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The 100 Greatest Songs of 1970 #1. Bridge Over Troubled Water (1 Viewer)

timschochet

Footballguy
This thread is long overdue: I got distracted with political stuff- then suspended, then distracted again. I’m burned out on that stuff now and planning a long break, which may end up being permanent; who knows? 

1970 has been the most difficult year to create this list and it’s not even close: I’ve long asserted that 1971 was the greatest year ever for albums, but 1970 is, IMO, the greatest year ever for songs. So many classics. I was forced to cut off several very famous songs, as well many all time personal favorites. What’s left is the cream of popular music for all time. 

As always, for a song to be eligible for this list it had to be first released in 1970 either as a single or part of an album. 
 

100. “Child in Time” Deep Purple 

99. “Travelin’ Band” Creedence Clearwater Revival 

98. “Two of Us” The Beatles 

97. “Mr. Bojangles” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 

96. “That’s the Way” Led Zeppelin 

95. “Take Me to the Pilot” Elton John 

94. “Our House” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 

93. “Lucky Man” Emerson, Lake and Palmer 

92. “War Pigs” Black Sabbath 

91. “Spill the Wine” Eric Burdon & War 

90. “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)” Simon & Garfunkel 

89. “No Time” The Guess Who 

88. “Mama Told Me Not to Come” Three Dog Night 

87. “John Barleycorn (Must Die)” Traffic 

86. “After Midnight” Eric Clapton 

85. “Black Sabbath” Black Sabbath 

84. “Burn Down the Mission” Elton John 

83. “Hey Hey What Can I Do” Led Zeppelin

82. “I’ve Got A Feeling” The Beatles 

81. “Gasoline Alley” Rod Stewart 

80. “Question” The Moody Blues 

79. “Run Through the Jungle” Creedence Clearwater Revival 

78. “Bell Bottom Blues” Derek and the Dominos

77. “Country Road” James Taylor 

76. “Stage Fright” The Band 

75. “Cecilia” Simon & Garfunkel 

74. “The Long and Winding Road” The Beatles 

73. “Oye Como Va” Santana 

72. “Instant Karma” Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band 

71. “Teach Your Children” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

70. “Amoreena” Elton John 

69. “The Wizard” Black Sabbath 

68. “And It Stoned Me” Van Morrison 

67. “The Only Living Boy in New York” Simon & Garfunkel 

66. “The Love You Save” Jackson 5 

65. “War” Edwin Starr

64. “Share the Land” The Guess Who 

 63. “We’ve Only Just Begun” The Carpenters 

62. “Who’ll Stop the Rain” Creedence Clearwater Revival 

61. “What Is Life” George Harrison 

60. “No Matter What” Badfinger 

59. “Father and Son” Cat Stevens 

58. “Southern Man” Neil Young 

57. “Sugar Magnolia” The Grateful Dead 

56. “Caravan” Van Morrison 

55. “Iron Man” Black Sabbath 

54. “Carry On” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 

53. “Immigrant Song” Led Zeppelin 

52. “Funk #49” James Gang 

51. “Casey Jones” The Grateful Dead 

50. “Crazy Love” Van Morrison 

49. “Love the One You’re With” Stephen Stills 

48. “Cracklin’ Rosie” Neil Diamond 

47. “Sweet Baby James” James Taylor 

46. “Joy to the World” Three Dog Night

45. “Band of Gold” Frida Payne 

44. “Truckin’” The Grateful Dead 

43. “A Song for You” Leon Russell 

42. “Woodstock” Joni Mitchell 

41. “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” Creedence Clearwater Revival 

40. “I’ll Be There” Jackson 5 

39. “Moondance” Van Morrison 

38. “Black Magic Woman” Santana 

37. “Friend of the Devil“ The Grateful Dead 

36. “Ape Man” The Kinks 

35. “All Things Must Pass” George Harrison 

34. “Wild World” Cat Stevens

33. “Close to You” The Carpenters 

32. “If You Could Read My Mind” Gordon Lightfoot 

31. “O-o-h Child” The Five Stairsteps 

30. “25 or 6 to 4” Chicago 

29. “Roadhouse Blues” The Doors 

28. “Midnight Rider” The Allman Brothers Band 

27. “American Woman” The Guess Who 

26. “The Border Song” Elton John 

25. “Ohio” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 

24. “Box of Rain” The Grateful Dead 

23. “All Right Now” Free 

22. “Helpless” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 

21. “ABC” Jackson 5

20. “Domino” Van Morrison 

19. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” Creedence Clearwater Revival 

18. “Uncle John’s Band” The Grateful Dead 

17. “Paranoid” Black Sabbath 

16. “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” James Brown 

15. “Rock & Roll” The Velvet Underground 

14. “After the Gold Rush” Neil Young 

13. “Layla” Derek and the Dominos

12. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” Stevie Wonder

11. “Big Yellow Taxi” Joni Mitchell 

10. “Sweet Jane” The Velvet Underground 

9. “The Man Who Sold the World” David Bowie 

8. “Into the Mystic” Van Morrison 

7. “My Sweet Lord” George Harrison 

6. “Lola” The Kinks 

5. “Let It Be” The Beatles 

4. “Maybe I’m Amazed” Paul McCartney 

3. “Your Song” Elton John 

2. “Fire and Rain” James Taylor

1. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” Simon and Garfunkel 

 
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wikkidpissah

Footballguy
100. Deep Purple “Child in Time” (from Deep Purple in Rock

https://youtu.be/PfAWReBmxEs

Kicking off here with one of the greatest art rock classics of all time. Ian Gillian provides incredible vocals (as always) and many guitar experts rate this as Blackmore’s finest solo. Simply a masterpiece. 


i've become a regular watcher of "first time listen" vids on Youtube, where young folk check out the classics they havent heard from previous generations. CiT has become a monster in this world. it always bothered me to listen to cuz it was a total rip from an It's a Beautiful Day song from the year before, but the solo-focus majesties of the Purp are shonuff on full display. my fave reaction

 

timschochet

Footballguy
i've become a regular watcher of "first time listen" vids on Youtube, where young folk check out the classics they havent heard from previous generations. CiT has become a monster in this world. it always bothered me to listen to cuz it was a total rip from an It's a Beautiful Day song from the year before, but the solo-focus majesties of the Purp are shonuff on full display. my fave reaction
Thanks for linking that. It’s great. I watched a few minutes. Later I’ll watch the whole thing. 

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
Thanks for linking that. It’s great. I watched a few minutes. Later I’ll watch the whole thing. 
most "reaction" vids are college kids yelling "doooood!!" at the hot spots, but this academic approach is fun too, especially in the hands of an attractive woman with a verrrry tactile relationship w music

 
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timschochet

Footballguy
99. Creedence Clearwater Revival “Travelin’ Band” (from Cosmo’s Factory

https://youtu.be/VwcJ5WQSamQ

Straight up traditional rocker that achieves greatness thanks to John Forgerty’s vocal talents. As I mentioned previously in the 1969 thread when discussing CCR, somehow these songs never seem to get tired. One reason is that with so many bands of the era experimenting with different genres, Creedence stick to a pretty simple formula. 
Apparently this song didn’t get a lot of radio play following 9/11, as some stations thought the opening lyric would bother people. 

 

FairWarning

Footballguy
Wait, how did I miss this thread idea?  I would have loved to do 1970.  I LOVE Child in Time,  glad it made the cut in a loaded year.

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
Thanks for doing this.

I've been on a huge nostalgia kick lately.  

Just finished completing 1970 Topps baseball set.  

My Nolan Ryan card comes today to finish 1968 set.  

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
timschochet said:
100. Deep Purple “Child in Time” (from Deep Purple in Rock

https://youtu.be/PfAWReBmxEs

Kicking off here with one of the greatest art rock classics of all time. Ian Gillian provides incredible vocals (as always) and many guitar experts rate this as Blackmore’s finest solo. Simply a masterpiece. 
This arguably could have been #1 overall and we’d be done.

Good to see you back…

 

timschochet

Footballguy
98. The Beatles “Two of Us” (from Let It Be

https://youtu.be/cLQox8e9688

Written by Paul McCartney, and he also plays lead (acoustic) guitar here; John on rhythm guitar, George on bass. John sings harmony and famously offers the introduction, “…in which Doris gets her oats!” 
As with “You Never Give Me Your Money” from Abbey Road, Paul was apparently complaining here about John’s new relationship with Allen Klein (despite later mythology on the subject, Klein was a much bigger reason for the breakup of the Beatles than Yoko Ono ever was) and bemoaning the end of their partnership. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
Was wondering if you could mention a good song here and there that did not make the list? Otherwise we’ll have to wait until the end, and that could take years. 

 

Da Guru

Fair & Balanced
timschochet said:
This thread is long overdue: I got distracted with political stuff- then suspended, then distracted again. I’m burned out on that stuff now and planning a long break, which may end up being permanent; who knows? 

1970 has been the most difficult year to create this list and it’s not even close: I’ve long asserted that 1971 was the greatest year ever for albums, but 1970 is, IMO, the greatest year ever for songs. So many classics. I was forced to cut off several very famous songs, as well many all time personal favorites. What’s left is the cream of popular music for all time. 

As always, for a song to be eligible for this list it had to be first released in 1970 either as a single or part of an album. 
 

100. “Child in Time” Deep Purple 

99. “Travelin’ Band” Creedence Clearwater Revival 

98. “Two of Us” The Beatles 


You made a good decision.  I hardly post in the PSF anymore and am much better off for it.   

 

zamboni

Footballguy
wikkidpissah said:
i've become a regular watcher of "first time listen" vids on Youtube, where young folk check out the classics they havent heard from previous generations. CiT has become a monster in this world. it always bothered me to listen to cuz it was a total rip from an It's a Beautiful Day song from the year before, but the solo-focus majesties of the Purp are shonuff on full display. my fave reaction
Interesting that she was listening to their famous 1970 live version rather than the studio  - think it was French or Belgian TV, or something like that. Lucky sons of #####es in that audience got to see that as close as can be. And yeah, the Purple  did rip off the opening of Bombay Calling, but made it legendary enough on their own.

 
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Ghost Rider

Footballguy
A lot of great songs in 1970, so it is inevitable that many good ones will be left out. 

Child in Time is a good one, but Deep Purple is one of those bands I've never really gravitated towards. They have some good songs, but I literally never listen to them. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
So a bit of a digression here (one of the first of many): two of the greatest bands of the era, The Rolling Stones and The Who, will not have a presence on this list. That is because both groups took 1970 off in terms of studio work; both produced live albums: Get Yer Ya Yas Out! and Live at Leeds respectively. These are regarded as two of the greatest live albums ever, and if I had more room I would have included a couple of songs from them: in particular “Midnight Rambler” from the Stones (arguably even better than the studio version which I ranked pretty highly the year before), and “Young Man Blues” from The Who- a master class in blues singing by Roger Daltry. 
But there was simply no room. 

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
So a bit of a digression here (one of the first of many): two of the greatest bands of the era, The Rolling Stones and The Who, will not have a presence on this list. That is because both groups took 1970 off in terms of studio work; both produced live albums: Get Yer Ya Yas Out! and Live at Leeds respectively. These are regarded as two of the greatest live albums ever, and if I had more room I would have included a couple of songs from them: in particular “Midnight Rambler” from the Stones (arguably even better than the studio version which I ranked pretty highly the year before), and “Young Man Blues” from The Who- a master class in blues singing by Roger Daltry. 
But there was simply no room. 


'69-'70 was 10th Grade for me, so parties would just have been becoming a factor in how i felt about albums and groups. i was off The Who, whose Happy Jack i just flat wore out, because the preppies - who i hated but among whom the con in me insisted i insinuate myself, mostly for the chicks & opps - wore out Tommy, which had a lot of annoying bits if one wasnt grooving on it of a piece and harshed me buzz. Yayas was the soundtrack of a lot of happy pukes in those getting-used-to-being-loaded days...

 

krista4

Footballguy
98. The Beatles “Two of Us” (from Let It Be

https://youtu.be/cLQox8e9688

Written by Paul McCartney, and he also plays lead (acoustic) guitar here; John on rhythm guitar, George on bass. John sings harmony and famously offers the introduction, “…in which Doris gets her oats!” 
As with “You Never Give Me Your Money” from Abbey Road, Paul was apparently complaining here about John’s new relationship with Allen Klein (despite later mythology on the subject, Klein was a much bigger reason for the breakup of the Beatles than Yoko Ono ever was) and bemoaning the end of their partnership. 


Wow.  This is completely incorrect in terms of what the song was about.

But...I wanted to say how happy I am to see you posting in this forum.  I read some of your recent PSF posts and feel like you were being waaaaaay more sensitive than need be.  Your bristling seemed not to be in relation to any true insults. (I say this knowing that you get way more #### hurled your way than most.)  So please take some comfort in the non-PSF where we are happy to have you!

 

timschochet

Footballguy
Wow.  This is completely incorrect in terms of what the song was about.

But...I wanted to say how happy I am to see you posting in this forum.  I read some of your recent PSF posts and feel like you were being waaaaaay more sensitive than need be.  Your bristling seemed not to be in relation to any true insults. (I say this knowing that you get way more #### hurled your way than most.)  So please take some comfort in the non-PSF where we are happy to have you!
Thanks Krista. All I’ll say in regard to the PSF is that there was a lot that happened behind the scenes, involving PMs. But my “bristling” had more to do with the general tone there, not with personal attacks which have never bothered me.) 

I’m no Beatles expert like you are; I got the information on the song from the rock book about 1970 by David Browne (I won’t list the title here to avoid spotlighting a future pick.) I’ll defer to your word on the matter; it has no bearing on the song’s placement. 

 

Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
Interesting that she was listening to their famous 1970 live version rather than the studio  - think it was French or Belgian TV, or something like that. Lucky sons of #####es in that audience got to see that as close as can be. And yeah, the Purple  did rip off the opening of Bombay Calling, but made it legendary enough on their own.
I think there was a corporate backlash of some kind against many of the reaction videos. I know one guy who has a pretty large following had to go back and replace the studio versions of the songs on his videos with either live versions or alternate takes. But I'm not sure what the law/rule is as far as what's allowable or not. Some of these folks are selling merchandise, so maybe it had to do with that.

I've seen a bunch of this particular lady's reaction videos and she's more interesting than most.

 

zamboni

Footballguy
Interesting that she was listening to their famous 1970 live version rather than the studio  - think it was French or Belgian TV, or something like that. Lucky sons of #####es in that audience got to see that as close as can be. And yeah, the Purple  did rip off the opening of Bombay Calling, but made it legendary enough on their own.
I think there was a corporate backlash of some kind against many of the reaction videos. I know one guy who has a pretty large following had to go back and replace the studio versions of the songs on his videos with either live versions or alternate takes. But I'm not sure what the law/rule is as far as what's allowable or not. Some of these folks are selling merchandise, so maybe it had to do with that.

I've seen a bunch of this particular lady's reaction videos and she's more interesting than most.
Thanks for the clarification. She’s a lot better on the eyes than most, too. ❤️

 

Godsbrother

Footballguy
Wow.  This is completely incorrect in terms of what the song was about.

But...I wanted to say how happy I am to see you posting in this forum.  I read some of your recent PSF posts and feel like you were being waaaaaay more sensitive than need be.  Your bristling seemed not to be in relation to any true insults. (I say this knowing that you get way more #### hurled your way than most.)  So please take some comfort in the non-PSF where we are happy to have you!


Yep.  The song is about Paul and Linda taking drives to get away from it all and purposely getting lost.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
97. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Mr. Bojangles” (from Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy

https://youtu.be/GyS4V1QMKJM

So this was originally a Jerry Jeff Walker song, covered by several different artists, of which NGDB’s version is the most famous. All of that I knew before last night; what I did NOT know is that Walker’s lyrics do not refer to the great tap dancer Bill Robinson, as I’ve always assumed. They refer instead to a white homeless man who also called himself Mr. Bojangles. 
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was featured in Ken Burn’s Country Music, not for this song but for their 1972 album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which featured a lot of old time great hillbilly artists as guests. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
96. Led Zeppelin “That’s the Way” (from Led Zeppelin III)

https://youtu.be/GGsmyqIrZRo

So I’ve always wondered what Led Zeppelin fans in 1970 thought of the band’s third album when it first came out. After two of the greatest collections of hard rock ever, suddenly there was this mostly acoustic exploration into British folk and mysticism, sounding more like Fairport Convention than their previous selves. Of course now, 51 years later, it’s all legendary and classic. But I’m curious what they thought back then? 
 

“That’s the Way” is one of Page’s prettiest and soothing ballads. Like so many of the songs on this list, it’s quite of the era but also perfectly timeless. 

 

foxco

Footballguy
96. Led Zeppelin “That’s the Way” (from Led Zeppelin III)

https://youtu.be/GGsmyqIrZRo

So I’ve always wondered what Led Zeppelin fans in 1970 thought of the band’s third album when it first came out. After two of the greatest collections of hard rock ever, suddenly there was this mostly acoustic exploration into British folk and mysticism, sounding more like Fairport Convention than their previous selves. Of course now, 51 years later, it’s all legendary and classic. But I’m curious what they thought back then? 
 

“That’s the Way” is one of Page’s prettiest and soothing ballads. Like so many of the songs on this list, it’s quite of the era but also perfectly timeless. 
My parents both love this album, my mom's favorite of Zep, a lot of their stuff was too heavy for her. She plays That's the Way a lot, along with a few others from this. Great tune.

 

Raging weasel

Footballguy
timschochet said:
100. Deep Purple “Child in Time” (from Deep Purple in Rock

https://youtu.be/PfAWReBmxEs

Kicking off here with one of the greatest art rock classics of all time. Ian Gillian provides incredible vocals (as always) and many guitar experts rate this as Blackmore’s finest solo. Simply a masterpiece. 
My favorite of theirs and easily better than the 4 songs that have followed it so far. Probably in the top 20 for me.

 

krista4

Footballguy
Thanks Krista. All I’ll say in regard to the PSF is that there was a lot that happened behind the scenes, involving PMs. But my “bristling” had more to do with the general tone there, not with personal attacks which have never bothered me.) 

I’m no Beatles expert like you are; I got the information on the song from the rock book about 1970 by David Browne (I won’t list the title here to avoid spotlighting a future pick.) I’ll defer to your word on the matter; it has no bearing on the song’s placement. 


Ah, sorry.  I should have known there was more than meets the eye.  You've always been incredibly patient and good-natured with those folks - more than I would be.  The tone is definitely very bad again, so I mostly avoid the forum.  Again, welcome back over here!  :)  

 

Manster

Footballguy
I hope to see some here on Friday/Saturday.
First two Sabbath albums released and then Master of Reality in '71......even if they're not your cup o tea, they influenced music to come more than any other band in those two years.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
First two Sabbath albums released and then Master of Reality in '71......even if they're not your cup o tea, they influenced music to come more than any other band in those two years.
I think the bolded is at least debatable: they have plenty of competition. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
95. Elton John “Take Me to the Pilot” (from Elton John

https://youtu.be/Fi0xN499IXE

Don’t ask me what this song is about; Bernie Taupin has stated that he doesn’t know, Elton doesn’t know, so how could the rest of us have any idea? It’s a classic early Elton rocker, enhanced by his superb keyboards and vocals. 
The album is often thought to be Elton’s first; the film Rocket Man presents this as well. But it’s actually his second album. The first one, Empty Sky has a couple of serviceable tunes (“Western Ford Gateway” and “Lady Samantha”) but is mostly pretty mediocre. 

 

Manster

Footballguy
I think the bolded is at least debatable: they have plenty of competition. 
Oh for sure.  It's always debatable. 

Tony Iommi's playing, and style were groundbreaking.  As a band, and especially, Iommi, Sabbath laid a blueprint for everything sludgy, and dark to follow.  

This is before my time, but I cannot imagine what it was like for people hearing Sabbath for the first time in the early 70's......prolly either loved it, or scared the hell out of em!

 
96. Led Zeppelin “That’s the Way” (from Led Zeppelin III)

https://youtu.be/GGsmyqIrZRo

So I’ve always wondered what Led Zeppelin fans in 1970 thought of the band’s third album when it first came out. After two of the greatest collections of hard rock ever, suddenly there was this mostly acoustic exploration into British folk and mysticism, sounding more like Fairport Convention than their previous selves. Of course now, 51 years later, it’s all legendary and classic. But I’m curious what they thought back then? 
 

“That’s the Way” is one of Page’s prettiest and soothing ballads. Like so many of the songs on this list, it’s quite of the era but also perfectly timeless. 
Good call, love this tune but I'm a sucker for Zeppelin anyway.

Also, hope you don't leave, you create good content. (So I guess I'm saying for my selfish benefit don't leave.  :lol: )  

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
95. Elton John “Take Me to the Pilot” (from Elton John

https://youtu.be/Fi0xN499IXE

Don’t ask me what this song is about; Bernie Taupin has stated that he doesn’t know, Elton doesn’t know, so how could the rest of us have any idea? It’s a classic early Elton rocker, enhanced by his superb keyboards and vocals. 
The album is often thought to be Elton’s first; the film Rocket Man presents this as well. But it’s actually his second album. The first one, Empty Sky has a couple of serviceable tunes (“Western Ford Gateway” and “Lady Samantha”) but is mostly pretty mediocre. 


EJ's early albums were all beautifully recorded, but nowhere is his force of nature more on display than his live album from that year, 11-17-70. Can't recall singing to one's own piano being done better. I mourn our loss of him to fancydom every time i listen

 

Atomic Punk

Footballguy
I was wondering when you might put together the next list. Thanks for doing this, always enjoyable.

I suspect Canada will be well represented this year.

 

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