1975: 20 songs released in 1975 you must hear

The Year 1975 summary

  • Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia (April).
  • The city of Saigon is surrendered and remaining Americans are evacuated, ending the Vietnam War (April 30).
  • American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued in operation by US Navy and Marines, 38 of whom are killed (May 15).
  • Movies: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jaws, Nashville, Dog Day Afternoon, Barry Lyndon

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

  • Tangled Up In Blue – Bob Dylan

    Released on  Blood on the Tracks in 1975, and as a single, it reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone ranked it #68 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

    Early one morning the sun was shining
    I was laying in bed
    Wond’ring if she’d changed it all
    If her hair was still red
    Her folks they said our lives together
    Sure was gonna be rough
    They never did like Mama’s homemade dress
    Papa’s bankbook wasn’t big enough
    And I was standing on the side of the road
    Rain falling on my shoes
    Heading out for the East Coast
    Lord knows I’ve paid some dues getting through
    Tangled up in blue.

  • Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen

    springsteen born to run
    The opening track on his 1975 breakthrough album Born to Run. It is one of Springsteen’s best songs, and often appears on lists of the top rock songs of all time. Rolling Stone magazine placed it as #86 on its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

    The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways
    Like a vision she dances across the porch
    As the radio plays, Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
    Hey that’s me and I want you only

  • Cortez the Killer – Neil Young

    neil young ZUMA
    A song from his 1975 album, Zuma. It was recorded with Young’s band Crazy Horse and ranked #39 on Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos and #321 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

    He came dancing across the water
    With his galleons and guns
    Looking for the new world
    In that palace in the sun

  • Gloria – Patti Smith

    From her 1975 album Horses. This version is based on Van Morrison’s song, but its lyrics are reinvented for the nascent punk rock movement, retaining only the chorus, and adding possibly ironic allusions to the sacred allusions of the title. It memorably begins, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins / But not mine”.

    Jesus died for somebody’;s sins but not mine
    Meltin’ in a pot of thieves
    Wild card up my sleeve
    Thick heart of stone
    My sins my own
    They belong to me, me

  • Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain – Willie Nelson

    willie nelson red headed stranger
    Written by songwriter Fred Rose. Originally performed by Roy Acuff, the song was later recorded by Willie Nelson as part of his 1975 album Red Headed Stranger.

    In the twilight glow I see them
    Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain
    When we kissed goodbye and parted
    I knew we’d never meet again

  • Boulder to Birmingham – Emmylou Harris

    Written by Emmylou Harris and Bill Danoff & released on her 1975 album Pieces of The Sky. It has served as something of a signature tune for the artist and recounts her feelings of grief in the years following the death of country rock star and mentor Gram Parsons

    I don’t want to hear a love song
    I got on this airplane just to fly
    And I know there’s life below
    But all that it can show me
    Is the prairie and the sky

  • Fame – David Bowie

    david bowie fame
    Released as a single 25 July 1975. It reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 during the week of 20 September 1975.

    Fame, makes a man take things over
    Fame, lets him loose, hard to swallow
    Fame, puts you there where things are hollow

  • My Boy – Elvis Presley

    The music was composed by Jean-Pierre Bourtayre and Claude François, and the lyrics were translated from the original version “Parce que je t’aime, mon enfant” (Because I Love You My Child) into English by Phil Coulter and Bill Martin.
    Elvis released his cover version as a single in 1975.

    You’re sleeping son, I know
    But, really, this can’t wait
    I wanted to explain
    Before it gets too late
    For your mother and me
    Love has finally died
    This is no happy home
    But God knows how I’ve tried

  • The Pill – Loretta Lynn

    loretta lynn the pill
    Single released in 1975. It is one of her best known songs as well as maybe the most controversial record of her career.

    You wined me and denied me when I was you girl
    Told me if I’d be your wife you’d show me the world
    But all I’ve seen of this old world is a bed and a doctor bill
    I’m tearin’ down your brooder house because now I’ve got the pill

  • In France They Kiss on Main Street – Joni Mitchell

    joni mitchell hissing of summer
    Released on Mitchell’s Nov 1975 album The Hissing of Summer Lawns.

    My darling dime store thief
    In the War of Independence
    Rock ‘n Roll rang sweet as victory
    Under neon signs
    A girl was in bloom
    And a woman was fading
    In a suburban room
    I said, “Take me to the dance”
    “Do you want to dance?”
    “I love to dance”

  • Saturday Night Special – Lynyrd Skynyrd

    lynyrd akynyrd nuthin fancy
    The song is the opening track on their 1975 album Nuthin’ Fancy. The song addresses the issue of gun control.

    Two feets they come a creepin’
    Like a black cat do
    And two bodies are lyin’ naked
    Creeper think he got nothin’ to lose
    So he creeps into this house, yeah
    And unlocks the door
    And while a man reaching for his trousers
    Shoots him full of .38 holes

  • Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

    The song is the title track on Pink Floyd’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here. Its lyrics encompass Roger Waters’ feelings of alienation from other people. Like most of the album, it refers to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett and his breakdown.
    In 2011, the song was ranked No. 324 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

    So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.
    Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
    A smile from a veil?
    Do you think you can tell?

  • She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles) – Gary Stewart

    gary stewart she's acting single
    Written by Wayne Carson and recorded by American country music singer Gary Stewart. It was released in March 1975 as the third and final single from the album, Out of Hand.

    I’ve seen men look at her before
    And they think, I don’t see them
    I’d like to think it makes me proud
    But, I’m only.. fooling me

  • Squeeze Box – The Who

    Written (“as a dirty little joke”) by Pete Townshend and released as a single in 1975.

    Mama’s got a squeeze box
    She wears on her chest
    And when Daddy comes home
    He never gets no rest

  • Marcus Garvey – Burning Spear

    Title cut from Burning Spear’s 1975 album.
    Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL).

    Marcus Garvey’s words come to pass,-
    Marcus Garvey’s words come to pass,Can’t get no food to eat,
    Can’t get no money to spend, Wo-oo-oo
    Can’t get no food to eat,
    Can’t get no money to spend, Woo -oo- oo

  • Walk This Way -Aerosmithaerosmith walk this way
    Written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, the song was originally released as the second single from the 1975 album Toys in the Attic.

    backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers
    till I talked to your daddy, he say
    he said “you ain’t seen nothin’ till you’re down on a muffin
    then you’re sure to be a-changin’ your ways”

  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

    A song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera.

    Is this the real life?
    Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a landslide,
    No escape from reality.

  • Wake Up Everybody – Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

    Written by John Whitehead, Gene McFadden, and Victor Carstarphen. Released as a single & on their 1975 album “Wake Up Everybody

    Wake up everybody no more sleepin’ in bed
    No more backward thinkin’ time for thinkin’ ahead
    The world has changed so very much from what it used to be
    There’s so much hatred war and poverty

  • Legalize It – Peter Tosh

    peter tosh-legalize-it
    From the album Legalize It.It was Tosh’s debut album as a solo artist after leaving The Wailers. It was recorded at Treasure Isle and Randy’s, Kingston, Jamaica in 1975 and released in Jamaica in the same year.

    Legalize it don’t criticize it,
    Legalize it yea-ah-yea-ah,
    And I will advertise it
    Some call it tamjee,
    Some call it the weed,
    Some call it marijuana,
    Some of them call it ganja,
    Never mind, got to.

  • Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way – Waylon Jennings

    waylon jennings are you sure hank
    Written by Jennings & released as in August 1975 as the first single from the album Dreaming My Dreams. The song became Waylon Jennings’ fourth number one on the country chart as a solo artist.

    It’s the same old tune, fiddle and guitar
    Where do we take it from here
    Rhinestone suits and new shiny cars
    We’ve been the same way for years
    We need to change

Spotify playlist:


6 thoughts on “1975: 20 songs released in 1975 you must hear

  1. Pingback: Born To Listen

Comments are closed.