Five from the Seventies, Part One: an @slobberchops challenge!October 22, 2018
Following on from the great Six from the Sixties challenge, @slobberchops came up with a new way to tackle the music of the 1970s: by breaking it down into individual years.
- Link FIVE singles from the 1970’s and let us know why they are memorable to you.
- One from 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974.
- Make sure they are not too obscure, we are trying to teach the younger readers what was good, not about old ‘B-sides’.
- State the year of release, we are trying to educate people!
- Use the tag #seventieschallenge
- Add a Wikipedia link to each song so the uneducated can learn a little about the song. If there isn’t one available, then choose something a little more popular.
I turned eight years old in 1970, and it wasn’t until 1972 that music began to make a really big impression on me. But even in 1970, there were several tunes that were memorable.
Deep Purple – Black Night (1970)
I remember hearing this song everywhere.
I hated it! To me it was “that shouty music”. I have a vivid memory of being a brownie guide at some girl guiding event, and one of the older guides was singing Black Night and shaking her head about. I thought “Ugh! She’s singing that shouty music!”
This song seemed to epitomise that noisy Metal sound that I loathed. Now I look back and think – “Wow. That was an amazing record. I absolutely love it. It makes me want to get up and… shake my head about!”
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (1971)
I wasn’t aware of this song at the time, but the songs I enjoyed back then don’t have Wikipedia pages! I loved Marvin Gaye when I was at University and I had the album of this name. The words of this great song rang true then, and they still ring true today, sadly.
What I didn’t realise, until I read the Wikipedia page of the song, was that the What’s Going On was originally written by Renaldo “Obie” Benson of the Four Tops, after he witnessed a police brutality incident. The other members of the Four Tops didn’t want to record it, as they saw it as a “protest song”. Benson offered the song to Gaye, who added a new melody and new lyrics, and eventually recorded it himself.
Apparently when his bandmates described What’s Going On as a “protest song”, Benson replied, “No man, it’s a love song, about love and understanding.” And Marvin Gaye’s beautiful, expressive, non-aggressive interpretation does turn it into a love song.
Roxy Music – Virginia Plain (1972)
1972 was the year that glam rock started! That’s the way I remember it anyway. I was originally going to choose Son of My Father by Chicory Tip for this year, but the copyright owner, BR Music, has made the original video unavailable in my country (the UK), and it seems a bit pointless without the video.
I had no idea until today that Son of My Father was written by Giorgio Moroder – which explains the innovative use of a synthesiser on the song. I vividly remember it being number one, at a time when everyone used to watch the same TV programmes, so when it appeared on Top of the Pops, everyone was singing it in the playground the next day at school. We’d never heard anything like it at the time!
Later on that year, a group called Roxy Music appeared on Top of the Pops with a song that also featured a synthesiser – but unlike Chicory Tip, who wore jeans and t-shirts, Roxy Music wore glittery suits and make-up! And they looked amazing! They took that synth pop to another level.
This was a time when music started to take over my life. There were no computers in those days – not in family homes anyway. I had a little red tranny – a transistor radio, and I’d listen to Radio Luxembourg on it, in my room.
Thin Lizzy – Whiskey in the Jar (1973)
There was a lot of competition for this year – so much amazing music around! But this is such a stand-out recording of such a stand-out song that it was a hands-down winner for me. I loved this song at the time, and I still love it. It’s a very old folk song, which was originally recorded by the Dubliners, and I love the Dubliners. But Thin Lizzy’s version was so original and so heartfelt, it makes you believe Phil Lynott was the actual highwayman in the song.
Folk music was a big influence on early 70s rock, and to me this song captures the essence of that period.
David Bowie – Rebel Rebel (1974)
I remember sitting in the bathroom playing with DAS, a kind of modelling clay, with the radio on, and the record Starman came on. That’s the first time I remember being aware of David Bowie.
A few months later, for some reason, I bought The Laughing Gnome. Why? Why?
If I only hadn’t bought that bizarre re-released record! Then Rebel Rebel, with Queen Bitch on the B-side, would have been the first record I ever bought, and how cool would that have been?
But I can’t lie. It was The Laughing Gnome. And that’s not one of my choices for this post!
This was the start of an obsession with Bowie – me and a zillion others of course! But I was his true fan.
My next Bowie purchase was the album Aladdinsane. I remember playing it in the living room when my grandma and granddad were visiting. The track Time was playing, and the naughty words went right over my head – and possibly my granddad’s too, because I’ll never forget him saying, “I like this Bowie chap!” This was my granddad who fought in the First World War and was born in 1899!
I hope you enjoy my choices. This challenge has been a lot of fun 🙂
Main photo source