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

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
I agree that every year has it's share of good and bad songs. But I find that it's a lot harder to find the good stuff in recent years. It seems like music has headed into so many different directions, and many of them don't appeal to me.
I think streaming music services have made it easier than ever to find new music that suites my taste.

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
I think he's talking about Clapton's later unplugged version of Layla.
I deleted because I was misinterpreting his point.

I still wouldn't call it a remake because it's just a different interpretation of his own song - but it's not a big deal.

 

Nigel

Footballguy
Sweet Jane and Man Who Sold the World would both be top 5 for me, my two favorites of all listed so far. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
7. George Harrison “My Sweet Lord” (from All Things Must Pass

https://youtu.be/SP9wms6oEMo

Yes it sounds a little bit like the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine”, and to me it sounds even more like the Edwin Hawkins Group’s “Oh, Happy Day” (like so many of the songs on this list and ESPECIALLY in the top 10, “My Sweet Lord” is gospel inspired.) 

But most of all it sounds like George Harrison and the Dominos, at their very best. There is such a rich sound to this music and it’s only gotten stronger as the years have past. I never get tired of listening to this tune. And that guitar solo…is sublime. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
Sorry- correction: I wrote that the last song was performed by George Harrison and the Dominos and that is not correct. The only Domino that is on the recording is Jim Gordon who co-drummed with Ringo. the other musicians are Billy Preston, Klaus Voorman, and the entire band Badfinger. 

 

shuke

Black Ice Skeptic
Is it just me or do the last 3 picks sound like the same song, but with different singers, each with a slightly different approach?

Not only do I not remember them, they don't seem memorable at all, unless you truly love that particular type of song.  :shrug:


:eek:  

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
Is it just me or do the last 3 picks sound like the same song, but with different singers, each with a slightly different approach?

Not only do I not remember them, they don't seem memorable at all, unless you truly love that particular type of song.  :shrug:


yes, it's just you.

...oh and Fair Warning, which is not in your favor.   

 

ProstheticRGK

Footballguy
@ProstheticRGK

Saw you react to my post! How's things when you're not helping to save lives? 

"Sweet Jane" is such a wonderful song, huh? 
Going good, brother. How about you?

I love that song, and miss the hell out of Lou Reed. The Junkies version was a killer. She had the most beautiful set of pipes. The top 10 of this list is heaven. I am grooving out to George Harrison, right now

 

Ghost Rider

Footballguy
Is it just me or do the last 3 picks sound like the same song, but with different singers, each with a slightly different approach?

Not only do I not remember them, they don't seem memorable at all, unless you truly love that particular type of song.  :shrug:
Hey now, the 35 people in the world who bought albums by the Velvet Underground when they were actually a band are loyal, so be nice. ;)  

 

rockaction

Footballguy
Going good, brother. How about you?

I love that song, and miss the hell out of Lou Reed. The Junkies version was a killer. She had the most beautiful set of pipes. The top 10 of this list is heaven. I am grooving out to George Harrison, right now
Doing very well, thanks! Cannot complain. 

Yeah, the top 10 of this list is great so far, should be good the rest of the way. I was reading about the Junkies' The Trinity Session, and came across how they basically used one microphone and gathered around it for their version. It's just them and a videocassette recorder and a digital/analog converter. Simple, wonderful stuff. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
Hey now, the 35 people in the world who bought albums by the Velvet Underground when they were actually a band are loyal, so be nice. ;)  
The 35 people in the world who bought albums by the Velvet Underground all formed their own bands and are all very wealthy now. 

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
8. Van Morrison “Into the Mystic” (from Moondance

https://youtu.be/syIUmrSJWAU

I want to rock your gypsy soul, just like in the days of old, and together we will fold, into the mystic

Van Morrison’s greatest song ever is one of his most soothing- in fact so much so that a BBC survey of hospital surgeons found that they preferred this music  to all others when performing surgery! 
This tune is almost flawless from beginning to end. In terms of style it might belong more on Astral Weeks than on Moondance but since it’s the best song on either album, who really cares? 
Top 5 whiskey drinking song.  Love it.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
6. The Kinks “Lola” (from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround)

https://youtu.be/LemG0cvc4oU

I met her in a club down in North Soho where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Coca-Cola- C O L A Cola 

Everything about this song is stupendous, but in the end it’s powered by two equally great elements: Ray Davies’ iconic and hilarious lyrics, and Dave Davies’ immortal guitar licks. So much attention has been given to the former over the years (and rightly so- Ray here was at the absolute height of his talent) that I think the latter sometimes gets overlooked and it shouldn’t: Dave Davies is one of classic rock’s greatest guitarists, and his contribution to the success of the Kinks was vital, particularly on their early hits, but never more so than on “Lola”. 

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
6. The Kinks “Lola” (from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround)

https://youtu.be/LemG0cvc4oU

I met her in a club down in North Soho where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Coca-Cola- C O L A Cola 

Everything about this song is stupendous, but in the end it’s powered by two equally great elements: Ray Davies’ iconic and hilarious lyrics, and Dave Davies’ immortal guitar licks. So much attention has been given to the former over the years (and rightly so- Ray here was at the absolute height of his talent) that I think the latter sometimes gets overlooked and it shouldn’t: Dave Davies is one of classic rock’s greatest guitarists, and his contribution to the success of the Kinks was vital, particularly on their early hits, but never more so than on “Lola”. 
Can't deny the power of this tune, even if it's very overplayed (for good reason). 

Only other issue is that it sounds too much like “Sweet Jane”, “The Man Who Sold the World”, and “Into the Mystic”.  

 

Manster

Footballguy
6. The Kinks “Lola” (from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround)

https://youtu.be/LemG0cvc4oU

I met her in a club down in North Soho where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Coca-Cola- C O L A Cola 

Everything about this song is stupendous, but in the end it’s powered by two equally great elements: Ray Davies’ iconic and hilarious lyrics, and Dave Davies’ immortal guitar licks. So much attention has been given to the former over the years (and rightly so- Ray here was at the absolute height of his talent) that I think the latter sometimes gets overlooked and it shouldn’t: Dave Davies is one of classic rock’s greatest guitarists, and his contribution to the success of the Kinks was vital, particularly on their early hits, but never more so than on “Lola”. 
I prefer Weird Al's Yoda...what can I say grew up on Dr Demento

 

timschochet

Footballguy
5. The Beatles “Let It Be” (from Let It Be)

https://youtu.be/QDYfEBY9NM4

One of the most recognizable piano openings of all time. Paul was heavily influenced by the best of gospel and he displays it here. 
Hmm let’s see- what else can I write about one of the most famous songs of all time without sounding trite? I love the guitar solos. Anything else? Well, the same year that this came out, Joe Cocker released a live album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, produced by Leon Russell, which includes a very sweet cover of “Let It Be” by some woman named Claudia Lennear whom I never heard of before or since. Here it is: 

https://youtu.be/sM-duZrQvMc

Certainly not as good as the original (not much is) but still very sweet. 
And that’s all I got. 

 

TripItUp

Footballguy
6. The Kinks “Lola” (from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround)

https://youtu.be/LemG0cvc4oU

I met her in a club down in North Soho where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Coca-Cola- C O L A Cola 

Everything about this song is stupendous, but in the end it’s powered by two equally great elements: Ray Davies’ iconic and hilarious lyrics, and Dave Davies’ immortal guitar licks. So much attention has been given to the former over the years (and rightly so- Ray here was at the absolute height of his talent) that I think the latter sometimes gets overlooked and it shouldn’t: Dave Davies is one of classic rock’s greatest guitarists, and his contribution to the success of the Kinks was vital, particularly on their early hits, but never more so than on “Lola”. 


looking for the overrated emoji...

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
Thought Lola and Let It Be would be high as both are fairly iconic.  I’m not a huge fan of either mainly because the still get a lot of play.

 

krista4

Footballguy
5. The Beatles “Let It Be” (from Let It Be)

https://youtu.be/QDYfEBY9NM4

One of the most recognizable piano openings of all time. Paul was heavily influenced by the best of gospel and he displays it here. 
Hmm let’s see- what else can I write about one of the most famous songs of all time without sounding trite? I love the guitar solos. Anything else? Well, the same year that this came out, Joe Cocker released a live album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, produced by Leon Russell, which includes a very sweet cover of “Let It Be” by some woman named Claudia Lennear whom I never heard of before or since. Here it is: 

https://youtu.be/sM-duZrQvMc

Certainly not as good as the original (not much is) but still very sweet. 
And that’s all I got. 


Refusing to "like" this post due to the Joe Cocker reference.  :hot:  

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
a very sweet cover of “Let It Be” by some woman named Claudia Lennear whom I never heard of before or since. Here it is: 

https://youtu.be/sM-duZrQvMc

Certainly not as good as the original (not much is) but still very sweet. 
And that’s all I got. 


the most beautiful woman i ever met and twice the source of great personal embarrassment. when i was introduced to Claudie at a party by a musicbiz friend, my jaw literally dropped. not only was she breathtaking but had the hippie chick look  - tightloose threads that somehow made a woman look better than nekkid - down better than any black woman ever, which made her even more striking. i may have said "omigod" or "will you marry me?", but i know it was just stoopit enough to be cute, so i got out from under the shock & shame. i saw her again backstage at Schaefer Stadium at a Leon Russell concert and she was in the same group of people as her closest competition for the most-beautiful title, Rita Coolidge. the optic mania of hopping between such immortal visions almost crossed my eyes permanently and was again met with a toothy leer by Ms Lennear.

 

northern exposure

Footballguy
5. The Beatles “Let It Be” (from Let It Be)

https://youtu.be/QDYfEBY9NM4

One of the most recognizable piano openings of all time. Paul was heavily influenced by the best of gospel and he displays it here. 
Hmm let’s see- what else can I write about one of the most famous songs of all time without sounding trite? I love the guitar solos. Anything else? Well, the same year that this came out, Joe Cocker released a live album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, produced by Leon Russell, which includes a very sweet cover of “Let It Be” by some woman named Claudia Lennear whom I never heard of before or since. Here it is: 

https://youtu.be/sM-duZrQvMc

Certainly not as good as the original (not much is) but still very sweet. 
And that’s all I got. 
Wikkid waxes poetic about the beauty of Ms. Lennear and the video you link is of a boombox playing the song????????

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
I knew nothing about her, not even that she was black, but I just read her bio: She was a former Ikette (Ike and Tina). She had a fling with Mick Jagger (and David Bowie) and may have been the inspiration for “Brown Sugar.” 


she and fellow backup leviathan Clydie King, with others, are responsible for the most heavenly note of which i'm aware - the swell at the end of Al Kooper's (another helpless captive of Miss Clawdy) treatment of Elton John's Come Down in Time

 

northern exposure

Footballguy
Now that I see her, I know why her name seemed familiar. She was featured in a documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" about backup singers. The interviewer comments about how sexy the Ikettes dressed and how good Claudia looked when she toured as a backup singer for the Stones. She responded she didn't care about that, she just wanted to be known for her singing. The interviewer asks her "What about your appearance in Playboy?". She is left speechless. 

It is a great documentary. Merry Clayton who did the duet with Mick on "Gimme Shelter" is also featured in it, as is Darlene Love.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
4. Paul McCartney “Maybe I’m Amazed” (from McCartney

https://youtu.be/cdDPR8GzXy8

Amazingly enough, Paul plays every instrument on this recording: drums, guitar, bass, and of course keyboards: he was the only musician involved. Even today that takes an extraordinary talent and effort. But in 1970 I imagine it was pretty unheard of. 
I struggled trying to decide which McCartney classic to rank higher: “Let It Be” or “Maybe I’m Amazed”. Both are soul infused, gospel infused masterpieces featuring Paul at the absolute height of his songwriting talents and also featuring the best of his amazing vocal abilities. Both songs are timeless and iconic. In the end I went with “Maybe I’m Amazed” because it’s more complex, the lyrics are more subtle, and (IMO) it’s just a slightly better bit of craft. 

 

krista4

Footballguy
4. Paul McCartney “Maybe I’m Amazed” (from McCartney

https://youtu.be/cdDPR8GzXy8

Amazingly enough, Paul plays every instrument on this recording: drums, guitar, bass, and of course keyboards: he was the only musician involved. Even today that takes an extraordinary talent and effort. But in 1970 I imagine it was pretty unheard of. 
I struggled trying to decide which McCartney classic to rank higher: “Let It Be” or “Maybe I’m Amazed”. Both are soul infused, gospel infused masterpieces featuring Paul at the absolute height of his songwriting talents and also featuring the best of his amazing vocal abilities. Both songs are timeless and iconic. In the end I went with “Maybe I’m Amazed” because it’s more complex, the lyrics are more subtle, and (IMO) it’s just a slightly better bit of craft. 


I think you chose well.  This is my favorite solo Paul song, when I look at this version and the likely-more-well-known live version together.  It's an incredible achievement for him to have woven together all of those parts on a four-track and make it sound as if it's a real honest-to-goodness band playing together instead of one dude in his basement.  He's perfectly placed every note of this song.  And as a person who is opposed to sap, I'm appreciative of the more subtle lyrics, as you pointed out.  This isn't just a lovely song but a majestic achievement.

 

ProstheticRGK

Footballguy
4. Paul McCartney “Maybe I’m Amazed” (from McCartney

https://youtu.be/cdDPR8GzXy8

Amazingly enough, Paul plays every instrument on this recording: drums, guitar, bass, and of course keyboards: he was the only musician involved. Even today that takes an extraordinary talent and effort. But in 1970 I imagine it was pretty unheard of. 
I struggled trying to decide which McCartney classic to rank higher: “Let It Be” or “Maybe I’m Amazed”. Both are soul infused, gospel infused masterpieces featuring Paul at the absolute height of his songwriting talents and also featuring the best of his amazing vocal abilities. Both songs are timeless and iconic. In the end I went with “Maybe I’m Amazed” because it’s more complex, the lyrics are more subtle, and (IMO) it’s just a slightly better bit of craft. 
This is maybe my all-time favorite song. It used tot be my ringtone for my wife. Still gives me goosebumps. every. time.

 

rockaction

Footballguy
3. Elton John “Your Song” (from Elton John) 

https://youtu.be/GlPlfCy1urI

Overplayed? Check. 
Wonderful melody and lyrics? Check. 
All time classic? Check. 
 

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Bernie wrote the lyrics before Elton wrote the melody. Seems wrong to me. But whatever. It’s a keeper. 
Never mind, never mind. Nice song. 

 
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Dan Lambskin

Footballguy
3. Elton John “Your Song” (from Elton John) 

https://youtu.be/GlPlfCy1urI

Overplayed? Check. 
Wonderful melody and lyrics? Check. 
All time classic? Check. 
 

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Bernie wrote the lyrics before Elton wrote the melody. Seems wrong to me. But whatever. It’s a keeper. 
whats funny is the movie Moulin Rouge was what really made me appreciate this song.  Now it’s probably my favorite Elton song

 

Binky The Doormat

Footballguy
3. Elton John “Your Song” (from Elton John) 

https://youtu.be/GlPlfCy1urI

Overplayed? Check. 
Wonderful melody and lyrics? Check. 
All time classic? Check. 
 

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Bernie wrote the lyrics before Elton wrote the melody. Seems wrong to me. But whatever. It’s a keeper. 


long story ...I'll make short.

Elton John gets short shrift these days - but if you were in those days - he was the man

They still did announcements in the morning in homeroom when I went to HS.  Sometimes the principal would say some things but it was mostly a couple of minutes of a student catching people up on the HS sports results, upcoming events, etc. 

My girlfriend at the time, convinced them to dedicate this song to me and it played at homeroom before the end of the day. 

It's a combination of the most traumatic, embarrassing, humiliating, and yet weirdly proud moments in my life. 

I have never lived it down to this day ...the friends have from then have NEVER let me forget. 

NOTE:  longer story ...I moved away for my senior year and we wrote one another every day.  She dumped me right before prom by phone (late Spring) for the rich kid that her parents always wanted her to be with from the start.  They are still together.  She exchanged Christmas cards with my mom and dad for at least 30 years. 

I never talked to her again.   

so yeah, pretty important song for me.  :)

 
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TripItUp

Footballguy
3. Elton John “Your Song” (from Elton John) 

https://youtu.be/GlPlfCy1urI

Overplayed? Check. 
Wonderful melody and lyrics? Check. 
All time classic? Check. 
 

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Bernie wrote the lyrics before Elton wrote the melody. Seems wrong to me. But whatever. It’s a keeper. 


Amazing song...could be my #1 for this year.  Seen him live 3 times.

For my money the best pop artist of all time.

 
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Mr. Mojo

Footballguy
3. Elton John “Your Song” (from Elton John) 

https://youtu.be/GlPlfCy1urI

Overplayed? Check. 
Wonderful melody and lyrics? Check. 
All time classic? Check. 
 

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Bernie wrote the lyrics before Elton wrote the melody. Seems wrong to me. But whatever. It’s a keeper. 
Awesome choice! 

It's also the all time favorite of one of my high school friends (oops, showing my age again).

 
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timschochet

Footballguy
2. James Taylor “Fire and Rain” (from Sweet Baby James)

https://youtu.be/EbD7lfrsY2s

Not only the James Taylor’s greatest song, but, IMO, the greatest song of the early 70s singer/songwriter movement. The opening guitar work is deceptively simple but actually a fine bit of complex craft (or so I’ve been told by guitar folks); same for the melody. 

As for the lyrics: the story, often told by Taylor, is that he returned from a year in England (his first album was produced by Abbey Road) to learn that his best friend and former girlfriend had committed suicide. Taylor, who had spent time both in drug rehab and a mental hospital himself responded with this poignant bit of poetry. Probably because of his own experiences there is an authenticity and universality to his words, which adds to the timeless nature of the song. Pop perfection. 

 

zamboni

Footballguy
2. James Taylor “Fire and Rain” (from Sweet Baby James)

https://youtu.be/EbD7lfrsY2s

Not only the James Taylor’s greatest song, but, IMO, the greatest song of the early 70s singer/songwriter movement. The opening guitar work is deceptively simple but actually a fine bit of complex craft (or so I’ve been told by guitar folks); same for the melody. 

As for the lyrics: the story, often told by Taylor, is that he returned from a year in England (his first album was produced by Abbey Road) to learn that his best friend and former girlfriend had committed suicide. Taylor, who had spent time both in drug rehab and a mental hospital himself responded with this poignant bit of poetry. Probably because of his own experiences there is an authenticity and universality to his words, which adds to the timeless nature of the song. Pop perfection. 
Yes, was a very personal song for JT. The line "sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground" relates to his former band Flying Machine breaking up and his depression over it. 

 

BeTheMatch

Let it burn!
2. James Taylor “Fire and Rain” (from Sweet Baby James)

https://youtu.be/EbD7lfrsY2s

As for the lyrics: the story, often told by Taylor, is that he returned from a year in England (his first album was produced by Abbey Road) to learn that his best friend and former girlfriend had committed suicide. Taylor, who had spent time both in drug rehab and a mental hospital himself responded with this poignant bit of poetry. Probably because of his own experiences there is an authenticity and universality to his words, which adds to the timeless nature of the song. Pop perfection. 
I had always heard that his friends had arranged a private flight on a small plane for his ex-wife to tlhave her go meet him to try to get back together and it crashed. I guess I'm an idiot for buying that.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
And now for an interruption before revealing #1: my personal favorite song from 1970: 

Jimmy Webb “P.F. Sloan” 

https://youtu.be/o_R1US0RNi4

Jimmy Webb was a very successful songwriter in the 1970s, particularly for Glen Campbell (“Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston”)- not so much as a solo artist. Yet in 1970 he wrote and sang this gem about a fellow writer (the guy who wrote “Eve of Destruction”). It barely received any attention and it’s far too obscure to make it to this list. But for a few years now (since I first encountered it largely by accident) it’s become one of my favorite tunes of all time. 

 

TripItUp

Footballguy
2. James Taylor “Fire and Rain” (from Sweet Baby James)

https://youtu.be/EbD7lfrsY2s

Not only the James Taylor’s greatest song, but, IMO, the greatest song of the early 70s singer/songwriter movement. The opening guitar work is deceptively simple but actually a fine bit of complex craft (or so I’ve been told by guitar folks); same for the melody. 

As for the lyrics: the story, often told by Taylor, is that he returned from a year in England (his first album was produced by Abbey Road) to learn that his best friend and former girlfriend had committed suicide. Taylor, who had spent time both in drug rehab and a mental hospital himself responded with this poignant bit of poetry. Probably because of his own experiences there is an authenticity and universality to his words, which adds to the timeless nature of the song. Pop perfection. 


Meh...give me several in this year over Fire and Rain.  Would make my top 10 for the year, but certainly not my #2.

 

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