The 1970s was a tumultuous time, full of upheaval on many fronts, from the end of the Vietnam War to the dawn of personal computers. It makes sense that its music had a similar helter-skelter feel.
The early ’70s were a musical melting pot where genres like rock, reggae, funk, and pop could coexist. Ingenuity was essential, and as artists were warier of the mainstream music industry, they began doing things unconventionally and bolder than ever. Genres like punk and funk became more popular after the age of psychedelia essentially died at the end of the ’60s and became the quintessential sound of the early ’70s.
Music in the aftermath of free love: Peace and love songs of the 1970s
As the free love movement’s repercussions rippled after its heyday, the anti-war mindset saw peace songs like George Harrison’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” and the O’Jays’ “Love Train” gain prominence. Love songs such as Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” and Diana Ross’ “Touch Me in the Morning” also rose in popularity.
1973 was the aftermath of the explosion that was the 1960s, giving way to a groovy new sound called disco, which would make its mark later in the decade. It was a year when experimentation was key, and these songs are proof of that.
To display this diverse year of music-making, Stacker surveyed Billboard‘s Hot 100 list of top songs in 1973 and highlighted the top 50. Some of these songs were released in 1972 but found their way to the Billboard charts in 1973, but we celebrate their 50th birthday all the same.