Tim's 70's Songs (Remembered Edition)
Here it is. The official Tim 70's song list. Based on what I liked in that decade. So, there's not much before 1973. I'll do another list (when?) of my favourite 70's songs now but - to be honest - young Tim had great taste!
Abba - Dancing Queen (1976)
For so long this was my fav track. Abba's comeback track after their career stalled 1974/76. Familiarilty and Mama Mia have dulled some of the brilliance of this - the springy piano, the trademark girls' harmonies, the effortless melody.
Terry Jacks - Seasons in the Sun (1973)
Probably the first record I really remember. (With the Osmonds) My God, it dominated that winter of 1973/4. It soundtracked the Heath government going down in flames and the dawn of Wilson's last administration. Yeah, it's morbid, sickly, over sentimental but aged 5, I liked it. Strange, my kids do too. One hit wonder.
Elvis Presley - Suspicion (1962 / re-released 1976)
Man - I loved this song and would wait around the radio for the Top 40 just to hear it. Hit Number 9 in Feb 1977. Recorded in 1962, Elvis is on top form and just hearing the intro gives me chills, even now. He was dead just months later and 'Way Down' stormed to the top. Taken way too soon. This was my first Elvis fav.
Boomtown Rats - Rat Trap (1978)
Never really punk, but the Rats looked it, this was before Bob Geldof became Saint Bob and then - pace Brexit - Bob the Nob. Great tune but what makes Rat Trap so special is the narrative style lyrics. The way the song builds - detailing urban decay and hopelessness - until we get to final double couplet:-
"She finally finds Billy down at the Italian cafe
When he's drunk it's hard to understand what Billy says
But then he mumbles in his coffee and he suddenly roars,
"It's a rat trap Judy; and we've been caught...."
Glen Campbell - Rhinestine Cowboy (1975)
Like a shiny beacon from the 1970's. Glen Campbell on top form, coming back after years of irrelevance. Yep - I'd sing along to the radio on this one. I've been known to busk versions of this song when the mood takes me. Good times.
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)
This packed both a punch and a tutu. Impossible, over wrought, it shouldn't work but it sure as hell does. Number One 1975/76 for 9 weeks, to my 6 year old self, it seemed that Top of The Pops couldn't finish without this scary song with that scary video being played. Yeah, sure, it's ubiquitous now but I listened to again recently and yes - thanks sixth form - I still know every word. Loved the revival in Wayne's World.
Wings - Mull of Kintyre (1977)
First single I ever bought along with a million or so other Brits. Fashionable to knock this as a McCartney piece of fluff but - as every guitarist knows - it's a great strum to practice to. And when those bag pipes come in near the end! Scottish rock! Can't say I play it much now but when I do hear it, it always brings a smile to my face.
The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star (1979)
Fuck! This was the future when it came out. It still is. So far ahead of it's time. So clever. So well produced. Probably pop's finest ever three minutes. This is in my Desert Island Discs. And that reprise at the end! Spine tingling! The girls singing "Ow-A-Ow-A!". When people say the 70's were shit, this is a great counter argument. It wasn't.
Grease - Summer Nights (1978)
How BIG was Grease in the 70's? Huge! Unlike Star Wars it had songs which ruled the charts in 1978. And they had an inbuilt video to show on TV. I saw the film when it came out in Rochdale. All the smut and innuendo ('Took a holding in the arcade' - anyone?) went right over my 10 year old head. This is just a great song and who hates this?
Blondie - Dreaming (1979)
A toss up between this and Denis, Dreaming came out of the blocks like some poster child for a pilled up new wave kid looking for a fight. My group used to do a (crap) cover of this. I remember 2 things about this song. 1) It's bloody good and sums up new wave better than any other song of the era. 2) Debbie Harry. Yeah. Debbie Harry. No more needs to be said.