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Hit Pop Songs Of The US From 1970-1979

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The 70's! What a decade! In order to understand the music and why we either love or hate it, one must try and understand - what happened?

It was a decade of "Me First". People were concerned about becoming better inside and out. They wanted more of the comforts of life. They looked out for number one. In a race from extremes to find inner peace and spirituality to the decadance of orgylike proportions, people tried to find what felt good.

Coming down from the 60's high of peace and purpose then entering into a time where politicians were not to be trusted or respected, a long time war that should have been ended before it started ends with a lackluster welcome home for our troops, gas prices were so high and lines so long during the mid-70's, latchkey kids and divorced families were becoming the norm, inflation and joblessness were high, face it - this was a pretty miserable time.

How can you blame a generation feeling lost and overwhelmed for not knowing what to do next? I would swear the clothing designers must have been high on something to design the fashions of the decade. There were no more community ideals, so one must do what makes you feel good. Music was a central core of this era.

The music was a crawl down of the talent that appeared in Woodstock. Some will even swear the day music died was when the Beatles broke up. The trendy folk/rock music of the 60's evolved into the meaningless drivel which critics complain about. It reflected the "Have A Nice Day" generation. Empty words without real feeling. It may have been musical, sung very well, and had a nice beat, but the lyrics were mere cliches like much of life in the 70's.

Why then is there a yearning by a large group of people longing for the nostalgia of this era? In spite of what critics think, there is so much more behind the passion for the music of the time. Many have a special memory connected with a certain song that makes them remember a time that was much more simple and uncomplicated than today. People still could rely on stable neighbors. Families still tended to live nearby. Traditions were still valid. Even with all the bad, there was still some good.

The 70's introduced disco (dance music) and punk rock into mainstream play. Country music frequently would get air time on pop rock stations. AM radio was starting to die. Folk music and love songs were abundant. There was something for everyone.

In the late 70's, it became cool to bash disco. This became climatic in Chicago as two disc jockeys named Steve Dahl and Gary Meyer blew up thousands of disco records on the baseball field which threw the crowd into a frenzy of anti-disco sentiment. Just what was so wrong or awful or bad about disco? Did these people simply hate it because it was cool to hate it although these same people were part of what made it popular?

Studio 54 was the epitome of the disco scene. A sexual orgy with drugs everywhere. Quite frankly, there were still many conservative people in the majority who were offended by such activity. This was before HIV was known, so sex often was without condoms. Unfortunately, this is probably how AIDS started to spread quietly. The drug of choice was cocaine. It was expensive, but a status symbol. Just about anything you could fathom in depravity was being done. To the majority of the conservatives, disco music was tied into lose conduct.

To others, they did not like the "ethnic" influences in the dance music. Many others who had a problem with it was the lack of real instruments playing the music. But, as they said on American Bandstand, "It has a good beat and you can dance to it." Well, duh! Disco was dance music after all. It was not meant for top 40 radio, but to play at clubs where people wanted to dance.

Punk music was born to redeem music from the trendy, meaningless top 40 songs. It was raw and with an edge. It went back to the roots of rock and roll and reinvented itself with a more political and angry message. Critics of punk will call it scream music since there is very little in the way of music with a mellow beat, but loud, brash instruments clanging against voices that did not sing, but shout the lyrics. It was their way of saying, "Enough of the inane decade! Snap out of it and wake up!"

Punk music was still too angry and hard for the general population to embrace. New wave evolved which was more melodic than punk. It was new and fresh and still a slap in the face of the meaningless cliche music.

Rock music was being broken down into soft rock and hard rock which would set up the many forms of hard rock in the 80's from heavy metal to glam rock and everything in between. Soft rock encompassed mostly love songs and some pop R&B tunes. All the music trends of the 70's would set the stage of the 80's which would change the meaning of what exactly is rock music.