Last year I started my Friday On My Mind ramblings as a result of a competition at my workplace for best song of the Nineteen Sixties. Well, the year has rolled round and this time it was the Nineteen Seventies. The same rules applied – a hit single in either the UK or the USA.
Given the tweeness of last year’s winner, Daydream Believer, there was quite a bit of discussion about what the equivalent 70s song might be. The great fear was it would be Eurovision winner, Save Your Kisses For Me. Thankfully it wasn’t. It turns out the judging panel went for overblown bombast instead. Second place went to Free’s All Right Now and the winner was Bruce Springsteen with Born To Run.
Well, that may have been a hit in the States but it certainly wasn’t in Britain.
It was a second winner in a row from the US, though. So much for British pop!
To try to sum up a whole decade with one song is impossible of course but for most pervasive 1970s song Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody must be up there practically unchallenged.
There is an argument that (much like sexual intercourse) the 60s didn’t begin in musical terms until the arrival of The Beatles. In the same way the musical decade could be said to linger until the advent of glam rock which I would date to Marc Bolan’s selling out and the release of Hot Love in 1971. The musical 70s then only spanned the brief time from 1971 to 1977, when punk came along.
Also, the 70s – certainly in its early years – was actually more the decade of the album than the single (by and large the two were aimed at different markets and barely talked to each other) so that fact alone automatically rules out a lot of good stuff.
Still, to my mind there are many, many better 70s singles than Born To Run to choose from. A lot of them will have been album tracks first I suppose.
After toying with Al Stewart’s Time Passages, I thought either Do It Again or Reelin’ In The Years, both by Steely Dan, would be a good umbrella term for a selection from the 70s. I settled on Reelin’ In The Years.
So here’s the not overblown and far from bombastic Steely Dan. (They’re still from the US though.)
Tags: Al Stewart, Albert Hammond, All Right Now, Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen, CSNY, Do It Again, Eurovision, Free, Merry Xmas Everybody, Ohio, Reelin’ In The Years, Slade, Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, Time Passages