Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Songs of the 1970s overview

70s overview
Wherein the 1970s are looking a bit gay. And not in a homosexual way, more of an effete, ascot wearing British way

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The 1970s are usually thought of as musically stale with the birth of corporate rock and the whole disco thing. I just realized KC and the Sunshine didn’t make these lists. That’s a shame. They were a decent band that is unfairly tarred with being one of the worst excesses of the 70s decade. You can do a lot worse than a latin-oriented dance band with a tight horn section.

This was also the decade for great instrumental TV theme songs. Barney Miller, SWAT, Rockford Files, and Sanford and Son are just good music.

Best year: 1970 (B+)
Worst year: 1977 (D)

Top charters from the decade:
Gibb/Bee Gees: 7
Elton John: 6
Diana Ross: 4

And here’s how I want to remember the 1970s. Put aside Boogie Oogie Oogie, put aside Chicago and Boston, put aside Vegas lounge acts desparately clinging to middle of the road 1960s, put aside the prodigious efforts of Barry Manilow and Marvin Hamlisch, when I think of the 1970s, I think of the astonishing ride of Elton John. This guy was everywhere, doing everything. He did kitsch and serious, and was a real musician who could sing. He started off like a rock Liberace and finished off the decade doing a serious road tour of the Soviet Union. He’s also managed to continue to produce respectable music for the next 30 years (if we forget about his 18 different versions of "Candle in the Wind"). I raise a cheer to Sir John, a consummate entertainer.

Pick a year
1970 B+
1971 B-
1972 C-
1973 B-
1974 D+
1975 B
1976 B-
1977 D
1978 C+
1979 B

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