. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now by McFadden and Whitehead - Best Songs 1970s“I know you know someone that has a negative vibe and if you try to make it, they only push you aside.”

Why it’s the 37th Best song of the 70s

McFadden & Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” uplifts anybody on a dancefloor and is undoubtedly a prime example of the perfect disco track. Boosting the mood of dancers from the 70s and for generations to come, this track from the album McFadden & Whitehead (1979) hit #1 on the R&B charts and #13 on the pop charts in 1979.

36. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder

36. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder - Greatest Songs 1970s“I’ve done a lot of foolish things that I really didn’t mean.”

Why it’s the 36th Top song of the 70s

Coming into the 70s with a reputation since signing with Tamla Records at age 11, the title track from Signed, Sealed & Delivered (1970) vibrantly bursts. Combining a funky layer of horns and sitar guitar, this track from Stevie Wonder grabs listeners with its playful composition. Regardless of age, almost everyone around today knows this very song making it a timeless classic.

35. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan

35. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan - Top Songs 1970s“That cold black cloud is comin’ down, I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.”

Why it’s the 35th Greatest song of the 70s

Composed for the movie soundtrack of Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973) “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” holds two short verses and a simple sentiment that makes a powerful statement. At a different pace from his earlier songs, this soulful track arose to fame quite quickly making it one of Bob Dylan’s most famous songs.

34. The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy

34. The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy - Best Songs 1970s“Told ’em you were livin’ downtown drivin’ all the old men crazy.”

Why it’s the 34th Best song of the 70s

Whether you know it or not, you know this Thin Lizzy song. Hailing from the album Jailbreak (1976), “The Boys Are Back In Town” is a hit track for the Irish Hard-Rockers. Quickly putting the band on the map, this song has gained international success as an influential example of having two lead guitarists who can smash out one hell of a riff.

33. Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple

33. Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple - Greatest Songs 1970s“They burned down the gambling house, it died with an awful sound.”

Why it’s the 33rd Top song of the 70s

Deep Purple is known for two things best, pioneering the early Heavy Metal scene and creating a song favored by every guitarist at some point during their musical education. Retelling the story of the Montreux Casino fire of 1971, “Smoke On The Water”, from the album Machine Head (1972), became an instant classic with that gritty leading bass.

32. Heart of Gold by Neil Young

32. Heart of Gold by Neil Young - Greatest Songs 1970s“I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold.”

Why it’s the 32nd Greatest song of the 70s

An understated hit to make it to this list, Neil Young’s top track from the album Harvest (1972) plays on his lyrical charm and elevates his artistry from his days of Crosby, Stills & Nash. “Heart of Gold” is undoubtedly a shining example of 70s country rock that continues to inspire generations of country and folk musicians, having been covered by Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kace Musgraves.

31. December, 1963 (Oh What A Night!) by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

31. December, 1963 (Oh What A Night!) by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons - Best Songs 1970s“Oh, I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder.”

Why it’s the 31st Best song of the 70s

After making waves in the 60s, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons entered the 70s as a seasoned pop group. “December 1963 (Oh What A Night!)” outshone the album’s title track Who Loves You (1975) as the leading chart-topper. Combining the band’s smooth Jersey Boys sound with strong ties to 70s disco, this track has become a staple in every classic 70s playlist.

30. Come and Get Your Love by Redbone

30. Come and Get Your Love by Redbone - Top Songs 1970s“What’s the matter with you feel right.”

Why it’s the 30th Top song of the 70s

Before resurfacing in Marvel’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy, Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” from the album Wovoka (1973) has had listeners grooving for decades. With a riff in the chorus that gets you wiggling in your seat, this track enthralls listeners from the beginning with that ever-so-cool funk vibe.

29. What Is Life by George Harrison

29. What Is Life by George Harrison - Greatest Songs 1970s“Tell me, who am I without you by my side?”

Why it’s the 29th Greatest song of the 70s

From his first solo album since parting with The Beatles, “What Is Life” from All Things Must Pass (1970) is an ecstatic single that shows off George Harrison in the prime of his independence. Hearing the playfulness in his use of reverb and the familiar brilliance of cleverly intimate songwriting, it’s no wonder George Harrison’s first solo venture took off with such speed!

28. Barracuda by Heart

28. Barracuda by Heart - Best Songs 1970s“And if the real thing don’t do the trick, you better make up something quick.”

Why it’s the 28th Best song of the 70s

Hailing from Heart’s third studio album Little Queen (1977), Barracuda’s stellar riff grabs listeners from the start. Lead singer Ann Wilson poured her fury towards misogyny within the music industry into the track and it sure paid off, along with the commercial success that has spanned decades the song proudly stands as a prime example of 70s heavy metal and hard rock.

27. ABC by The Jackson 5

27. ABC by The Jackson 5 - Top Songs 1970s“I’m gonna teach you, all about love girl.”

Why it’s the 27th Top song of the 70s

A staple in the history of pop, the title track from ABC (1970) introduced The Jackson 5 as rising stars hitting the 70s with a fun and playful sound. Making a debut of his own, 11-year-old lead singer, Michael Jackson, wowed audiences with his showmanship and passion for soul and pop. True of the artist he would become, this track transcends generations and became an American pop classic.

26. Lola by The Kinks

26. Lola by The Kinks - Greatest Songs 1970s“Well I’m not the world’s most passionate guy, but when I looked in her eyes I almost fell for my Lola.”

Why it’s the 26th Greatest song of the 70s

Notably one of The Kinks’ most famous songs, “Lola” from the album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneyground, Part One (1970) caused waves amongst conservatives worldwide upon its release. With radio stations around the world splicing and banning the song, the tale of an interaction between the singer and a cross-dressing man has surely left an impression. Using their signature gritty-folk balance and tongue-in-cheek style, the band instantly makes you feel like you’ve know “Lola” for years.

25. Riders on the Storm by The Doors

25. Riders on the Storm by The Doors - Best Songs 1970s“Into this world, we’re thrown.”

Why it’s the 25th Best song of the 70s

Ambient and a little foreboding, “Riders on the Storm” has been considered one of The Doors’ most well-loved songs. From the album L.A. Woman (1971), this track’s attention to detail lures listeners in. Jim Morrison’s vocals layered with a harmony of singing and whispering combined with a psychedelic keyboard solo mixed with rain sounds make this 7 minutes of intrigue.

24. Layla by Derek & The Dominos

24. Layla by Derek & The Dominos - Top Songs 1970s“Darling won’t you ease my worried mind.”

Why it’s the 24th Top song of the 70s

Considered somewhat of a one-hit-wonder, Derek & The Dominos track “Layla” is the embodiment of classic 70s rock sound. From the band’s only album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970), this track is one of few that comes into its own as both an original and unplugged version. Inspired by Eric Clapton’s fascination for the story of Layla and Majnun, the punchy rock sound combined with loving guitar solos make this song a near-perfect example of 70s rock exploration.

23. Let It Be by The Beatles

23. Let It Be by The Beatles - Greatest Songs 1970s“And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me.”

Why it’s the 23rd Greatest song of the 70s

One of the last songs from The Beatles before their shocking split, Let It Be (1970)’s title track is full of heart and appropriate fanfare. Being Paul McCartney’s final song with the band, his passionate outcry for peace still strikes fans of all ages. To top it off, the guitar solo in this track shows George Harrison in all his glory, powering up his fellow bandmates with a shared message of love.

22. Baba O’Riley by The Who

22. Baba O’Riley by The Who - Best Songs 1970s“It’s only teenage wasteland.”

Why it’s the 22nd Best song of the 70s

The first track from the album Who’s Next (1971), “Baba O’Riley” sets a new standard for the My Generation rockers that rose to fame during the 1960s. Iconized by the line “teenage wasteland,” this track brought The Who enormous commercial success from film and television to live performances and sporting events. With an unmissable synth and fantastic blend of electronic rock and folk, this song has become a chameleon for pumping up crowds all around the world.

21. Wild World by Yusuf / Cat Stevens

21. Wild World by Yusuf / Cat Stevens - Top Songs 1970s“It’s hard to get by just upon a smile.”

Why it’s the 21st Top song of the 70s

From the album Tea for the Tillerman (1970), Wild World’s cautionary tale of a lover leaving the singer quickly became one of Cat Stevens’ most well-loved songs. With a mellow introduction, this song carries itself into an iconic ballad that’s humble beginnings are amplified by a fantastic bass riff and clever pauses, grabbing the listener.

20. Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed

20. Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed - Greatest Songs 1970s“Jackie is just speeding away, thought she was James Dean for a day.”

Why it’s the 20th Greatest song of the 70s

As a longstanding member of The Velvet Underground, it’s no surprise that “Walk On The Wild Side” led to a mainstream breakthrough. Produced by David Bowie, Lou Reed’s second solo album Transformer (1972) holds the track in fifth place and caused quite the stir with its controversial lyrics. With that iconic “doot, di-doot,” and underrated bassline this song opened up a new perspective on glam rock.

19. Jolene by Dolly Parton

19. Jolene by Dolly Parton - Best Songs 1970s“Your smile is like a breath of spring, your voice is soft like summer rain.”

Why it’s the 19th Best song of the 70s

Making it into the top 20 with that classic country pick work is Dolly Parton’s title track “Jolene” (1974). The country-pop queen’s impassioned plea for her husband to be spared from a beautiful woman smothers listeners with emotion and a swell of strings. As Parton cries out “Jolene” towards the fade out of the song it dawns on the audience that this short ballad hits swiftly.

18. Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield

18. Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield - Top Songs 1970s“Take nothing less than the supreme best.”

Why it’s the 18th Top song of the 70s

An underdog upon its release, “Move On Up” from the album Curtis (1970) hits as a staple in 70s sound. While the track failed to chart in the United States, the track’s positive lyrics and funk beat have risen above its humble beginnings. Progressive rhythm and fabulous brass riffs make this song a smash hit for soul.

17. Rocket Man by Elton John

17. Rocket Man by Elton John - Greatest Songs 1970s“Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.”

Why it’s the 17th Greatest song of the 70s

Pioneering classic Rock’n’Roll stardom, Elton Jonn proudly sits in third place with his ballad “Rocket Man” from the album Honkey Château (1972). This song, while modest in comparison to his many hits, strikes a unique balance between narrative and progression. Rocket Man’s swift upswing and generous instrumentals give the feeling of being launched off into space, shooting for Mars.

16. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver

16. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver - Best Songs 1970s“Life is old there, older than the trees.”

Why it’s the 16th Best song of the 70s

Whether you’re from West Virginia or not, there is no doubt that the line “West Virginia, Mountain Mama,” has played in the background of your life at some point. John Denver’s track “Take Me Home, Country Roads” from the album Poems, Prayers & Promises (1971) has extended far beyond just an anthem for the state. As John Denver, Bill Danoff, and Taffy Nivert harmonize throughout the final chorus, the composition of this track has made it a classic country song.

15. Imagine by John Lennon

15. Imagine by John Lennon - Greatest Songs 1970s“Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too.”

Why it’s the 15th Top song of the 70s

Captivating listeners with a message of change, the title track from Imagine (1971) leaves a lasting impression. As the song starts off with a signature piano melody, John Lennon implores his listeners to dare to dream about a peaceful, humbled world. Heavily influenced by his wife Yoko Ono, the song grew to become Lennon’s most notable work that continues to be considered a united world anthem.

14. Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers

14. Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers - Top Songs 1970s“And this house just ain’t no home anytime she goes away.”

Why it’s the 14th Greatest song of the 70s

From the debut album Just As I Am (1971), “Ain’t No Sunshine” introduces Bill Withers as a unique and complex sound. With the weighty strings and the repeated line of “I know,” Withers captures a significant feeling of loss and dazed confusion. Quickly arising to be his first hit, this track is an underrated example of the depths of soul.

13. I Was Made For Lovin’ You by KISS

13. I Was Made For Lovin’ You by KISS - Best Songs 1970s“Feel the magic, there’s something that drives me wild.”

Why it’s the 13th Best song of the 70s

Contrary to their usual hard rock songs, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” from the album Dynasty (1979) stands out as a top track for KISS. Despite being a less than favorable track to their die-hard fans, this song’s disco influence undoubtedly made the band stand out. Topping the charts and becoming a Gold single, this track holds a powerful seat in 70s hard rock history.

12. American Pie by Don McLean

12. American Pie by Don McLean - Greatest Songs 1970s“Oh, and there we were all in one place, a generation lost in space.”

Why it’s the 12th Top song of the 70s

Don McLean’s title track to American Pie (1971) covers an expansive portion of the 20th century, focusing in on “the day the music died.” This impressive eight-minute anthem holds a strong relationship to iconic American legends including Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and more. While there is much speculation regarding the deeper meaning behind the track’s lyrics, the bigger question is who can remember all of them?

11. September by Earth, Wind & Fire

11. September by Earth, Wind and Fire - Top Songs 1970s“Love was changing the mind of pretenders while chasing the clouds away.”

Why it’s the 11th Greatest song of the 70s

Highly regarded as one of Earth, Wind & Fire’s most notable songs, “September” has made generations get up and boogie. Rightly sitting in the album The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 (1978) this track is a loved disco classic that has been remixed, sampled, and covered every which way, further proving its brilliance as a dance hit.

10. Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

10. Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin - Best Songs 1970s“So now you better stop and rebuild all your ruins for peace and trust can win the day despite all of your losing.”

Why it’s the 10th Best song of the 70s

Launching off with a distinct cry and masterful riff, “Immigrant Song” captures Led Zeppelin’s enormous influence on Heavy Metal. Hailing from the album Led Zeppelin III (1970), the song’s influence of Valhalla and Vikings charted the way for upcoming heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden. With powerful imagery and an infectious bass, this transcendent track captured the origins of what would become contemporary rock.

9. Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees

9. Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees - Greatest Songs 1970s“Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’.”

Why it’s the 9th Top song of the 70s

Storming into the top 10 in platforms and bell-bottoms is “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. Rising to instant fame from the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever (1977), lead singer Barry Gibb’s falsetto launches this disco track into a catchy hook. Harmonies from Robin and Maurice Gibb add to the magic of this dancefloor anthem, making it one of their most well-known songs and one of the most popular disco songs of all time.

8. Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra

8. Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra - Top Songs 1970s“Hey you with the pretty face, welcome to the human race.”

Why it’s the 8th Greatest song of the 70s

Of all the bands that managed to incorporate a cowbell into their commercially successful tracks, few have done it as gracefully as Electric Light Orchestra. “Mr. Blue Sky” is nestled into the album Out of the Blue (1977) and closes out the third side of the LP on a symphonic high note. Noted as ELO’s most infamous song, its upbeat lyrics, and fantastic composition have made this song a prime example of 70s classics.

7. The Chain by Fleetwood Mac

7. The Chain by Fleetwood Mac - Greatest Songs 1970s“I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain.”

Why it’s the 7th Best song of the 70s

Would it really be a 70s countdown without Fleetwood Mac? The first song on side two of the critically acclaimed album Rumors (1977), “The Chain” combines elements of folk, hard rock, and country to create an iconic riff that pulls listeners in. The thumping bassline builds up to Lindsey Buckinham’s brilliant guitar solo that solidifies the band as one of the most iconic groups of the 1970s.

6. Dream On by Aerosmith

6. Dream On by Aerosmith - Best Songs 1970s“Half my life’s in books, written pages, live and learn from fools from sages.”

Why it’s the 6th Top song of the 70s

From their debut album Aerosmith (1973), “Dream On” powerfully introduces Steven Tyler’s early vocal skills and Aerosmith’s immediate strength as a timeless hard rock band. Positioning the band as masters of power ballads and with a blues influence, this track sets a strong impression. The hook of the chorus hits audiences of all ages, making this early track of Aerosmith a staple 70s rock ballad.

5. Hotel California by Eagles

5. Hotel California by Eagles - Greatest Songs 1970s“And I was thinking to myself ‘This could be Heaven or this could be Hell.’”

Why it’s the 5th Greatest song of the 70s

When it comes to 70s soft rock, there isn’t a song that can hold a candle to the title track of Hotel California (1977). Exemplifying clever composition and fantastic use of 12 strings, the Eagles six-minute track shot to the top of the charts upon its release. With a highly regarded solo by guitarists worldwide, this song captures the extensive skill that songwriters explored and demonstrated in the 70s.

4. Dancing Queen by ABBA

4. Dancing Queen by ABBA - Best Songs 1970s“You’re a teaser, you turn ‘em on. Leave ‘em burning and then you’re gone.”

Why it’s the 4th Best song of the 70s

Blitzing international charts and spearheading Europop magic is ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” from their fourth album Arrival (1976). Firing off with that disco-infused piano medley, this immediate hit has become a beloved dancefloor anthem for generations. The Swedish group’s uplifting coming-of-age track has become a longstanding familiar favorite that extends far beyond Mama Mia!

3. Moonage Daydream by David Bowie

3. Moonage Daydream by David Bowie - Top Songs 1970s“Keep your ‘lectric eye on me, babe, put your ray gun to my head.”

Why it’s the 3rd Top song of the 70s

In all his Glam Rock glory, “Moonage Daydream” is David Bowie’s shining third track on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972). This track captures Bowie as an influential out-of-this-world rock icon, whilst exhibiting guitarist Mick Ronson’s impeccable skill.

2. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac

2. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac - Greatest Songs 1970s“It’s only me who wants to wrap around your dreams and have you any dreams you’d like to sell?”

Why it’s the 2nd Greatest song of the 70s

The only repeat offender making this list with their hit track “Dreams” from the album Rumors (1977) is Fleetwood Mac once more. Smoothly starting off with an iconic bassline, Stevie Nicks lures listeners into her soft-rock wonderland. Providing the ultimate meditative 70s rock sound, this track defies age by standing just a strongly in popularity with all audiences.

1. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

1. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen - Best Songs 1970s“So you think you can love me and leave me to die.”

Why it’s the Best song of the 70s

Proudly hitting number one is Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” from the album A Night at the Opera (1975). This symphonic masterpiece smashes the boundaries of hard rock, symphony, and pop by artfully composing the best aspects of all genres into a magnificent journey for the listener. From the slow burn beginning, Queen highlights lead singer Freddie Mercury’s vocals and gently leads to the timeless guitar solo that launches into a full progressive rock explosion, which was unlike anything of the times.

Chelsea Emerick

Chelsea Emerick is a Florida-based Australian and contributor for Binaural Records. Her upbringing around 60s and 70s rock has developed a passion for pop-punk and indie. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys thrifting and painting.

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