John Hall and Daryl Oates are the definition of "blue-eyed soul." Their songs are a perfect melding of pop, soul, soft rock and R&B. One song from their extensive catalog that exemplifies their sound is "Sara Smile," which was on their self-titled, Gold certified album from 1975.
No group signifies the laid back, sun-kissed 70s better than the Eagles. Their crystalline harmonies, stellar musicianship and satisfying lyrics make them one of the best rock bands of all time.
When most people think of Led Zeppelin, they think of vibrating, electric, bad-to-the-bone rock and roll. However, as most bands worth their salt, they had a kaleidoscope of sounds, sounds that involved an overlapping of genres, including blues, country, reggae, R&B and folk. "Tangerine" is one of their songs that doesn't quite fall into the category of their usual sound, while simultaneously being their quintessential sound.
There are some classic rock songs that are unquestionably part and parcel of the rock and roll rubric. "Stairway to Heaven," "Imagine," "Hound Dog"...all are staples of rock. Boston's "More Than a Feeling" certainly fits into this category as well. Released in September of 1976, it hit number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Much like the group Kansas, the name of the group as well as the music itself, represents big sky, limitless wheat fields, rich soil, simplicity and freedom.
Country music legend Glen Campbell recently passed. He leaves a legacy of crossover country hits that will be part of pop culture consciousness forever. Known for reflective, everyman songs, his 1977 hit "Southern Nights" was one of his more dance-oriented, upbeat tunes. The song was originally written and recorded by Louisiana legend Allen Toussaint in 1975.
In 1975, Jersey boy Frankie Valli had a new lineup for his band the Four Seasons and they hit the scene with the visceral album Who Loves You, which contained this chart-topping single of the same name. It's a smooth, no-filter blending of pop, soul and disco that touches the mind as much as the spirit.
There can't be a more aptly named band than America. This folk rock band's sound is steeped in Americana, evoking memories of driving along the coast, vast open sky and a limitless horizon. Oddly enough, though, band founder Dewey Bunnell is British and Americans Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley were in England when the trio formed the band in 1970.
George Harrison was known as the quiet Beatle. They say still waters run deep and that certainly was the case for this introspective songwriter.
Most people don't know that soul singer Bobby Womack composed the luscious "Breezin'," made popular by singer-songwriter/guitarist George Benson.
During the 70s, country rock reached an apex of popularity. The Eagles, Glen Campbell and James Taylor were some of the performers who delivered it to the masses on a gold plate filled with homespun lyrics, precise acoustic guitar work and authentic singing. Another notable contributor to this genre was singer/songwriter John Denver.
After leaving one of the most popular bands of all time, Sir Paul McCartney segued smoothly into a solo career, releasing some of the most popular pop rock confections of the 70s. With his soulmate Linda on the keyboards, Paul and his band managed to have 14 number one singles in the U.S...
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has got to be one of the best albums not only of the 70s but of all time. Released in 1974, it followed the path of many albums during that time and was an "experience." Also, the album cover tells a story in itself, it has captivating imagery and gorgeous colors...
This song is a bonafide stride through the heart of the 70s, cowbell and all. Released in 1976, it hit #3 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. According to band member Derek Holt, the song is "about being on the road in America." It definitely is redolent of wind-in-the-hair, open road, and blasting the eight-track while cruising in a convertible.
Initially released on Electric Light Orchestra's 1975 album Face the Music, it's just as ethereal as most of their tunes, which indeed have a strange magic. This song seems a tandem fit for ELO's other hit, "Evil Woman," which is on the same album. Both address the mysteries of love and the possibility of it going awry.
Stevie Nicks' raspy vocals and the wafting rhythms of this iconic song give it a dreamlike quality. This band started out as a blues band in the 60s, then when Nicks and Buckingham joined them, the blending of sounds brought about a whole new animal, one that captured the sound of the 70s, and this song is a perfect combination of those elements.
This song hit #1 on US charts in 1976 and won the Starland Vocal Band a couple of Grammys. It's not hard to see why. It has that soft country rock sound that became popular in the early 70s. Two of the originators of the band, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, had written for John Denver, so they let their country rock roots shine through in "Afternoon Delight."
You can almost feel the warm summer breeze caressing your face when this song plays. Such 70s pop rock goodness. As refreshing as a cold class of lemonade when the heat's hitting about 95 degrees. Seals & Crofts had a number of hits in the 70s, but nothing beats this summertime anthem.
This song is the epitome of effervescence. During the late 60s, 70s and 80s, Kenny Loggins went through many incarnations, from country rock to super pop. But, no song defines him better than this lively tune that wasn't one of his biggest hits, but certainly exemplifies the eternal optimism evident in most of his songs.
The band Chicago, originally Chicago Transit Authority, is known for its heavenly horn section and scintillating harmonies. While this song was originally released in 1969, it wasn't until it was re-released in 1971 that it became a chart-topper. It perfectly captures the moving rhythm of a city on a balmy summer day.
This song is the quintessential 70s pop song. Sweet, breezy, but with potent lyrics. Like a lot of 70s songs, it's happy with a touch of melancholy. Released in 1972, it was Todd Rundgren's first original song and proved to be a chart-topper for him, hitting #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It's now considered a staple of the pop rock genre.