This is another TIME/LIFE compilation of songs from the early 1970s. And like similar TIME/LIFE compilations, this 2-CD set is a mish-mash of styles. You have The Grateful Death next to Richie Havens. You have James Taylor next to Bryan Hyland. And, you have multiple songs by Cat Stevens and Marvin Gaye. Do you recognize these songs? Any favorites? GRADE: B


1-1Rod StewartMaggie May5:15
1-2Carole KingIt’s Too Late3:55
1-3Janis JoplinMe And Bobby McGee4:31
1-4Marvin GayeWhat’s Going On3:54
1-5Cat StevensWild World3:21
1-6Bill WithersAin’t No Sunshine2:07
1-7Nitty Gritty Dirt BandMr. Bojangles5:12
1-8Matthews’ Southern ComfortWoodstock4:31
1-9The Grateful DeadUncle John’s Band4:45
1-10Richie HavensHere Comes The Sun3:48
1-11Stephen StillsLove The One You’re With3:07
1-12Jonathan Edwards (2)Sunshine2:17
2-1John DenverTake Me Home, Country Roads3:13
2-2James Taylor (2)Fire And Rain3:24
2-3Bryan Hyland*Gypsy Woman2:35
2-4Cat StevensPeace Train4:06
2-5The HolliesHe Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother4:17
2-6Carly SimonThat’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be4:17
2-7Marvin GayeMercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)3:16
2-8Joan BaezThe Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
2-10Melanie (2)Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)3:56
2-11John Lennon & The Plastic Ono BandJealous Guy4:16
2-12Dave MasonOnly You Know And I Know4:08

22 thoughts on “SINGERS AND SONGWRITERS 1970-1971

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Kind of a mish mash but not too many bad tracks. Always hated Bread and preferred The Band’s version of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down over Joan Baez’s. Never liked any version of Mr. Bojangles. A lot of overly familiar tracks makes it sort of a dull compilation. A guess a B seems appropriate.

  2. Deb

    Of the songs here (most of which I like, despite the rather random nature of the collection), my favorite is Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which I think is one of the most soulful and melancholy pop songs ever. I also really like Brian Hyland’s similarly downbeat (in a lovely way) take on Curtis Mayfield’s “Gypsy Woman”—especially given the fact that Hyland’s previous hit was “Itsy-Bitsy, Teeny-Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (from the ridiculous to the sublime, indeed). Interesting (or perhaps not, given the time period of the songs) that several of them are related in some way to Woodstock: Melanie’s “Candles in the Rain” (with epic backup from the Edwin Hawkins Singers) is about Woodstock; Matthews’ Southern Comfort does Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” (a version much closer to Joni’s original than the rock version made popular by CSNY); and Richie Havens version of “Here Comes the Sun” (recorded live at Woodstock, iirc).

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      And by coincidence, I put on the extended (by 40 minutes) Director’s Cut of WOODSTOCK last night. Always willing to have an attack of galloping nostalgia. We didn’t go (luckily, as Jackie wouldn’t have lasted half a day in those conditions), but my brother Ken was there (though I never found him in the movie). I’ve always found it interesting how much was left out – you see the Dead and Janis and others but never see them perform. Also, it is a mishmash rather than chronological – Sha Na Na were the last group to perform on Monday morning before Jimi Hendrix, for instance. But I’ve always loved some of the performances – Alvin Lee shredding “I’m Going Home,” Santana acid tripping (thanks to Jerry Garcia) on “Soul Sacrifice,” Joe Cocker doing “WIth a Little Help From My Friends” and the Sly & the Family Stone set. Also, even the groups you see do one or two songs, but in reality some did 10 or 15.

      As to this CD, as long as we recognize that it is singers and songwriters rather than all singer/songwriters, I do know almost all of them and like a lot of them – the Marvin Gayes, of course, the Bill Withers (died this year), Janis, the Dead. I don’t love the Joan Baez either, Steve. I never cared for Cat Stevens or Melanie (also not seen in WOODSTOCK), The first time I heard that Carly Simon song (her first), I knew she was going to be a big star. I much preferred Rod Stewart in his “Maggie May” days to the more recent ones. And Deb, your secret husband Steve could still sing 50 years ago! And he looked better. Only Graham Nash looks better now.

    2. george Post author

      Deb, I think Brian Hyland is an underrated artist. I’m with you on Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Classic! And, I’ve always been a fan of the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

  3. Michael Padgett

    Unlike any other compilation you’ve featured here, this one doesn’t have a single song I’ve never heard. Never could stand The Grateful Dead, so I could do without that. Nearly everything else here is at least tolerable. “Wild World” has been said to be the most sexist song ever written, and I can see why. But I find Stevens at least pleasant to listen to. Favorites would be the ones by Carly Simon and Rod Stewart, but I’ve heard both of them enough to be pretty tired of them.

  4. maggie mason

    The only one I’m not familiar with is the John & Yoko one, at least by title. I may recognize it if I heard it.

    Agree about preferring the Band’s “DIXIE” to Baez’ version.

      1. wolf

        George, you surely know that Dave Mason played in TRAFFIC with Steve Winwood – my all-time favourite.
        I know and fondly remember most of the songs, still the selection is a bit strange.
        A bit OT re Woodstock:
        Of course I bought the record set and also watched the movie – fond memories.
        And I’ve probably written about this already, but anyway:
        12 years ago my new “girlfriend” (we were both over 60 already …) after a holiday in Miami Beach, immediately after Hungary became part of ESTA so she didn’t need a visa, went to NYC and Niagara Falls – those were the destinations she wanted to see,
        On our way back from Niagara Falls through the mountains we passed a road sign showing the direction to Bethel Woods and I immediately remembered so we drove to the famous hill and went into the museum …
        Very nice people there, a wonderful guide and memories …

  5. Cap'n Bob Napier

    I’m sure Brian Hyland had at least one hit after Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (Sealed With a Kiss)! I know all these songs and like most of them, but the thing about Time/Life CDs, tapes, etc. is they’re very cheaply made and fall apart too soon!

      1. wolf

        Re cassettes:
        Do you mean those 8track US things?
        I heard they were horrible.
        Compact cassettes weren’t too bad – as working copies. I only bought vinyl (at that time), copied them immediately to CC and put back the originals.
        My friends did the same and there was regular exchange – one liked and bought the Stones, I liked Winwood and Clapton, the next one Bob Dylan …
        And we always had copies to spare. I remember several cases where I gave copies to “deserving” people. My favourite stories:
        Once we were with our young ones in Yugoslavia and a young local passed by to listen. He worked for the camp site, selling ice cream and when I asked him which cassette he would like (as a tip) he lit up …
        From that day the young ones always got something extra when they went and ordered ice cream and we got extra service wherever we went to dine …
        So at the end of our holiday we gave him all of our cassettes – he and his colleagues were so happy.
        And something similar happened at a hotel in Turkey.
        The 60s and 70s were the best for pop music – of course I was young then … 🙂 🙂

      2. george Post author

        Wolf, yes 8-track tapes were the worst! Cassettes were slightly better, but I had more mechanical problems with them–tape breaking, tape jamming, etc.–than with vinyl LPs or CDs.

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