1970s song meanings

By Ed Osborne

After the constantly-shifting sound of contemporary music in the 1960s, 1970 ushered in a period of breath-catching and mellowing-out. That shift was reflected on the album chart, where the top LP at the close of 1969 — Led Zeppelin II — was followed at #1 in 1970 by Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water.

The early ‘70s saw the emergence and growth in popularity of acoustic-based singer/songwriters and groups, along with the rise of sweet soul from its home base of Philadelphia.

Much of the softer rock music originated on the West Coast and made up the core of what came to be known as Classic Rock.

Adult contemporary and country artists also had their time in the spotlight.

Then came a deluge of disco discs, which took over the Top 40 charts in a way not seen since the British Invasion of 1964. This dance juggernaut rolled on until late summer 1979 when its momentum was broken by the bass/guitar/drums rocker “My Sharona.”

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.