70s Hits Offer a Wider Range Than Today’s Chart Toppers

70s Hits Offer a Wider Range Than Today’s Chart Toppers

When you look at a list of Billboard’s Top 100 these days, it usually features a bunch of pop hits that sound very much alike. The same names, the same beats, the same everything; it’s like an ice cream shop with a few smatterings of toppings and one flavor. That’s not an ice cream shop that I would frequent, unless it was my favorite flavor!

Sure, you’ll have an occasional variation like Adele, but for the most part, it’s same old same old—and if you work in retail where these songs are played on a loop, you are probably violently sick of them all (except when November rolls around and all you hear are Christmas carols, of course).

If you visit the top songs of the 70s, however, you’ll notice a staggering variety of music. You will find super hard songs that you can bang your head to, like The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” Then again, there’s easy listening choices, from Rod Stewart’s toe-tapping “Maggie May” to Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” There are soulful songs that tear at your heart, like “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, or spiritual hits like “My Sweet Lord,” by George Harrison. You’ve got disco hits (“Dancing Queen”), you’ve got philosophical ballads made even more esoteric when high (“Comfortably Numb”), songs we use at funerals (“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”) to weddings (“Sweet Home Alabama” is played at every Midwestern wedding I have ever attended).

Forget a repeating loop of Gaga, Beyonce, and Maroon 5 (all fine artists, for sure—just not with a lot of variation)—if you put a seventies hit station on for the day, you are going to hear so many real distinct genres (rather than bands claiming they are breaking genre boundaries) and vocal talents that you’ll never get bored. Seventies stations on Pandora and Music Choice are always my favorites, because they are the ones that are least likely to feature songs that royally suck. They are also the stations most likely to avoid repeat songs and artists.

So if you are looking for something with a wide range of songs and singers to liven up your party (or just your daily routine), a seventies playlist is definitely a good choice. No matter how random it is, or from which year or years throughout the decade, it’s bound to be fun—not to mention the opposite of annoying, which so many stations are these days.