Various Artists

The Hit List: 24 Hot 100 American Chartbusters of the 1970s

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Following in the tradition of its previous series The Golden Age of American Rock & Roll (which documented the 1950s) and Chartbusters (tracking the 1960s), the U.K. reissue label Ace moves into the Me Decade with The Hit List: 24 Hot 100 American Chartbusters of the 1970s. Its subtitle to the contrary, the first volume in the series actually focuses almost exclusively on Top 20 chart entries, documenting the autumn of AM radio's commercial heyday: sure, the pop hits of the 1970s have been maligned in many quarters -- and novelties like John Sebastian's theme to the TV smash Welcome Back, Kotter and cheese like Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze" won't change naysayers' minds -- but as these two-dozen songs prove, the decade was unmatched for the sheer variety of music that accessed the top of the charts, with hard rock, country-pop, disco and bubblegum pop all vying for commercial success. While the decade's true heavyweights like Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young are nowhere in sight, Ace nevertheless does a good job of assembling an accurate composite from the one-hit wonders at its disposal -- love 'em or hate 'em -- records like the Looking Glass' "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)," Jonathan Edwards' "Sunshine," and Tommy James' "Draggin' the Line" sum up everything the 1970s were about.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:44
2 3:52 Amazon
3 3:47
4 3:26
5 2:51
6 2:32
7
2:41
8 3:07
9 2:15
10 2:41
11 3:27 Amazon
12
2:45
13 3:27
14 2:47
15 3:24
16 3:31
17 4:04
18 2:56
19 3:08
20 3:33
21 2:52
22 3:39 Amazon
23 5:27
24 2:59
blue highlight denotes track pick