Dance, like music, is universal and while the title of Orleans' "Dance with Me" may seem simple, it does get straight to the point. It was the group's first Top 40 single, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was on their third studio album Let There be Music. Written by the then husband-and-wife team of John and Johanna Hall, the 1975 release has a catchy melody and romantic lyrics that are sure to make you sway to the music.
There is songwriting, then there's SONGWRITING. Prolific and profound singer/songwriter James Taylor emerged in the late 60s as the ultimate laid-back troubadour and the multi-Grammy Award-winning artist remains one of the top selling artists of all time. His first album, which was self-titled, was released in 1968 and received a warm reception from critics...
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils' "Jackie Blue" was released in 1975 as a single from their It'll Shine When it Shines album and is a piece of music that runs deeply through the artery of American culture and wraps around the heart like a warm blanket of nostalgia...
Poco has to be one of the most underrated bands of the 70s. The trio consisted of Richie Furay, Rusty Young and Jim Messina, all former members of Buffalo Springfield who formed this group after Buffalo Springfield disbanded. Messina was also part of a soft rock duo with Kenny Loggins. They created the precious musical jewels "Danny's Song" and "Angry Eyes."
The Guess Who is a Canadian group that hit the music scene in the early sixties. Their first single was "I Just Didn't Have the Heart," which was released in 1962, when their name was still the much more conventional Chad Allen and the Reflections. It wasn't until 1965 that they officially became The Guess Who and started to blow up on the charts and on the stage.
When Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship, they left behind full-throttle, psychedelic rock and roll and swapped it for more thoughtful, soft pop ballads. "Runaway," which was on their 1978 Earth album, showcased lead singer Marty Balin's plaintive vocals, with soul-piercing lyrics and a memorable melody anchoring.
Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" was released in 1969, so not quite the 70s, but on the cusp of it. Co-written with Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby, it has more of a 70s sound than 60s. It veers away from his R&B popish Motown sound and has more of a straight R&B sound, sans harmonica.
Jim Croce's music was pure poetry. The poignant singer/songwriter died in September of 1973, just as his career was taking off. His third studio album, You Don't Mess Around With Jim, was released in April of 1972.
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...