Five songs from the 1970s that have no business being as great as they are

These five songs were better than anyone should have expected.
Angus Young of AC/DC
Angus Young of AC/DC / Michael Putland/GettyImages
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AC/DC - "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" (1975)

Let me take you to a time when every song had a call-and-response part between a guitar and some bagpipes. Oh, wait. That doesn't happen unless you happen to be part of the Dropkick Murphys. An Australian hard rock band just beginning on their trek toward being one of the most important bands in the history of the genre seems an unlikely place to find bagpipes plus guitars.

AC/DC's song also is subtly churchy. There are long periods of nothing really happening other than a guitar riff that one likes but knows something more is coming. If you aren't driving in your car when the song comes on your Alexa then you might immediately say, "Alexa... pause." Then you might get in your car and restart the track because it is inarguably the best song ever created for the road.

What does the title of the track even mean? And why are there bagpipes? Who cares? Just let the three minutes and 15 seconds force you to be happy. We all need that in our lives.

David Bowie - "Changes" (1972)

As the formative years of rock and roll in the 1960s were transitioning to the weirdness of the 1970s, David Bowie was there to give everything a real push. He did not seem to fit anything, and that was his point. He was his own idiom, and he helped others, such as the Stooges, be their own people as well. Dance hall, heavy rock, Broadway...Bowie was all and nothing at once.

Next. Four bands too good for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four bands too good for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. dark

"Changes" not only is a personal song for Bowie but speaks as a whole about society in the early 1970s. From the free love of Woodstock to the Richard Nixon years, there was pushback and creativity, and they battled each other. Bowie battles himself on the track as well. He knows where he is going, but he isn't quite sure how it will be.

More primitively, the simple "ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" will get stuck in your head for years, and you will be better off for it. "Turn and face the strange"? Brilliant and deeper than anything Bob Dylan offered.

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