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The Best Songs From 1970s Playlist – 50+ Songs

Enjoy our playlist of songs from the 70s. Over 50 classic songs that can rewind you to a time before the internet, sure to bring you some nostalgia.

Trouble Man

Listen:
Artist:
  • Marvin Gaye
Album:
  • Trouble Man (Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Description

Marvin Gaye released Trouble Man on Tamla Records in 1972. He played both the piano and the drums for this hit single and once called it the most honest single he ever released.

Hurricane

Listen:
Artist:
  • Bob Dylan
Album:
  • Desire
Description

Bob Dylan wrote the song Hurricane based on the true story of a boxer who was wrongfully convicted of murder. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Listen:
Artist:
  • Queen
Album:
  • A Night At The Opera
Description

Bohemian Rhapsody is a six-minute masterpiece. Seven years before MTV started showing videos, Queen made a promotional music video of the song. This would lead some to believe that the band invented the music video.

Dream On

Listen:
Artist:
  • Aerosmith
Album:
  • Aerosmith
Description

Steven Tyler wrote Dream On over the course of about 7 years. With the help of his band, they were able to finish the song and release it as their first hit single in 1973.

Stairway to Heaven

Listen:
Artist:
  • Led Zeppelin
Album:
  • Led Zeppelin IV
Description

Stairway to Heaven was composed into several parts and is classified as a combination of Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, and Folk Rock. Depending on who you talk too, this song is considered one of the greatest Rock songs ever written.

Baba O'Riley

Listen:
Artist:
  • The Who
Album:
  • Who's Next
Description

Baba O’Riley was written to describe the sights of depression looking out to the drug-riddled crowd at Woodstock. The song is often referred to as Teenage Wasteland as per the chorus.

Cold as Ice

Listen:
Artist:
  • Foreigner
Album:
  • Foreigner
Description

Cold as Ice was written to portray a woman who is cold-hearted and only cares about herself. Lead Singer Lou Gramm describes writing this song as a sort experience has had with a woman from his past.

Into The Mystic

Listen:
Artist:
  • Van Morrison
Album:
  • Moondance
Description

Into The Mystic is a lyrical masterpiece about a spiritual journey into our universe. Van Morrison wrote two sets of lyrics for the song and beautifully blended them with the clever use of homophones.

Heart of Gold

Listen:
Artist:
  • Neil Young
Album:
  • Harvest
Description

Heart of Gold is an acoustic masterpiece. Much like the rest of the Harvest album, Neil Young wrote this song following a back injury that would leave it very hard for him to play the electric guitar. Heart of Gold still to date is Neil Young’s only #1 hit.

Melissa

Listen:
Artist:
  • The Allman Brothers Band
Album:
  • Eat a Peach
Description

According to Greg Allman, he wrote Melissa while high on amphetamines. He stayed awake for two straight days to finish writing the song, and it is now ranked #234

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

Listen:
Artist:
  • Michael Jackson
Album:
  • Off the Wall
Description

Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough written and recorded for Michael Jackson. It was the first song to go #1 that he wrote on his own.

Running On Empty

Listen:
Artist:
  • Jackson Browne
Album:
  • Running on Empty
Description

Running on Empty was written by Jackson Browne to paint a picture of what it feels like to be on the road touring as a musician.

Piano Man

Listen:
Artist:
  • Billy Joel
Album:
  • Piano Man
Description

The Executive Room is a piano bar located in Los Angeles where Billy Joel and other pianists would play their music. Piano Man was written by Billy Joel to describe his time spent there, describing real characters and real events.

You Are Everything

Listen:
Artist:
  • Diana & Marvin
Album:
  • Diana & Marvin
Description

The powerhouse duo created a 14 track album in 1973. The album was recorded through Motown records in Detroit, MI.

Let's Stay Together

Listen:
Artist:
  • Al Green
Album:
  • Let's Stay Together
Description

Let’s Stay Together is considered one of the top 60 greatest songs of all time per Rolling Stone. Al Green pre-recorded this song nearly 100 times before found the one he liked.

I Wanna Be Your Lover

Listen:
Artist:
  • Prince
Album:
  • Prince
Description

Prince wrote the song with hopes that Patrice Rushen would want to do the vocals on the song, she declined. It was also the first Prince song to have a music video.

I'll Be There

Listen:
Artist:
  • Jackson 5
Album:
  • Jackson 5: The Ultimate Collection
Description

I’ll Be There took the #1 spot on both the U.S. Hot 100 and the R&B charts in 1970. This song tells the story of a man who will still be there for his ex-girlfriend, even if she finds another man.

Live and Let Die

Listen:
Artist:
  • Paul McCartney & Wings
Album:
  • Red Rose Speedway
Description

Paul McCartney wrote the song Live and Let Die in only 10 minutes. He wrote the song in hopes to make the theme song for the next James Bond film, he ultimately succeeded.

It's Too Late

Listen:
Artist:
  • Carole King
Album:
  • Tapestry
Description

It’s Too Late is about a relationship between a woman and a man coming to an end. Carol King sings about how it’s killing her inside, but she won’t let it show.

Lovely Day

Listen:
Artist:
  • Bill Withers
Album:
  • Menagerie
Description

Lovely Day is a song about a perfect day filled with happiness and joy. During the song, Bill Withers holds the note “Lovely Day” for a total of 18 seconds.

Move On Up

Listen:
Artist:
  • Curtis Mayfield
Album:
  • Curtis
Description

Lovely Day is a song about a perfect day filled with happiness and joy. During the song, Bill Withers holds “Lovely Day” for a total of 18 seconds.

Wild Horses

Listen:
Artist:
  • The Rolling Stones
Album:
  • Sticky Fingers
Description

Wild Horses was first written as a song to Keith Richards’ son. Keith wrote about how going on tour would make him regret being away from his son. The lyrics would later change as well as the subject matter, referencing a relationship fading between Mick Jagger and his ex-girlfriend.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Listen:
Artist:
  • Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Album:
  • Not Fragile
Description

Randy Bachman recorded a studdering version of You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet as a prank to his brother Gary, making fun of his speech impediment. A non-studdering version was also recorded, but the record company liked the original version better.

Ventura Highway

Listen:
Artist:
  • America
Album:
  • Homecoming
Description

Ventura Highway was written by America frontman Dewey Bunnell. Dewey’s father was changing a tire on the side of the road near a sign that read Ventura Hwy. The elements of the sun, the clouds, and the ocean inspired him to write about it.

Good Times

Listen:
Artist:
  • Chic
Album:
  • Les Plus Grands Succes de Chic
Description

The song Good times is one of the first songs ever to be sampled by a rap group. With no laws in place to fight it, The Sugarhill Gang used this track to gain huge success for their 1979 rap classic Rapper’s Delight.

Summer Madness

Listen:
Artist:
  • Kool & The Gang
Album:
  • Light Of Worlds
Description

Summer Madness has been sampled numerous times by big-name artists of the Hip-Hop and R&B genre. You may also remember this song playing in the background of the film Rocky, in the scene where he is seen feeding his fish.

Fire And Rain

Listen:
Artist:
  • James Taylor
Album:
  • Sweet Baby James
Description

Fire and Rain is a song about James Taylor and his battle with drug addiction. He also writes about his encounter with depression at a young age.

Stranglehold

Listen:
Artist:
  • Ted Nugent
Album:
  • Ted Nugent
Description

With the vocals of Derek St. Holmes and Ted Nugent’s guitar, Stranglehold became a strong message heard round the music industry. Before its release, no record label wanted anything to do with Ted Nugent. Boy were they wrong.

Iron Man

Listen:
Artist:
  • Black Sabbath
Album:
  • Paranoid
Description

Iron Man wasn’t necessarily a chart-topper, peaking only at the #52 position after its release. However, due to its dark lyrics and heavy metal sound, Black Sabbath would soon see an increased cult following.

Sweet Home Alabama

Listen:
Artist:
  • Lynard Skynard
Album:
  • Second Helping
Description

In the song Sweet Home Alabama, Lynard Skynard defends all things that are good about Alabama. They did so in response to the words Neil Young used for his songs Alabama and Southern Man. Young implies that Alabama is full of racists with old school mentalities.

Runnin' with the Devil

Listen:
Artist:
  • Van Halen
Album:
  • Van Halen
Description

This song was written to highlight that life on tour at a young age is sometimes not easy. In the song it states “I’ve found the simple life, ain’t so simple” and later “I’ve got not love, no love you’d call real”.

Riders On the Storm

Listen:
Artist:
  • The Doors
Album:
  • L.A. Woman
Description

Riders On the Storm was released right before the death of Jim Morrison in 1971. This would be the last song he would ever record.

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Listen:
Artist:
  • John Denver
Album:
  • Poems, Prayers, Promises
Description

Bill and Taffy Danoff wrote this song with the help of John Denver. They used inspiration received from a radio station the picked up in West Virginia on a road trip through Maryland.

Superstition

Listen:
Artist:
  • Stevie Wonder
Album:
  • Talking Book
Description

Stevie Wonder originally wrote this song for Jeff Beck in exchange for some guitar riffs. However, Jeff Beck took too long to release the track, so Stevie released the song himself.

Get Down Tonight

Listen:
Artist:
  • KC and the Sunshine Band
Album:
  • KC and the Sunshine Band
Description

Get Down Tonight is a classic disco song that tells the story of a man convicing a woman in a club to dance with him. He refers to it as a Get Down.

Do You Fell Like We Do (Live) [Remix]

Listen:
Artist:
  • Peter Frampton
Album:
  • Frampton Comes Alive!
Description

This song is about Peter Frampton and his long night of drinking. He woke up with a big hangover, and his bandmates convinced him to write about it.

Kodachrome

Listen:
Artist:
  • Paul Simon
Album:
  • There Goes Rhymin' Simon
Description

Kodachrome is a song that highlights the bright colors and the dull colors that transition throughout the seasons. The Kodak Kodachrome is a camera used to highlight the bright color scheme Simon is referring to in the song.

One of These Nights

Listen:
Artist:
  • Eagles
Album:
  • One of These Nights
Description

The Eagles wrote this song with a soulful inspiration. The song tells the story of a man searching for a woman with both angle and devilish qualities.

Walk on the Wild Side

Listen:
Artist:
  • Lou Reed
Album:
  • Transformer
Description

Each character portrayed in this song represents a different prostitute. Take a Walk on the Wild Side refers to cross-dressers stepping into the world of prostitution in New York City.

Nights In White Satin (The Night) [Incl."Late Lament"]

Listen:
Artist:
  • The Moody Blues
Album:
  • Days of Future Passed
Description

The Moody Blues song Nights in White Satin was written by band member Justin Hayward when he was only 19. The song references a transitional period between two past love experiences.

Money

Listen:
Artist:
  • Pink Floyd
Album:
  • The Dark Side of the Moon
Description

Pink Floyd’s song Money was a huge hit when it was released in 1973. The lyrics tell the story about the good and the bad that come along with making all that paper.

School's Out

Listen:
Artist:
  • Alice Cooper
Album:
  • School's Out
Description

Alice Cooper wrote School’s Out to paint a picture of the feeling you have right before summer vacation starts. It’s a feeling like nothing else.

Radar Love

Listen:
Artist:
  • Golden Earring
Album:
  • Moontan
Description

Radar Love is a song about telepathic love powers. A feeling you can only portray through music, Golden Earring nails it with this track.

Sultans of Swing

Listen:
Artist:
  • Dire Straits
Album:
  • Dire Straits
Description

Sultan’s of Swing is a song about a night out with the boys. The song sends out good vibes in hopes they find a great club with great music.

More Than a Feeling

Listen:
Artist:
  • Boston
Album:
  • Boston
Description

More Than a Feeling was written to share the message of a feeling that almost anyone can relate too, losing a close friend or relative.

Carry On Wayward Son

Listen:
Artist:
  • Kansas
Album:
  • Leftoverture
Description

Carry On Wayward Son is a song written to describe a spiritual journey, with hopes to find answers to the questions you may have.

Born to Run

Listen:
Artist:
  • Bruce Springsteen
Album:
  • Born To Run
Description

Born to Run is a Rock and Roll love letter, which uses the music production formula, the wall of sound, coined by the great Phil Spector.

Night Moves

Listen:
Artist:
  • Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Album:
  • Night Moves
Description

Night moves is a song with a double meaning. One theory is that the song references a couple losing their virginity, while others think it refers to a fun night of dancing and partying.

You're No Good

Listen:
Artist:
  • Linda Ronstadt
Album:
  • Heart Like a Wheel
Description

Clint Ballard Jr. wrote You’re No Good from a female’s point of view. This song tells the story of a woman who meets a man and finds out that he is no good from the start.

Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)

Listen:
Artist:
  • The Hollies
Album:
  • Distant Light
Description

Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress) is a song about an FBI agent who becomes infatuated by a woman in a black dress. The lyrics hint to the fact that he would spare her life in the middle of a prohibition alcohol bust.

Imagine

Listen:
Artist:
  • John Lennon
Album:
  • Imagine
Description

John Lennon wrote the song Imagine to spread an idea out to the public. His vision was to spread peace and love amongst the people and give hope to those who have lost it.