Saw the new cover of LIFE Magazine featuring the 70’s band ABBA while I was in the supermarket yesterday. Here’s a quick picture of the cover:
If you aren’t aware, ABBA was responsible for the Swedish Eurovision version of Disco that took over the U.S. and the world. Their biggest hit “Dancing Queen” came out and hit the airwaves in 1976. Below is the music video of the song to reacquaint your bell bottoms to the dancefloor:
But here at The Retro, we aren’t much for Disco, or ABAA. So we thought we’d list some of the more popular rock songs that came out in 1976 to give some scope of what people like us were listening to on the radio back then, instead of ABBA:
Rock’n Me – Steve Miller Band: This is a great song by a great band BUT Steve Miller always had a bit of pop to its twang, and “Rock’n Me” really leans into that sentiment.
New Kid In Town – Eagles: The Eagles are the quintessential pop rock band of the 70’s, and this is the first of a few entries of the group on this list.
Baby I Love Your Way – Peter Frampton: This is only the third entry into this list, and already the third entry using pop rock as a defining term!
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC: Finally a true rock n’ roll song from the same year! AC/DC were the bad boys of rock back then, and they still are! You can catch AC/DC on our Hessian Session feature every night at 10PM, and on The Retro’s airwaves almost all the time.
Take the Money and Run – Steve Miller Band: This tune validates Steve Miller as a true rock band. Its hooky and rocks out a little. Plus, the subjects of the song are wreaking some havoc!
American Girl – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Tom Petty is a king amongst peasants when comparing artists that were big in the 70’s. This song is just one shining example. Fun fact: the song was featured in the 90’s horror flick Silence of the Lambs.
Somebody To Love – Queen: Queen and the term “rock” don’t always fit in the same sentence well together, but you also can’t talk about rock music from the 70’s and not talk about Queen!
Turn The Page – Bob Seger: All respectable rock fans know this song. In fact, one of the biggest bands in history covered this groove. The band? Metallica. They covered Turn The Page for their Garage Inc. double album, released in 1998.
Life In The Fast Lane – Eagles: Yes I called the Eagles a pop rock band above, but this is one of the best rock songs of the era back then. The tune has great riffs, great vocals, great lead guitar, and lyrics that spoke directly to rockers.
Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas: Do you dare call this groove anything but rock n’ roll? I know it’s Kansis, but this song rocks harder than many present day songs by far.
Fly Like An Eagle – Steve Miller Band: This is one of those rare rock songs that lights up an arena of fans (and lighters) when the band starts to play it! Try NOT to sing it in your head…
The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy: Yep, the boys came back to town in 1976 and never left again. This song has the same name and is very similar to The Bus Boys’ version used in the Eddie Murphy/Nick Nolte film 48 Hours. Many many fans have mixed up the two songs, so don’t feel bad you got it wrong all these years!
Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones: This little diddy marked the start of mainstream punk for many rock fans! And if not punk, then definitely pop punk!
Night Moves – Bob Seger: Here’s another entry by the gruff rocker, Mr. Seger. This song can still burrow into your soul if you drive all alone at night while listening to it!
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Öyster Cult: Our list is really getting into the classic side of classic rock. Or it the rock side of classic rock? Either way, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper turned many stoners of the era onto heavy metal without being a heavy metal song.
Anarchy In The UK – Sex Pistols: Punk really got going in the 70’s, but unlike The Ramones and their entry above, this song was straightforward, down and dirty punk rock. At the time, many didn’t consider the Sex Pistols musical artists, including the band!
More Than A Feeling – Boston: And this tune brings us right back to the radio-friendly sound many tracks had back then. This song was huge, and got mucho airplay.
Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac: The runner-up to the first spot on this list is your mom’s (or your grandmother’s) favorite act. Fleetwood Mac cannot be denied their spot in rock n’ roll lore. Still, the pop looms large…
Hotel California – Eagles: And finally, our #1 entry of rock songs released the same year as ABBA’s Dancing Queen… Hotel California still dominates radio airwaves, especially classic rock stations. And the album still charts and sells better than most new hits today! And STILL no one knows what a “colitas” is…