20 Songs Released in 1977 You Must Hear

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

A lot of exciting music was released in 1977, here are my 20 chosen songs.

  • Like a Hurricane – Neil Young

    Written by Neil Young in 1975 and first released on the album American Stars ‘n Bars in 1977.

    Once I thought I saw you
    in a crowded hazy bar,
    Dancing on the light
    from star to star.
    Far across the moonbeam
    I know that’s who you are,
    I saw your brown eyes
    turning once to fire.

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  • Mannish Boy – Muddy Waters

    From his brilliant album Hard Again (1977) which was produced by Johnny Winter.

    Everything gonna be alright this mornin’
    Now, when I was a young boy
    At the age of five
    My mother said I was gonna be
    The greatest man alive
    But now I’m a man
    I’m age twenty-one
    I want you to believe me, honey
    We having lots of fun

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  • “Heroes” – David Bowie

    Written by Brian Eno and Bowie. Produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti, it was recorded in July and August 1977, and released on 23 September 1977. A product of Bowie’s “Berlin” period, the track was not a huge hit in the UK or US at the time, but has gone on to become one of Bowie’s signature songs. In January 2016, following Bowie’s death, the song reached a new peak of number 12 in the UK Singles Chart. “‘Heroes'” has been cited as Bowie’s second-most covered song after “Rebel Rebel”.

    I, I will be king
    And you, you will be queen
    Though nothing, will drive them away
    We can beat them, just for one day
    We can be heroes, just for one day

  • Burma Shave – Tom Waits

    From “Foreign Affairs”, his fourth studio album, released in 1977 on Elektra Entertainment. It was produced by Bones Howe.

    Licorice tattoo turned a gun metal blue
    Scrawled across the shoulders of a dying town
    Took the one eyed Jacks across the railroad tracks
    And the scar on its belly pulled a stranger passing through
    He’s a juvenile delinquent, never learned how to behave
    But the cops’d never think to look in Burma-Shave

  • Less Than Zero – Elvis Costello

    From his debut album “My Aim Is True”, and the first Costello single that Stiff Records released.

    Calling Mister Oswald with the swastika tattoo
    There is a vacancy waiting in the English voodoo
    Carving “v” for vandal on the guilty boy’s head
    When he’s had enough of that, maybe you’ll take him to bed
    To teach him he’s alive before he wishes he was dead

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  • White Riot – The Clash

    Released as the band’s first single in March 1977 and also featured on their debut album.

    White riot – I want to riot
    White riot – a riot of my own
    White riot – I want to riot
    White riot – a riot of my own

  • God Save the Queen – Sex Pistols

    It was released as the band’s second single and was later included on their only album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. The song was released during Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. The record’s lyrics, as well as the cover, were controversial at the time, and both the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority refused to play the song. The song is an attack on the treatment of working-class people in England in the 1970s by the government.

    God save the queen
    The fascist regime
    They made you a moron
    A potential H bomb

  • The Passenger – Iggy Pop

    Recorded and released by Iggy Pop on the Lust for Life album in 1977. It was also released as the B-side of the album’s only single, “Success”. It was released as a single in its own right in March 1998, reaching number 22 in the UK Charts.

    I am a passenger
    And I ride and I ride
    I ride through the city’s backside
    I see the stars come out of the sky
    Yeah, they’re bright in a hollow sky
    You know it looks so good tonight

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  • That Smell – Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Written by Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Allen Collins, it was released in 1977 on the album Street Survivors.

    Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars
    Oak tree you’re in my way
    There’s too much coke and too much smoke
    Look what’s going on inside you

  • Psycho Killer – Taliking Heads

    Written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and first played by their band the Artistic in 1974,[4] and as Talking Heads in 1975, with a later version recorded for their 1977 album Talking Heads: 77

    I can’t seem to face up to the facts
    I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax
    I can’t sleep ’cause my bed’s on fire
    Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire

  • Blank Generation – Richard Hell and the Voidoids

    Released on “Blank Generation”, the debut studio album by American punk rock band Richard Hell and the Voidoids. It was produced by Richard Gottehrer and released in September 1977 on Sire Records.

    I was sayin’ let me out of here before I was
    Even born, it’s such a gamble when you get a face
    It’s fascinatin’ to observe what the mirror does
    But when I dine it’s for the wall that I set a place

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  • Pledging My Love – Elvis Presley

    Released on “Moody Blue” by RCA Records the month before his death in August 1977.

    Forever my darling our love will be true
    Always and forever I´ll love only you

    Just promise me darling
    Your love in return
    May this fire in my soul dear
    Forever burn

  • Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac

    Released as a single in December 1976. Written and sung by Lindsey Buckingham, it was the first single from the group’s 1977 album Rumours.

    Loving you
    Isn’t the right thing to do
    How can I ever change things
    That I feel

  • The Eternal Kansas City – Van Morrison

    This was the key song on the 1977 album A Period of Transition, and was his first single released since “Gloria” in 1974.

    Excuse me do you know the way to Kansas City?
    Excuse me do you know the way to Kansas City?
    Excuse me do you know the way to Kansas City?

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  • True Love Leaves No Traces – Leonard Cohen

    Released on “Death of a Ladies’ Man”, his the fifth studio album. Produced and co-written by Phil Spector, the voice of typically minimalist Cohen was surrounded by Spector’s Wall of Sound, which included multiple tracks of instrument overdubs.

    As the mist leaves no scar
    On the dark green hill
    So my body leaves no scar
    On you and never will
    Through windows in the dark
    The children come, the children go
    Like arrows with no targets
    Like shackles made of snow

  • Sheena Is a Punk Rocker – Ramones

    Written by Joey Ramone, it is one of the Ramones’ most popular songs, evidence of Joey’s early 1960s surf rock and bubblegum pop influences. It first appeared in May 1977 as a single in the UK where it charted at #22.

    Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go
    They’re ready to go now they got their surfboards
    And they’re going to the discotheque Au Go Go
    But she just couldn’t stay she had to break away
    Well New York City really has is all oh yeah, oh yeah

  • Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel

    A song about a spiritual experience atop Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England. Gabriel wrote the song after his departure from the progressive rock band Genesis, of which he had been the lead singer since its inception. The song was his debut single.

    Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
    I could see the city light
    Wind was blowing, time stood still
    Eagle flew out of the night
    He was something to observe
    Came in close, I heard a voice
    Standing, stretching every nerve
    I had to listen had no choice
    I did not believe the information
    I just had to trust imagination
    My heart going boom, boom, boom
    Son, he said, grab your things I’ve come to take you home

  • Belle – Al Green

    From “The Belle Album”, the 12th studio album by soul musician Al Green. It was his first album recorded without longtime producer Willie Mitchell, owner of Green’s former label, Hi Records

    The Lord and I have been friends for a mighty long time
    Leaving him has never ever really crossed my mind
    Let me say just one thing…
    I’d never go so far
    cause it’s Him no matter who you are

  • In The City – The Jam


    The debut single by English mod revival band The Jam from their album of the same title. It was released on 29 April 1977 and reached No. 40 on the UK Singles Chart in May 1977, making it their first Top 40 single and the beginning of their streak of 18 consecutive Top 40 singles.

    In the city there’s a thousand things I want to say to you
    But whenever I approach you, you make me look a fool
    I wanna say, I wanna tell you
    About the young ideas
    But you turn them into fears
    In the city there’s a thousand faces, all shining bright
    And those golden faces are under twenty-five
    They wanna say, they gonna tell ya
    About the young idea
    You better listen now you’ve said your bit-a, go!

  • Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me in Its Spotlight) – Thin Lizzy

    From “Bad Reputation”, the eighth studio album by the Irish band Thin Lizzy, released in 1977.

    When I passed you in the doorway
    You took me with a glance
    I should have took that last bus home
    But I asked you for a dance

These came close:

  • Trans-Europe Express – Kraftwerk
  • Roadrunner – The Modern Lovers
  • By This River – Brian Eno
  • Funkentelechy – Parliament
  • I Wanna Pick You Up – Beach Boys
  • Peaches – The Stranglers
  • Deacon Blues – Steely Dan
  • Frankie Teardrop – Suicide
  • We Will Rock You – Queen
  • Take This Job and Shove It – Johnny Paycheck
  • Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf

Spotify Playlist:


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7 thoughts on “20 Songs Released in 1977 You Must Hear

    1. ooops.. Marquee Moon (the song) was on my draft list after “The Passenger”.. but got lost. My bad.
      It will be included in the next revision.

  1. apart from Bowie, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel and okay Television, the list proves what a shitty year 77 was for me… okay, there was some pent up anger on the radio, but it added to the depression felt in the air, you just knew dark days lay ahead after the idealism of the sixties which lasted until the Rolling Thunder Revue ended…

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