40 of the Most Popular Songs From the 70s

40 of the Most Popular Songs From the 70s

Welcome back to the 1970s - a decade that revolutionized music and left a permanent mark on the music industry forever. Today, we're going to immerse ourselves in this iconic era, exploring a diverse playlist of songs that helped to define the times. From the rise of disco and punk to the evolution of rock and pop, each song on this list will perfectly reflect the 70s. 

1. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen

This theatrical and groundbreaking masterpiece by Queen, released in 1975, defies genre boundaries. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a blend of rock, ballad, and opera, showcasing Freddie Mercury's extraordinary vocal range and the band's musical versatility.

Queen A Night At The Opera (1975 Elektra Publicity Photo 02) (1)Distributed by Elektra Records. Photographer unknown on Wikimedia Commons

2. "Hotel California" by The Eagles

Released in 1977, "Hotel California" is a hauntingly beautiful track with enigmatic lyrics and a memorable guitar solo. This song has become a rock classic, symbolizing the excesses and complexities of the era.

Eagles In Concert In Australia December 2010jeaneeem on Wikimedia Commons

3. "Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees

A defining song of the disco era, "Staying Alive" from 1977 not only ruled the dance floors but also became synonymous with the '70s pop culture. Its catchy beat and falsetto vocals are instantly recognizable.

1701966904761.pngNBC Television on Wikimedia Commons

4. "Imagine" by John Lennon

This 1971 song is more than just music; it's a universal anthem for peace and hope. John Lennon's "Imagine" inspires with its simple yet profound lyrics and serene melody.

John Lennon 25 March 1969 (Cropped)Eric Koch / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


5. "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder

With its funky clavinet riff and thought-provoking lyrics, Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" (1972) is a masterpiece that blends soul, funk, and rock. This track showcases Wonder's incredible talent as a musician and songwriter.

Stevie Wonder PerformsPete Souza, official White House photographer on Wikimedia Commons

6. "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green

This soulful and romantic ballad, released in 1972, highlights Al Green's smooth vocals and has become a timeless classic in love songs, resonating across generations.

Al Green 1973Mike Douglas Show, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

7. "Heroes" by David Bowie

An anthem of hope and resilience, David Bowie's "Heroes" (1977) captures the spirit of overcoming obstacles. Its powerful lyrics and Bowie's passionate delivery make it an unforgettable track.

David Bowie (1987)Elmar J. Lordemann (de:User:Jo Atmon) on Wikimedia Commons

8. "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac

From the iconic album "Rumours" (1977), this song reflects the band's personal turmoils and is a testament to Fleetwood Mac's enduring musical genius.

Fleetwood Mac Billboard 1977Warner Bros. Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

9. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen

A rousing anthem that captures the essence of youth and longing, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" (1975) is a high-energy rock masterpiece that remains a fan favorite.

Bruce Springsteen Oslo 2019 193031Stian Schløsser Møller on Wikimedia Commons

10. "American Pie" by Don McLean

Released in 1971, this folk-rock song with its enigmatic lyrics is a nostalgic ode to the bygone era of the '50s and '60s, often interpreted as a commentary on the cultural shifts of the time.

Don Mclean Inducted Into The Music City Walk Of FameParism550 on Wikimedia Commons


11. "Heart of Glass" by Blondie

Blondie's "Heart of Glass" (1978) is a groundbreaking blend of new wave and disco, showcasing Debbie Harry's captivating voice and the band's innovative sound.

1024Px-Blondie - O2 Brixton Academy - Friday 17Th November 2017 Blondiebrixton171117-43 (24724661798)Raph_PH on Wikimedia Commons

12. "Le Freak" by Chic

A quintessential disco hit from 1978, "Le Freak" by Chic is known for its infectious groove and became a dance anthem of the era, symbolizing the disco culture.

Honey-Fangs-0Fc0Ffwrnsu-UnsplashPhoto by Honey Fangs on Unsplash

13. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel

This emotionally powerful ballad from 1970 is a testament to Simon & Garfunkel's songwriting prowess, offering solace and hope through its poignant lyrics and harmonies.

SimonandgarfunkelEddie Mallin on Wikimedia Commons

14. "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye's soulful and politically charged "What's Going On" (1971) is a reflection of the social and political turmoil of the time, delivered through Gaye's smooth vocal style.

Marvin Gaye In Concert At The Forum, 1974Los Angeles Times on Wikimedia Commons

15. "Dream On" by Aerosmith

This hard rock ballad, released in 1973, showcases Aerosmith's range and Steven Tyler's distinctive voice. "Dream On" has become an anthem for perseverance and dreaming big.

Aerosmith July 16 2014bobnjeff on Wikimedia Commons

16. "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

A southern rock anthem, "Sweet Home Alabama" (1974) is Lynyrd Skynyrd's ode to the South. Its catchy guitar riffs and memorable chorus make it an enduring classic and a symbol of Southern pride.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Band (1973)MCA Records on Wikimedia Commons


17. "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John

With its unique sound and futuristic appeal, "Bennie and the Jets" (1973) showcases Elton John's flair for theatricality and innovation in pop music, making it a standout track of the decade.

Elton John Performing, 2008 1Richard Mushet on Flickr on Wikimedia Commons

18. "No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley

A reggae classic, Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" (1974) is a song of comfort and hope. Its soulful lyrics and Marley's distinct voice give it a timeless appeal.

Bob Marley In 1980Eddie Mallin on Wikimedia Commons

19. "Dancing Queen" by ABBA

Released in 1976, "Dancing Queen" is ABBA's most iconic hit, capturing the joyful essence of the disco era. Its infectious melody and danceable rhythm have made it a global pop sensation.

Abba - Toppop 1974 5AVRO on Wikimedia Commons

20. "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

This 1978 hit is an empowering anthem of resilience and strength. Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is not just a disco classic; it's a song that has inspired generations.

Gloria Gaynor (15387585969)Thomas Rodenbücher on Wikimedia Commons

21. "Piano Man" by Billy Joel

Billy Joel's "Piano Man" (1973) is a beautifully narrative song that paints a vivid picture of a bar's patrons. Its melodic storytelling and Joel's emotive voice have made it a beloved classic.

Billy Joel - Perth 7 November 2006 (1)Deedar70 at English Wikipedia on Wikimedia Commons

22. "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors

This 1971 track is a haunting and atmospheric song that showcases The Doors' unique blend of rock, jazz, and poetry, and it stands as a testament to Jim Morrison's enigmatic presence.

1701968407767.pngJoel Brodsky (photographer). Distributed by Elektra Records. on Wikimedia Commons


23. "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin

A fusion of hard rock and Middle Eastern influences, "Kashmir" (1975) is one of Led Zeppelin's most ambitious and epic compositions, showcasing their musical mastery and creativity.

1701968467475.pngPaul A. Hudson on Wikimedia Commons

24. "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos

Eric Clapton's heartfelt and passionate "Layla" (1970) has become a rock staple. Its compelling story of unrequited love and distinctive guitar riff are unforgettable.

Derek And The DominosAtco Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

25. "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire

This 1978 funk hit is a vibrant and upbeat track that exudes joy and positivity. Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" remains a party favorite to this day.

Earth Wind And Fire 1970S Press PhotoDistributed by Columbia Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

26. "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith

Blending rock and early hints of hip-hop, "Walk This Way" (1975) showcases Aerosmith's versatility and willingness to experiment, making it a landmark song of the '70s.

1024Px-Aerosmith InterviewLenny Wood on Wikimedia Commons

27. "Jolene" by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton's "Jolene" (1973) is a country music masterpiece with its captivating narrative and Parton's powerful, emotive voice. It's a song that resonates across genres and generations.

Dolly Parton Accepting Liseberg Applause Award 2010 PortraitCurtis Hilbun on Wikimedia Commons

28. "We Will Rock You" by Queen

An iconic rock anthem, "We Will Rock You" (1977) is known worldwide for its stomp-stomp-clap beat and is a testament to Queen's influence on rock music.

Queen – Montagem – NewImages by Eddie, Thomas Steffan, Compadre Edua'h and Carl Lender. Compilation by KPFC based on the idea of Fronteira., CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

29. "Tangled Up in Blue" by Bob Dylan

A song from his 1975 album "Blood on the Tracks," Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" is a lyrical journey through the complexities of relationships and change, showcasing his songwriting genius.

1024Px-Joan Baez Bob Dylan CropRowland Scherman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

30. "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart

This 1971 hit is Rod Stewart's breakout song, combining folk rock with a touch of blues. "Maggie May" with its memorable melody and storytelling, solidified Stewart's place in music history.

1701968843713.pngIan Dury on Wikimedia Commons

31. "War" by Edwin Starr

Released in 1970, Edwin Starr's "War" is a powerful protest song with a strong anti-war message. Its driving beat and impassioned vocals made it an anthem for peace during a time of social and political unrest.

1701968905843.pngGordy Records on Wikimedia Commons

32. "Rocket Man" by Elton John

"Rocket Man" (1972) is one of Elton John's most beloved hits, blending science fiction and emotional depth. Its poetic lyrics and memorable melody create a sense of wonder and introspection.

1024Px-Elton John November 2015U.S. Embassy photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

33. "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band

With its catchy guitar riff and whimsical lyrics, "The Joker" (1973) is a laid-back, feel-good track that embodies the carefree spirit of the 70s rock scene.

Steve Miller Band @ Bluesfest (3577183884)ceedub13 on Wikimedia Commons

34. "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer

Released in 1979, "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer is a quintessential disco anthem, showcasing Summer's powerful vocals and the genre's signature upbeat tempo. This track, with its iconic "Toot-toot, hey, beep-beep" hook, not only ruled the dance floors but also highlighted the exuberant and liberated spirit of the late '70s disco scene.

Nobel Peace Price Concert 2009 Donna Summer2Harrywad on Wikimedia Commons

35. "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon

Released in 1972, Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" is a masterful blend of pop and rock with enigmatic lyrics that sparked decades of speculation. Its catchy chorus and Simon's powerful performance have made it an enduring classic.

1024Px-Carly Simon - 1978Elektra, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

36. "Lola" by The Kinks

"Lola" (1970) is a song that broke boundaries, with The Kinks exploring themes of gender and identity in a catchy, storytelling style that was ahead of its time.

1701969237721.pngKRLA Beat/Beat Publications, Inc., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

37. "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles

This 1970 hit from The Beatles is a poignant ballad that evokes a sense of nostalgia and melancholy, showcasing the band's ability to capture complex emotions in their music.

Beatles Ad 1965 Just The Beatles CropEMI, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

38. "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin

"Black Dog" (1971) is a hard-hitting rock anthem known for its distinctive riff and Robert Plant's powerful vocals, exemplifying Led Zeppelin's influence on the rock genre.

Led Zeppelin 2007p_a_h from United Kingdom on Wikimedia Commons

39. "More Than a Feeling" by Boston

Released in 1976, Boston's "More Than a Feeling" is a staple of classic rock, with its harmonious blend of electric guitar and reflective lyrics that capture the essence of the 70s rock sound.

1701969423631.pngPremier Talent Associates (management company) on Wikimedia Commons

40. "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" (1975) became a crossover success, blending country with a pop sensibility. Its catchy chorus and Campbell's smooth vocals have made it a timeless classic.

1701969486169.pngCapitol Records. on Wikimedia Commons