Time Life's AM Gold '70s series provides a highly enjoyable history lesson. Each year is represented by songs drawn from a wide range of sources, features all very big hits all the time and plays like an hour of true golden oldies radio. As usual with the series, you'll get a pretty good idea of what was going on in the charts from this disc and would be hard-pressed to find a better single-disc collection of hits from the year.
Sounds of the Seventies was a 38-volume series issued by Time-Life during the late 1980s and early-to-mid 1990s, spotlighting pop music of the 1970s.
By 1971, James Taylor, was recognized as the living embodiment of the post-hippie singer-songwriter movement. But until YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND, culled from his third album, he hadn’t enjoyed a No.1 single. The song was written by former Brill Building tune-smith Carole King, who had fled New York for laid-back California and during the early '70s, was herself making the transition to solo recording artist.
Taylor and King were introduced to each other by Danny Kortchmar, a guitarist who had previously worked with him in the Flying Machine and with her in the City. As Carole was recording her landmark album Tapestry, James was a few blocks down the street cutting his own Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, and You’ve Got a Friend appeared on both sets. King decided not to release her version as single, so Taylor did-though when they toured together that summer, they usually shared the song in a show-closing duet.
For many the ‘70s are the lost decade: a cultural Atlantis sandwiched between the hippie radicalism of the ‘60s and the incipient greed of the ‘80s. Not just an aesthetic wasteland concocted from polyester and shag carpeting, the ‘70s were a period when the values of the ‘60s-individual liberty, anti-elitism and respect for gender and racial differences became grounded in politics- where “doing my own thing” metamorphosed into “doing the right thing”, after national pride curdled amid political crisis. Yet despite a series of events that branded the ‘70s with an angry scar, people struggled to hold onto their optimism and innocence, however ironic, as depicted in those ubiquitous “Have a Nice Day” smiley faces. That sense of innocence unhinging was reflected in some of the song that topped the charts during those years.
In the early 1970s, tile hippie generation began burning out on the long, loud, improvisational rock songs of the psychedelic era. Musicians and fans alike sought new directions. The dominant trend was toward confessional, folk-based songs, while the nostalgia movement that produced Sha Na Na reflected the yearning for a simpler time and music. ~Don McLean’s
In 1970, Smokey Robinson was ready to leave the Miracles and spend more time writing and producing and raising his young children. The “The tears of a clown”, from the group’s 1967 album “Make It Happen”, unexpectedly became their biggest-selling single. Smokey stayed with the Miracles two more years to exploit the song’s popularity. Another Motown act, the Jackson 5, topped the soul and pop charts with their first four releases, “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There”. The first tree were written and produced by the Corporation, a collective pseudonym for Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, Fonce Mizell and Berry Gordy Jr. They filled the void created by the departure of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland from Motown.
This is a nice collection of rock, pop & R&B tunes from the early 70s from Time-Life Music.
This series started out in 1990 as Super Hits, with each issue having a cartoonish photo/drawing as cover art. There were 20 volumes in the original Super Hits series. In 1995, the series was renamed AM Gold. The first four volumes were reissued using the new series title and a modified version of the cover art work from SUD-05, but that was soon replaced with a second AM Gold cover design that featured a gold record. The Super Hits series used the SUD- prefix, while the AM Gold series used the AM1- prefix. In the late 1990s, the AM1- prefix was replaced with the R834- prefix, but the volumes continued as before. Two AM Gold budget box sets were introduced in the late 1990s, with 12 tracks instead of the usual 18-24. These were meant for retail sales, unlike the normal subscription CDs.