A History of Pop Music – Albums 1970

Featured Album:

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

This is a series of articles looking at albums from 1960 to whatever year we end up in.

I will select a featured album for each year and the link for the whole album, Plus list the songs on it.

As before, it is not just about the songs and tunes, it is very much about memories, and good ones, I hope.

Not everyone will like my choices of course, and you may remember some from each particular year that you feel should have been included, so do please post a link to the song.

Before we go on.  Extremely disappointed Betfair decided to settle bets with Beijing Joe being their winner.  We shall see.  The CEO of Pfizer has said that this vaccine will not stop you catching Covid-19 and it may not stop it spreading.  Not much of a vaccine is it!  People will hopefully wake up, but I have doubts.  In terms of Brexit, we shall soon know if Boris has some testicular fortitude, I have doubts but we can only hope he does.

In 1970 I wanted to keep a half crown coin, but mum said we could not afford to, so it was swapped.  I remember the headline in the Sun about Bobby Moore being arrested for stealing a bracelet.  I also remember going to school and bought a copy of The Sun newspaper for the first time, possibly because it was their first page 3 girl.

Now before we move on to the 70’s (yay), let us take a look at the top ten best selling albums of the 60’s:

Top Albums of The Decade: 1960s
   1 The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
   2 Original soundtrack The Sound Of Music
   3 The Beatles With The Beatles
   4 The Beatles Abbey Road
   5 Original Soundtrack South Pacific
   6 The Beatles Beatles For Sale
   7 The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night
   8 The Beatles Rubber Soul
   9 The Beatles The Beatles (“The White Album”)
   10 Original Soundtrack West Side Story

I am seeing a common denominator!  Some of you are not big fans of The Beatles, but just take a look at the top 10 best selling of the 1960’s.  7 of the top 10.  In the next 5 decades only 2 other bands had more than one album in the top ten for that decade.  Both of them having 2 albums only.  I cannot pick a favourite Beatles album, all 7 of these for me.

So, on we go with 1970 The start of a new decade (unless you want to be a pendant).  We will be seeing glam rock, Meatloaf, Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Elton, Bowie and of course my favourite group The Eagles.  Do not worry Smokie, Bay City Rollers, Slade, Racey, Abba, and Boney M fans, I will make sure they are included.

Bridge over Troubled Water is the fifth and final studio album by Simon & Garfunkel, It was released on January 26, 1970, and several re-releases followed.  The story of the making of the album is told in the 72-minute documentary The Harmony Game, featuring interviews with both Simon & Garfunkel and various collaborators.  I have linked it for those interested.

Track listing

All tracks are written by Paul Simon except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Recorded Length
1. Bridge over Troubled Water November 9, 1969 4:52
2. El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could) Daniel Alomía Roblesarranged by Jorge Milchberg and English lyrics by Paul Simon November 2, 1969 3:06
3. Cecilia November 2, 1969 2:55
4. Keep the Customer Satisfied November 2, 1969 2:33
5. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright November 9, 1969 3:41


Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Recorded Length
1. The Boxer November 8, 1968 5:08
2. “Baby Driver” November 2, 1968 3:14
3. The Only Living Boy in New York November 15, 1969 3:58
4. “Why Don’t You Write Me” November 8, 1969 2:45
5. Bye Bye Love” (Live recording from Ames, Iowa) Felice Bryant, Boudleaux Bryant November 14, 1969 2:55
6. “Song for the Asking” November 1, 1969 1:49

Despite numerous accolades, the duo decided to split up, and parted company later in 1970; Garfunkel continued his film career, while Simon worked intensely with music. Both artists released solo albums in the following years. Bridge includes two of the duo’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful songs, “Bridge over Troubled Water” and “The Boxer”, which were listed on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Critically and commercially successful, the album topped the charts in over ten countries and received two Grammy Awards, plus four more for the title song. It sold around 25 million records and was ranked on several lists, including at number 51 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

For those of us that were around I can just about guarantee this was in your album collection, then you bought it again on cassette, then on a CD!

As a special Brucie Bonus, here is the link to the big reunion in 1981 –  Simon and Garfunkel live in central park full concert – Awesome!

More writings on this album here:  Bridge Over Troubled Water

The Top 10 Albums with a You Tube hyperlink on the title:

Top Tip: Right-click and open in new tab

Top Albums of 1970
   1 Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water
   2 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
   3 Original Soundtrack Easy Rider
   4 Original Soundtrack Paint Your Wagon
   5 Various Artists Motown Chartbusters Volume 3
   7 The Beatles Let It Be
   8 The Beatles Abbey Road
   8 Deep Purple Deep Purple In Rock
   9 Paul McCartney McCartney
   10 Andy Williams Andy Williams Greatest Hits

The Motown Chartbusters is a cracker, starts off with Marvin Gaye and “Heard it through the grapevine”.  Include Diana Ross, Marta Reeves, Smoky Robinson, Temptations and Stevie Wonder.  The led Zep album includes “Whole lotta love”.

In my view the best albums of the year, after the featured one and a few others are:

Kris Kristofferson – The Silver Tongued Devil and I – Did not get into Kris until about 1974 when in the Army.  Super album.  My first-born son is named Kris.

Kris Kristofferson  – Kristofferson – because I like him

Electric Light Orchestra – Eldorado – Couple of classics on this.  One of the few bands in my view that have never made one single bad tune.

Elton John – Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy– Great start!

Charlie Rich – Behind Closed Doors

Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy

Linda Ronstadt – Heart Like A Wheel

Bill Withers  – Still Bill

The Allman Brothers Band – Idlewild South – I know we have some fans of this band.

Mott The Hoople – Mott – Awesome. Includes “All the way to Memphis”


As you know I like to review your “tunes” that you post.  Scoring this week will be as per my first comment you will not read:

*Note. Anyone scoring a Morrissey (lowest score possible) will be reported and blocked.

Hat tips to:

https://www.albumoftheyear.org/ratings/8-all-music-highest-rated/1970/1  these give the top 100 selling charts for each year

http://www.everyhit.com/chart1.html   these give the top 10 songs for each year

https://www.youtube.com/  you know them.

Next Time: 1971 – Yay, glam rock starting up!
Featured image: Eddie Mallin, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

© Phil the ex test manager 2020