Best of the Rest of the Top 40: 1971

Our survey now brings us to 1971. We had to just barely dip down to #41 to fill in the 25 spots in this poll. We’re in the golden age of the double-A side again, but as far as I can tell from looking ahead, double-A sides were always charted separately in the year-end chart so it shouldn’t be a big issue.

What’s your favorite?

(PS: Before anyone thinks you’ve caught me in a mistake again, I am aware that the title of the Murray Head song is just “Superstar”. I have amended it in the poll to differentiate it from the Carpenters song of the same name.)

Previous polls: 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970

Best #1 single polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s All-time

Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” wins a tight one over the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” in the world-famous Ponch8 Music Rating System. Both are miles ahead of the rest of the field.

I like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Undisputed Truth, Tom Jones(his best song),Grass Roots, Gordon Lightfoot and Jackson 5 in terms of their entries on this list.

But I won’t vote till tonight.

The two best Carpenters songs are here, but then “What’s Going On,” so…

I would pay a very large sum of money to have Lee Michaels erased from History.

Marvin Gaye, easy.

Here we have the year in which it fell apart entirely…

Carpenters, Osmond, Tom Jones…

What a crock…

Having Marvin in this one simplifies my decision.

Got to Marvin Gaye and didn’t have to read any further. One of the best songs ever.

For me it was either Marvin Gaye or Al Green, no contest, but “What’s going on” edged out Al Green’s song. Poor Al.

This one is hard. I gotta admit something I’ve only admitted to my wife… I like '70s cheese. And we’re entering some truly awesome territory here.

I feel obliged to vote for Marvin, especially seeing how close Gordon Lightfoot is approaching (seriously, WTF??). I want to vote for Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose. “Rainy Days and Mondays” made my four year-old self cry, I thought it was so pretty. I know, I know, I know, I know… I’ll be hearing Bill Withers for the rest of my life, and the closest I’ll be able to vote for The Band in this series of polls is also on this list. “Put Your Hand in the Hand” is one of the all-time cheesy classics*, and of course, there’s Tom Jones, the champion of the tight-pants-and-shirt-open-to-the-navel look.


All right, going to vote for Cornelius Brothers. Hopefully, “Sexual Healing” will be around in '82-83 or whenever so I can assuage the feelings of guilt I have for not voting for Marvin.

*For various definitions of “classic”.

1971 music simply must include mention of “Timothy” by The Buoys. 'Twas an excellent, upbeat ditty about cannibalism that has never been matched!

I really should vote for What’s Going On, but I’m pretty sure it’ll win without my help…so I’m picking John Denver.

Wow, about half of those songs are pretty good. I had to give Amos Moses some credit, it’s a funky catchy tune.

While I liked several songs here, some obscure others classic like the Marvin Gaye song, I decided to vote for Tom Jones. That is only song of his I like and it is a fine song. So here to you Mr. Jones.

What’s Going On is the best song of the list, but there are some I enjoy listening to more, if that makes any sense. I actually think Superstar is a great song. Country Roads and Signs, too.

The love of my life would be shocked SHOCKED i didn’t vote for 'Read my mind"… I told my buddy at work when he asked why i got a divorce…I told him to listen to that song…its never really one thing…its the wearing away…
But Mahhhhviinnn before he went off his sad sad deep end. he spoke to us in that song/album

Same here …70’s cheese is funky funky stuff… Lee Micheals? yeah… i like it…Five Man…