Feb 172015

My wife and I were driving around yesterday when Heart‘s “Barracuda” came on the radio. A few measures in she said, “This song totally represents the ’70s!” I knew what she meant. It wasn’t just the sound and the ethos of the ’70s that the song immediately took us back to: it was the fabrics, the decor, the hair, the thick cut glass at restaurants, the smells…

Is there a song that completely encompasses a specific era every time you hear it, a song that couldn’t be re-created or otherwise faked in any other era?


  12 Responses to “Songs That Encompass a Specific Era”

  1. Ha! This song brings to mind an unrelated topic: Least Expected Voices to Emerge From Someone’s Mouth Based Solely on How They Look Before Opening Said Mouth. Astley looks like he should have a high voice, like Justin Timberlake. As he begins singing in this video, it seems like a prank, like someone slowed down his voice to make it way deeper than Astley’s Look would have suggested.

  2. BigSteve

    When you’ve got dance moves like that, you can sing anyway you want.

  3. cherguevara

    Karen Dalton would top that list for me. Maybe Aaron Neville.

  4. cliff sovinsanity

    “For What It’s Worth” is the “go to” song if you need music to accompany a clip of late 60’s hippie protesters. I think the song is very much of it’s time; folk/psychedelic. The sound is also unique because of the wide stereo channel separation but also because the sparse instrumentation allows the song to breathe. Most bands nowadays clog up the speakers with too much sound.

  5. ladymisskirroyale

    And have you been rickrolled? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling

  6. ladymisskirroyale

    And wait, there’s more! This went around the www a few years ago in one form or another:


  7. ladymisskirroyale

    This clip is so multipurpose and shown up in a few threads:


  8. 2000 Man

    We used to talk about Heart back in the 8-‘s once in awhile. I remember telling someone that if they had released their first album exactly the way it is in 1985, they’d have been nothing. Maybe even just two or three years later, no one would have noticed them. Does any band have such a great divide between their 70’s and 80’s material? Does any band have material that totally belongs to the exact period it came out as much as Heart? Are their concerts attended by people exactly ten years apart from each other, each group wondering what the hell the other group sees in half of the music? I don’t know – to me it seems like their show would be like seeing Dan Fogelberg open for Black Sabbath, but all at the same time.

    Oh well, in answer to the question, I think I’d say Joy to the World by Three Dog Night. Can you imagine anyone trying to cover that today? Not just covering it, but getting airplay out of it?

  9. cliff sovinsanity

    I will answer your question about the concert attendees at the end of March when I will see first hand who shows up and for what songs. I bought Me Lady tickets to see Heart for Valentines Day. We both enjoy the hits off Dreamboat Annie and Little Queen, but absolutely loathe the 80’s output.
    I completely agree that statement about the band going nowhere if they released the first album in the 80’s. I’ll go one further and suggest that without the 70’s hits they would be just another struggling bar band in 80’s who might have had a regional hit with “What About Love”

  10. 2000 Man

    Yeah, they hit it at just the right time and when they were fading, MTV needed videos, so they made what MTV wanted. I like their first couple albums but much as I hate to admit it, I think some of that is nostalgia.

  11. misterioso

    Two words for you: Baker Street https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo6aKnRnBxM

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