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-   -   What is THE quintessential 70's song? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=786333)

HMS Irruncible 03-08-2016 12:36 AM

What is THE quintessential 70's song?
 
Wondering what is the song that puts you right back there in the 1970's. Try to think beyond disco, though I won't fault you if you can't.

For me, it's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." It's haunting and moving, but more than that, it's very 70's. In what other decade could you have a ballad about a sinking ship charting at #1 and #2 in the major North American charts?

China Guy 03-08-2016 01:02 AM

what is Stairway to Heaven?

HMS Irruncible 03-08-2016 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by China Guy (Post 19161175)
what is Stairway to Heaven?

That is an excellent answer but you are wrong.

Starving Artist 03-08-2016 01:11 AM

"There's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford..."

HMS Irruncible 03-08-2016 01:15 AM

Think ephemeral, not something that every college freshman with a 6-string picks up at the guitar shop.

drad dog 03-08-2016 01:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by China Guy (Post 19161175)
what is Stairway to Heaven?

It is Stairway to Heaven but since this is not Jeopardy you were required to answer in a non-question form. Sorry you do not win the million dollars.

drad dog 03-08-2016 01:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible (Post 19161188)
Think ephemeral, not something that every college freshman with a 6-string picks up at the guitar shop.

What do you mean by "Think ephemeral"? It's a strange thing to say. Don't you mean the opposite?

I'm trying to figure out what the opposite song is of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, cause that must be it.

Guest-starring: Id! 03-08-2016 01:34 AM

Anything by Heino.

Ranger Jeff 03-08-2016 01:49 AM

"Hotel California"?

Superdude 03-08-2016 01:55 AM

"American Pie"

Dr. Strangelove 03-08-2016 02:57 AM

What immediately popped into my head was "What's that ridiculous song with the cake in the rain? The only good to come of that was the Weird Al cover."

MacArthur Park. Which actually came out in the late 60's. But in my defense, there were covers all the way through the 70's as well (including disco). According to the Wiki page, WJW-TV City Camera News used it as its theme song from 1970-77.

So I'm sticking with my answer. In fact, I think it set the stage for everything musically gross about that decade.

kiz 03-08-2016 04:03 AM

"American Pie"
"Hotel California"
"Stairway To Heaven"
"Carry On Wayward Son"

...as a side note we watched Guardians Of The Galaxy last night and I could sing every single song on the soundtrack by heart -- all 70s stuff. My husband looked at me and remarked, "You love advertising your age, don't you?"

All four of those songs got very heavy airplay IIRC. That's why I chose them.

Dale Sams 03-08-2016 05:01 AM

Some Gerry Rafferty songs

"Miracles" by Jefferson Starship

"Chevy Van"

"The Night Chicago Died"

WordMan 03-08-2016 05:07 AM

Depends on what direction you want to go:

- Sedated, The Ramones
- Eruption, Van Halen featuring Eddie
- Superstition, Stevie Wonder
- Get Up, Stand Up, Bob Marley
- Roxanne, The Police
...

- But yeah, Stairway.

fisha 03-08-2016 05:07 AM

Muskrat love.

pkbites 03-08-2016 06:59 AM

Rocky (by Austin Roberts, not the theme to the movie)
Run Joey Run
Seasons in the Sun
Last Kiss
Detroit Rock City

YTF were there so many songs about dying horribly in the 70's? :confused:

Superdude 03-08-2016 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiz (Post 19161285)
"Carry On Wayward Son"

Have you heard the Gwar cover?

terentii 03-08-2016 07:23 AM

Some of the songs I listen to when I'm in a '70s mood:

Love's Theme

Operator

Taxi

Time in a Bottle

I've Got a Name*

Year of the Cat

Sand in Your Shoes

Baker Street

Feels So Good

Glen Miller Is Missing

Biba Nova

Dance with Me

Annie's Song

I'm Sorry

Back Home Again

Brandy

Dancing Queen

Fernando

Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?

Cold Kentucky Rain

The Gambler

Top of the World

Only Yesterday

Last Farewell**


*I prefer the Gordon Lightfoot version.
**One of the worst songs ever written, but I have a soft spot for it. :o

Oly 03-08-2016 08:02 AM

Take Me Home, Country Roads

If not that, then I second Hotel California.

AncientHumanoid 03-08-2016 08:05 AM

Going to add in some

Funky Town

YMCA

Flashlight

Superstition

You Light Up My Life

Afternoon Delight

Slow Ride

madmonk28 03-08-2016 08:16 AM

Sky Rockets in Flight. It even spawned a cheesy 70s variety show that Letterman wrote for. That song is an avocado green fridge in a leisure suit driving an AMC Pacer.

Ponch8 03-08-2016 08:17 AM

Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees

Dung Beetle 03-08-2016 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madmonk28 (Post 19161502)
Sky Rockets in Flight. It even spawned a cheesy 70s variety show that Letterman wrote for. That song is an avocado green fridge in a leisure suit driving an AMC Pacer.

That's Afternoon Delight. (Love it).

I might have said Baker Street, but the 70's were really just too much to be encapsulated by one song!

The Other Waldo Pepper 03-08-2016 08:27 AM

From the thread six years ago, I quote myself:

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper (Post 12272243)
I want a singer/songwriter's semiautobiographical story-song, but make sure to (a) throw in a section with super-high falsetto, and (b) dwell on flying so hiiiiigh when I'm stoned; there's a wild-man wizard hiding in me, illuminating my mind -- oh, and figure the guy doesn't get the girl in the end, plus kick the whole thing off by mentioning "Frisco", with bonus points for working in just how far a buck went in the '70s.

TAXI, by Harry Chapin.


Labdad 03-08-2016 08:34 AM

"Born to Run"

Just Asking Questions 03-08-2016 09:11 AM

Whatever it is, it absolutely has to feature a Fender Rhodes piano.

Ukulele Ike 03-08-2016 09:27 AM

Remember, the Sixties didn't end until Nixon resigned in 1974. "Hotel California" and "Stairway to Heaven" would have been from the Decadent Era of the Sixties, as creativity was stagnating and genius was giving way to commercial rock product.

I vote for "Don't Worry About the Government" by Talking Heads. My building has every convenience! It's gonna make life easy for me!

WordMan 03-08-2016 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions (Post 19161667)
Whatever it is, it absolutely has to feature a Fender Rhodes piano.

Babe by Styx. Unfortunately quintessential. Jeez, it was the Big Slow Song(tm) at a few high school dances I went to. Argh.

Quimby 03-08-2016 09:29 AM

Clearly the answer is "Boogie Fever." We're done here.

:)

OffByOne 03-08-2016 09:32 AM

Layla

salinqmind 03-08-2016 09:34 AM

I think the 70's had an awful lot of 'cringe-y' songs so I, too, nominate 'Afternoon Delight'.

pulykamell 03-08-2016 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drad dog (Post 19161194)
What do you mean by "Think ephemeral"? It's a strange thing to say. Don't you mean the opposite?

I'm trying to figure out what the opposite song is of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, cause that must be it.

No, I understand what he's saying. He's looking for an ephemeral song that could only be recorded and chart in the 70s--a disposable song that is tied to the decade and is largely forgotten today but was a hit back then that exemplified the 70s. You know, something like, I don't know, "Pac Man Fever" for the early 80s, but maybe not quite that much of a novelty song.

I wasn't really around in the 70s, so I don't have a good answer. Maybe something by Captain and Tenille, but maybe something more obscure.

WordMan 03-08-2016 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quimby (Post 19161715)
Clearly the answer is "Boogie Fever." We're done here.

:)

Love that fun little pop dance song.

Do me a favor, here's a live version off The Midnight Special: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YHKCHvpYq_8

When the main riff starts, start singing the first verse from The Beatles' Day Tripper: "Got a good reason, for taking the easy way out"...

Totally fits, right?

madsircool 03-08-2016 09:59 AM

The entire Donna Summer Bad Girls album....especially after some weed and beer.

kunilou 03-08-2016 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 19161740)
No, I understand what he's saying. He's looking for an ephemeral song that could only be recorded and chart in the 70s--a disposable song that is tied to the decade and is largely forgotten today but was a hit back then that exemplified the 70s. You know, something like, I don't know, "Pac Man Fever" for the early 80s, but maybe not quite that much of a novelty song.

Ahhh. Then the answer is clearly Disco Duck.

bobot 03-08-2016 11:04 AM

What was that Chuck Mangione song? You know, the one with the trumpet.

WordMan 03-08-2016 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 19162039)
What was that Chuck Mangione song? You know, the one with the trumpet.

Feels So Good. I think he plays Flugelhorn on that one.

The Other Waldo Pepper 03-08-2016 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kunilou (Post 19162020)
Ahhh. Then the answer is clearly Disco Duck.

Or maybe Convoy.

teela brown 03-08-2016 11:10 AM

It has to be Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. It was the constant background theme music of my senior year in high school.

drad dog 03-08-2016 11:28 AM

Aja by Steely Dan

Richey84 03-08-2016 11:33 AM

"More Than A Feeling"

terentii 03-08-2016 12:00 PM

If I Can't Have You

Manhattan Skyline

If You Want My Body

Heart of Glass

Sultans of Swing

Nobody Does It Better

Me and You and a Dog Named Boo

terentii 03-08-2016 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 19161740)
Maybe something by Captain and Tenille, but maybe something more obscure.

Muskrat Love? :dubious:

Lemur866 03-08-2016 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 19161740)
No, I understand what he's saying. He's looking for an ephemeral song that could only be recorded and chart in the 70s--a disposable song that is tied to the decade and is largely forgotten today but was a hit back then that exemplified the 70s. You know, something like, I don't know, "Pac Man Fever" for the early 80s, but maybe not quite that much of a novelty song.

I wasn't really around in the 70s, so I don't have a good answer. Maybe something by Captain and Tenille, but maybe something more obscure.

Right. It can't be a timeless song that is played every Friday night by 100 cover bands in various bars across America. It has to be a song that could only have been a hit in the 70s, and that no bar band would ever cover in the 1980s, or 90s, or 00s, or 10s.

terentii 03-08-2016 12:15 PM

Disco Inferno

Rock the Boat

Alone Again, Naturally

Crocodile Rock

When Will I See You Again?

TSoP

Please Come to Boston

Kung Fu Fighting

terentii 03-08-2016 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemur866 (Post 19162249)
It has to be a song that could only have been a hit in the 70s, and that no bar band would ever cover in the 1980s, or 90s, or 00s, or 10s.

My Girl, Bill? :dubious:

jerseymule 03-08-2016 12:21 PM

James Brown: "Get Up Offa That Thing"

chappachula 03-08-2016 12:21 PM

Anything by Carol King or Carly Simon. Maybe "It's too late, baby", or "You're so vain"
Or maybe Helen Reddy's "I am woman, hear me on..."


Note: The OP asked for a Quinessential 70's song. Not the best 70's song. :)

My suggestions are songs that scream "oooh--it must be the 1970's!!! --an independent female singer!!".
They could not have been written in the 60's, and by the 80's they were already old and dated.

terentii 03-08-2016 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chappachula (Post 19162287)
"I am woman, hear me ..."

... roar."

I hate that song! :mad:

WordMan 03-08-2016 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lemur866 (Post 19162249)
Right. It can't be a timeless song that is played every Friday night by 100 cover bands in various bars across America. It has to be a song that could only have been a hit in the 70s, and that no bar band would ever cover in the 1980s, or 90s, or 00s, or 10s.

As this thread evolves to focus on more pure '70's-ness, I have to go with Looking Glass - Brandy: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=39Z80oHUZOw

It is mentioned in a list upthread, but for quintessential '70's cheese, it is hard to do better. Stuff like Disco Duck, The Streak and Kung Fu fighting were intentionally silly/capitalizing on a trend, like Gangam Style more recently. Drivel like Seasons in the Sun, The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia, Billy, Don't Be a Hero, etc. - I don't know - Brandy has a story that I thought was cooler when I was a kid singing along ;)


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