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Songs of the Year

Songs of the Year: 1971

Pretty… pretty… pretty good year.

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Welcome to a new decade! The year is 1971 and we’re picking our favorite songs of the year.

It’s a simple concept. We pick five of our favorite songs that made the Billboard Top 100 (established in 1958) during any time that year. We also select five “wildcards” that can be any songs released as a single or on an album or EP that year. Finally, we also pick our “worst” song of the year, just for fun.

We started in 1958 and we’re going until we run out of years.

There have been books written, shows produced–and many, many listicles–about how 1971 was the greatest year in music history. Nobody really knows for sure. But 71 has as much claim to it as any. We’re talking Zeppelin IV, Blue, Who’s Next, What’s Going On, Tapestry, Sticky Fingers, Fragile and so, so many more great albums. And obviously these albums contained a multitude of amazing songs. Songs that we had to painstakingly dig through to find the best ones. You may be taken aback by what we came up with. But we went deep. Really deep.

Anyway, watch the video. Vote on our songs. Leave your lists in the comments! And check back every week for a NEW episode and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and share this post or this video on all your favorite social networks because lord knows we’ve earned it.

Standings So Far

Jason’s Let it Be pick won (what a surprise). But the Beatles era of terror is over. Get ready for deep cuts and curios that you may never have heard before!

Jason: 7.5
Joe: 5
Kramzer: 3.5

Vote

Which Was the Best Song of 1971?

  • When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin (51%, 93 Votes)
  • River - Joni Mitchell (42%, 77 Votes)
  • Better Days - Graham Nash (7%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 183

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Best Songs of the Year Playlist

Best Songs of the Year | 1971 | Spotify Edition

Best Songs of the Year | 1971 | YouTube edition

Worst Songs of the Year Playlist

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Dan O

My favorite songs of 1971:

Rank Title-Artist
1. I’D LOVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD – TEN YEARS AFTER
2. MERCY MERCY ME (THE ECOLOGY) – MARVIN GAYE
3. BEGINNINGS – CHICAGO
4. RESPECT YOURSELF – STAPLE SINGERS
5. SWEET CITY WOMAN – STAMPEDERS
6. BROWN SUGAR – ROLLING STONES
7. BABA O’REILY – THE WHO
8. TOUCH – SUPREMES
9. WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN – THE WHO
10. SMILING FACES SOMETIMES – UNDISPUTED TRUTH
11. DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS – CHICAGO
12. SHE’S A LADY – TOM JONES
13. WHAT IS LIFE – GEORGE HARRISON
14. ROSE GARDEN – LYNN ANDERSON
15. MY SWEET LORD – GEORGE HARRISON
16. INNER CITY BLUES (MAKE ME WANNA HOLLER) – MARVIN GAYE
17. THEME FROM SHAFT – ISAAC HAYES
18. THEM CHANGES – BUDDY MILES
19. THE STORY IN YOUR EYES – MOODY BLUES
20. DOMINO – VAN MORRISON
21. UNCLE ALBERT/ADMIRAL HALSEY – PAUL & LINDA MCCARTNEY
22. ONE MAN BAND – THREE DOG NIGHT
23. SOONER OR LATER – GRASS ROOTS
24. AN OLD FASHIONED LOVE SONG – THREE DOG NIGHT
25. CHIRPY CHIRPY CHEEP CHEEP – MAC & KATIE KISSOON
26. ONE FINE MORNING – LIGHTHOUSE
27. WHAT’S GOING ON – MARVIN GAYE
28. LUCKY MAN – EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
29. ME AND YOU AND A DOG NAMED BOO – LOBO
30. AIN’T NO SUNSHINE – BILL WITHERS
31. IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME – STEVIE WONDER
32. IT’S TOO LATE – CAROLE KING
33. MOTHER FREEDOM – BREAD
34. MAGGIE MAY – ROD STEWART
35. IMAGINE – JOHN LENNON
36. YOUR MOVE – YES
37. ALBERT FLASHER – GUESS WHO
38. LET YOUR LOVE GO – BREAD
39. LOVE HER MADLY – THE DOORS
40. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN – LEE MICHAELS

Dan O

More of my favorite songs of 1971:
Rank-Title-Artist
41. GYPSYS, TRAMPS & THIEVES – CHER
42. IMMIGRANT SONG – LED ZEPPELIN
43. BORN TO WANDER – RARE EARTH
44. KNOCK THREE TIMES – DAWN
45. HERE COMES THAT RAINY DAY FEELING AGAIN – FORTUNES
46. QUESTION 67 AND 68 – CHICAGO
47. ABSOLUTELY RIGHT – FIVE MAN ELECTRIC BAND
48. DON’T PULL YOUR LOVE (OUT) – HAMILTON, JOE FRANK & REYNOLDS
49. I LIKE WHAT YOU GIVE – NOLAN
50. JUST MY IMAGINATION – TEMPTATIONS
51. IT DON’T COME EASY – RINGO STARR
52. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN – CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
53. ANOTHER DAY – PAUL MCCARTNEY
54. LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH – STEPHEN STILLS
55. WILD HORSES – ROLLING STONES
56. RIDERS ON THE STORM – THE DOORS
57. JOY TO THE WORLD – THREE DOG NIGHT
58. LOVE’S LINES, ANGLES AND RHYMES – THE 5TH DIMENSION
59. SIGNS – FIVE MAN ELECTRIC BAND
60. HERE COMES THE SUN – RICHIE HAVENS
61. STONED LOVE – SUPREMES
62. WE CAN WORK IT OUT – STEVIE WONDER
63. BABY I’M-A WANT YOU – BREAD
64. I FEEL THE EARTH MOVE – CAROLE KING
65. I’M A MAN – CHICAGO
66. HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART – BEE GEES
67. I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN’ – DAVE EDMUNDS
68. DIDN’T IT LOOK SO EASY – STAIRSTEPS
69. FAMILY AFFAIR – SLY & THE FAMILY STONE
70. STICK UP -HONEY CONE
71. WHATCHA SEE IS WHATCHA GET – DRAMATICS
72. HANG ON TO YOUR LIFE – GUESS WHO
73. HEY TONIGHT – CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
74. WILD WORLD – CAT STEVENS
75. RIVER DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH – SUPREMES WITH THE FOUR TOPS
76. I LOVE YOU FOR ALL SEASONS – FUZZ
77. REMEMBER ME – DIANA ROSS
78. COLOUR MY WORLD – CHICAGO
79. OYE COMO VA – SANTANA
80. SUPERSTAR – CARPENTERS
81. DO ME RIGHT – DETROIT EMERALDS
82. I’VE FOUND SOMEONE OF MY OWN – FREE MOVEMENT
83. BEHIND BLUE EYES – THE WHO
84. ME AND BOBBY MCGEE – JANIS JOPLIN
85. GAMES – REDEYE
86. FUNKY MUSIC SHO NUFF TURNS ME ON – EDWIN STARR
87. BARGAIN – THE WHO
88. MELTING POT – BOOKER T. & THE M.G.’S
89. TREAT HER LIKE A LADY – CORNELIUS BROTHERS & SISTER ROSE
90. THAT’S THE WAY I’VE ALWAYS HEARD IT SHOULD BE – CARLY SIMON
91. SWEET MARY – WADSWORTH MANSION
92. RIGHT ON THE TIP OF MY TONGUE – BRENDA AND THE TABULATIONS
93. WILD NIGHT – VAN MORRISON
94. IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND – GORDON LIGHTFOOT
95. THE GREEN GRASS STARTS TO GROW – DIONNE WARWICK
96. LONELY DAYS – BEE GEES
97. HE CALLED ME BABY – CANDI STATON
98. STAGGER LEE – TOMMY ROE
99. GROOVE ME – KING FLOYD
100. DRAGGIN’ THE LINE – TOMMY JAMES

Dan O

More of my favorite songs of 1971:
Rank-Title-Artist
101. PAY TO THE PIPER – CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD
102. BROKEN – GUESS WHO
103. APEMAN – KINKS
104. BLACK MAGIC WOMAN – SANTANA
105. REACH OUT, I’LL BE THERE – DIANA ROSS
106. MAMA’S PEARL – JACKSON 5
107. I DON’T BLAME YOU AT ALL – SMOKEY ROBINSON & MIRACLES
108. INDIAN RESERVATION – RAIDERS
109. HIGH TIME WE WENT – JOE COCKER
110. YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND – JAMES TAYLOR
111. RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS – CARPENTERS
112. I JUST WANT TO CELEBRATE – RARE EARTH
113. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM – HELEN REDDY
114. MOST OF ALL – B.J. THOMAS
115. IT’S A CRYIN’ SHAME – GAYLE MCCORMICK
116. WHEN I’M DEAD AND GONE – McGUINESS FLINT
117. THE LOOK OF LOVE (LONG VERSION) – ISAAC HAYES
118. STEALER – FREE
119. WANT ADS – HONEY CONE
120. DREAM BABY (HOW LONG MUST I DREAM) – GLEN CAMPBELL
121. TIMOTHY – BUOYS
122. NATHAN JONES – SUPREMES
123. FREE – CHICAGO
124. PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS – JACKIE MOORE
125. MOONSHADOW – CAT STEVENS
126. HOT LOVE – T. REX
127. HAVE YOU SEEN HER? – THE CHI-LITES
128. YOUR SONG – ELTON JOHN
129. YOU’RE THE ONE – THREE DEGREES
130. PEACE TRAIN – CAT STEVENS
131. SWEET HITCH HIKER – CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
132. 13 QUESTIONS – SEATRAIN
133. RIDE A WHITE SWAN – TYRANNOSAURUS REX
134. PUPPET MAN – TOM JONES
135. WEDDING SONG (THERE IS LOVE) – PAUL STOOKEY
136. SOMEBODY’S WATCHING YOU – LITTLE SISTER
137. I DON’T NEED NO DOCTOR (LIVE) – HUMBLE PIE
138. SO FAR AWAY – CAROLE KING
139. TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS – JOHN DENVER
140. THE SONG IS OVER – THE WHO
141. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM – YVONNE ELLIMAN
142. THE ANIMAL TRAINER & THE TOAD – MOUNTAIN
143. IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN – GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS
144. POWER TO THE PEOPLE – JOHN LENNON
145. I AM…I SAID – NEIL DIAMOND
146. RAIN DANCE – GUESS WHO
147. ALL I EVER NEED IS YOU – SONNY & CHER
148. YOUR TIME TO CRY – JOE SIMON
149. EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING – SANTANA
150. TIRED OF BEING ALONE – AL GREEN
151. MR. BOJANGLES – NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND
152. IF – BREAD
153. FEELIN’ ALRIGHT – GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
154. PROUD MARY – IKE AND TINA TURNER
155. WE GOTTA GET YOU A WOMAN – RUNT
156. JODY’S GOT YOUR GIRL AND GONE – JOHNNIE TAYLOR
157. CHICK-A-BOOM (DON’T YA JES LOVE IT) – DADDY DEWDROP
158. WHOLE LOTTA LOVE – CCS
159. BELL BOTTOM BLUES – DEREK & THE DOMINOS
160. LIAR – THREE DOG NIGHT
161. CHARITY BALL – FANNY
162. SILVER MOON – MICHAEL NESMITH
163. CALIFORNIA BLUES – REDWING
164. TEMPTATION EYES – GRASS ROOTS
165. FUNKY NASSAU (PART 1) – BEGINNING OF THE END
166. (I KNOW) I’M LOSING YOU – ROD STEWART WITH FACES
167. GOT TO BE THERE – MICHAEL JACKSON
168. NEVER ENDING STORY OF LOVE – DELANEY AND BONNIE & FRIENDS
169. SHE’S NOT JUST ANOTHER WOMAN – EIGHTH DAY
170. SPANISH HARLEM – ARETHA FRANKLIN
171. DOLLY DAGGER – JIMI HENDRIX
172. THE NIGHT THEY DROVE ALL DIXIE DOWN – JOAN BAEZ
173. TRAPPED BY A THING CALLED LOVE – DENISE LASALLE
174. ROCK STEADY – ARETHA FRANKLIN
175. WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO – DONNIE ELBERT
176. STARSHIP TROOPER – YES
177. ONLY YOU KNOW AND I KNOW – DELANEY & BONNIE
178. AQUALUNG – JETHRO TULL
179. FRIENDS – ELTON JOHN
180. DON’T KNOCK MY LOVE – WILSON PICKETT
181. MAGGIE – REDBONE
182. REACH OUT YOUR HAND – BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
183. REASON TO BELIEVE – ROD STEWART
184. ME AND MY ARROW – NILSSON
185. A NATURAL MAN – LOU RAWLS
186. BANGLA-DESH – GEORGE HARRISON
187. TARKIO ROAD – BREWER & SHIPLEY
188. TONGUE IN CHEEK – SUGARLOAF
189. MR. BIG STUFF – JEAN KNIGHT
190. I NEED SOMEONE (TO LOVE ME) – Z.Z. HILL
191. DON’T LET THE GREEN GRASS FOOL YOU – WILSON PICKETT
192. SPILL THE WINE – ISLEY BROTHERS
193. (DO THE) PUSH AND PULL – RUFUS THOMAS
194. SUPERSTAR – MURRAY HEAD
195. BLESS YOU – MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS
196. THAT’S THE WAY A WOMAN IS – MESSENGERS
197. HEARTBREAK HOTEL – FRIJID PINK
198. WOODSTOCK – MATTHEWS SOUTHERN COMFORT
199. YOURS IS NO DISGRACE – YES
200. IF NOT FOR YOU – OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN

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