I first tuned into music in the later part of 1971 and since then my music appreciation has grown. My favorite genres are alt-rock, classic rock and jazz (primarily bop, free form, avant garde jazz and jazz-fusion).
But, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for 1970s pop. That's where it all started for me.
For this article I have chosen ten unrelated pop songs from the 70s. Spanning from the early 70s to the late 70s. Several of these are one-hit wonders and all have gone on to become classics in their own right.
Let's dig into these gems of the 1970s
Edison Lighthouse - Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) (1970)
Release Date: January 9, 1970 (UK), February 21, 1970 (US)
Record Label: Bell
Genre: Soft Rock, Bubblegum
Chart Positions: U.S. #5, UK #1, Ireland #1, New Zealand #1, Australia #2, Canada #3, South Africa #3, Norway #7, Germany #8, Netherlands #13, Belgium #17
Certifications: US: Gold
Trivia: Lead singer Tony Burrows was an in demand singer in 1970. He also sang lead on the hits: "United We Stand" by Brotherhood of Man (1970) and "My Baby Loves Lovin" by White Plains (1970)
Rick's Comment: "Love Grows..." was such a universally loved song. I don't recall anybody not liking this song.
Looking Glass - Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) (1972)
Release Date: May 18, 1972
Record Label: Epic
Genre: Soft Rock
Chart Positions: U.S. #1, Canada #1, New Zealand #5, Australia #10, South Africa #14, Netherlands #30, UK #51
Certifications: US: Gold, UK: Silver
Trivia: The name Brandy became hugely popular after the release of this song. If you know someone named Brandy that was born in 1972 or '73 then chances are it's due to this song.
Rick's Comment: Elliot Lurie's lead vocal on this song was one of the most recognizable of 1972 and was considered one of the best vocals of the time.
King Harvest - Dancing in the Moonlight (1972)
Release Date: July 9, 1972
Record Label: Perception
Genre: Pop Rock
Chart Positions: U.S. #13, Canada #5,
Trivia: "Dancing in the Moonlight" was written by Sherman Kelly and was first recorded by his band Boffolongo in 1970. Boffolongo disbanded and Kelly formed King Harvest. Their recording of "Dancing in the Moonlight" was a hit. Sherman Kelly's brother Wells Kelly joined King Harvest briefly. Wells Kelly formed the group Orleans who went on to record the hits "Dance With Me," "Still The One", and "Love Takes Time."
Rick's Comment: I remember the first time hearing this song. I was outside across the street in the front yard of our neighbor. It was a beautiful sunny day. I was a twelve year old kid with a small tinny transistor radio. I was sold on the opening keyboard part. The song was so dreamy and felt so right at the moment.
Maureen McGovern - The Morning After (1973)
Release Date: May 1973
Record Label: 20th Century
Chart Positions: U.S. #1, Australia #1, Holland #1, France #2, Brazil #2, Canada #3, South Africa #2
Certifications: US: Gold, Australia: Gold
Trivia: "The Morning After" was written for the film "The Poseidon Adventure." In the film and on the soundtrack the song is performed by vocalist Renee Armand. After the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 45th Academy Awards Maureen McGovern recorded the song and it became a worldwide #1 hit.
Rick's Comment: "The Morning After" was such a huge hit that a lot of people were expecting Maureen Mcgovern to go and and become a major superstar, on the level of Karen Carpenter. Despite her great vocal ability Maureen mcGovern never again matched the popularity of this song. She made it into the Top 40 only one more time and that was in 1979 with the disco-ish song "Different Worlds" which reached US #18.
Mocedades - Eres Tu (Touch the Wind) (1973)
Release Date: December 1973
Record Label: Novola, Metronome, CBS, Phillips, RCA Victor
Genre: Cancion Melodica, Pop
Chart Positions: U.S. #9, Brazil #2, Holland #3, Netherlands #3, Canada #6, Belgium #8, Norway #8, Germany #15, Australia #30
Trivia: Mocedades came in 2nd place in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest with "Eres Tu," and later that year the song was released as a single and became a huge worldwide hit in 1974.
Rick's Comment: Although lyrically this song is a love song it brought on a feeling of unity and unconditional love for your neighbors and loved ones.
Starbuck - Moonlight Feels Right (1975/1976)
Release Date: December 31, 1975
Record Label: Private Stock
Genre: Soft Rock
Chart Positions: U.S. #3, Canada #3, New Zealand #21, Australia #25
Trivia: When "Moonlight Feels Right" was on Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio show, it was promoted as the first rock song ever to feature a marimba. The skillful marimba solo is played by a Starbuck founding member Bo Wagner and is a highlight of the song. The song was written and produced by lead singer and keyboardist Bruce Blackman.
Rick's Comment: "Moonlight Feels Right" is one of my all-time favorite songs. I was hooked by the marimba solo. I also love Starbuck's other semi-hits "I Got To Know" and "Everybody Be Dancin'."
David Dundas - Jeans On (1976)
Release Date: August 1976
Record Label: Chrysalis
Chart Positions: Germany #1, UK 33, South Africa #3, U.S. #17
Trivia: "Jeans On" originally appeared as a television advertising jingle for Brutus Jeans (the words used in the jingle - "I pull my Brutus jeans on" - were replaced with "I pull my old blue jeans on" for the single release).
Rick's Comment: I really loved the upbeat groove of this song and the simple chorus "pull my old blue jeans on." This was one of those songs that was really easy for me to sing along to.
Michael Franks - Popsicle Toes (1976)
Release Date: July 1976
Record Label: Reprise
Chart Positions: U.S. #43, US Adult Contemporary #45
Trivia: "Popsicle Toes" is one of the greatest innuendo songs ever recorded. The song was recorded with some of the finest jazz musicians of the 70's (and of all-time). Including Wilton Felder on bass, Larry Carlton on guitar and Joe Sample on keyboards.
Rick's Comments: I was a naive 16 year old when this song was being played on the radio. I'm not sure I quite understood the meaning of some of the lyrics such as "I'd like to feel your warm Brazil and touch your Panama." I guess it really didn't matter because in the end I just liked the smooth groove of this smooth jazz tune.
Meri Wilson - Telephone Man (1977)
Release Date: April 1977
Record Label: GRT Records, PYE Records
Chart Positions: U.S. #18, UK #6
Certifications: U.S. Gold
Trivia: Meri Wilson earned a masters degree in music theory from Georgia State University. For a short while she worked as a model before becoming a singer specializing in double entendre novelty songs. In the 1990's she worked as the director of elementary education in Georgia. She also recorded other novelty songs including "Dick the DJ", "Peter The Meter Reader" and her last release in 2001"The Internet Man" (an update of "Telephone Man". Sadly, Meri Wilson died on December 28, 2002 in a car accident on Georgia State Route 377.
Rick's Comment: I'm not quite sure why I liked this song so much back in 1977... I think it may have been the bass line... But I liked it and bought the single. This song is usually listed on "The Worst Songs of the 70s" lists.
Cheryl Ladd - Think It Over (1978)
Release Date: July 1978
Record Label: Capitol
Chart Positions: U.S. #34, Canada #40
Trivia: Cheryl Ladd joined the Charlie's Angels cast in 1977 and one year later she experienced her first and only Top 40 hit with the song " Think It Over." The song was written by then husband and wife team Brenda Russell and Brian Russell. Brenda and Brian divorced around 1979. Cheryl divorced her husband Alan Ladd in 1980. In 1981 she married Brian Russell, go figure… that's Hollywood. Cheryl and Brian were introduced in 1974 by record producer David Foster and had maintained a platonic friendship which blossomed to romance in 1980 after Ladd's divorce. Ladd actually has a pleasant and tuneful singing voice. She's no Linda Ronstadt, but she has a better voice than most TV star singers.
Rick's Comment: I really liked Cheryl Ladd back in the 1970s. She was my favorite Angel and I bought two of her albums as well as half a dozen of her singles.
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