If the 60s was a period of construction, where the basis on modern pop music was formed, then the 70s deconstructed it all. Moving away from the period of peace and love into a more narcissistic, nihilistic age, the focus was largely on albums, megastars and lucrative tours. Thats not to say that it didn't produce a series of amazing songs, it must certainly did and the myriad of different, emerging genres makes defining 20 landmark songs of the decade infinitely harder than the same task for the 60s. Funk, electro, disco, heavy rock, pop and folk, to name just a few either emerged or were totally redefined. The 70s saw a splintering in music that allowed for a mass of genres and artists to explode, and there were three avenues that were perfected and defined; dancing, politics and romance. But in comparison with the 60s, it didn't take in the all-encompassing inclusiveness of its predecessor; the songs that defined that decade were all about the individual and their lives, loves and losses. Where the likes of The Beatles and the Beach Boys laid the foundation for the idea of an album in the 60s, this was brought to a logical conclusion here, where concept albums suddenly entered the picture, but this didn't reduce the power of the song by any means - several songs here are equally as wonderful standalone pieces as they are as part of a larger body of work. Thats not to say for a second that the bands of the 60s were dead in the water either. Whilst The Beatles fell to pieces, The Who and The Rolling Stones dusted themselves down and reinvented - of course whether they became better bands and wrote better songs is a moot point which is for your ears to judge. One thing was consistent with the 60s however; the decade produced just as many wonderful songs, and this article will tell the story of what made them so special. The rules are as follows; there is only one song per artist and in each case it is their definitive song of the decade. Let the debate begin
What makes music fantastic? Star quality, amazing music, breathtaking lyrics and the ability to bring something new to the table, even if that means a new take on the classics. That's what I love to listen to and write about.
As well as writing for What Culture, I occasionally write a blog http://tedney.blogspot.co.uk and sometimes use Twitter, but sparingly @TedneyNash