A Short Stroll Through The 70s

When talking about 1970s music, too much time is spent on the loud stuff:  Zep, Foreigner, Grand Funk Railroad, and so on.  Ditto all the prog-rock of the era like Pink Floyd, Genesis.  Yeah, I love listening to all that;  but I also like the quieter stuff — and I don’t mean the Carpenters or Abba, either.

Many of the 70s stars actually got their start in the 1960s, but it was in the following decade that they really got going.

Here’s an example:  the peerless songwriter Dave Mason, formerly of 60s band Traffic, doing We Just Disagree.  If you listen to this as an appetizer for the rest of this post, I think you’ll get in the proper mood.

In that vein, here’s Stephen Stills and the others doing Southern Cross, and while we’re there, let’s also consider Orleans doing Dance With Me  and Exile being naughty with Kiss You All Over.

But it wasn’t all ballads like Kate Bush doing The Man With The Child In His Eyes, of course;  not when David Bowie was performing songs like Lady Grinning Soul, or .

Update:  I think WordPress ate half my post.  Apologies, and I’ll add the rest when I can retrieve it.


  1. Kim – you know that I’m one of your early risers. My bladder and my dog’s work on the same zero dark thirty schedule. It looks like both of today’s posts got cut off about half way through the text. I can understand the progressive gods of the Internet shutting down a post about Ayn Rand, but 70s music? Maybe there’s something subversive there too but I’ve missed it for 50 years. Were you about to disclose the true meaning of the lyrics of Hotel California?

  2. Chicago’s on my A list, before Terry Kath lost at Russian roulette. As Jimi Hendrix famously remarked to one of the Chicago horn players: “You know your guitar player is better than me.” Peerless songwriters – I’ll take Paul Simon for $200, Alex. I remember when he accepted a grammy & did the obligatory litany of thank-yous, he wrapped up with “finally I’d like to thank Stevie Wonder for not releasing an album this year.” 70s Stevie is on my Mt Rushmore of pop. Billy Joel’s not half bad, plus he can play. Bonnie Raitt, before anyone had ever heard of her. I’ve linked to her doing the greatest version of one of Mose Allison’s better songs. Never really got the Stones, I guess I can see a ‘white boys sing the blues’ appeal, but never bought into their superstardom. Finally, an aside. I interviewed Rod Stewart in the 90s. He’d been recently divorced & it was in the news. I asked if he thought he’d ever get married again. He replied “No. I’ll just find a woman I don’t like and buy her a fuckin’ house.”

  3. My lizard brain was introduced to Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love” the same day the Challenger blew up. I always wondered if… NAH, coincidence!

    1. Kate Bush is one of my guilty pleasures. Some of her early stuff is trite, but she had a heckuva voice. She was quite winsome, too. There’s a vid of her first TV appearance on Youtube, she was on a German show. The host of the show was slobbering all over her, predicting great things in her future. She only played once in the US that I know of, appearing on SNL. She did The Man With The Child In His Eyes, kneeling atop Paul Shaffer’s piano barefoot in a gold lame bodysuit. The song is almost cringeworthy now, but dang if she wasn’t adorable. Last I saw it’s not on YT, but is or was around on some other vid channel. Her Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, the finale of her only concert tour (until just a couple of years ago) is on YT, but the video is poor quality. I had it on VHS, now have it on DVD. It’s worth a watch. She’s hotter’n hell in the live version of James And The Cold Gun.

  4. I have a hard time deciding if I like your music or your gun posts better. Both are outstanding!

    1. I saw Leslie West (of Mountan fame, Mississippi Queen, etc.) open for Foghat back in the mid ’70s. West rocked the place. Foghat sucked, the crowd booed ’em off the stage, wanting West to come back. West did return a few months later, headlining his own tour.

  5. I think a lot of Steely Dan’s stuff would fit into this category. Deacon Blues and Aja just a couple off the top of my head.

  6. Rick Beato has a YouTube channel in which, among other features, he finds a song and puts it through a musical sausage grinder to determine “What Makes This Song Great”. Two of my favorites are Episodes 71 (“More Than a Feeling” by Boston) and 81 (“Superstitious” by Stevie Wonder). The former is my third all-time favorite song by my all-time favorite band. I already knew how complex it was, but Rick really took it apart layer by layer to find all the things that Tom Scholz hid in the mix. In the immortal words of Harry Plinkett, “You didn’t notice…but your brain did!”

  7. When I was in college around 1980, a lot of this music was on the air. I lived about four blocks from campus, and their FM station was a very clean signal. There was also a used record store that would let you rent LP’s. I had an all-in-on stereo–turn table, tape deck, and turner. I recorded a large stack of audio cassettes while I was there. Still have them, need to get off my rear and get them onto CD’s.

    My favorite Bonnie Raitt cut–


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