10 Best Songs of the ’70s by Women

The variety of music from the ’70s is amazing! Women were on fire during the decade, whether they were creating classic rock hits-to-be or groovy disco tunes. This is a list of some of the best songs by the greatest female artists of this wonderful era in music, and since variety is the spice of life, I’ve made this list extra-spicy.

‘Me and Bobby McGee’ by Janis Joplin – Janis Joplin is arguably one of the greatest female artists of all time, and she bares her soul in this love song. Country artist Roger Miller originally recorded it, and the sex of Bobby was reversed in his version. However, Janis Joplin really made it all her own with her unique soulful voice. Her version of the song was recorded at the very beginning of the 70’s as her era was slipping away, and Janis Joplin died very shortly after she recorded it. But her song lives on as a fitting farewell to Bobby, Janis Joplin, and a great era for music.

‘Heart of Glass’ by Blondie – Deborah Harry was one of the sexiest women to sing at Studio 54 during the 70’s disco heyday, and she had a sexy voice to match. I love that a music video of Blondie playing this song at Studio 54 still exists; I never get tired of listened to Deborah’s whispy, whimsical voice and staring into her beautiful bedroom eyes.

‘Brand New Key’ by Melanie – This song may seem like an odd choice, but I love this novelty tune about roller-skating; roller rinks were all the rage in the 70’s, after all. It’s a cute song about a girl trying to impress a boy with her roller skating skills (and borrow his key to tighten her skates), but there’s obviously a lot of innuendo going on. It was one of the many great songs featured in a film set in the 70’s, ‘Boogie Nights’, and was fittingly used for a scene involving Roller Girl.

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‘Killing Me Softly with His Song’ by Roberta Flack – I admit that I heard The Fugees’ version of this sad love song first having been a child of the 90’s, but I was blown away when I finally heard the original. If really does seem if Roberta Flack is slowly dying in the song, and you can almost feel her strumming your own pain with her fingers.

‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ by Gladys Knight & The Pips – I’ve always been a fan of songs that tell stories, and this is one of my favorites. It’s a song about the ugly side of fame, where the dreams of young men and women are shattered when they get to Hollywood. The young man in this song may be heading back home with his broken dreams, but at least he’ll have the love of a woman during his train ride back to console him.

‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA – What girl didn’t want to be a dancing queen during the 70’s? This is just one of those songs that really makes me wish I would have been seventeen during the 70’s and heading out to the local disco to show off my bright polyester dress, platforms, and dance moves that I’d been practicing all week. Every weekend was one big talent show full of amazing music; I wish going out was still such a big event!

‘Rihannon’ by Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac had so many great songs during the 70’s, it was extremely hard to pick just one for this list, but I wanted to keep it diverse. I chose this song this because it is Stevie Nick’s signature tune and I love the more mystical feel of Stevie’s writing, but I also like Christine McVie’s upbeat ‘Say You Love Me. You just really can’t go wrong with the songs by the strong women in this 70’s band.

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‘Barracuda’ by Heart – Sarah Palin may have tried to steal this song away, but Heart was having none of that. Ann and Nancy Wilson made an unlikely fish a superstar with this hit, and proved that the girls can rock just as hard as the boys. Next to Janis Joplin, Ann Wilson is definitely my favorite female vocalist.

‘Please Don’t Leave Me This Way’ by Thelma Houston – This song may have been a one-hit wonder for Thelma Houston, but what a one-hit wonder it was! Thelma’s voice is as soothing and as cool as they come, and I love waiting for her to build up to the chorus. This song also breaks into a funky baseline that’s great for groovin’ to on the disco dance floor.

‘Lady Marmalade’ by Labelle – What’s sexier than a bunch of gorgeous girls singing about high-class belles de nuit? No one understood the words, but they could tell Lady Marmalade was one sexy lady with one sexy theme song.

‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon – This was one of the most controversial songs of the 70’s; everyone wanted to know who this song about a love gone wrong was about. Was it Warren Beatty? Mick Jagger? James Taylor? We may never know for sure who the vain one was, but the mystery is part of what makes it so great.

‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor – This is the ultimate 70’s song; no matter what kind of survivor you are, it can apply to your life (even if you’re just trying to survive out on the dance floor at your local disco). It’s meant to be about surviving a relationship, but it’s been used as a gay anthem and for survivors of illnesses like HIV. It will always be a popular song because of its message, and Gloria Gaynor definitely deliverers it well.

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These women from the 70’s had a lot of soul; they could all sing; and they were great storytellers. So let them take you back to one of the greatest eras in music for women with this great mix of groovy tunes pumped up with plenty of girl power.

SOURCES: www.wikipedia.com