We have Compiled a list of the Best 30 Songs from the 70s that You Absolutely must add to Your Playlist

Updated on March 17, 2024

Are you tired of the repetitive sounds of today's music?  The 1970s was a golden era for music, producing some of the most timeless and unforgettable songs ever created.

1. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

“Bohemian Rhapsody” stands as a testament to Queen's musical prowess and Freddie Mercury's visionary songwriting. 

Its unusual mix of rock, opera, and progressive elements broke the mold and set a new benchmark for rock music.

The lyrics deal with topics of thinking about yourself, death, and who you are. 

Throughout the 1970s, this song topped the music charts in many countries and propelled Queen to international stardom.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a masterpiece that continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

2. “Let It Be” by The Beatles

The Beatles' timeless song “Let It Be” is a message of hope and strength for people.

Released in 1970 as the title track of their final album, the song's simple melody and heartfelt lyrics offer comfort and encouragement.

The release coincided with Paul McCartney's departure from the group, adding a layer of sadness to its significance. 

Despite the challenges they faced, “Let It Be” became a beacon of hope and unity for an entire generation. 

Its message of perseverance struck a chord with people around the world, becoming a hit and cementing his lasting influence on music and culture.

3. “What's Going On” by Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye's song “What's Going On” is a powerful message about the social and environmental problems of the time. 

Released in 1971, the song talks about racism, war, and pollution. 

Gaye's beautiful voice flows smoothly over a rich musical background that mixes soul, jazz, and R&B.

This song became a symbol of the civil rights movement and a catalyst for significant discussions about social justice.

4. “Heroes” by David Bowie

“Heroes” by the legendary David Bowie, released in 1977, captures the spirit of the 1970s with its groundbreaking sound and thought-provoking lyrics.

It is a captivating song with a memorable melody, characterized by a strong rhythm and Bowie's unique vocals. 

Its release during the Cold War and the division of Berlin gave it political significance, making it a symbol of hope for those who wanted freedom and unity.

The song's impact extends far beyond the 70s, inspiring generations of musicians and standing as a tribute to Bowie's groundbreaking artistry.

5. “(They Long to Be) Close to You” by The Carpenters

“(They Long to Be) Close to You” is a heartfelt song by the American duo The Carpenters, released in 1970.

Its melody is immediately recognizable, known for its warm and romantic sound. 

The lyrics express feelings of longing and desire for love, connecting with listeners around the world. 

The song's popularity soared, reaching the top of the charts and making The Carpenters a household name.

6. “Jailbreak” by AC/DC

“Jailbreak” is an electrifying hard rock song by the Australian band AC/DC, released in 1976. 

It opens with a catchy guitar riff and powerful vocals from Bon Scott. 

Its energetic and rebellious spirit perfectly embodies the band's raw and untamed rock and roll sound.

“Jailbreak” demonstrated AC/DC's talent for giving powerful performances and established them as one of the top rock bands of the 70s. 

7. “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees

The Bee Gees released the disco song “Stayin' Alive” in 1977, which was part of the soundtrack for the movie "Saturday Night Fever." 

The song's opening guitar riff and the Bee Gees' high-pitched singing made it a classic right away. 

Its catchy rhythm and phrase made it popular on dance floors all over the world.

This tune had a big impact on popular culture, influencing fashion, dance, and even the way people talked. 

8. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA

“Dancing Queen” is an iconic pop song by the Swedish group ABBA, released in 1976.

The song is known for its fast tempo, catchy tune, and beautiful harmonies, which capture the group's signature sound.

It talks about the fun and happiness of dancing, making it an instant crowd-pleaser.

This song is still popular today and is considered a classic of the disco-pop era.

9. “How Deep is Your Love” by Bee Gees

“How Deep is Your Love” is a beautiful and moving song by the Bee Gees, released in 1977. 

It is filled with rich harmonies, sincere lyrics, and a catchy tune.

The Bee Gees' heartfelt singing and the song's powerful emotions make it a favorite for people of all ages, proving that the group's talent extends beyond the disco genre.

This track continues to be one of the Bee Gees' most cherished and timeless ballads, demonstrating their ability to stir deep emotions through their music.

10. “Dream On” by Aerosmith 

“Dream On” is a powerful and enduring rock song by the American band Aerosmith.

It was released in 1973 and features a memorable piano introduction, Steven Tyler's passionate vocals, and heartfelt lyrics that explore themes of introspection and yearning.

The song's soaring guitar solos and dynamic instrumentation further enhance its classic appeal.

“Dream On” was Aerosmith's first big hit, showcasing their special mix of bluesy rock and Steven Tyler's powerful singing voice. 

Though it wasn't a huge success at first, it became a major hit later on and is now considered a classic rock song.

11. “Hotel California” by The Eagles 

The most well-known song from The Eagles' hit 1977 album became one of the most iconic rock songs of the decade.

The lyrics mysteriously tell the story of being drawn into a life of indulgence at a strange hotel

The song's haunting harmonies and Henley's foreboding vocals create a sense of mystery and ambiguity, leaving the song open to many different interpretations.

“Hotel California” reached the top of the charts for one week, but it has continued to be a popular song for decades. 

12. “Live and Let Die” by Wings

Written for the 1973 James Bond movie of the same name, this song by Paul McCartney's band Wings combines pop and rock elements. 

Dramatic instrumental breaks with intense organ chords and passionate electric guitar solos create suspense between McCartney's powerful verses. 

Transforming the title into an uplifting chorus provides a catchy hook perfect for large venues.

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A Reddit user comments “A Live And Let Die is my favorite Roger Moore Bond movie and this song was a great fit for it!”

This demonstrates it is an exciting song that was perfect for both the big screen and the radio.

13. “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson 

This song has an irresistible groove fueled by energetic bass lines and syncopated drums.

“Rock With You” reached number one on the pop charts in 1979, and it showed that Jackson was now a mature and popular pop star. 

The shimmering orchestral arrangements create an irresistible dancefloor atmosphere.

It is a timeless classic that appeals to music lovers of all ages and backgrounds.

14. “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth, Wind & Fire

In the 70s, Earth, Wind & Fire made lively and positive funk and soul songs. 

Their 1979 hit "Boogie Wonderland" is a great example of their upbeat and energetic music. 

This song mixes disco rhythms with powerful horns and jazz-inspired melodies.

The beautiful harmonies of the singers make it a feel-good song that makes you want to have fun.

Even beyond the disco era, this song's infectious energy and message of unity continue to uplift listeners. 

15. "Angie" by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones made a softer song in 1973. Mick Jagger sings with sadness as he asks Angie to stay. 

The piano and strings make the song sound both happy and sad, which is different from the Rolling Stones' usual loud music. 

It was a beautiful and sad ballad that showed how the Stones could adapt to the changing sounds of pop music in the 70s.

For some reddit users this song evokes a sense of nostalgia or provides a unique way to express love.

“Angie” is still just as captivating today as it was when it was first released.

16. “Baby Come Back” by Player.

This catchy pop-rock song from 1977 shows the smooth West Coast sound that was popular on the radio in the late 1970s. 

Peter Beckett, the lead singer, and his soft rock band Player blend classic doo-wop vocal harmonies with melancholic lyrics.

Beckett's heartfelt singing about lost love goes well with the sad but hopeful lyrics.

The mix of acoustic and electric guitars creates a relaxed vibe that is enhanced by the piano and percussion. 

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A Reddit user comments “One of those songs I never get sick of hearing.” This proves that romantic ballads mixed with retro styles are still popular. 

17. “Last Train to London” by Electric Light Orchestra

Electric Light Orchestra, known for their grand orchestral rock, surprised everyone with this catchy pop song from 1979. 

It features driving beats inspired by disco music and ELO's signature lush string arrangements. 

Jeff Lynne, the band's leader, sings with enthusiasm about rushing to catch a train to avoid missing an important event.

“Last Train to London” has an upbeat tempo and danceable groove highlighting the band's versatility.

18. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

In 1978, Gloria Gaynor released her song "I Will Survive," which became a disco classic and a powerful anthem for women's empowerment.

It has catchy beats, strong vocals, and lyrics about overcoming adversity resonated with listeners of all ages.

The song remained at the top of the charts for 14 weeks, showcasing the commercial dominance of disco music during its peak era.

"I Will Survive" has become a timeless symbol of resilience and strength. Its enduring popularity highlights its profound cultural impact.

19. “One Way Or Another” by Blondie

Led by Debbie Harry, new wave band Blondie achieved mainstream success with this 1979 hit.

It blends catchy pop melodies with a punk-rock spirit. 

The song features strong guitar riffs that add a rock element, while Harry's smooth vocals make the song easy to listen to.

“One Way or Another” has a unique combination that helped to make alternative music more popular and changed the way pop music was made.

20. “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O'Sullivan

Gilbert O'Sullivan, an Irish singer and songwriter, wrote many popular pop songs in the early 1970s.

‘Alone Again (Naturally),” was released in 1972. This song tells the story of a man who is struggling to cope with the end of a relationship. 

According to one Twitter user, his lyrics are sad and heart-wrenching.

The success of this song showed that there was a market for deep and personal "singer-songwriter" music, not just catchy pop songs. 

21. “Sunny” by Boney M. 

In 1976, the group Boney M. released their version of “Sunny,” a popular song originally written by Bobby Hebb. 

Their disco-style rendition, with its catchy tune and upbeat rhythm, quickly became a hit song

This song highlights the group's unique sound and energetic stage presence.

The combination of lively beats, smooth vocals, and lively instrumentation has made “Sunny” a timeless classic in the disco genre.

22. “Rocket Man” by Elton John

Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, the song describes an astronaut's feelings of loneliness and missing his family while on a space mission.

The unique piano tune, along with John's heartfelt singing, creates an atmosphere of otherworldly beauty.

“Rocket Man” was a hit song in the 70s, a time when people were very interested in space travel and the Apollo missions. 

Its thoughtful lyrics and dreamy sound made it very popular, and it is still considered one of Elton John's best songs.

23. "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley 

“Burning Love” is a lively and catchy rock and roll song by Elvis Presley that came out in 1972. 

The song's strong guitars and Elvis's powerful singing make it a classic rock and roll song that shows why he is called the King of the genre. 

The mix of rockabilly, soul, and gospel music makes it an exciting and unforgettable song to listen to.

“Burning Love” reached the top of the charts and became one of his biggest hits of that decade.

24. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

“September” by Earth, Wind & Fire is a classic funk and disco song that was released in 1978. 

It has a catchy rhythm, brass instruments, and smooth vocals that make it a timeless dance floor favorite. 

Its lyrics are about love, happiness, and special moments. This brings a spirit of celebration and togetherness.

The song had a big impact on the music of the 1970s and helped Earth, Wind & Fire become one of the most popular and influential bands of the time.

25. “Heart of Glass” by Blondie

“Heart of Glass” is a lively and upbeat song with an electronic beat, catchy guitar melodies

It blends elements of pop and disco to create a distinctive sound that was characteristic of its time.

This song was very popular all over the world, becoming the number one song on many charts and making the band famous everywhere. 

The song's success was a big change for Blondie, as they started playing new wave music and adding electronic sounds to their songs.

26. “Ain't No Sunshine” by Bill Withers

“Ain't No Sunshine,” released in 1971, is a soulful classic by Bill Withers. 

It features simple arrangements and heartfelt vocals that bring together feelings of longing and sadness.

The repeated phrase "I know, I know, I know" adds a touch of vulnerability and self-reflection.

Bill Withers wrote it quickly, and he thought it would be the less important side of a record. But the song's powerful emotions made it a big hit.

27. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

“Dreams” is a mesmerizing song from Fleetwood Mac's famous 1977 album, "Rumours." 

Stevie Nicks' beautiful and moving vocals, along with the song's thoughtful lyrics, create a dreamy and otherworldly feeling. 

The catchy guitar riffs and the harmonious blend of instruments add to its enduring popularity.

For Twitter users this is one of the greatest songs of the 70's decade.

“Dreams” popularity helped "Rumours" become one of the best-selling albums of all time, cementing Fleetwood Mac's place as legendary musicians.

28. “Imagine” by John Lennon

“Imagine,” a song written by John Lennon, is a famous call for peace and unity.

The song's easy-to-understand lyrics describe a world without divisions and conflict. 

Its gentle piano tune and Lennon's sincere singing create a feeling of hope and optimism.

“Imagine” became a powerful symbol of the anti-war movement and spoke to a generation yearning for social transformation.

This song's influence transcended the 70s, continuing to inspire people to envision a brighter future.

29. “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson

“Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough” is a catchy disco tune with a blend of pop, funk, and soul. 

Michael Jackson's impressive vocal range and uplifting lyrics make the song hard to resist.

This track captures the infectious energy of the disco era and highlights Jackson's remarkable talent as both a performer and songwriter.

Its popularity hinted at the immense global fame he would achieve in the coming years. 

30. “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes

Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" is a cheerful and popular song released by Rupert Holmes in 1979. 

It tells the story of a man who is feeling restless in his current relationship and decides to look for a new partner through a personal ad. 

The song's catchy tune, witty lyrics, and Holmes' soothing voice have made it a timeless classic.

It perfectly embodies the carefree feeling of the late 1970s, with its tropical sound and catchy chorus that everyone can sing along to. 

These songs are a great way to experience the music of the 70s. They are perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the music of this important time in music history.

The songs cover a wide range of genres, including rock, pop, and soul. So, whether you are a fan of one of these genres or not, you are sure to find something you like on this list.