Top 10 ’70s throwback songs


Photo by Brianna O'Shaughnessy

photo illustration

1. Dancing Queen – ABBA

Deep in the pop-disco rhythm of this song, all lyrical meaning is lost. It’s a Friday night, and the lights are low. You are the dancing queen. Regardless of your age, you feel seventeen. You are the most beautiful girl out on the dance floor, and you’ve never moved your feet better. All of this is part of the magic of 70s music, so upbeat and enrapturing that its influence has continued for decades. Plus, it is legitimately fun to dance to.



2. Escape (Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes

This is one of the best “story songs” of all time. It’s probably one of the most creative, too, but it would be pointless to spoil the plotline and make listening to it useless. It has a relaxed, singer-songwriter feel to it that speaks for the genre so popular during this decade, and it makes the song a fun listen. Some have said that listening to this song makes them feel that Chris Pratt has come to rescue them from a strange alien prison (note: necessary Guardians of the Galaxy reference due to the only YouTube video of quality). Even if story songs aren’t your cup of tea, there will most likely be plenty of things you can find to mock. Either way, give it a listen.

Rupert Holmes


3. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Everyone remembers where they were they day they first heard Bohemian Rhapsody. Listening to this song of epic proportions is an important life event, comparable to getting a driver’s licence, graduating college, and starting a family. Queen’s greatest hit is literally a combination of every genre that was popular in the 70s, and that’s all that needs to be said. You already know how great this song is. And if you don’t, honestly, what are you doing with your life?



4. Silly Love Songs – Wings

After the Beatles disbanded, Paul McCartney was the one best known for his solo career. He released a number of songs that, honestly, probably only true Beatles fans know, but they’re amazing numbers that everyone should listen to. Silly Love Songs is one of those, with an upbeat rhythm and romantic lyrics which writers in the 70s were so fond of. If you’re tired of the love songs that were popular through this decade, it’s time for a new perspective. You have to accept that some people want to fill the world with silly love songs; and what’s wrong with that?



5. My Sharona – The Knack

This song speaks for the rock-ish vibes of the decade, not quite heavy metal because of the pop beat in it. It would be a good song for surfing, if you’re creating a soundtrack for the ocean. The lyrics aren’t particularly meaningful, but it’s a catchy tune – as most songs are in the 70s – and it’s fun to sing along to once you know the words. Or, you know, just sing the chorus. That works, too.

The Knack


6. How Deep is Your Love – Bee Gees

The Bee Gees, according to multiple top chart lists, absolutely dominated the music industry of the 1970s, so of course they deserved a mention on the list. Though they’re mostly known for disco (don’t worry, there’s a whole other list chock-full of upbeat Bee Gees hits), this song is both slower and still fairly popular. As with every other song from this group, the tune is catchy and worth listening to.

Bee Gees


7. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye

Referenced in multiple modern songs, jokes, and Vines, Let’s Get it On is one song that most people have heard of, but no one has actually heard. Actually, you’ll probably listen to the introduction notes and say, “Oh, I know that song!” but there won’t be any recognition past that. This time, listen to the whole song, not just the part you know from a television commercial. It’s a soulful number that’s catchy enough to be featured throughout the past few decades, obviously. So, let’s get this song on your favorites playlist.

Marvin Gaye


8. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) – Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart was popular in the 70s among fans of smooth, singer-songwriter style music. This song is one of the best to display that style, which was less common in this decade than it is today. Apart from that, it’s similar to many hits in the form of its sappy, romantic lyrics. It isn’t necessarily a song that you can boogie to, but it’s sweet and pleasant, coming as a reminder of the time when life was good (and you weren’t born or forced to endure the hardships of being alive).  

Rod Stewart


9. Cheeseburger in Paradise – Jimmy Buffett

This Jimmy Buffet classic, written before the opening of his chain of his restaurants almost a decade later, speaks for the classic rock genre of the 70s. It’s fun to listen to because of the pleasant summertime vibe, and the lyrics are essentially just a description of a really big cheeseburger. Plus, the cover art on the YouTube video has lots of pictures of cheeseburgers you’d probably love to eat. You’re welcome.

Jimmy Buffett


10. Tiny Dancer – Elton John

Elton John is arguably one of the most popular artists of the 70s, 80s and 90s (with his contribution to the Lion King soundtrack), but the beginning of his career was when he produced a seemingly infinite number of hits. He sings in a wide variety of genres, from pop to rock – he even did a song recently with Fall Out Boy – and more of his songs are worth checking out than just this one. However, if looking for mildly confusing lyrics, a good tune, and an opportunity to sing falsetto, Tiny Dancer is for you.

Elton John