fbpx

31 Best Songs From 1975

While disco was in its early years in 1975, some of the most enduring hits of that genre would come out that year. The surprising part of the music industry in 1975 was the prevalence of country tracks crossing over to become pop hits, occurrences that were few and far between in prior years. In this article, we’ll use Billboard’s year-end ranking to help determine the 31 best songs of 1975. 

1. Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille

Love Will Keep Us Together

Love Will Keep Us Together was originally recorded by Neil Sedaka in 1973, though several versions of it would pop up over the next few years. The most successful of those covers came from the pop duo Captain & Tennille in 1975. Theirs became a worldwide hit, rising to the top of the charts in the US, Canada, and Australia. By the end of the year, it was named the number-one song of 1975 by Billboard on their year-end rankings. 

2. Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy

Rhinestone Cowboy was the lead single and title track of Glen Campbell’s 1975 album and was a huge crossover hit. Pleasing pop and country audiences alike, the song soared on the charts, rising to the top of the Hot 100, Hot Country Singles, and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts in the US. It additionally went to number one in Canada and made it to number four on the UK Singles Chart. 

3. Philadelphia Freedom – Elton John

Philadelphia Freedom

Credited to The Elton John Band, Philadelphia Freedom went on to become Elton John’s fourth number-one single in the US and his eighth to top the Canadian charts. Written as a favor to the tennis player Billie Jean King, the song first appeared on his 1977 album Elton John’s Greatest Hits Volume II but was released as a single in 1975. That single rose to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and made it to number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. 

4. Before the Next Teardrop Falls – Freddy Fender

Before The Next Teardrop Falls

Before The Next Teardrop Falls was another one of the biggest crossover hits of 1975 on both the pop and country charts. Freddy Fender’s version of the track was one of six songs to top both the country and pop charts in 1975. It also won him the Single of the Year Award at the Country Music Association Award Show and helped him with their Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year awards as well. 

5. My Eyes Adored You – Frankie Valli

Frankie Valli - My Eyes Adored You (Official Audio)

My Eyes Adored You was originally recorded by The Four Seasons in 1974, but Motown decided not to release it as a single. After the rights were sold to Frankie Valli, and he found a label to actually put it out, it became a major hit. The song rose to the top of the Hot 100 and peaked at number two on the Easy Listening chart. It was his first number-one single on the Hot 100 as well. 

6. Some Kind of Wonderful – Grand Funk Railroad

Some Kind Of Wonderful (Remastered)

Grand Funk Railroad’s recording of Some Kind Of Wonderful is absolutely epic. The song was first recorded by the Soul Brothers Six in 1967, with their version peaking at number 91 on the Hot 100. GFR’s version from 1974 eventually reached number three on the Hot 100 and sold well over one million copies, earning it a place just outside the top five on Billboard’s year-end rankings. 

7. Shining Star – Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire - Shining Star (Official Audio)

Shining Star became Earth, Wind & Fire’s first and only single to reach the top of the Hot 100, but it also was their first single to reach the top of the Hot Soul Singles chart. It first appeared on their 1975 album That’s The Way Of The World and would win the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. 

8. Fame – David Bowie

Fame (2016 Remaster)

Fame first appeared on David Bowie’s 1975 album Young Americans and served as the second single to be released from the album. It would later be included on many of his compilation albums as well. In its initial run on the charts, it rose to the top of both the US Hot 100 and the Canadian Top Singles charts. It also became one of his four songs to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by being included on their list of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

9. Laughter in the Rain – Neil Sedaka

Neil Sedaka - Laughter In The Rain (audio)

One of the best parts of Laughter In The Rain has to be the saxophone solo by Jim Horn. The song itself became Neil Sedaka’s first single to reach the top of the Hot 100 in over a decade at that time and it also spent two weeks on top of the Adult Contemporary chart. 

10. One of These Nights – Eagles

One of These Nights (2018 Remaster)

One Of These Nights was the title track of the Eagles’ 1975 album, and it quickly became their second single to reach the top of the Hot 100. The single version of the song removed quite a bit of the intro and outro sections of the album version, but it took nothing away from Don Felder’s guitar solo. 

11. Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver

John Denver - Thank God I'm A Country Boy (Official Audio)

Thank God I’m A Country Boy was included on John Denver’s 1974 album Back Home Again and was yet another one of his biggest hits. A live version was recorded at the Universal Amphitheater that was included on his 1975 album An Evening With John Denver and that version ended up reaching the top of both the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts in the US that year. 

12. Jive Talkin’ – Bee Gees

Bee Gees - Jive Talkin'

Jive Talkin’ served as the lead single for the Bee Gees’ album Main Course, but it was also featured on the 1977 soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. The song was a bit of a comeback for the group and rose to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the UK Singles Chart in 1975. 

13. The Best of My Love – Eagles

The Best of My Love (2013 Remaster)

The Best Of My Love was the first song the Eagles released that made its way to the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100. Serving as the third single released from their 1974 album On The Border, the track also spent a week on top of the easy listening chart and was one of the best-selling singles of the year. 

14. Lovin’ You – Minnie Riperton

Lovin’ You first appeared on Minnie Riperton’s second studio album Perfect Angel in 1974. It would later be released as the fourth single to come from the album and immediately scored her an international hit. It rose to the top of the Hot 100 and peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, earning a gold certification in the US and a silver certification in the UK. 

15. Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting (Original Version Official Audio)

Kung Fu Fighting was one of the most fun tracks to come out in 1975. The song first appeared on the album Kung Fu Fighting And Other Great Love Songs and took advantage of the growing chopsocky craze in the music industry. The track was a worldwide hit, rising to the top of the major charts in the UK, US, Australian, and Canadian charts while also topping the Soul Singles chart in the US. It remains one of the best-selling singles of all time with over 11 million worldwide copies sold. 

16. Black Water – The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers - Black Water (Official Music Video)

Black Water first appeared on the 1974 album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits by The Doobie Brothers. In 1975, it became the first of two number-one singles for them, rising to the top of the US Hot 100 and peaking at number three on the Cash Box Top 100 rankings. 

17. The Ballroom Blitz – Sweet

Sweet - The Ballroom Blitz - Silvester-Tanzparty 1974/75 31.12.1974 (OFFICIAL)

The Ballroom Blitz was inspired by an incident in 1973 that saw the band driven offstage by the audience throwing things onto the stage in an effort to hit them. While that night might have sucked, it inspired one of the most enduring hit singles of all time. Ballroom Blitz made it to number one in Canada, number two in the UK, and number five in the US in 1975. Today, it has over 90 million streams on Spotify alone. 

18. [Hey Won’t You Play] Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song – B.J. Thomas

[Hey Won't You Play] Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song

[Hey Won’t You Play] Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song is another one of the massive country/pop crossovers of 1975. B.J. Thomas made the track famous, with his recording rising to the top of the Hot 100, Hot Country Songs, and Adult Contemporary charts in the US. It went on to win the 1976 Grammy Award for Best Country Song, though that honor was awarded to the track’s original writers Larry Butler and Chips Moman. 

19. He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You) – Tony Orlando & Dawn

He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)

He Will Break Your Heart was originally released by Jerry Butler in 1960, and he scored a top-10 hit with it. Tony Orlando released the song under the title He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You) in 1975 and found even more success. It ended up reaching the top spot on both the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts that year. 

20. At Seventeen – Janis Ian

Janis Ian - At Seventeen (Audio)

At Seventeen first appeared on Janis Ian’s seventh studio album Between The Lines and served as the second single to be released from the album. Inspired by a New York Times article, it eventually turned into an anthem of the outcasts. The song itself won Ian a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and an additional two nominations. Its chart run saw it rise to number three on the Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. 

21. Pick Up the Pieces – Average White Band

Pick Up the Pieces

Pick Up The Pieces was released on Average White Band’s second album AWB. Outside of the title being shouted throughout the song, it’s mainly an instrumental piece. While first released in the UK and failing to chart there, the album and track were released in the US shortly after. There, it rose to the top of the Hot 100 and made it to number five on the Soul charts. 

22. The Hustle – Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony

Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony ~ The Hustle 1975 Disco Purrfection Version

The Hustle might be one of the most iconic disco songs of all time and was the inspiration for the well-known dance craze in the 70s. In the years since, the dance and track have been used in countless pieces of other media, ensuring an enduring legacy. Its initial run on the charts saw it reach the top of the Hot 100 and Soul Singles rankings, peaking at number three on the UK Singles chart. 

23. Lady Marmalade – Labelle

Labelle - Lady Marmalade (Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir ) 1974 • TopPop

Lady Marmalade was originally written for Kenny Nolan’s disco group, but it first became a hit when Labelle recorded the song in 1974. It would later reach the top of the Hot 100 and Canadian RPM Top Singles charts. In 2021, the track was preserved in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. 

24. Why Can’t We Be Friends? – War

WAR - Why Can't We Be Friends? (Official Video) [Remastered in 4K]

Why Can’t We Be Friends is probably the most enduring song War ever released and a track that still gets used and sung today. The simple structure and question the song poses really make people think and hopefully avoid conflict. Its chart run in 1975 saw it rise to number six on the Hot 100 and number nine on the Hot Soul Singles chart. But, the funniest use of the track came when NASA beamed it to Soviet cosmonauts when they were linking with US astronauts during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. 

25. Love Won’t Let Me Wait – Major Harris

Major Harris - Love Won’t Let Me Wait

Love Won’t Let Me Wait was Major Harris’s only hit single after leaving The Delfonics. It became a staple of classic soul music, rising to number one on the R&B chart and number five on the Hot 100 in 1975. 

26. Boogie On Reggae Woman – Stevie Wonder

Boogie On Reggae Woman

Boogie On Reggae Woman was the second single released from Stevie Wonder’s 1974 album Fullingness’ First Finale. It continued the trend of him reaching the top 10 on the pop charts by rising to number three, and the song spent two weeks on the top of the Soul charts. 

27. Wasted Days and Wasted Nights – Freddy Fender

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights was another big hit in 1975 for Freddy Fender. Very much cut from the cloth of swamp pop, the song was really a blues ballad that meshed rockabilly and Tejano music. His release of the track rose to the top of the Hot Country Singles chart and made it to number eight on the Hot 100, continuing the trend of crossover hits between pop and country audiences. 

28. Angie Baby – Helen Reddy

Helen Reddy’s version of Angie Baby was one of her best-selling hit singles. Its cryptic lyrics have never been blatantly explained by her or the original writer Alan O’Day in any interviews, but the mystique only adds to its intrigue. It ended up rising to number one on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and US Easy Listening chart, also peaking at number five on the UK Singles Chart. 

29. Fight the Power, Pts. 1 & 2 – The Isley Brothers

The Isley Brothers - Fight the Power, Pts. 1 & 2 (Official Audio)

Fight The Power, Pts. 1 & 2 was the first single released from The Isley Brothers’ album The Heat Is On. One of the most notable things about the song was its use of the word ‘bullshit,’ which was controversial in 1975 and got the word censored from any radio airings of the track. It went on to reach number four on the Hot 100, number one on the R&B chart, and number 13 on the Dance/Disco chart. 

30. Jackie Blue – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

Jackie Blue first appeared on the Ozark Mountain Devils’ second album It’ll Shine When It Shines in 1974. The song was released as a single in 1975 after the lead single proved to be a flop, becoming the band’s second top-40 hit. It ended up making it to number three on the US Hot 100, number one on the Cash Box Top 100 ranking, and number two on the Canad RPM Top Singles chart. 

31. Fire – Ohio Players

Ohio Players - Fire • TopPop

Fire was the opening track and title song of Ohio Players’ sixth studio album. It rose to number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles chart, keeping the top spot for two weeks on the latter of the two. It was their only entry to the Dance/Disco chart as well, peaking at number 10 on that listing.

Recommended Next:

The best songs from 1976

The best songs from 1974

The best 1970s songs playlist feature

Leave a Comment