7 Hits From 1970: Did You “Groove” to Any of These Songs Your Graduation Year?
Music has often defined a generation, and—let me tell you—you baby boomers had it all. The most iconic music festival of all time (need I actually say it?). Heart felt country. Psychedelic rock. Folk rock. Soul. You guys even had the Beatles and the Jackson 5 for crying out loud! It’s just not fair (really…we’ll trade you Taylor Swift and then we can call it even)! The 60s and 70s were no-doubt the complete package.
So—as a testament to your senior year of high school—here are 7 songs you used to groove to in 1970. Click the links; hear the tunes.
- Coal Miner’s Daughter by Loretta Lynn
The twang of steel guitars interpolated between the twang of Loretta’s sweet voice is still ringing in my ears. And the genuine, tear-jerking lyrics are a refreshing change from the worn out phrases that so often adorn the overly produced country music of modern times. Loretta Lynn had it right. Being country has little to do with alcohol or trucks or “painted on blue jeans;” instead, it has everything to do with humble roots, a good work ethic, and priceless love in the midst of financial hardship.
Memorable Lyric: “Well, I was borned a coal miner’s daughter in a cabin, on a hill in Butcher Holler. We were poor, but we had love. That’s the one thing that daddy made sure of. He shoveled coal to make a poor man’s dollar.”
2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross
This song was originally released by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel in 1967, but Diana Ross’s version resurfaced the classic song in 1970. Ross puts some new twists on the song including several dramatic spoken sections, but the gospel vibes and the soulful, dynamic power that inspires audiences to overcome any difficulty still remain from the original release all the way to now. Thank you, Diana Ross. Your soaring vocals are greatly appreciated.
Fun Fact: According to songfacts.com, Hillary Clinton used this song extensively in her 2016 campaign for the presidency.
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
With a gentle piano accompaniment and Garfunkel’s flowing tenor vocal, this song stills the troubled mind. A simple but profound piece about sacrificial love, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a ballad not too soon forgotten. According to The Rolling Stone, it reached the number one spot in spring of 1970 and didn’t sink from the charts for over a year, remaining at the top for 10 weeks and selling 13 million copies!
Memorable Lyric: “I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough and friends just can’t be found. Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.”
4. American Woman by The Guess Who
I felt like we’ve been a little soft so far down this list, so I’m going to drop in a hard rock song for good measure. “American Woman”, with its aggressive, no-nonsense lyrics and its growling, “stick-it-to-you” vocal does just the trick. But be careful. It may induce head banging.
Memorable Lyric: “American woman, stay away from me-he. American woman, mama let me be-he. Don’t come hanging around my door. I don’t wanna see your face no more…”
5. Layla by Derek and the Dominos
Instant ear gratification. The iconic fire of Eric Clapton’s opening guitar riff is almost mesmerizing. While “American Woman” is more about getting rid of a woman, “Layla” is all about going mad, pining for her affections. “Let’s make the best of the situation before I finally go insane. Please don’t say we’ll never find a way, and tell me all my love’s in vain,” Clapton writes. This anthem of unrequited love made the Rolling Stone’s List of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” Number 27…check it out.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Eric Clapton penned this classic about Pattie Boyd, the same woman who inspired the Beatle’s George Harrison to write “Something”? Dang, this girl must’ve been the cat’s meow! The whole story of this love triangle is quite unbelievable.
6. Let It Be by the Beatles
No 1970s playlist would be complete without a Beatle’s song, so I dug this one out of the archives. This simple song with its message of comfort and peace was written during one of the more turbulent times of Paul McCartney’s life. He said that his Mother (named Mary, of course) appeared to him a dream, whispering this profound and reassuring word of wisdom: “Let it be.”
Memorable Lyric: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”
7. ABC by The Jackson 5
To go out with a bang of boyish exuberance, I would like to reintroduce you to Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and (of course) little Michael himself. Taking on the concept of love, these 5 Jacksons sold it every performance—with color, soul, and some killer synchronized dance moves.
Memorable Lyric: “Sit yourself down, take a seat. All you gotta do is repeat after me…”
Well, that’s a wrap! I could write a witty conclusion to this post, but I think I’ll just let it be (did you see what I did there?).
Also, remember to talk to us! What’s your favorite song on this list? Can you think of another nostalgic song from the year 1970? If so, leave us a comment! We love to hear from you.
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