The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/RetroNewser)

The Top 10 Songs That Defined the '70s: From 1970-1979

The 1970s produced some of the most iconic and influential songs in pop music history. Major shifts in sound and culture took place during the '70s that would lay the groundwork for future decades. Catchy pop, smooth R&B, roots reggae, punk and more came together to shape an unforgettable musical landscape. Here we revisit top 10 songs and hits of the 70s that helped define the 1970s as one of music most exciting and diverse eras.

Top 10 Songs of the 70s

Below is a table with top ten songs of the 70s

Sr. No. Song Name Singer Name
1 Let It Be (1970) The Beatles
2 Stairway to Heaven (1971) Led Zeppelin
3 Lean on Me (1972) Bill Withers
4 Free Bird (1973) Lynyrd Skynyrd
5 Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe (1974) Barry White
6 Born to Run (1975) Bruce Springsteen
7 More Than a Feeling (1976) Boston
8 Stayin' Alive (1977) Bee Gees
9 Miss You (1978) The Rolling Stones
10 London Calling (1979) The Clash

1 - Let It Be (1970)

Let It Be (1970)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/RetroNewser)
  • Title: Let It Be
  • Artist: The Beatles
  • Album: Let It Be
  • Release Date: March 1970
  • Genre: Rock
  • Songwriter: Paul McCartney

The Beatles Let It Be served as the band's final single before their breakup. This piano-driven ballad was penned by Paul McCartney who urges finding solace during trying times. Let It Be topped charts worldwide with an inspirational message of perseverance and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

2 - Stairway to Heaven (1971)

Stairway to Heaven (1971)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/YouTube)
  • Title: Stairway to Heaven
  • Artist: Led Zeppelin
  • Album: Led Zeppelin IV
  • Release Date: November 1971
  • Genre: Hard rock
  • Songwriter: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant

It is one of the greatest rock songs widely considered ever. Stairway to Heaven was the centerpiece of Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album in 1971. Jimmy Page's intricate guitar work and Robert Plant's mythical lyrics culminate in an epic and operatic climax. This progressive rock masterpiece cemented Led Zeppelin as gods of the genre.

3 - Lean on Me (1972)

Lean on Me (1972)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/RetroNewser)
  • Title: Lean on Me
  • Artist: Bill Withers
  • Album: Still Bill
  • Release Date: April 1972
  • Genre: Soul
  • Songwriter: Bill Withers

Bill Withers Lean on Me is an uplifting soul anthem about the power of friendship. Withers gentle vocals and spirited gospel-style background singers give the track an emotional and community feel. Lean on Me resonated globally and returned to the charts in 2020 as an inspirational emblem during the pandemic.

4 - Free Bird (1973)

Free Bird (1973)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/YouTube)
  • Title: Free Bird
  • Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Album: (Pronounced 'LÄ•h-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
  • Release Date: November 1973
  • Genre: Southern rock
  • Songwriters: Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant

The 1973 Lynyrd Skynyrd hit Free Bird features one of the most iconic guitar solos in rock history. The song showcased the band's signature triple-guitar attack building from a slow ballad to an epic jam. The Pulitzer Prize-winning track remains a classic rock radio staple and concert favorite with its clear influence on Southern rock.

5 - Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe (1974)

Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe (1974)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/YouTube)
  • Title: Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe
  • Artist: Barry White
  • Album: Can't Get Enough
  • Release Date: June 1974
  • Genre: Soul
  • Songwriter: Barry White

Barry White's Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe epitomized seductive '70s soul with sensual vocals and lush orchestration. White pleads to his lover backed by funky wah-wah guitar and sweeping strings from his 1974 album. This velvety love song helped cement White distinctive musical style peaking at #1 on the pop and R&B charts and remains a classic of the disco era.

6 - Born to Run (1975)

Born to Run (1975)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/YouTube)
  • Title: Born to Run
  • Artist: Bruce Springsteen
  • Album: Born to Run
  • Release Date: August 1975
  • Genre: Heartland rock
  • Songwriter: Bruce Springsteen

The title track from Bruce Springsteen 1975 album Born to Run exemplifies his mix of rock energy and working-class lyrics. Springsteen's passionate vocals, Clarence Clemons saxophone solo and a Wall of Sound-inspired mix crafted an anthemic tour de force evoking the freedom of the open road. It launched Springsteen to stardom and remains a classic heartland rock song.

7 - More Than a Feeling (1976)

More Than a Feeling (1976)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/YouTube)
  • Title: More Than a Feeling
  • Artist: Boston
  • Album: Boston
  • Release Date: September 1976
  • Genre: Hard rock
  • Songwriter: Tom Scholz

The 1976 debut single by Boston More Than a Feeling is an iconic rock anthem. It was written and produced by Tom Scholz. The song's huge sound was created through meticulous layering of guitar parts. More Than a Feeling became a smash hit and remains a classic rock staple with its catchy, uplifting melody and relatable lyrics about nostalgia.

8 - Stayin' Alive (1977)

Stayin' Alive (1977)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/YouTube)
  • Title: Stayin' Alive
  • Artist: Bee Gees
  • Album: Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
  • Release Date: December 1977
  • Genre: Disco
  • Songwriters: Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb

Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees remains one of the definitive disco anthems as the biggest hit from 1977's Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. The band's distinctive harmonies drove home the song's go-getter lyrics propelled by funky guitar and synthesizers. The era-defining dancefloor smash cemented the Bee Gees' status as '70s superstars.

9 - Miss You (1978)

Miss You (1978)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/Wikipedia)
  • Title: Miss You
  • Artist: The Rolling Stones
  • Album: Some Girls
  • Release Date: May 1978
  • Genre: Rock
  • Songwriters: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards

Miss You appeared on the Rolling Stones 1978 album Some Girls and marked their foray into disco. Mick Jagger falsetto vocals, sugar-sweet backing harmonies and a pulsing four-on-the-floor beat gave the song mass crossover appeal. Miss You became one of the Stones' biggest commercial hits though a departure from their classic sound.

10 - London Calling (1979)

London Calling (1979)
(The Top 10 Songs That Defined The '70s: From 1970-1979 :creadits/Ultimate Classic Rock)
  • Title: London Calling
  • Artist: The Clash
  • Album: London Calling
  • Release Date: December 1979
  • Genre: Punk rock
  • Songwriters: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones

The title track of the Clash 1979 double album London Calling was a post-punk masterpiece. Joe Strummer sounds the warning alarm for society on this rebellious punk rock anthem with military drum beats and apocalyptic lyrics. It is often ranked among the greatest songs of all time. London Calling announced rock's bold new future as the 1970s closed.

Final Verdict

The 1970s witnessed monumental musical creativity, diversity and evolution. Countless songs broke new ground alongside these 10 top 10 songs of the 70s and captured the cultural zeitgeist powerfully. The decade expansive sonic palette shaped generations of artists and fans to come. We hope this playlist inspired you to revisit the brilliant songs that colored and defined the musical landscape of the 1970s.


What are the top 5 best songs of 1970?

  • Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
    (They Long to Be)
  • Close to You by The Carpenters
  • Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head by B.J. Thomas
  • War by Edwin Starr
  • Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross

What are the top 5 best songs of 1971?

  • Joy to the World by Three Dog Night
  • Maggie May by Rod Stewart
  • It's Too Late by Carole King
  • How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by Bee Gees
  • Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver

What are the top 5 best songs of 1972?

  • The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack
  • Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O'Sullivan
  • American Pie by Don McLean
  • Rocket Man by Elton John
  • Lean on Me by Bill Withers

What are the top 5 best songs of 1973?

  • Killing Me Softly with His Song by Roberta Flack
  • Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye
  • My Love by Paul McCartney & Wings
  • Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight & The Pips
  • Angie by The Rolling Stones

What are the top 5 best songs of 1974?

  • The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand
  • Bennie and the Jets by Elton John
  • The Loco-Motion by Grand Funk
  • Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks
  • Waterloo by ABBA

What are the top 5 best songs of 1975?

  • Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain & Tennille
  • Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by Elton John
  • Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell
  • Fame by David Bowie

What are the top 5 best songs of 1976?

  • Silly Love Songs by Wings
  • Don't Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John & Kiki Dee
  • Disco Lady by Johnnie Taylor
  • December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) by The Four Seasons
  • Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry

What are the top 5 best songs of 1977?

  • Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) by Rod Stewart
  • Dancing Queen by ABBA
  • I Just Want to Be Your Everything by Andy Gibb
  • Best of My Love by The Emotions
  • Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

What are the top 5 best songs of 1978?

  • Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb
  • Night Fever by Bee Gees
  • Stayin' Alive by Bee Gees
  • Kiss You All Over by Exile
  • How Deep Is Your Love by Bee Gees

What are the top 5 best songs of 1979?

The biggest hits of 1979 included:

  • My Sharona by The Knack
  • Bad Girls by Donna Summer
  • Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? by Rod Stewart
  • Reunited by Peaches & Herb
  • Hot Stuff by Donna Summer