7 iconic songs that will transport you back to the '70s
The 1970’s was a simpler time for some, and with hits like these, it’s easy to see why.
Listen to the top 7 songs of the 1970’s and take a journey back in time.
Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees
This song was made iconic as it played over the opening credits of 1977 film Saturday Night Fever as John Travolta struts through the streets of NYC. The song was written specifically for the film and quickly climbed through the charts.
The band was well aware that they were creating a heart-thumping rhythm with the song.
"We thought when we were writing it that we should emulate the human heart," Robin Gibb explained in Daniel Rachel's The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters.
"We got Blue Weaver who was the keyboard player at the time to lie on the floor and put electrodes on his heart and put it through the control room. Then we got the drummer to play the heartbeat. We were the first people in the world to do a drum loop based on that."
Superstition by Stevie Wonder
Believe it or not, Stevie Wonder wrote this song about the dangers of believing in superstitions.
The song incorporates many elements of rock music, which was ideal for Wonder at the time as it helped extend his appeal to a white audience.
It worked as it was his second #1 hit in the U.S.
Dancing Queen by ABBA
ABBA had recorded this song a year before it was released, and it was written around the same time as “Fernando”. However, they chose to release Fernando as the single as they knew they were onto something big with Dancing Queen.
This song was the only one of ABBA’s 14 US Top 40 hits to make it to number one and it’s easy to see why.
The song also reached number one in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Rhodesia, South Africa, Sweden and Germany.
Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack
The story goes that the inspiration for this song is Don McLean, who was famous for American Pie.
The songwriting team of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel intimately wrote the track back in 1973, and it wasn’t until Roberta Flack heard the original artist sing the song that she decided to record it herself.
Charles Fox first heard from Flack after Quincy Jones gave her his number.
“I was at Paramount Pictures one day walking through the music library, and someone handed me a telephone and said, 'This is for you.' And the voice on the other end of the line said, 'Hi, this is Roberta Flack. We haven't met, but I'm going to sing your songs.'
“So it was kind of magical at that - that thing just doesn't happen to people. She had just won the Grammy Award for 'First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.' Beautiful record. So it's kind of remarkable to get a call from her in the first place. And she did go on to sing other songs. And actually, she sang on the main title for me of a show that was called Valerie after Valerie Harper."
You’re So Vain by Carly Simon
It looks like no one apart from Simon herself will know who she’s singing about, although this hasn’t stopped people from trying to figure it out.
Rumours include Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson, Cat Stevens and Mick Jagger.
However, Richard Perry, who produced the album, has his own ideas about who the song is about.
He said in the book The Record Producers: "It's about a compilation of men that Carly had known, but primarily Warren Beatty."
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
It seems like no one will know what this song is about either, apart from the band and Freddie Mercury himself.
When pressed, Mercury remained tight-lipped.
Mercury himself stated, "It's one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it. I think people should just listen to it, think about it, and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them."
The band has always been very keen to let listeners interpret the music in a way that’s personal to them instead of imposing their own meaning on the songs.
The song was Queen’s first Top 10 hit in the US. In the UK, the song shot up to #1 and stayed there for nine weeks, which was a record for the time.
Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
Paul Simon wrote this song about providing comfort to a person in need. He revealed this in the documentary The Marking of Bridge Over Troubled Water.
“I have no idea where it came from,” Simon said.
“It came all of the sudden. It was one of the most shocking moments in my songwriting career. I remember thinking, 'This is considerably better than I usually write."
Upon its release, it was one of the few songs to top the US and UK charts at the same time. It was #1 in the US for six weeks and #1 in the UK for three.