1. “Precious Angel” by Bob Dylan
Slow Train Coming (1979) is one of my favorite albums of all time, it really is Dylan most fascinating work. It was the artists first work after his conversion and reflects on his personal faith and/or the importance of Christianity. The song is about the woman who led Dylan to faith and is full of Scriptural allusions. It has a unique, almost reggae, sound and is a standout hit on the record.
2. “Boogie Shoes” by KC & The Sunshine Band
This mid 70s disco hit has been featured on a number of movies and television shows. I got hooked on it this week when it came on the radio randomly and my 1-year-old was overcome with the need to dance. In fact it’s become her new song, and she dances like crazy every time it comes on. So, our whole family has taken to playing the song for her.
3. “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne
Here is another hit from the late 70s. It is hailed as one of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” The song is personally reflective of a life without a particular goal, the aimless driving and the realization that time (fuel) is running out. But for such a depressing theme, it has still got a very positive tone.
4. “Africa” by Toto
Does this song need any explanation? It’s just a solid classic, with one of the best hooks of all time (ranked 32nd in the list of “50 Most Explosive Choruses”). I could honestly belt out this chorus anytime, any week. So great!
5. “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John
John was actually against releasing this track as a single, he believed it would flop. But when a radio station out of Windsor began giving it regular airplay it became #1 in the Detroit market, and took off from there. The song is intended as a satire on the music scene of the 70s, as “Bennie and the Jets” is the fictional band adopting all the glitz, glam, and greed that ruled the market (at least according to songwriter Bernie Taupin). It’s another famous song with a catchy sound.