First: Historical events
- President Nixon makes unprecedented eight-day visit to Communist China and meets with Mao Zedong (Feb. 17).
- Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland in bid for peace (March 24).
- Eleven Israeli athletes at Olympic Games in Munich are killed after eight members of an Arab terrorist group invades Olympic Village; five guerrillas and one policeman are also killed (Sept. 5).
- Nixon orders “Christmas bombing” of North Vietnam (Dec)
- Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur H. Bremer at Laurel, Md., political rally (May 15)
- US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is unconstitutional (June 29)
- Only one song per artist/group
- The song must be released that specific year
- Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)
Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1972 in the comments section…
AND lists like this are supposed to be fun! Don’t take it too seriously.
Here we go…
Shine A Light – The Rolling Stones
Released on “Exile on Main St.” – a double album by English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was released on 12 May 1972 by Rolling Stones Records. The album’s music incorporates rock and roll, blues, soul, country, and gospel genres.
In 2003, the album was ranked 7th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Saw you stretched out in Room Ten O Nine
With a smile on your face and a tear right in your eye.
Oh, couldn’t see to get a line on you, my sweet honey love.
Berber jew’lry jangling down the street,
Make you shut your eyes at ev’ry woman that you meet.
Could not seem to get a high on you, my sweet honey love.
May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Make every song (you sing) your favorite tune.
May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Warm like the evening sun.
Sail Away – Randy Newman
Released on his brilliant album “Sail Away” (1972).
In America, you get food to eat
Won’t have to run through the jungle and scuff up your feet
You just sing about Jesus, drink wine all day
It’s great to be an American
Always On My Mind – Elvis Presley
Recorded on March 29, 1972, a few weeks after his February separation from wife Priscilla.
Released as a single November 1972.
Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the timeYou were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed
Released as a single November 8, 1972 – from the album “Transformer”.
Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, “Hey, babe,
Take a walk on the wild side.”
Said, “Hey, honey,
Take a walk on the wild side.
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon
Released on “Paul Simon” – the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon as a solo artist. It was released in January 1972, nearly two years after he split up with longtime musical partner Art Garfunkel. The album represented the definitive announcement of the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel. Originally released on Columbia Records, it was then issued under the Warner Bros. label and is now back with Columbia through Sony. It was ranked No. 266 on the list of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The Song was also released as a single in May 1972.
The mama pajama rolled out a bed
And she ran to the police station
When the papa found out he began to shout
Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone – The Temptations
A psychedelic soul song, written by Motown songwriters Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong as a single for Motown act The Undisputed Truth in 1971. “Papa” was released as a single September 28, 1972, and peaked at number 63 on the pop charts and number 24 on the R&B charts.
It was the third of September
That day I’ll always remember, yes I will
‘Cause that was the day, that my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin’ but bad things about him
Momma I’m depending on you, to tell me the truth
Momma just hung her head and said, son
There are different versions, BUT you need to hear the full album version:
Thirteen – Big Star
Written by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell.
Rolling Stone describes it “one of rock’s most beautiful celebrations of adolescence”, and rated it #406 a list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
Won’t you let me walk you home from school?
Won’t you let me meet you at the pool?
Maybe Friday I can
Get tickets for the dance
And I’ll take you, ooh ooh
Spain – Chick Corea
An instrumental jazz fusion composition by jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea. It is probably Corea’s most prominent piece, and some would consider it a modern jazz standard.
Spain was composed in 1971 and appeared in its original (and most well-known) rendition on the album Light as a Feather (released in 1972).
Willin’ – Little Feat
Released on the album “Sailin Shoes” (1972)
I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow
I’m drunk and dirty don’t ya know, and I’m still, willin’
Out on the road late at night, Seen my pretty Alice in every head light
Alice, Dallas Alice
Joe Turner Blues – Mississippi John Hurt
Released on Last Sessions in 1972
Joe Turner, he’s the man I do despise
Joe Turner the man I do despise
Goin’ around trying to take men’s wives
All the Young Dudes – Mott The Hoople
Written by David Bowie, originally recorded and released as a single by Mott the Hoople in 1972. NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray have described the track as “one of that rare breed: rock songs which hymn the solidarity of the disaffected without distress or sentimentality”. In 2004, Rolling Stone rated “All the Young Dudes” No. 253 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and on its 2010 update was ranked at number 256. It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
How he kick it in the head when he was 25
Don’t wanna stay alive
When you’re 25
Day Dreaming – Aretha Franklin
Released from her album Young, Gifted and Black, it spent two weeks at the top of the Hot Soul Singles chart in April 1972 and peaked at number five on theBillboard Hot 100.
He’s the kind of guy that would say
Hey, baby let’s get away
Let’s go some place, huh
Well I don’t care
He’s the kind of guy that you give your everything
You trust your heart, share all of your love
Till death do you part
You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
The song became Wonder’s third #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and his first #1 on the Easy Listening chart. It won Wonder a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. This song was the second single released from the 1972 album entitled Talking Book.
You are the sunshine of my life
That’s why I’ll always be around
You are the apple of my eye
Forever you’ll stay in my heart
You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio – Joni Mitchell
Written and originally recorded by Canadian folk artist Joni Mitchell – released as a single in Nov 1972. It was released on her fifth studio album entitled For the Roses.
If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you
Oh honey you turn me on
Rock and Roll – Led Zeppelin
First released as the second track from the band’s fourth album in 1971, with a guest appearance by The Rolling Stones pianist Ian Stewart. Released as a single 21 February 1972.
It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled,
It’s been a long time since I did the Stroll.
Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,
Let me get it back, baby, where I come from.
It’s been a long time, been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has.
I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers
A number-one single written and produced by Al Bell and performed by soul/gospel family band The Staple Singers, released on Stax Records in February 1972. The song spent a total of fifteen weeks on the charts and reached number one on the Hot 100.
Oh, mmm, I know a place
Ain’t nobody cryin’, ain’t nobody worried
Ain’t no smilin’ faces, mmm, no no
Rock and Roll Lullaby – B. J. Thomas
Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
Released as a single in 1972.
She was just sixteen
And all alone when I came to be
So we grew up together
Our mama child and me
Garden Party – Rick Nelson
Single released in 1972.
I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
No one recognized me, I didn’t look the same
If You Don’t Know Me by Now – Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
Written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and recorded by the Philly soul musical group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which became their first hit after being released as a single in 1972 topping the US R&B chart and peaking at number three on the US Pop chart.
(If you don’t know me by now)
You will never, never, never know me, Whooooa
All the things that we’ve been through
You should understand me
Like I understand you
Now baby, I know the difference
Between right and wrong
I ain’t gonna do nothin’
To upset our happy home
Rocket Man – Elton John
Released as a single 14 April 1972.
She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine a.m.
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight
Virginia Plain – Roxy Music
Released as their debut single in August 1972. Written by Roxy frontman Bryan Ferry, “Virginia Plain” was recorded by his band in July 1972 at London’s Command Studios.
Make me a deal and make it straight
All signed and sealed, I’ll take it
To Robert E. Lee I’ll show it
I hope and pray he don’t blow it ’cause
We’ve been around a long time just try try try tryin’ to
Make the big time