“Did you know that disco record sales were up 400% for the year ending 1976? If these trends continue… A-y-y-y!”
Our survey now takes us once again into the belly of the beast that was the Age of Disco. We go to #48 on the year-end chart to compile our 25 selections for this poll. What’s your favorite?
Previous polls: 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
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What an awful, awful selection. I don’t think there’s a single song on this list I’d voluntarily listen to, with the possible exception of “Hot Line” and “Couldn’t Get It Right.” I very reluctantly voted for “Couldn’t Get It Right.” “Margaritaville” used to be OK until I heard it for the 18,549th time.
In dead-ass last place, there’s a four-way tie between “Whatcha Gonna Do,” “So Into You,” “The Things We Do for Love,” and “Swayin’ to the Music (Slow Dancing).”
I picked “Couldn’t Get It Right” over “Margaritaville” both of which are worthy songs.
I was right in the middle of adolescence back then and for some reason, more than any other song, James Taylor’s “Handy Man” brings backed that depressed adolescent feeling. Ugh. The only other song that gives me that feeling is Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” from the same year.
Steve Miller, generally the master of mediocrity, came up with his best work on “Fly Like an Eagle.” That song has stayed in my memory as the second-best song on the radio that year (next to “Year of the Cat”). These were both 1976 releases but charted in '77.
If it hadn’t have been for the CSN time warp to 1969 (when the release was Crosby, Stills, and Nash), this would have been an entire wipe-out. As it was, the tune is only mildly embarrassing.
For MAJOR embarrassment, see Margaritaville - poor Jimmy is in an absolute hell - cannot shake the damned thing.
Besides the Steve Miller Band single, Commodores and a few others, most I don’t recognize by title.
I’ll have to listen and see which ones I like and vote. If nothing gets me going, then I guess Steve Miller or abstain from voting.
I grew up in Atlanta and there was no bigger song than (relatively) local boy Kenny Rogers’s Lucille. This is the first year where I only had to look up a couple of songs and recognized all of them. (10yo at the time.)
Although none of the songs showed up on this survey, !977 saw the release of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album that included hits such as “Go Your Own Way”, “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop” and “You make Lovin’ Fun”. Jackson Brown also put out his album Running on Empty. The title track hit number 11 as did the single “The Load Out”/“Stay”.
For those of you that look at this survey and say that 1977 sucked music-wise, please remember that there was some good music still being produced. as indicated by the two albums above.
Now I’m sure that there are some of you out there that think both Rumours and *Running *On Empty sucked and that’s fine.
“Dreams” was a #1 and therefore was listed in that series of polls.
Had to give ELO the much more deserved love. I don’t care who or what you are, “Telephone Line” is one of Jeff Lynne’s best ballads, and A New World Record is a relatively underrated album (and my personal ELO favorite if I had to choose).
Running on Empty came out in late 1977 and had most of its impact the following year. The same if true with the title track which–depending on how lenient Smapti decides to be–might be on “Best of the Rest” poll for 1978.
I picked the Climax Blues Band but not because I really liked the song. It was just the one I could tolerate the best. Overall, 1977 was a weak crop.
I remember listening more to pop radio once I was out of college, and the fact that I recognize half the songs on this list by their titles substantiates that.
People have different tastes and all, but I don’t understand all the love for “Just a Song Before I Go.” Did CSN/CSNY in its original incarnation have even one song that was as boring as this one?
Not to mention meaningless platitudes (“traveling twice the speed of sound, it’s easy to get burned”) and an airline’s ad slogan (“the friendly skies”). Their younger selves would have been embarrassed to release this song.
ETA: FWIW, I went with 10cc. Not a great song, but there are no great songs on this list.
And a note to Steve Miller: We keep on slippin’ (slippin’, slippin’) into the future. Time keeps on slippin’ into the past.
Running On Empty only made #82 on the year-end chart, and while I haven’t compiled next year’s list yet, I think it’s safe to say that it won’t make the cut. I’d really like to do a rock-centric poll series like this sometime in the future, but Billboard didn’t start a rock chart until 1981, which excludes most of the classic rock era entirely, and if Cash Box had a rock chart it hasn’t been archived online to the best of my knowledge, so I’d have to find a retrospective chart of some sort to work from (or make one myself by going through the Hot 100 archives week-by-week and finding the rock song that charted highest that week, which sounds like too much effort for a forum poll).
That being said, I narrowly voted for CSN over Fly Like An Eagle on this one. I’ll agree with the above poster that CSN’s late '70s stuff was an entirely different sound than their late '60s stuff, but this is a song that’s short, sad, and to the point, and it and “To The Last Whale” (technically only CN, since Stills wasn’t on that record) are my two favorite tunes of their from that era.
This is too easy. ELO all the way. Greatest band of the 1970s they were.
Really wanted to give it to Jimmy, but CSN win it by a harmony.
“Hot Line” got my
Vote. “Dazz” came in second. God damn that Jimmy Buffet song is so average and noting, how it is so memorable in a good or bad way is beyond belief.
The Coolidge and Warnes songs are just so seventies…ARS almost got my vote…just a great tune… Just a song…is one of Nash’s best (Marrakesh)…simple and pretty…
I voted for the song that every black person thinks of when we are thinking nice things about Lionel Ritchie and his later shit songs… …its absolutely the best song …rollickin…southern…religious everything… FOUR votes?? Situations like this point to the lack of diversity of the Dope as a whole…
I went with CSN but seriously considered “Lucille”, as we got a lot of mileage joking about it in middle school (hearing “four hungry children” as “four hundred children” or telling the one about the truck driver who skidded over a cliff while yelling “You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel!”)