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Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
Love it or hate it, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ remains the only six-minute prog-rock suite to sell a million copies within 3 months. Or top the UK Top 40 for nine weeks for that matter.
Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
Never actually a single, yet still the most requested song on US FM radio stations during the 70s. It is, frankly, impossible to envisage the 1970s without ‘Stairway To Heaven’.
ABBA – Dancing Queen
Palindromic Swedes Abba were simply a colossus during the 70s. 1976’s ‘Dancing Queen’ was their first to top the charts in the UK and US.
Derek & The Dominos – Layla
Originally released on Eric Clapton’s post-Cream project Derek & The Dominoes’ 1970 album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs, ‘Layla’ later became a smash hit in 1972 and has since become regarded as one of the truly great rock anthems. We don’t disagree, incidentally.
Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
From the soundtrack to the multi-platinum Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, capturing the disco phenomenon at its absolute zenith.
George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
Those assuming Lennon and McCartney always drove the Fab Four creatively had to think again in 1971 when George Harrison’s magnificent ‘My Sweet Lord’ became the year’s biggest-selling single in the UK and the first No 1 by an ex-Beatle.
David Bowie – Starman
Bowie’s first major hit since 1969’s ‘Space Oddity’, promoted by a legend-enshrining Top Of The Pops performance in July ’72.
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
Just one of four massive hits from Fleetwood Mac’s career-defining Rumours, which went on to move over 40 million units worldwide.
The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar
The lead cut from the Stones’ seminal Sticky Fingers album, the timeless, raunchy ‘Brown Sugar’ topped the US Billboard chart in 1971. It features guest appearances by Al Kooper and Eric Clapton.
Blondie – Heart Of Glass
Trapping the zeitgeist, Blondie’s signature hit from ’79 was a sublime distillation of disco, punk and Kraftwerk and it’s barely aged a day since.
Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back In Town
Still played at all Irish rugby internationals, Lizzy’s swaggering signature hit was everywhere in 1976.
Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry
Arguably the song to launch reggae onto the international stage. The definitive take remains the spine-tingling in-concert version from 1975’s Live!
John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want
As with Saturday Night Fever, the soundtrack to the motion picture Grease was a global smash. This, its trailer single, sold almost 30 million copies worldwide.
Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
Arguably the greatest punk single of them all. Technically reached No 1 (if you went by the NME> chart), but only No 2 if you believed the BBC.
The Knack – My Sharona
The fastest-selling gold debut single since The Beatles’ ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘My Sharona’ sat atop the Billboard singles chart for six consecutive weeks in 1979.

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