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The 100 Greatest Songs of 1975 #1. Bohemian Rhapsody


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I promised to do two more of these- 1975 and 1985. 
I didn’t know what to expect for 1975 but I thought it would be interesting as a midway point between (what I consider to be) the pivotal years of 1971 and 1979. It turns out to be an extraordinary year of superb music. 
 

100. “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved By You” James Taylor 

99. “Hair of the Dog” Nazareth 

98. “Shooting Star” Bad Company 

97. “Beautiful Loser” Bob Seger 

96. “Sara Smile” Hall & Oates 

95. “Get Down Tonight” KC and the Sunshine Band 

94. “Hey You” Bachman Turner Overdrive 

93. “Science Fiction/Double Feature” Richard O’ Brien

92. “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” War 

91. “Everything Merges With the Night” Brian Eno

90. “I Write the Songs” Barry Manilow 

89. “‘39” Queen

88. “Pierre” Carole King 

87. “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” Elvin Bishop 

86. “Over My Head” Fleetwood Mac

85. “Venus and Mars/Rock Show” Wings 

84. “Hurricane” Bob Dylan 

83. “Love Will Keep Us Together” Captain & Tennille

82. “Simple Twist of Fate” Bob Dylan 

81. “Take It to the Limit” Eagles 

80. “Sailing” Rod Stewart 

79. “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons 

78. “Time Warp” Rocky Horror Picture Show

77. “Love of My Life” Queen 

76. “Welcome to the Machine” Pink Floyd

75. “Trampled Under Foot” Led Zeppelin
74.  “I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)” Elton John 

73. “Song for America” Kansas 

72. “At Seventeen” Janis Ian 

71. “Evil Woman” Electric Light Orchestra 

70. “Dreamboat Annie” Heart 

69. “The Rover” Led Zeppelin 

68. “World Turning” Fleetwood Mac 

67. “Man on the Silver Mountain” Rainbow 

66. “Only Women Bleed” Alice Cooper 

65. “Acadian Driftwood” The Band

64. “Golden Years” David Bowie 

63. “Fly By Night” Rush 

62. “Shelter from the Storm” Bob Dylan 

61. “Tonight’s the Night” Neil Young 

60. “I’m Not In Love” 10cc

59. “Sweet Transvestite” Tim Curry 

58. “Miracles” Jefferson Starship 

57. “Mexico” James Taylor 

56. “Philadelphia Freedom” Elton John 

55. “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” Bruce Springsteen 

54. “Jive Talkin’” The BeeGees

53. “Gloria” Patti Smith 

52. “In the Light” Led Zeppelin 

51. “Fame” David Bowie 

50. “Rock and Roll All Nite (Live Version)” Kiss

49. “Feel Like Makin’ Love” Bad Company 

48. “Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)” Queen 

47. “Slow Ride” Foghat 

46. “Love is Alive” Gary Wright 

45. “Squeeze Box” The Who 

44. “Sister Golden Hair” America 

43. “Right Back Where We Started From” Maxine Nightingale 

42. “It Makes No Difference” The Band 

41. “Young Americans” David Bowie 

40. “One of These Nights” Eagles 

39. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” Elton John 

38. “Jungleland” Bruce Springsteen 

37. “Listen to What the Man Said” Wings 

36. “In My Time of Dying” Led Zeppelin 

35. “You’re My Best Friend” Queen

34. “Love is the Drug” Roxy Music 

33. “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)” Parliament 

32. “Low Rider” War

31. “Still Crazy After All These Years” Paul Simon 

30. “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” Rod Stewart

29. “Say You Love Me” Fleetwood Mac 

28. “Walk This Way” Aerosmith 

27. “Tush” ZZ Top 

26. “Have a Cigar” Pink Floyd 

25. “Ten Years Gone” Led Zeppelin 

24. “Lyin’ Eyes” Eagles 

23. “Shining Star” Earth, Wind & Fire 

22. “Rhinestone Cowboy” Glen Campbell 

21. “ Love to Love You Baby” Donna Summer 

20. “Send In the Clowns” Judy Collins 

19. “Dream Weaver” Gary Wright 

18. “Cortez the Killer” Neil Young 

17. “Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen 

16. “Stranglehold” Ted Nugent

15. “You Sexy Thing” Hot Chocolate 

14. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” Pink Floyd 

13. “Rhiannon” Fleetwood Mac 

12. “Mamma Mia” ABBA

11. “Sweet Emotion” Aerosmith 

10. “Magic Man” Heart 

9. “Idiot Wind” Bob Dylan 

8. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” Paul Simon 

7. “Crazy on You” Heart 

6. “Tangled Up in Blue” Bob Dylan 

5. “Thunder Road” Bruce Springsteen 

4. “Kashmir” Led Zeppelin 

3. “Wish You Were Here” Pink Floyd 

2. “Landslide” Fleetwood Mac 

1. “Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen 

Edited by timschochet
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Let’s get started:

100. James Taylor “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved By You” (From Gorilla

https://youtu.be/kSQdRz-HlJw

This was a cover of the classic Marvin Gaye song and it was a huge success for Taylor. Many critics hated it at the time; Robert Christgau of Rolling Stone called it a “desecration of Marvin Gaye”. I disagree; it’s a different take on the song, almost a smooth jazz version, but sweet and nice to listen to. Featuring Carly Simon (his wife at the time) on backup vocals, along with the usual band (Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel). 

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98. Bad Company “Shooting Star” (from Straight Shooter

https://youtu.be/0kEDa6bXnA8

One of my few complaints about Bad Company, a band I usually enjoy quite a bit, is that they rarely made full use of Paul Rodgers’ incredible vocal range the way Free did in the early 70s. This song is an exception to that; Rodgers gets to soar like he did on “All Right Now”. Great guitar licks by Ralph as usual, too. 

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4 hours ago, timschochet said:

99. Nazareth “Hair of the Dog” (from Hair of the Dog)

https://youtu.be/0gdLXIM0_uQ

The link is to a live version, I’m assuming pretty recently. They still sound good. In fact they sound, and look, a lot like Spinal Tap, and now I’m wondering if this band was one of the inspirations for Rob Reiner. 

Maybe, they were inspired by a lot of bands. The most obvious one is Status Quo, whose career trajectory was actually pretty similar to Tap’s, minus multiple drummer deaths. “Pictures of Matchstick Men” was their “Listen to the Flower People.”

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

98. Bad Company “Shooting Star” (from Straight Shooter

https://youtu.be/0kEDa6bXnA8

One of my few complaints about Bad Company, a band I usually enjoy quite a bit, is that they rarely made full use of Paul Rodgers’ incredible vocal range the way Free did in the early 70s. This song is an exception to that; Rodgers gets to soar like he did on “All Right Now”. Great guitar licks by Ralph as usual, too. 

Great song. Love the story in the lyrics, and as you say, Ralph’s guitar chops here.

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23 minutes ago, timschochet said:

97. Bob Seger “Beautiful Loser” (from Beautiful Loser

https://youtu.be/7xWVRE9FskQ

Seger has been around for years before this song and album but this was his breakthrough to stardom. Superstardom would arrive about a year later. But “Beautiful Loser” was one of his first songs to get regular play on AOR. 

Another high quality tune. Off to a great start here in a very strong year.

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1 hour ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Maybe, they were inspired by a lot of bands. The most obvious one is Status Quo, whose career trajectory was actually pretty similar to Tap’s, minus multiple drummer deaths. “Pictures of Matchstick Men” was their “Listen to the Flower People.”

The things you learn: Nazareth took their band name from the opening line of The Band’s “The Weight”.

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Some monster albums and singles in 75. It'll be tough to whittle it all down to 100.

That said, if Bowie and Roxy get left out again there will be consequences. I'd worry about ELO getting represented, but I feel good about things for them here as they're firmly in Tim's AOR wheelhouse.

Edited by Gr00vus
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36 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

Some monster albums and singles in 75. It'll be tough to whittle it all down to 100.

That said, if Bowie and Roxy get left out, again there will be consequences. I'd worry about ELO getting represented, but I feel good about things for them here as they're firmly in Tim's AOR wheelhouse.

I would guess 1975 Bowie is a bit more up Tim’s alley than 1979 Bowie, but we will see.

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96. Hall & Oates “Sara Smile” (from Daryl Hall & John Oates)

https://youtu.be/nOFCTFXn6xE

Another group that had been around for several years before this breakthrough hit. Once it scored, Atlantic Records decided to re-release a previous single, “She’s Gone”, from 1973. And they never looked back. 
“Sara Smile” isn’t nearly as good a tune as “She’s Gone” (which I regard as an all time soul classic, the best thing Daryl Hall ever did) but it has a nice sound and shows off their soft rock skills. 

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29 minutes ago, timschochet said:

96. Hall & Oates “Sara Smile” (from Daryl Hall & John Oates)

https://youtu.be/nOFCTFXn6xE

Another group that had been around for several years before this breakthrough hit. Once it scored, Atlantic Records decided to re-release a previous single, “She’s Gone”, from 1973. And they never looked back. 
“Sara Smile” isn’t nearly as good a tune as “She’s Gone” (which I regard as an all time soul classic, the best thing Daryl Hall ever did) but it has a nice sound and shows off their soft rock skills. 

I'd have this way higher, and I disagree that it's not in the same league as She's Gone. It's not quite as good as that one, but it's very close. 

Baby Come Back by Player is basically a fusion of Sara Smile and She's Gone, with extra yachtty production. 

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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

94. Bachman Turner Overdrive “Hey You” (from Four Wheel Drive

https://youtu.be/OVqi8ou87M

Some classic rock from BTO, one of their last great tunes of the era. 
 

Shalalala. 

Good tune, although the first 30 seconds sound like the love child of “Let It Ride” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.

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43 minutes ago, timschochet said:

92. War “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” (From Why Can’t We Be Friends?

https://youtu.be/FgS50Y06bnY

Pretty simple melody and lyrics but when you’ve got a band this good it works. Plus it’s funky.

The original promotional video is campy but fun: https://youtu.be/W5FfJ89rGPc

Edited by zamboni
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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

92. War “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” (From Why Can’t We Be Friends?

https://youtu.be/FgS50Y06bnY

Pretty simple melody and lyrics but when you’ve got a band this good it works. Plus it’s funky.

Every time I hear this one, I think of This Week in Baseball. They would always overlay this song with Mel Allen’s commentary when Earl Weaver would get in an umpire’s face just before the inevitable ejection. 

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6 hours ago, Honus said:

Every time I hear this one, I think of This Week in Baseball. They would always overlay this song with Mel Allen’s commentary when Earl Weaver would get in an umpire’s face just before the inevitable ejection. 

Good call. More recently, it reminds me of the HS girls being hazed in Dazed And Confused

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91. Brian Eno “Everything Merges With the Night” (from Another Green World

https://youtu.be/4dmx4pRUpnk

The will very likely be the least known song on this list. But Another Green World is Brian Eno’s masterpiece, one of the great albums of the decade, and “Everything Merges With the Night” is his most achingly gorgeous ballad. Heavily influenced by John Cale (who incidentally plays viola on the recording.) 

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12 hours ago, timschochet said:

92. War “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” (From Why Can’t We Be Friends?

https://youtu.be/FgS50Y06bnY

Pretty simple melody and lyrics but when you’ve got a band this good it works. Plus it’s funky.

When I was a kid I thought they were singing “I got breezy pants.” 😂

All seven members sing one verse each, even the harmonica player.

 

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22 hours ago, timschochet said:

95. KC and the Sunshine Band “Get Down Tonight” (from KC and the Sunshine Band

https://youtu.be/LHEsE9yN2CY

Do a little dance 

Make a little love

The song begins with with a funky guitar flourish that Eddie Floyd might admire before settling into a classic disco groove. Nice use of horns too. 

Most fun song ever?   Possibly.  

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90. Barry Manilow “I Write the Songs” (from Tryin’ to Get the Feeling

https://youtu.be/934QpLtK05s

Ironically, this is one of very few Barry Manilow hits that he did NOT write. The song was written by former Beach Boys fill in Brian Johnston. 
But the song fits Manilow perfectly: like him it’s corny and schmaltzy and yet there’s no denying the talent. 

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23 minutes ago, timschochet said:

90. Barry Manilow “I Write the Songs” (from Tryin’ to Get the Feeling

https://youtu.be/934QpLtK05s

Ironically, this is one of very few Barry Manilow hits that he did NOT write. The song was written by former Beach Boys fill in Brian Johnston. 
But the song fits Manilow perfectly: like him it’s corny and schmaltzy and yet there’s no denying the talent. 

Probably your first blemish thus far. I do like "Mandy" though.

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*lalala*

his name was timmy/he was a poster

with his didactic flair/and opinions down to there

he'd do the left thing/and then the right thing 

while he decided on his wing/the trolls would listen to him sing

across the crowded forum/they would find ways to abhor him

they had no love

*lalala*

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4 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

*lalala*

his name was timmy/he was a poster

with his didactic flair/and opinions down to there

he'd do the left thing/and then the right thing 

while he decided on his wing/the trolls would listen to him sing

across the crowded forum/they would find ways to abhor him

they had no love

*lalala*

Most tasteless cover ever: The Vandals “Dachau Cabana”

https://youtu.be/BU46C_VQvTA
 

His name was Helmut, he wore a Brownshirt 

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89. Queen “‘39” (from A Night At the Opera)

https://youtu.be/kE8kGMfXaFU

This lovely tune was written and sung by Brian May, and it has an interesting story: a group of space travelers leave earth for what they think is a day, returning to find that 100 years have passed and all their loved ones are long dead. 
May, a pretty brilliant guy, had studied astrophysics in college and was fascinated by time relativity. In the 2000s May acquired a doctorate in astrophysics. 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

89. Queen “‘39” (from A Night At the Opera)

https://youtu.be/kE8kGMfXaFU

This lovely tune was written and sung by Brian May, and it has an interesting story: a group of space travelers leave earth for what they think is a day, returning to find that 100 years have passed and all their loved ones are long dead. 
May, a pretty brilliant guy, had studied astrophysics in college and was fascinated by time relativity. In the 2000s May acquired a doctorate in astrophysics. 

Good song but I could think of half a dozen better songs off the album alone.

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88. Carole King “Pierre” (from Really Rosie

https://youtu.be/hCEBLHd0v6I

Who could have known that a children’s song from a television special could be Carole King’s best work since Tapestry? Brilliantly taking a rather bizarre Maurice Sendak tale (actually that describes most of his work) she adds wonderful melody and lyrics and a terrific performance as well. 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

88. Carole King “Pierre” (from Really Rosie

https://youtu.be/hCEBLHd0v6I

Who could have known that a children’s song from a television special could be Carole King’s best work since Tapestry? Brilliantly taking a rather bizarre Maurice Sendak tale (actually that describes most of his work) she adds wonderful melody and lyrics and a terrific performance as well. 

Admittedly never heard this before - I like it.

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56 minutes ago, timschochet said:

87. Elvin Bishop “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” (from Struttin’ My Stuff

https://youtu.be/Nvglqc3QYq8

Bishop was a great blues guitarist for years but he’s best known for this, his signature song. It’s certainly a classic. 

Great song — love Mickey Thomas’ vocals on this track. Most in this thread know that Thomas went on to replace Marty Balin in Jefferson Starship.

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On 9/8/2020 at 7:07 PM, timschochet said:

97. Bob Seger “Beautiful Loser” (from Beautiful Loser

https://youtu.be/7xWVRE9FskQ

Seger has been around for years before this song and album but this was his breakthrough to stardom. Superstardom would arrive about a year later. But “Beautiful Loser” was one of his first songs to get regular play on AOR. 

 

On 9/8/2020 at 4:22 PM, timschochet said:

98. Bad Company “Shooting Star” (from Straight Shooter

https://youtu.be/0kEDa6bXnA8

One of my few complaints about Bad Company, a band I usually enjoy quite a bit, is that they rarely made full use of Paul Rodgers’ incredible vocal range the way Free did in the early 70s. This song is an exception to that; Rodgers gets to soar like he did on “All Right Now”. Great guitar licks by Ralph as usual, too. 

 

On 9/8/2020 at 1:27 PM, timschochet said:

99. Nazareth “Hair of the Dog” (from Hair of the Dog)

https://youtu.be/0gdLXIM0_uQ

The link is to a live version, I’m assuming pretty recently. They still sound good. In fact they sound, and look, a lot like Spinal Tap, and now I’m wondering if this band was one of the inspirations for Rob Reiner. 

3 of my first 5 concerts!

BS&TSBB were opened by Leslie West (right after Mountain broke up...again) Band and Spirit (“I Got a Line on You”)

Bad Company was the headliner for The Outlaws & Rockpile (Dave Edmonds & Nick Lowe)

Nazareth was the warm up for Thin Lizzy 

probably paid $5 in advance/$6 day of the show for all of them

 

#goodtimes #hightimes

Edited by BobbyLayne
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