As a kid, I grew up surrounded by LPs and 45s. My brother came of age in the 70’s and we had one of those stereo systems that double as living room furniture. (Click here for an example.) I spent hours spinning records, repeating my favourite 45s from his collection. Sometimes it’s the K-Tel collections of popular songs and the genres span from country to Soul. I simply listened, danced, or hummed along. I thought nothing about what some of the songs are REALLY about until I listened to some of them on Spotify. Some tackled serious topics, others masked their sexy topics, and some simply holds up today. If you need some new songs, here are a few suggestions from my personal awesome mix.
Rock the Boat (Hues Corporation)
I had no idea Irish weddings jump on the dance floor, sit, and sway to this 1974 classic. (A tradition likened to how every Canadian thinks this can jig to Spirit of the West’s ‘Home for a Rest.’) The tune holds up with a bass beat and smooth harmonies. We had this as a 45 way back when and I bopped in the living room or did my own version of the Irish wedding sway.
Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground, The Jacksons)
Horns! Drums! A percussive beat activating your booty! Written by Randy and Michael Jackson, this Jackson 5 tune wasn’t in our record collection but my 70’s exploration yielded this gem that will go in my back-to-work mix after vacation is over.
Afternoon Delight (Starland Vocal Band)
This song played on the radio A LOT. The vocals pretty much scream THE SEVENTIES with its wholesome vocals and low-key poppy beats. I mean even this video screams an Up-with-People vibe. As a kid, keep in mind I was 6 or 7 at the time, I thought this song was about a bunch of people going up in a spaceship.
Oh, yeah, totally not the case listening to it now. It sounds like polite, suburban code for a quickie while the kids play outside. How did your parents not know? People would ask. Sometimes not having English-speaking parents comes in handy, like listening to Doctor Ruth while coming back from Winnipeg Beach in the 1980’s.
Love Will Keep Us Together(Captain and Tennille)
We had the 45 of this song and *gag* Muskrat Love. It’s this song by a mile.
Take A Chance On Me (Abba)
If I don’t include an Abba song in this mix, may I be shot out of a cannon. It was hard to choose what song to include, I love almost all of them. I play Eagle on repeat at the gym as a ‘booster’ song. Our record collection had two LPs and four 45 singles. (I think. My brother bought them and that explains Muskrat Love.)
Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
It’s the song guitarists use to show off their chops. For me, especially now, it’s the song about the passage of time. The last time I heard it was as a kid and it popped up on a Spotify 70’s mix while looking for something different. While the song is familiar, the difference comes from having ears attached to a person coming to terms with a chaotic time.