If listening to the music of the 70s is your favourite pastime then you will love this site. What is it that made the 70s the best decade for music (in my opinion). You may prefer another decade but as you are here I believe you have a liking for the 70s and all the great music that was around then.
Music Of The 70s – 1970
A few things that happened in the UK in 1970. The half crown coin ceased to be legal tender, remember them? The first jumbo jet to land in Britain which was a Boeing 747 landed at Heathrow. Martin Peters became the nations first £200,000 football player when he transferred from West Ham to Spurs. Everton won the first division title (changed days). Chelsea won the F.A. cup and Manchester City won the European cup winners cup having won the F.A. cup the previous year.
Paul McCartney announced he had left the Beatles. Golfer Tony Jacklin won the US Open and Jack Nicklaus won the British Open. The Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh. In November the ten shilling note ceased to be legal tender.
OK, let’s get to the music. Where do you start with 70s music? I suppose 1970 would be the best place to go. What happened music wise in 1970? There were 14 new number one songs in this year, have a look at them here. I would like to have a look at those songs that didn’t quite make it to the top but were great songs too. I will do them alphabetically as it easier for you to find your favourite. I do like a list. I will only do 20 in each year so I don’t spend all week writing this article:)
- Arrival had 2 hits Friends that got to number 8 and I Will Survive that reached number 16.
- Badfinger got to number 4 with Come And Get It.
- Shirley Bassey also got to number 4 with Something in 1970.
- Beach Boys reached number 5.
- Beatles got to number 2 with Let It Be, goodbye Beatles.
- Black Sabbath made number 4 with Paranoid.
- Bob and Marcia reached number 5 with Young Gifted And Black.
- Bread with the classic Make It With You got to number 5.
- Carpenters (They Long To Be) Close To You got to number 6.
- Clarence Carter a personal favourite got to number 2 with Patches.
- Chairman Of The Board with Give Me Just A Little More Time got to number 3.
- Jimmy Cliff got to number 8 with Wild World.
- Free with Alright Now got to number 2.
- Hot Legs with Neanderthal Man got to number 2 also.
- Jacksons made it to number 2 with I Want You Back.
- Johnny Johnson And The Bandwagon with Blame It On The Pony Express got to number 7.
- Kinks got to number 2 with Lola
- McGuinness Flint with When I’m Dead And Gone got to number 2.
- Pickettywitch had a number 5 hit with That Same Old Feeling
- Stevie Wonder only made it to number 15 with Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours
Music Of The 70s – 1971
Do you remember these things happening in the UK in 1971? The year got off to a bad start with the Ibrox disaster up in Scotland. 66 people were killed in a crush at a Rangers v Celtic match on January 2nd. On the 20th January the first ever postal workers strike took place, this is of interest to me as I have worked for Royal Mail since 1980. It ended 47 days later in March
Arsenal did a league and cup double and Chelsea won the European cup winners cup beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the final. In August of 1971 Chay Blyth became the first person to sail around the world, east to west against the prevailing winds and show jumper Harvey Smith was stripped of his victory in the British Show Jumping Derby by the judges for giving a v sign.
In September the pre-decimal penny and Threepence ceased to be legal tender. Also in September The Old Grey Whistle Test was aired on BBC 2 for the first time.
Music time, There were 13 number one songs in 1971, check them out here. Other songs that didn’t hit the top spot but were still great are listed below. As I said above I will stick to 20 for each year.
- Ashton Gardner and Dyke got to number 3 with Resurrection Shuffle.
- Joan Baez reached number 6 with The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
- Bay City Rollers had their first chart hit with Keep On Dancing that got to number 9.
- Blue Mink got to number 3 with Banner Man
- Bob And Marcia followed up their 1970 success, getting to number 11 with Pied Piper.
- Cher got to number 4 with Gypsys Tramps And Thieves.
- Tony Christie had 2 top 20 hits in 1971 I Did What I Did For Maria (4) and Is This The Way To Amarillo (18).
- Delfonics only got to number 22 with Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time).
- Neil Diamond reached number 8 with Sweet Caroline.
- East Of Eden got to number 7 with Jig A Jig.
- Faces made it to number 6 with Stay With Me.
- Georgie Fame had Rosetta in the charts at number 11.
- Family reached number 4 with In My Own Time
- Fantastics got to number 9 with Something Old, Something New
- Free had a number 4 song with My Brother Jake
- Al Green reached number 4 with I’m Tired Of Being Alone
- Stephen Stills only reached number 37 in the UK with Love The One Your With
- Supremes got to number 3 with Stoned Love
- James Taylor got to number 4 with You’ve Got A Friend
- Who reached number 9 with Won’t Get Fooled Again
In January of 1972 the miners voted to go on strike and were out for 7 weeks. Unemployment reached the 1 million mark for the first time since the 1930s. In the first uefa cup final Spurs beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 on aggregate over 2 legs. Derby County won the first division and Leeds won the F.A. cup beating Arsenal 1-0 with an Allan Clarke header. Glasgow Rangers won the European cup winners cup beating Dymano Moscow 3-2 in the final
In September the school-leaving age in England and Wales was raised to 16. I left school in May of this year aged 16 so that law must have already been in up in Scotland.
Onto the music, there were 17 number 1 songs in 1972 see them here. Below I will again list 20 great songs that didn’t quite make it to the top.
- Argent reached number 5 with Hold Your Head Up.
- Bee Gees got to number 16 with My World my favourite Bee Gees song.
- Archie Bell And The Drells had a number 11 song with Here I Go Again.
- Blackfoot Sue reached number 4 with Standing In The Road.
- David Bowie got to number 3 with Drive In Saturday.
- Bread only got to number 16 with Guitar Man. I remember buying this single.
- Lynsey De Paul reached number 5 with Sugar Me.
- Dr Hook got to number 2 with Sylvia’s Mother.
- Roberta Flack had a number 14 song with First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
- Fortunes had a number 7 hit with Storm In A Teacup.
- Hawkwind got to number 3 with Silver Machine. I bought this single, I loved it.
- Michael Jackson had a number 5 hit with Got To Be There.
- Elton John got to number 5 with Crocodile Rock.
- Gladys Knight and The Pips only reached number 11 with Help Me Make It Through The Night.
- Lindisfarne got to number 5 with Meet Me On The Corner and number 3 with Lady Eleanor.
- Dandy Livingstone made it to number 14 with Suzanne Beware Of The Devil.
- Paul McCartney And Wings hit number 5 with Hi Hi Hi/C Moon.
- Sweet reached number 4 with Wig Wam Bam.
- Wizard had a number 6 hit with Ball Park Incident.
- Neil Young got to number 10 with Heart Of Gold.
On the 1st January 1973 the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Denmark joined the European Economic Community (EEC). The super tug Statesman was sent to protect British fishing vessels from Icelandic ships in the Cod War. On 27th February the rail workers and civil servants went on strike.
In March Pink Floyd released the album Dark Side Of The Moon which went on to become the best-selling album of all time by British artists. The queen opened the new London bridge. On the 1st of April value added tax (VAT) came into effect in the UK.
Liverpool won the first division title and Sunderland became the first team without a single player capped at international level to win the FA cup. They beat Leeds United 1-0 in the final. It was also the first post-war win by any club outside the first division. Also in May the Royal Navy sent 3 frigates to protect British fishing vessels from Icelandic boats as the Cod War escalated. Princess Anne announced her engagement to Mark Phillips.
In July the James Bond film Live and Let Die was released with Roger Moore playing Bond. Eighteen coal miners were killed at Markham colliery near Staveley Derbyshire when the brakes failed on their cage. In August Gordon Banks announced his retirement from football having lost an eye in a car crash the previous year.
On the 14th November Princess Anne married Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey. The Last Of The Summer Wine TV series had its first run on BBC 1. In December the speed limit on motorways was reduced to 50mph from 70mph until further notice. On December the 31st due to coal shortages caused by industrial action the three-day week to stop electricity consumption was introduced.
Now the music, I hope you are enjoying these little snippets of what was happening at the time. If not let me know.
There were 17 number one songs in 1973, you can see them here. As usual, we will take a look at 20 of the songs that didn’t make it to the top.
- Argent got to number 18 with God Gave Rock And Roll To You.
- David Bowie reached number 3 with both Drive In Saturday and Life On Mars.
- Carpenters got to number 2 with Yesterday Once More and Top Of The World made number 5.
- Perry Como reached number 7 with For The Good Times and number 3 with And I Love You So.
- Alice Cooper had 2 hits in 1973 Hello Hurray (6) and No More Mr. Nice Guy (10).
- Roger Daltry got to number 5 with Giving It All Away and number 13 with I’m Free.
- Detroit Emeralds reached number 4 with Feel The Need In Me.
- Detroit Spinners made it to number 11 with Could It Be I’m Falling In Love and 7 with Ghetto Child.
- Drifters had a hit with Like Sister And Brother which reached number 7.
- Bob Dylan got to number 14 with Knockin’ On Heavens Door.
- ELO had 2 hits with Roll Over Beethoven (6) and Showdown (12)
- David Essex reached number 3 with Rock On and number 7 with Lamplight.
- Paul McCartney and Wings got to number 9 with My Love.
- Al Martino had a hit with Spanish Eyes which made it to number 5.
- Medicine Head reached number 3 with One And One Is One.
- Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes got to number 9 with If You Don’t Know Me By Now.
- Mott The Hoople had 2 hits All The Way From Memphis (10) and Roll Away The Stone (8).
- Mud reached number 4 with Dyna-Mite number 12 with Crazy and number 16 with Hypnosis.
- Nazereth got to number 9 with Broken Down Angel 10 with Bad Bad Boy and 11 with This Flight Tonight.
- O’Jays made it to number 9 with Love Train.
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I am trying to build up a community of people who love this decade of music.
I want to get people together to share their memories of the music, their favourite artists and songs of the 70’s. We all have those memories and they come flooding back to you when you hear certain songs don’t they?
Now are releasing a 70s 5 LP vinyl collection in December 2021. Take a look at my review of the collection here. It would make a great gift for the 70s music lover in your life.