Influential 70s tracks by timeless artists that are worth the listen culture electricity and magnetism purcell pdf


During the 1970s, music became a powerful mode for protests involving social change. With this came the rise of numerous genres such as R&B, Soul, Disco and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Artists that first experimented with these genres in the 70s influenced many future musicians, but countless young people who were not alive during the decade are unaware of these legendary artists. Check out these five songs from 70s artists you will wish you knew of sooner.

Albert Leornes Greene, commonly known as Al Green, is a singer-songwriter and record producer. Al Green is best know for a series of soul hit singles released in the early 1970s, and one of his classic records, 1972’s “Let’s Stay Together,” includes a fantastic closing track titled “It Ain’t No Fun to Me.” The track starts off with funky horns and a blues guitar riff while a groovy drum beat keeps time. After about 12 seconds, Al Green’s soulful voice chimes in. The lyrics “Sometimes I feel like leaving you, baby/ I don’t mind leaving you, baby/ But it ain’t no fun to me, no, no, no,” express the urge to leave an unhappy relationship but knowing it won’t be enjoyable or easy. To me, Al Green is one of the greatest soul singers to have ever graced the world with his musical talents. “Ain’t No Fun to Me” is just one of his dozens of noteworthy tracks.

The Velvet Underground is one of the most influential bands in rock, underground and alternative music history. During its existence from 1964-1973, the band received little attention for their extreme talents. Today, they are recognized for their impact on rock ‘n’ roll music, influencing bands like R.E.M., Talking Heads and Sonic Youth. In 1970, The Velvet Underground released their fourth studio album, “Loaded,” which was their last LP recorded with frontman and principal songwriter Lou Reed. The opening track, “Who Loves the Sun,” deals with heartbreak. The chorus, “Who loves the sun/ Who cares that it is shining/ Who cares what it does/ Since you broke my heart,” expresses the careless and devastating feelings that overpower your mind when your former lover betrays you. While the lyrics are a major downer, the melody is relatively upbeat. “Who Loves The Sun” is just a taste of all the remarkable tunes The Velvet Underground created.

The Miracles were formed in 1955 under their former name The Five Chimes. They were an American rhythm and blues vocal group, and the first successful recording act for Berry Gordy’s Motown Records. The Miracles were one of the most influential groups in pop, rock ‘n’ roll and R&B music. They influenced bands like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Who. In 1975, they released their fourth studio album, “City of Angels,” after replacing Smokey Robinson with Billy Griffin in 1972. When B-side opener “Love Machine” was first released as a single, it made number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1976. It is The Miracles’ most successful single. The track consists of a groovy disco beat that is hard to resist boogying along to. The track is about the intensity you feel when you love someone unconditionally, as described in the lyrics, “When I look in your eyes/ My meter starts to rise, and I become confused/ My voltage regulator cools, When I’m sitting next to you/ Electricity starts to flow/ And my indicator starts to glow.” Though The Miracles were at their best with Smokey Robinson, “Love Machine” was still The Miracles’ best release without Robinson.

Memphis rock band Big Star released its first LP “#1 Record” in 1972, which included “When My Baby’s Beside Me,” a fantastic rock track. The track bursts with energy and a foot-tapping rhythm that starts off calmly, then picks up as the song progresses. “When My Baby’s Beside Me” is about the confidence and comfort you feel when your are in a healthy and happy relationship as expressed in the chorus, “’Cause when my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry/

Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist Todd Rundgren has been part of multiple bands such as Nazz and Utopia, but much of his popular music comes from his solo career. In 1972, Rundgren released a double LP titled “Something/Anything?” and the record’s 16th track is “Couldn’t I Just Tell You.” The track begins with a quaint guitar riff that pulls you in then progresses to a thumping drumbeat. The track’s bouncy rhythm and energetic beat is hard to resist. The song’s lyrics are about having feelings for someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you as expressed in the opening lyrics, “Keep your head and everything will be cool/ You didn’t have to make me feel like a fool.” Todd Rundgren has numerous outstanding tracks worth checking out, but “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” is one of my favorites.