Top 30 Songs of the 1970s Countdown

It seemed like an enormous amount of fun to start with but these are starting to get really difficult. In the 1970’s, almost 1700 songs entered the Australian charts – from Ronnie Burns’ Smiley on 7 January 1970 to Graham Gouldman’s Sunburn on 19 December 1979. Some were great – let’s face it, many were great – and many stuck their nose into the charts and dropped out again within a week.

Let us be very clear – this is very much Neil’s OPINION – there’ll be some songs in the list that will surprise you and others that will surprise you by NOT being there. The key criterion is that, unless the song is quite a stand-out song, it will have charted nationally at some stage during the 1970’s – at this stage, there is only one song in the countdown that did not chart on the national charts. When you see what it is (on Christmas Day), I suspect you’ll feel that it is worthy of inclusion at number 7 in this countdown.

Lots of work went into this – to start with, there is a trawling through our favourite reference book for such matters – The Book: Top 40 Research by Steven Scanes and Jim Barnes – identifying potentials inclusions, with a need to be ruthless as we went through. In the end Neil brought it down to 40 and to kick us off (below), we’re going to list the ten that didn’t quite make it – listed in date entry (the date shown through the countdown is the date that the song entered the top 40).

  • Fire And Rain – James Taylor – 13 November 1971
  • I’ll Be Gone – Spectrum – 11 March 1971
  • Superstar – Colleen Hewitt – 22 July 1971
  • Everything I Own – Bread – 11 May 1972
  • Space Oddity – David Bowie – 10 May 1973
  • I Am Pegasus – Ross Ryan – 25 October 1973
  • Girls On The Avenue – Richard Clapton – 27 February 1975
  • Slipping Away – Max Merritt & The Meteors – 8 January 1976
  • Hollywood Seven – Jon English – 12 May 1976
  • Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart – 6 April 1977