The best songs 1971-1975

Tough-dreamy R&B. Dreamy-tough Europop. Performers dramatizing themselves for an audience yielding to their minitrations. My favorite songs from this period don’t stop giving up their secrets.


1. Temptations – Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)
3. Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady
4. Roxy Music – Street Life
5. Rod Stewart – Maggie May/Reason to Believe
6. The Edgar Winter Group – Free Ride
7. David Bowie – Fame
8. The Spinners – I’ll Be Around
9. Al Green – Call Me (Come Back Home)
10. Led Zeppelin – Trampled Under Foot
11. James Brown – Get On the Good Foot
12. Mott the Hoople – All the Way from Memphis
13. The Stylistics – You Make Me Feel Brand New
14. Linda Ronstadt – You’re No Good
15. Loretta Lynn – The Pill
16. Alice Cooper – Elected
17. Merle Haggard – It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)
18. The Isley Brothers – Fight the Power (Part 1)
19. Carly Simon – That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be
20. Phoebe Snow – Poetry Man
21. Elton John – The Bitch is Back
22. Marvin Gaye – Trouble Man
23. Tammy Wynette – Good Lovin’ (Makes It Right)
24. Bill Withers – Use Me
25. Eagles – One of These Nights
26. Funkadelic – A Joyful Process
27. George Harrison – What is Life
28. James Brown – Funky President (People It’s Bad)
29. Joni Mitchell – Help Me
30. Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose – Treat Her Like a Lady
31. Van Morrison – Wild Nights
32. Stevie Wonder – Superstitious
33. Elton John – Philadelphia Freedom
34. George Jones – The Door
35. The Isley Brothers – That Lady
36. Dolly Parton – Jolene
37. Gil Scott-Heron – The Bottle
38. The Rolling Stones – Happy
39. Willie Nelson – Shotgun Willie
40. Brian Eno – Baby’s on Fire
41, Merle Haggard – Things Aren’t Funny Anymore
42. Kool & the Gang – Hollywood Swinging
43. Fleetwood Mac – Over My Head
44. Ray Price – She’s Got to Be a Saint
45. Ringo Starr – Back Off Boogaloo
46. Carole King – It’s Too Late
47. The O’Jays – Back Stabbers
48. Roberta Flack – Feel Like Makin’ Love
49. Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn – As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone
50. The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There
51. Nilsson – Jump Into the Fire
52. Bachman–Turner Overdrive – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
53. Wings – Listen to What the Man Said
54. Al Green – Tired of Being Alone
55. Gary Stewart – She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)
56. Alice Cooper – Teenage Lament ’74
57. Loretta Lynn – Rated X
58. Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy
59. Janis Ian – At Seventeen
60. George Jones – The Grand Tour

5 thoughts on “The best songs 1971-1975

  1. “Hey Loretta, you don’t under…(she keeps singing)…”

    As break-up songs that nearly tops. I almost picked it up for 74. But 10cc’s irritatingly funny and touching tale of self-denial “I’m Not In Love” tops all comers to me.

    Everyday I love more “The Grand Tour” and “The Door”. That Carly and especially Janis Ian gets a mention while Joni Mitchell doesn’t depressed me to no end. How come? How? She wipes the floor with them both!

    1. And “If We Make It Through December” is the best Xmas song Ithink I’ve ever heard. Topping the inconclusive but joke-good “Fairytale of New York” and the elegiac “2000 Miles”. And I hate Christmas songs!

      1. Good. She was close to top at this stage. She deserved one. Mine would be “Coyote”. And “Woman of heart and Mind” or “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” for deep tracks. But there’s a dozen. That one included.

        It’s strange, I have the same acts, but in many cases different songs. I have all in your top 10. Then the problem with James… is either overabundance or full versions or shorts (or parts 1 or 2?) You know, the old trick of 70s R&B that also extended to other genres. I prefer “Gett Up Offa That Thing” (which not casually mentions Get On the Good Foot) because he sounded closest to making a disco record and “release pressure” is dancing’s mantra, anyway.
        And by 1972, basically Curtis Mayfield and Sly Stone and Funkadelic and couple of others (War!) were making singles about getting on the good foot (and failing) that charted ALL and that I fancy more. My substitute is antidote as well: Cymande’s “Bra”. Extraordinary.

        Vey good list. But just when I listen HARDER to Roberta because of you and decided to pick the single which I considered the most interesting of her production (that would “Killing Me Softly”, oddly) you went with her “brazilian beat” which is even airier than “Where Is the Love”. There’s something alluring in her proficiency and evident love for textured arrangements, but she lacks the grit of Gal Costa and the voice of Elis Regina to pull it off. None of them players like Roberta, granted. But sometimes I think her arrangements were like water boiling at 30 degress: It will evaporate, eventually. But (mocking Miranda Priestley’s voice) “by all means, girl, move at at glacial pace, you know how that thrills me!”.

        I think you find her sophistication a mastery in the intricacies of quietude. I often find myself nodding off sleep investigating that. Can’t help it. But she’s in another level than the obnoxious crybaby who needed to take down other women to feel better about herself but still was too short to be picked! Gosh, can’t stand Janis Ian!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: