R&B songs go way back, even before the 70s. This decade was, however, a particularly special one for the genre as it was during this time that some of its most memorable tracks were released. In this article, we are going to discuss the 10 best 70s R&B songs.
10. Let’s Stay Together (Al Green)
Let’s Stay Together is a song about a man who is deeply in love with a lady and commits to staying with her through thick and thin. He admits that there will be times when things are tough, but he is willing to weather the storm as long as they are together. According to Djrob Blog, this track was released in 1972 and became an instant hit. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the greatest songs of all time. It was the lead single in the album Let’s Stay Together. This song has received several awards and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. This song has been used as a soundtrack in several movies and TV shows like The Big Chill, The Sopranos, and Grey’s Anatomy.
9. Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knight & the Pips)
Midnight Train to Georgia is a song about a woman leaving her man to return to her home in Georgia. She is telling him that she is not happy with him and that she is going to find someone else. The song is sad and haunting but also has a bit of hope in it. This song was released in 1973 as one of the top tracks in the album Imagination. It ranked number three on the R&B charts. It has featured as a soundtrack in several movies, like The Big Chill and Men in Black.
8. Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye)
Let’s Get It On is a song about two people who are in love and are attracted to each other. They have been holding back their feelings for each other. They decide to let go and express their love for each other. This song was released in 1973 and was the lead single in the album Let’s Get It On. The song did well, reaching number two on the R&B charts and number one on the pop charts. The song has been covered by many artists, including Michael Bolton, Usher, and Luther Vandross.
7. Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder)
Released in 1973, Higher Ground is a song about the will to keep moving even when the situation is dire. The lyrics are uplifting and empowering, urging the listener to push onward despite difficulties. It was one of the best-selling tracks on the album Innervisions. This song did well, reaching number three on the R&B charts. It made its way into the movie and film industry featuring in the likes of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, An American Crime, and others.
6. Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack)
Killing Me Softly is one of the best R& B songs released in the 70s and has stood the test of time. The song was originally composed by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel. Roberta Flack’s version of the song was released in 1973 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. According to Funknstuff, the song is a haunting ballad that tells the story of a woman who is left feeling empty and alone after her lover leaves her. Flack’s voice is filled with emotion, and her performance is one of a kind. This song has received numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and the Grammy Hall of Fame.
5. Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers)
Ain’t No Sunshine is a song about a man who feels empty when his lover is not by his side. He says that there is no sunshine when she is gone. It was released in 1971 and was the lead single in the album Ain’t No Sunshine. This song was an instant hit that reached number seven on the R&B charts. It has featured in many films and TV shows like The Sopranos, American Beauty, and Forcing Amanda.
4. If You Don’t Know Me by Now (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes)
Released in 1972, this song is about a man who is dating a woman who does not understand him. He challenges her that if she doesn’t know him by now, she will never will. He feels sad that the woman she loves is not trying to understand him. The song speaks to how relationships can be strained when one person does not take the time to get to know their partner. The other featured artist in this song is Teddy Pendergrass. It was one of the top tracks in the album I Miss You (Expanded Edition). The song did quite well, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, number two on the Cash Box Top 100, and number three on the R&B charts.
3. You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine (Lou Rawls)
This song is about a man who has been heartbroken by his woman. They both part ways, and it pains him because he did nothing wrong. He tells her she will never find another love like his because he genuinely loves her. This song was released in 1976 as the lead song in the album All Things in Time. It was a huge hit that reached number seven on the top 100 R&B songs of that year. According to Open Spotify, the song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single among others. It was awarded the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single.
2. Me and Mrs. Jones (Billy Paul)
Me and Mrs Jones is a song about two people, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, who have a thing going on. It was released in 1972 as one of the top tracks in the album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul. This song was received well by fans and reached number six on the R&B charts. It has been used in films and TV shows like the Boardwalk Empire, among others.
1. Shining Star (Earth, Wind & Fire)
The shining star is a classic R&B song about a man who appreciates his girl because she is so beautiful. He lets her know that he will love her no matter what and she is the only one for him. Her beauty makes her shine like a star, and he wants to be with her forever. It was released in 1975 and was the lead single in the album That’s the Way of the World. It received numerous awards, including the Grammy Hall of Fame Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. This song has been covered by many artists, including Beyoncé.