Friday Five: May 1977

It’s an easy one this week…

5. “I’m Your Boogie Man” by KC and the Sunshine Band
It peaked at #3 on the R&B charts in May ’77 and reached the same mark on the Hot 100 before sliding into the #1 spot in June. There’s something about the KC and the Sunshine Band’s version of disco that’s different. I meet more people who still love them today seemingly more than any other disco group. Their songs also seemed to stick around a little more than most. I’ve never been a big fan, but I’ve never not been a fan either. Songs like this are the reason why.

4. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
The Laurel Canyon sound was everywhere in 1977 and this band had a lot to do with it. “Dreams” made it to the #4 spot in May but that was just a temporary stop on its way to #1 the following month, becoming the band’s only #1 single on the Hot 100. It’s an indelible track——a daily feature of rock (and probably adult contemporary) radio to the present day——and that says more than I could ever say.

3. “Hotel California” by the Eagles
It’s one of the most recognizable and popular rock songs in music history. I’ve gone through periods where I love the song and periods where I hate it, the latter usually dictated by the kind of people who were liking it at the time. The Eagles are skilled and deserve the recognition they have but they can also be a band that doesn’t make it very hard to like them. That can equally lead to hating them. That said, the older I get the more I love the song. It’s mysterious and can be corny, but it’s so rich musically and still stands as one of the greatest rock guitar songs ever. For a deeper appreciation of it, check out this dissection from Christian Hand from the old Mark in Morning Show. It’s got a reggae beat! Topped the Hot 100 at the start of May 1977.

2. “Got to Give it Up (Pt. 1)” by Marvin Gaye
Ain’t no kinda sexy like late 70’s Marvin Gaye sexy. And ain’t no disco like Marvin Gaye’s disco either. This was an intentional attempt to write a disco song for him. But he is also the reason this song can’t be confined by the word “disco.” It’s a party song, a dance song, a funk song, a soul song, a sexy song——and probably even more. It defies categorization, but also invited a bunch of imitators. One of the greatest from the man who has every right to be on the short list of “greatest” period. Cracked the top 5 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts in May before reaching the top spot in both the following month.

1. “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder
It’s a tribute to the late Duke Ellington and a stellar testament to the brilliance of Stevie Wonder. It reached #1 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts in May ’77. One of my favorite Stevie song’s of all-time.

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