Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Best of 1971 Mix


I've just started working on my 1972 mix and the thing I'm noticing is how quickly everything is changing musically in the 70's.  1971 was building off of 1970, but it doesn't feel that far removed.  I think we'll notice a real difference when we get to 1972, but maybe not, I'm still picking the songs.  Here is my 20 song mix from 1971.

20. Theme From Shaft by Isaac Hayes
     Growing up as a kid we had a record we bought at Super X that had an instrumental version of Shaft that I always loved.  Don't think I could do the 1971 mix without including this song.  

19. One of These Things First by Nick Drake
     Like many people our age, Nick Drake is someone I discovered in college hanging out with PhD English students.  

18. Love Her Madly by The Doors
     I always found it funny that The Doors could make a simple pop song when they wanted and do a very good job of it.  Always liked this song.  

17. Done Somebody Wrong by Allman Brothers Band
     I discovered this album when my brother brought it home from college.  I made a cassette of it and would drive around Western Kentucky listening to this album windows down.  Just a great live album.  

16. Runnin' Away by Sly & the Family Stone
     By the end of my freshman year in college I had discovered Sly & the Family Stone and spent much of that first summer back at home listening to this album.  This song always makes me smile even though lyrically it's a bit dark.  

15. Tiny Dancer by Elton John
     Another one of those Elton John songs.

14. You've Got a Friend by James Taylor
     Such a good song.  As I said with the 1970 mix James Taylor is more my wife's speed, but can't help but like this song.  

13. Imagine by John Lennon
     This song makes me think of two things.  First is WKRP.  If you know why, you know.  The second is New Years Eve.  Since we've had kids every New Years Eve we watch the ball drop on the live stream from the organization that's puts on the event.  They have second tier singers and interview people and it's fun.  Each year they close it out with someone singing Imagine right before the final minute.  

12. So Far Away by Carole King
     Such a good song.  I thought about putting the album version in the YouTube mix, but when we have these old live performances they are such fun.  

11. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) by Marvin Gaye
     I thought about just making the top of this list the entire What's Going On album, but thought better of that.  I have to hear this song every so often, just to remember that I'm not the only person in the world who sees this stuff.  

10. Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers
     It may be the perfect 2 minute song.  So simple and so beautiful.  His vocal is just amazing on this track.  

9. I'd Love to Change the World by Ten Years After
     Nothing to me represents Woodstock and the protests around Vietnam like this song.  I don't know why, it just does.  Plus it feels like it was born from all of that.  

8. It's Too Late by Carole King
     My favorite Carole King song.  I've always found this song to be so sad.  

7. Stormy Monday by Allman Brothers Band
     The vibe of this song is so spot on.  

6.  Moonshadow by Cat Stevens
     I was never the biggest Cat Stevens fan but my wife is.  That being said I just love the sound of this song.  

5. Family Affair by Sly & the Family Stone
     If I were to meet someone from the future and they told me I could provide them one song so that they could understand the music of the 1970's in the United States, I would give them this song.  

4. Superstar by Carpenters
     I like the Carpenters and this is by far their best song.  Such an amazing vocal on this song.  

3. Riders on the Storm by The Doors
     This is my daughter's favorite Doors song.  So I love it even more than I always have.  This song always makes me think of driving back to college from home on US 62 in the rain.  

2. What's Going On by Marvin Gaye
     Such an amazing song.  53 years later this song feels just as relevant as it was in 1971.  The arrangement, his vocal, this song is so special.  

1. What's Happening Brother by Marvin Gaye
     This may be the greatest lyrics ever written for a song.  


  1. My wife and I (unusually for us) arrived in Paducah about 30 minutes for an event at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which is near the old Alben Barkley home. I lamented that it was too bad that SuperX was no longer open because it would've been the perfect amount of time to go and spend 15 minutes looking around SuperX.

  2. The first time I ever paid attention to Nick Drake was that Volkswagen commercial, and it really threw me for a loop for about 10 years.