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The 100 Greatest Songs of 1975 #1. Bohemian Rhapsody


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58. Jefferson Starship “Miracles” (from Red Octopus)

https://youtu.be/7m8izf-oXY4


Written by Marty Balin, this irresistible ballad might be the best song ever produced by Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship. Amazing how much it sounds like Fleetwood Mac (so much so for me that for years I assumed it was Fleetwood Mac; I also assumed the same for Starship’s 1978 hit, “Count On Me.”)

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7. Heart “Crazy on You” (from Dreamboat Annie) https://youtu.be/OZuW6BH_Vak Two Heart songs in the top ten? Well, yeah. This one starts off with Nancy Wilson’s acoustic guitar opening which

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 hea

44. America “Sister Golden Hair” (from Hearts)  https://youtu.be/XIycEe59Auc I was never the biggest fan of America; though I generally love 70s soft rock, I felt these guys were somewhere o

48 minutes ago, timschochet said:

58. Jefferson Starship “Miracles” (from Red Octopus)

https://youtu.be/7m8izf-oXY4

Written by Marty Balin, this irresistible ballad might be the best song ever produced by Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship. Amazing how much it sounds like Fleetwood Mac (so much so for me that for years I assumed it was Fleetwood Mac; I also assumed the same for Starship’s 1978 hit, “Count On Me.”)

I can see the Mac comparison for "Count on Me", but not for "Miracles". Papa John Creach's strings throughout the choruses are unmistakable and sets the song apart.

EDIT: "Miracles" is an easy Top5 for me from '75.

Edited by Doug B
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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

58. Jefferson Starship “Miracles” (from Red Octopus)

https://youtu.be/7m8izf-oXY4


Written by Marty Balin, this irresistible ballad might be the best song ever produced by Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship. Amazing how much it sounds like Fleetwood Mac (so much so for me that for years I assumed it was Fleetwood Mac; I also assumed the same for Starship’s 1978 hit, “Count On Me.”)

This is a great pick.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

58. Jefferson Starship “Miracles” (from Red Octopus)

https://youtu.be/7m8izf-oXY4


Written by Marty Balin, this irresistible ballad might be the best song ever produced by Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship. Amazing how much it sounds like Fleetwood Mac (so much so for me that for years I assumed it was Fleetwood Mac; I also assumed the same for Starship’s 1978 hit, “Count On Me.”)

Not only is this great, so is the entire album from which it came. 

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57. James Taylor “Mexico” (from Gorilla

https://youtu.be/VQnHAb_6sOs

One of Taylor’s best songs IMO, it’s theme is more typical Jimmy Buffett than James Taylor (and Buffett covered this and continues to perform it in concert.) Backup singers are David Crosby and Graham Nash. 

Edited by timschochet
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33 minutes ago, timschochet said:

58. James Taylor “Mexico” (from Gorilla

https://youtu.be/VQnHAb_6sOs

One of Taylor’s best songs IMO, it’s theme is more typical Jimmy Buffett than James Taylor (and Buffett covered this and continues to perform it in concert.) Backup singers are David Crosby and Graham Nash. 

Great song, but your numbers are off.

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19 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. 

There's an interesting video on Y Tube somewhere that talks about the band recruiting the office receptionist to come into the studio and do the vocals on the "Big Boys don't cry" lyric for the song.    Funny story actually. 

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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

56. Elton John “Philadelphia Freedom” (from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

https://youtu.be/2sd6P2Tu8rw

The song was written as a favor to Billie Jean King to help promote her tennis team. That didn’t go anywhere, but the tune is still famous 45 years later. Shine the light, shine the light. 

Why does the left, even when it spectacularly fails at promoting something, still come up with a hell of a jingle? A traveling lesbian tennis team? WHO WOULDN'T GO? ELTON JOHN? WHY WOULDN'T HE PEN A CLASSIC FOR IT?

Edited by rockaction
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55. Bruce Springsteen “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” (from Born to Run

https://youtu.be/BL-HL3ELvFI

One of the best efforts by the late Clarence Clemons. The keyboards aren’t that bad either. I never understood what this song was about, and when I looked it up was surprised to learn that Bruce doesn’t know either. 

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54. The BeeGees “Jive Talkin’” (from Main Course

https://youtu.be/oALKAh_bL5g

This song was a big hit in 1975 and put this band back on the map; then it became an even bigger hit in 1977 as part of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. This was really the beginning of the Maurice Gibb era when he simply dominated popular music like nobody, not even the Beatles, before or since for a short span of time. And it’s a great tune, probably my favorite by the band. 

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10 hours ago, timschochet said:

55. Bruce Springsteen “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” (from Born to Run

https://youtu.be/BL-HL3ELvFI

One of the best efforts by the late Clarence Clemons. The keyboards aren’t that bad either. I never understood what this song was about, and when I looked it up was surprised to learn that Bruce doesn’t know either. 

I always thought it was about getting the band together. 

"Change was made in time and the Big Man joined the band."

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53. Patti Smith “Gloria” (from Horses

https://youtu.be/bPO0bTaWcFQ

This song has an interesting history: for years Smith was a performance artist whose main piece was a controversial poem called “Oath”, in which she renounced her Jehovah Witness upbringing. The first line: 

Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine. 

Later on she would sing her version of “Gloria” by Them. As she became more of a singer she simply combined the two together, which is what shows up on the album, which rock critics hail as a punk rock classic. Yet it really doesn’t sound like punk as we’ve come to know it. Actually it doesn’t sound like anything before or since, really. 
For a look at Patti Smith at this time, check out Martin Scorsese’s doc “Rolling Thunder Revue” on. Netflix about the Bob Dylan concert tour in 1976. 

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52. Led Zeppelin “In the Light” (from Physical Graffiti

https://youtu.be/pNo1nS_JV5k

I think “In the Light” might be the closest thing this band ever got to a true epic progressive rock song in the vein of Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer. This tune has a long opening sequence which probably will not be found very accessible the first time one hears it- weird, spacey keyboards by John Paul Jones accompanied by spooky vocals. If you can get past that to the terrific verse and the absolutely sublime chorus, the payoff is immense. In fact, Plant’s singing the second chorus of this song just might be the highlight of his career.  

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16 hours ago, timschochet said:

52. Led Zeppelin “In the Light” (from Physical Graffiti

https://youtu.be/pNo1nS_JV5k

I think “In the Light” might be the closest thing this band ever got to a true epic progressive rock song in the vein of Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer. This tune has a long opening sequence which probably will not be found very accessible the first time one hears it- weird, spacey keyboards by John Paul Jones accompanied by spooky vocals. If you can get past that to the terrific verse and the absolutely sublime chorus, the payoff is immense. In fact, Plant’s singing the second chorus of this song just might be the highlight of his career.  

It's a tough task ranking all these songs and always subjective, but I'd be hard pressed to come up with 51 better songs than this one from the year.

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

51. David Bowie “Fame” (from Young Americans)

https://youtu.be/J-_30HA7rec

Written by Bowie, Puerto Rican guitarist Carlos Alomar, and John Lennon, who also sang backup vocals, this is a funk masterpiece in which Bowie (and Lennon) complain about the price of being famous. 

If we do 1980, Irene Cara's identically titled tune should be ranked no lower than this.

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18 hours ago, timschochet said:

52. Led Zeppelin “In the Light” (from Physical Graffiti

https://youtu.be/pNo1nS_JV5k

I think “In the Light” might be the closest thing this band ever got to a true epic progressive rock song in the vein of Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer. This tune has a long opening sequence which probably will not be found very accessible the first time one hears it- weird, spacey keyboards by John Paul Jones accompanied by spooky vocals. If you can get past that to the terrific verse and the absolutely sublime chorus, the payoff is immense. In fact, Plant’s singing the second chorus of this song just might be the highlight of his career.  

One of their very best, and that's quite a high bar. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

I am listening to “Atom Heart Mother” this morning, I think for the first time. Very weird but I like it. 
 

I think my next list will be 1970. 

Very underrated album, although can do without "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast". IMO, "Fat Old Sun" is one the most underrated songs in their entire collection.

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

https://youtu.be/EFMD7Usflbg

So what if this is one of only three Kiss songs that I can name? (The other two are “Beth” and “Detroit Rock City”). Before all the hair bands of the 80s, before Motley Crue, before Van Halen, there was Kiss who partied every day. 

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57 minutes ago, timschochet said:

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

https://youtu.be/EFMD7Usflbg

So what if this is one of only three Kiss songs that I can name? (The other two are “Beth” and “Detroit Rock City”). Before all the hair bands of the 80s, before Motley Crue, before Van Halen, there was Kiss who partied every day. 

Does this song come with memories of Gene Simmons's rotating head regurgitating blood while he holds up a fistful of dollars? Because if it didn't, now it does.

You're welcome.

Edited by rockaction
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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

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

https://youtu.be/EFMD7Usflbg

So what if this is one of only three Kiss songs that I can name? (The other two are “Beth” and “Detroit Rock City”). Before all the hair bands of the 80s, before Motley Crue, before Van Halen, there was Kiss who partied every day. 

Too bad you don’t know more - “Black Diamond” from the same album is one of their very best songs IMO. And “She” kicks ###, too.

Edited by zamboni
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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

49. Bad Company “Feel Like Makin’ Love (from Straight Shooter

https://youtu.be/OEPvv9pjIoQ

More rock and roll goodness from Paul Rodgers and Mick Ralph. Really love Ralph’s guitar work here. 

For that bolded reason, I would have had Shooting Star (#98) much, much higher.

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48. Queen “Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)” (from A Night at the Opera

https://youtu.be/v4zmv1IFCOA

The two meanest rock songs ever written were both released in 1975. This is one of them, the other will show up a little later on this countdown. 
But the nasty, vicious lyrics aren’t really what makes this tune great, IMO: it’s that opening piano/guitar riff, as rocking as anything this band has ever produced. 

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28 minutes ago, timschochet said:

48. Queen “Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)” (from A Night at the Opera

https://youtu.be/v4zmv1IFCOA

The two meanest rock songs ever written were both released in 1975. This is one of them, the other will show up a little later on this countdown. 
But the nasty, vicious lyrics aren’t really what makes this tune great, IMO: it’s that opening piano/guitar riff, as rocking as anything this band has ever produced. 

My second favorite Queen song of all time  - love it. #1 is actually also on this album, but I’m sure won’t be on the countdown.

ETA: it’s justifiably mean due to them being screwed over by their former manager 

Edited by zamboni
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20 hours ago, zamboni said:

Too bad you don’t know more - “Black Diamond” from the same album is one of their very best songs IMO. And “She” kicks ###, too.

I was a big kiss fan as a kid and enjoyed their concerts in my 20s..  They were an entertaining show and had some fun songs.   Tim’s selection is one of my most hated songs by any band.   I can’t turn that song off fast enough.  Still love this thread though.  

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46. Gary Wright “Love is Alive” (from The Dream Weaver

https://youtu.be/82DSEkHatpw

Gary Wright might just be the greatest two hit wonder of all time. His album in 1975 had two classic songs on it that still get played all these years later- with good reason because they’re both great. Here is one of them. 
I don’t know anyone who’s listened to the rest of the album or anything else by the guy. 

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

46. Gary Wright “Love is Alive” (from The Dream Weaver

https://youtu.be/82DSEkHatpw

Gary Wright might just be the greatest two hit wonder of all time. His album in 1975 had two classic songs on it that still get played all these years later- with good reason because they’re both great. Here is one of them. 
I don’t know anyone who’s listened to the rest of the album or anything else by the guy. 

Love this. I have listened to the whole album. The other songs aren't in the same league as the two hits, but they're mostly not bad.

The second album by Spooky Tooth, which Wright fronted before going solo, is also very good. 

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45. The Who “Squeeze Box” (from The Who By Numbers

https://youtu.be/pW3PSKJ-Bik

After 4 of the most legendary albums in rock history (TommyLive at LeedsWho’s Next, and QuadropheniaThe Who Bu Numbers was probably seen as a bit of a let down. But it had a few real gems on it, and this double entendre smash hit for the band. Love Pete’s banjo work here, and Roger’s sincere vocals on the bridge. 

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11 hours ago, timschochet said:

47. Foghat “Slow Ride” (from Fool for the City

https://youtu.be/GcCNcgoyG_0

One of the great hard rock songs of all time. Meant to be played LOUD. 

This is about 40-45 spots too low.  Killer song.

1 hour ago, timschochet said:

45. The Who “Squeeze Box” (from The Who By Numbers

https://youtu.be/pW3PSKJ-Bik

After 4 of the most legendary albums in rock history (TommyLive at LeedsWho’s Next, and QuadropheniaThe Who Bu Numbers was probably seen as a bit of a let down. But it had a few real gems on it, and this double entendre smash hit for the band. Love Pete’s banjo work here, and Roger’s sincere vocals on the bridge. 

I don't listen to The Who much anymore, and they were never really a major favorite of mine even though I do love Tommy and Quadrophenia, but I still will turn on Squeeze Box. Fun little tune.

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