Monday 25 August 2014

Top 100 Dance Songs of the 70s

The 1970s. A time of social dislocation, strife, dodgy fashions, and brilliant music. As it is August bank holiday, for your consideration here are the greatest dance songs of the 1970s. So you rock dinosaurs out there that means no Bowie, Sweet, Eagles or Bay City Rollers. In is soul, disco, and electronica. And perhaps the odd bit of bubblegum too. As is usually the case, there's bound to be a glaring oversight on my part somewhere. If there is, do let me know.

If you want more (of course you do), here are my top 100 dance tunes of the 1980s, the 1990s, the 00s, and the 2010s. Play them loud. Very loud.

100. Rock the Boat by Hues Corporation (1974)
99. D.I.S.C.O. by Ottawan (1979)
98. Nice and Slow by Jesse Grey (1976)
97. Brick House by The Commodores (1977)
96. I Love the Nightlife by Alicia Bridges (1978)
95. If I Can't Have You by Yvonne Elliman (1978)
94. Ma Baker by Boney M (1977)
93. I'm Your Boogie Man by KC and the Sunshine Band (1977)
92. Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry (1975)
91. Working My Way Back To You by The Spinners (1979)
90. The Hustle by Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony (1975)
89. Shame by Evelyn Champagne King (1977)
88. Jungle Boogie by Kool & the Gang (1974)
87. And The Beat Goes On by The Whispers (1979)
86. I'm On My Way by Jackie Moore (1979)
85. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel by Tavares (1976)
84. Every 1's A Winner by Hot Chocolate (1978)
83. Love Machine by The Miracles (1976)
82. Night On Disco Mountain by David Shire (1977)
81. Relight My Fire by Dan Hartman (1979)
80. Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet by Gonzalez (1977)
79. Get Down Tonight by KC and the Sunshine Band (1975)
78. The Second Time Around by Shalamar (1979)
77. Autobahn by Kraftwerk (1974)
76. Keep On Jumpin' by Musique (1978)
75. Love to Love by Tina Charles (1976)
74. Boogie Oogie Oogie by A Taste of Honey (1978)
73. On the Radio by Donna Summer (1979)
72. Lady Marmalade by LaBelle (1974)
71. Thinking Of You by Sister Sledge (1979)
70. Knock On Wood by Amii Stewart (1979)
69. The Love I Lost by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (1973)
68. In The Navy by Village People (1978)
67. Baby Don't Change Your Mind by Gladys Knight & The Pips (1977)
66. You Should Be Dancing by The Bee Gees (1976)
65. Can You Feel the Force by The Real Thing (1978)
64. Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton (1976)
63. Boogie Nights by Heat Wave (1977)
62. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976)
61. Lovely Day by Bill Withers (1977)
60. The Best of My Love by The Emotions (1977)
59. You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate (1975)
58. This Time Baby by Jackie Moore (1979)
57. That's The Way I Like It by KC and the Sunshine Band (1975)
56. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA (1979)
55. Hot Stuff by Donna Summer (1979)
54. Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk (1977)
53. Pick Up the Pieces by Average White Band (1974)
52. Don't Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston (1976)
51. Ladies Night by Kool & the Gang (1979)
50. Don't Take Away the Music by Tavares (1976)
49. Native New Yorker by Odyssey (1977)
48. Go West by Village People (1979)
47. Chase by Giorgio Moroder (1978)
46. Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe by Barry White (1974)
45. Spacer by Sheila & Black Devotion (1979)
44. Summer Night City by ABBA (1978)
43. I'm Every Woman by Chaka Khan (1979)
42. Theme From Shaft by Isaac Hayes (1971)
41. Everybody Dance by Chic (1978)
40. Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas (1974)
39. Night Fever by The Bee Gees (1977)
38. Supernature by Cerrone (1978)
37. September by Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
36. December, 1963 (Oh What a Night) by The Four Seasons (1975)
35. Heart of Glass by Blondie (1979)
34. Oxygene by Jean Michel Jarre (1976)
33. Ain't No Stopping Us Now by McFadden and Whitehead (1979)
32. More Than A Woman by The Bee Gees (1978)
31. You See the Trouble With Me by Barry White (1973)
30. We Are Family by Sister Sledge (1979)
29. I'm Doin' Fine Now by New York City (1973)
28. Love Really Hurts Without You by Billy Ocean (1976)
27. So You Win Again by Hot Chocolate (1977)
26. Daddy Cool by Boney M (1976)
25. Le Freak by Chic (1978)
24. Is It Love You're After by Rose Royce (1979)
23. Mamma Mia by ABBA (1975)
22. Never Can Say Goodbye by Gloria Gaynor (1974)
21. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester (1978)
20. Stayin' Alive by The Bee Gees (1977)
19. Are 'Friends' Electric? by Tubeway Army (1979)
18. He's the Greatest Dancer by Sister Sledge (1979)
17. Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles (1979)
16. Voulez-Vous by ABBA (1979)
15. Car Wash by Rose Royce (1976)
14. Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lyn (1978)
13. Good Times by Chic (1979)
12. You're My First My Last My Everything by Barry White (1974)
11. Turn The Beat Around by Vickie Sue Robinson (1976)
10. Cars by Gary Numan (1979)
9. Love's Theme by Love Unlimited Orchestra (1973)
8. Fantasy by Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
7. You To Me Are Everything by The Real Thing (1976)
6. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor (1978)
5. YMCA by Village People (1978)
4. Dancing Queen by ABBA (1976)
3. Disco Inferno by The Trammps (1976)
2. Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind & Fire feat. The Emotions (1979)

And number one? The greatest dance song of the 1970s? It couldn't possibly be anything else.


howard fuller said...

Blimey you have been busy!I remember most of those from the wireless, but my record player tended to play Prog Rock!

Phil said...

I'm just very sad. Of course, I'm open to criticisms, upbraiding etc. I doubt I'll get any though, owning an impeccable music taste n'all.

Anonymous said...

Two beats and a slimming pill off soul though. Probably got half of them though. Also realise I havent updated my blog for a year.

Anonymous said...

What??!!! No P-Funk?
What??!!! No Sly and the Family Stone?

i'm too outraged to continue with this comment


Anonymous said...

Some great stuff in there. You mention Good Times by Chic so should really also have Rappers' Delight by The Sugarhill Gang as they were creating the future there

SarahABUK said...

I am concerned by the complete absence of Brotherhood of Man from this list.

Evan said...

What, no post-punk? You could make a case for Joy Division, PIL or Scritti Politti being considered 'dance' music, couldn't ya?

I think I need to revisit my Simon Reynolds books!

Phil said...

Calm down, calm down, Les. Sad to say Sly and the Family Stone just ain't my bag. You'll notice there's no James Brown or the Jacksons either. I know what I like and like what I know :)

Phil said...

Post-punk's not really my thing either, Evan. Surely sticking The Buggles in is nod enough to New Wave? ;) Sparks 'Beat the Clock' almost made the cut, but they were out-camped by Sarah Brightman I'm afraid!

And Sarah .... noooooooo!

Anonymous said...

and i was so choked with rage that i forgot to mention ANYTHING from the Specials first album! in fact, ever seen that movie Dance Craze, featuring the Specials, the Selecter, the Bodysnatchers, the Beat, Madness. Really, to leave them out, that's pretty dodgy. i think it's time for some serious correction/revision of this list.


Phil said...

Sorry Les, two-tone has never, ever done anything for me. *takes cover*

Anonymous said...

"two-tone has never, ever done anything for me"

frankly, i often get the impression that on the whole, the left in the uk more or less ignored the whole two-tone movement, for however briefly it flourished. is that really the case? and if so, why do you think that was? or is this simply a generational thing--people who are now in their mid to late thirties simply have no historical memory of it?

*takes cover* as well you should...


peter storm said...

Baccara - "Yes sir, I can boogie". I know, too bad to be true, but it belongs in that list. As does "Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney and Wings.

Phil said...

Hell no, Les. Loads of lefties loved two-tone. For Trots of a certain vintage, The Specials were/are the band of choice - after The Clash.

And yes Peter, I'm afraid Baccara did make the first cut of this list. Thankfully I was persuaded by the merits of others :)

Alex said...

I report an error. This from 1974 is missing:

Samaira Siddiqui said...

brilliant blog post Stray Dog

Mel said...

Great list! So many amazing songs. So nicely done, with adding a link for each song. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Don't forge "Shame, shame, shame"

ragga63 said...

Good list. Lots of omissions although as you admit, it's a personal thing. However #98 - right track, wrong colour my friend...

Dannenberg said...

Great job you have a load of great disco tunes there. 2 songs that I Think should have made the pick is Long trains running - The Doobie Brothers and Le Freak by Chic

Bruce Horwitz said...

good job. What no Flamin Groovies Shake Your Action.

Bruce Horwitz said...

Did anyone mention Motowns first Disco song, Love Hangover in 1976 by Diana Ross. Bass, percussion and guitar are sensational.

Anonymous said...

Great songs. I love that you know what you love