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The 100 Greatest Songs of 1975 #1. Bohemian Rhapsody


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74. Elton John “I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)” (from Rock of the Westies)

https://youtu.be/X5aUJe-EiQs

Elton John released two albums in 1975; we’ll address the first one later on. The second album was mainly known for producing a #1 single, the awful “Island Girl” (other than “I’m Still Standing”, probably Elton’s worst hit song ever) but it also had this gem on it, a throwback to Bernie Taupin’s fascination with the Wild West (a theme which dominated Tumbleweed Connection). It’s a great love ballad, one of Elton’s best IMO. 

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49 minutes ago, timschochet said:

74. Elton John “I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)” (from Rock of the Westies)

https://youtu.be/X5aUJe-EiQs

Elton John released two albums in 1975; we’ll address the first one later on. The second album was mainly known for producing a #1 single, the awful “Island Girl” (other than “I’m Still Standing”, probably Elton’s worst hit song ever) but it also had this gem on it, a throwback to Bernie Taupin’s fascination with the Wild West (a theme which dominated Tumbleweed Connection). It’s a great love ballad, one of Elton’s best IMO. 

Very melancholy song for me - reminds me of my high school senior year.

Underappreciated Elton tune.

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

75. Led Zeppelin “Trampled Under Foot” (from Physical Graffiti

https://youtu.be/ftknR1gf9qw

This is the only single from Physical Graffiti, and it’s a pretty standard blues song other than the funk infused guitar. But since Les Zeppelin did pretty standard blues better than just about anybody, it’s superlative. 

The song was hamstrung by a poor mix that drowns out the lyrics. This alternate mix make the lyrics much clearer.

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4 hours ago, timschochet said:

75. Led Zeppelin “Trampled Under Foot” (from Physical Graffiti

https://youtu.be/ftknR1gf9qw

This is the only single from Physical Graffiti, and it’s a pretty standard blues song other than the funk infused guitar. But since Les Zeppelin did pretty standard blues better than just about anybody, it’s superlative. 

Not one of my favorite PG tunes, but that is still a very high bar.

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73. Kansas “Song for America” (from Song for America

https://youtu.be/nI5RenGTSuo

The link is to a live version from 2010 with a full orchestra. There is no orchestra on the original, just a lot of very good keyboards. “Song for America” was released when the band was still in relative obscurity. It was not until a year later that they would hit it really big with “Carry On Wayward Sun”. But “Song for America” became a fan favorite and many lifelong Kansas fans thought it was their best work (including my late brother.) I also really love “Icarus: Borne on Wings of Steel”, also released in 1975 (from their third album, Masque) but it’s just a little too obscure for this list. 

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9 hours ago, timschochet said:

75. Led Zeppelin “Trampled Under Foot” (from Physical Graffiti

https://youtu.be/ftknR1gf9qw

This is the only single from Physical Graffiti, and it’s a pretty standard blues song other than the funk infused guitar. But since Les Zeppelin did pretty standard blues better than just about anybody, it’s superlative. 

You’re underselling JPJ’s work on the keys here.

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72. Janis Ian “At Seventeen” (from Between the Lines

https://youtu.be/ESS0eKJpEZQ

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with this song. I love the melody, production and samba beat. It’s a very nice folk song. I hate the lyrics. She’s so whiny- oh so the popular kids won’t invite her to parties? Suck it up Janis. Or stay at home, I don’t care. Being 17 sucks. Get over it. 

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

72. Janis Ian “At Seventeen” (from Between the Lines

https://youtu.be/ESS0eKJpEZQ

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with this song. I love the melody, production and samba beat. It’s a very nice folk song. I hate the lyrics. She’s so whiny- oh so the popular kids won’t invite her to parties? Suck it up Janis. Or stay at home, I don’t care. Being 17 sucks. Get over it. 

In viewing the video, I came across this speech she gave in 2015 at the Berklee School of Music.  Wow.  Captivating, eloquent, well-spoken, thoughtful.  She gives an amazing address on what it means to be an artist.  Definitely worth a view.

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71. Electric Light Orchestra “Evil Woman” (from Face the Music

https://youtu.be/jU314nyMKWE

Face the Music was ELO’s fifth album but “Evil Woman” was their first really big hit. After this Jeff Lynne and the band never looked back. 
Like most of their hit songs you can hear a lot of Paul McCartney in it. 

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55 minutes ago, timschochet said:

71. Electric Light Orchestra “Evil Woman” (from Face the Music

https://youtu.be/jU314nyMKWE

Face the Music was ELO’s fifth album but “Evil Woman” was their first really big hit. After this Jeff Lynne and the band never looked back. 
Like most of their hit songs you can hear a lot of Paul McCartney in it. 

Fire On High is their truly memorable song from this album. We'll see if it made your list.   

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On 9/12/2020 at 9:51 AM, timschochet said:

81. Eagles “Take It to the Limit” (from One of These Nights

https://youtu.be/tJkW0Clsvrk

The link is to a live version from about 4 years ago at the Forum in Los Angeles, a concert I attended. It would turn out to be one of Glenn Frey’s last performances. 
This song was largely written by Randy Meisner, just before he left the band. Eagles at this time were moving away from the “Poco” sound of Meisner and Bernie Leadon, and towards the more classic hard rock of Joe Walsh. 

Unless you are a time traveler, you either have the wrong link or the wrong story.     This link goes to a 2018 digital remaster of an Oct, 1976 live performance of the song, done masterfully by Meisner.      No where near one of Glenn's last performances, as Glenn was only 27 years old at this performance.     

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24 minutes ago, spodog said:

Unless you are a time traveler, you either have the wrong link or the wrong story.     This link goes to a 2018 digital remaster of an Oct, 1976 live performance of the song, done masterfully by Meisner.      No where near one of Glenn's last performances, as Glenn was only 27 years old at this performance.     

I screwed up on the link, my bad

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70. Heart “Dreamboat Annie” (released as a single) 

https://youtu.be/eLoMej34zvA

In which we are first introduced to one of the greatest vocalists in all of rock music. You hear it for the first time on the third line of the opening verse when she reaches for a high note with the word “warm”- very few singers can hit that note with such passion and confidence.

This is the single version of “Dreamboat Annie” for radio play; the album of the same name has three other versions of the song.  

Edited by timschochet
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4 minutes ago, spodog said:

🙂

Great list.   Hoping to see this one on the list later on.    Released May 19, 1975.    There is a '77 Live version here, and someone has a '75 live video on Facebook, but had to kill the sound to avoid the copyright hounds.

Rest assured, we haven’t heard the last of Eagles on this list. 

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On 9/12/2020 at 3:57 PM, timschochet said:

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

https://youtu.be/mTUhnIY3oRM

Kind of a last hurrah for the classic 60s Doo Wop band, even if Frankie himself only sings on the bridge. Valli would have one last hit with the title track to “Grease” a few years later, but that was as a solo artist. 

Very underrated song.   Valli, Ciccone, and Polci all sharing lead vocals on this.   Pretty sure I had read at one point that Valli was going to sing all the parts, but ended up arranging the vocals this way on this song as he was dealing with his hearing loss issue.   It had gotten so bad he couldn't hear himself sing, either in the studio or in live performances.    Eventually he found a doctor willing to try some experimental treatments or something.     I think the song came out much better this way with the contrasting vocal styles of all three singing lead at different times. 

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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

70. Heart “Dreamboat Annie” (released as a single) 

https://youtu.be/eLoMej34zvA

In which we are first introduced to one of the greatest vocalists in all of rock music. You hear it for the first time on the third line of the opening verse when she reaches for a high note with the word “warm”- very few singers can hit that note with such passion and confidence.

This is the single version of “Dreamboat Annie” for radio play; the album of the same name has three other versions of the song.  

Still a great song.  Interesting that this isn’t higher on your list. 

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68. Fleetwood Mac “World Turning” (from Fleetwood Mac

https://youtu.be/byWf4Z-6ldE

Although this song is credited to Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie, it actually has its roots in an earlier song by blues master Peter Green. (Green, who just recently passed away, has a great collection of folk blues songs from the early days of the band, if you’re into that sort of music- which I very much am.) “World Turning” features great guitar and drum work; it’s an excellent rock song. 

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9 hours ago, timschochet said:

70. Heart “Dreamboat Annie” (released as a single) 

https://youtu.be/eLoMej34zvA

In which we are first introduced to one of the greatest vocalists in all of rock music. You hear it for the first time on the third line of the opening verse when she reaches for a high note with the word “warm”- very few singers can hit that note with such passion and confidence.

This is the single version of “Dreamboat Annie” for radio play; the album of the same name has three other versions of the song.  

This is a great pick.

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Rainbow “Man on the Silver Mountain” (from Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow

https://youtu.be/p9nfVrusSMg

Blackmore had been the force behind Deep Purple, one of the greatest hard rock/early heavy metal bands of all time. In 1975 he formed Rainbow with singer Ronnie James Dio; this was their biggest hit. It’s a classic. 

Edited by timschochet
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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

Rainbow “Man on the Silver Mountain” (from Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow

https://youtu.be/p9nfVrusSMg

Blackmore had been the force behind Deep Purple, one of the greatest hard rock/early heavy metal bands of all time. In 1975 he formed Rainbow with singer Ronnie James Dio; this was their biggest hit. It’s a classic. 

Top ten for me but I love Dios voice.  He is a god to me.    None the less, this is a great addition to the list.   

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66. Alice Cooper “Only Women Bleed” (from Welcome to My Nightmare

https://youtu.be/dTx6S4kXbXc

What was probably Cooper’s best song ever didn’t get radio play because too many people mistakenly thought it was about menstruation. Actually it was about domestic abuse, and this was a pretty bold topic to be singing about in 1975; very few others were and certainly no men. 
Cooper has spent the last 45 years or so as a caricature of himself and his band, but back in the day he produced some pretty good music. This is my second favorite song of his after “Teenage Lament”, but I recognize that “Only Women Bleed” is his best effort.  

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On 9/13/2020 at 11:21 AM, timschochet said:

77. Queen “Love of My Life” (from A Night At the Opera

https://youtu.be/T73WhWTawCE

I was lucky enough to see this band live in 1980, and I clearly remember that this song, a fan favorite, was performed as a singalong, with Freddie playing conductor for the audience. Such a pretty melody. 

Meh. And parts of the piano part are copied from that of Bohemian Rhapsody. 

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29 minutes ago, timschochet said:

66. Alice Cooper “Only Women Bleed” (from Welcome to My Nightmare

https://youtu.be/dTx6S4kXbXc

What was probably Cooper’s best song ever didn’t get radio play because too many people mistakenly thought it was about menstruation. Actually it was about domestic abuse, and this was a pretty bold topic to be singing about in 1975; very few others were and certainly no men. 
Cooper has spent the last 45 years or so as a caricature of himself and his band, but back in the day he produced some pretty good music. This is my second favorite song of his after “Teenage Lament”, but I recognize that “Only Women Bleed” is his best effort.  

I saw Cooper live about 5 years ago.   His band is made of young talented players that were really tight and brought his music alive.   It was a great show and I would happily see him again.   

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64. David Bowie “Golden Years” (released as a single) 

https://youtu.be/HRD0ghlFSgk

The single for “Golden Years” came out in November of 1975; it was later added to the 1976 album Station to Station.

This tune has a really funky groove to it. So much so that Bowie was actually invited on Soul Train to sing it. 

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4 hours ago, timschochet said:

65. The Band “Acadian Driftwood” (from Northern Lights- Southern Cross

https://youtu.be/te7KW4K-00E

One of Robbie Robertson’s most underrated gems, mostly forgotten now except by stalwart Band fans (of which I remain one.) Just a superb folk rock song, among their best ever. 

I put an anecdote about the Last Waltz version of this in my Neil Young thread. 

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63. Rush “Fly By Night” (from Fly By Night

https://youtu.be/nEVDZl5UvN4

Paging @Ghost Rider
Actually this song did NOT make Ghost Rider’s list of top 50 Rush songs, so I have no idea what he thinks of it. He did select two other songs from this album, “Anthem” and “By-Tor”. I like “Anthem” (I’ve always had a soft spot for anything Ayn related) but I couldn’t find room for it, and the other one is simply too obscure. 
Being only the most casual of Rush listeners myself I really love “Fly By Night”. It’s a great rock song and I particularly enjoy the guitar work. 

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13 minutes ago, timschochet said:

63. Rush “Fly By Night” (from Fly By Night

https://youtu.be/nEVDZl5UvN4

Paging @Ghost Rider
Actually this song did NOT make Ghost Rider’s list of top 50 Rush songs, so I have no idea what he thinks of it. He did select two other songs from this album, “Anthem” and “By-Tor”. I like “Anthem” (I’ve always had a soft spot for anything Ayn related) but I couldn’t find room for it, and the other one is simply too obscure. 
Being only the most casual of Rush listeners myself I really love “Fly By Night”. It’s a great rock song and I particularly enjoy the guitar work. 

I mentioned in that thread that this was my first Rush cassette because the Philly FM stations liked to play this song and I became obsessed with it. 

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15 hours ago, DocHolliday said:

I saw Cooper live about 5 years ago.   His band is made of young talented players that were really tight and brought his music alive.   It was a great show and I would happily see him again.   

I saw him in 2012 or 2013, and same reaction. His band kicked ###, especially the female lead guitarist - I think her name is something like Oriantha? - who was amazing. Alice himself was in fine voice. 

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8 hours ago, timschochet said:

63. Rush “Fly By Night” (from Fly By Night

https://youtu.be/nEVDZl5UvN4

Paging @Ghost Rider
Actually this song did NOT make Ghost Rider’s list of top 50 Rush songs, so I have no idea what he thinks of it. He did select two other songs from this album, “Anthem” and “By-Tor”. I like “Anthem” (I’ve always had a soft spot for anything Ayn related) but I couldn’t find room for it, and the other one is simply too obscure. 
Being only the most casual of Rush listeners myself I really love “Fly By Night”. It’s a great rock song and I particularly enjoy the guitar work. 

Good song. Alex’s guitar work is definitely stellar. He was always great at playing stuff that sounded like two guitars, but was only one. Not a favorite of mine, but still a good tune. This wasn’t played by the band live after the late 70’s, so they must not have been too crazy about it. 

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62. Bob Dylan “Shelter from the Storm” (from Blood on the Tracks)

https://youtu.be/-gsDBuHwqbM
 

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood. 
And now we turn to possibly the greatest album of 1975 (though, to be fair, it has some competition.) For many people this is the best song on the record. And while I take slight issue with that, I’m not going to argue against it either. Sublime stuff here. 

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60. 10cc “I’m Not in Love” (from The Original Soundtrack

https://youtu.be/STugQ0X1NoI

A change of pace from the previous few picks. Until making this list I’ve only listened to this tune casually, whenever it showed up on the radio. As it turns out, like many great ballads it’s simplicity is deceptive. This is really a complex piece of work, especially the background vocals. And it influenced a whole lot of music that came after it- a song that immediately comes to mind for me is “Drive” by the Cars. 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

60. 10cc “I’m Not in Love” (from The Original Soundtrack

https://youtu.be/STugQ0X1NoI

A change of pace from the previous few picks. Until making this list I’ve only listened to this tune casually, whenever it showed up on the radio. As it turns out, like many great ballads it’s simplicity is deceptive. This is really a complex piece of work, especially the background vocals. And it influenced a whole lot of music that came after it- a song that immediately comes to mind for me is “Drive” by the Cars. 

I figured this would be much higher, and probably deservedly so.

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4 hours ago, timschochet said:

60. 10cc “I’m Not in Love” (from The Original Soundtrack

https://youtu.be/STugQ0X1NoI

A change of pace from the previous few picks. Until making this list I’ve only listened to this tune casually, whenever it showed up on the radio. As it turns out, like many great ballads it’s simplicity is deceptive. This is really a complex piece of work, especially the background vocals. And it influenced a whole lot of music that came after it- a song that immediately comes to mind for me is “Drive” by the Cars. 

Good song.  Heard it a lot but never knew who sang it.  

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59. Tim Curry “Sweet Transvestite” (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show” 

https://youtu.be/bc80tFJpTuo

The performance is what puts the song on the list. It’s a funny enough show tune, the lyrics are catchy and smartly done, but Curry’s over the top vocals are really brilliant and takes it to a whole different level. More than anyone else, Tim Curry is the reason this remains a cult classic. 

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On 9/16/2020 at 9:55 PM, Pip's Invitation said:

Speaking of Neil, 1975 was the release year for two of his best albums, Tonight's the Night and Zuma. They don't strike me as Tim kind of albums, but we'll see. 

Tim's gonna have more Rocky Horror songs than Neil Young songs, isn't he? 

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8 hours ago, timschochet said:

59. Tim Curry “Sweet Transvestite” (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show” 

https://youtu.be/bc80tFJpTuo

The performance is what puts the song on the list. It’s a funny enough show tune, the lyrics are catchy and smartly done, but Curry’s over the top vocals are really brilliant and takes it to a whole different level. More than anyone else, Tim Curry is the reason this remains a cult classic. 

Oh boy

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