In 1973, both the World Trade Center in New York City and the Sydney Opera House in Sydney were completed, the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam, the D.E.A. was founded and the Evel Knievel stunt-cycle was the biggest selling toy of the year.
In music news, a band called Aerosmith released their first album; Elvis Presley rocked Hawaii in a televised concert and the immensely gifted and talented up-and-coming singer/songwriter Jim Croce lost his life in an airplane crash. As for love songs, 1973 saw no shortage with both new and familiar voices filling the airwaves with love.
The following ten love songs have been carefully chosen to make certain they sang of only the best kind of love; reciprocal, mutual, healthy and happy love. Scroll down and press play to flash back to the love of 1973.
“Danny’s Song” by Anne Murray
This endearing vow of love was written and recorded by Kenny Loggins, with Loggins and Messina (a great version), but it was not until it was covered by Canadian songstress Anne Murray that it broke the Top 40, climbing to #7. Both versions are phenomenal and certainly great love songs… unless you’re a gold-digger. 🙂
“Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got)” by The Four Tops
This was the last tune for Levi Stubbs and the Motown super-group The Four Tops to break the Pop Top 10, going gold and reaching #7. Clearly it’s a one-way love song (from him to her), but is clearly a declaration of love, although it can only be assumed that the love is reciprocal.
“Kissing My Love” by Bill Withers
A funked-up Bill Withers tune that sadly did not chart as high as it should have, making it a rare and lesser known gem. The title essentially encapsulates the theme, both in how the singer feels when he kisses his love, but also assuring that the love is returned in the verse “all she wants to do is kiss and love”. “Kissing My Love” reached #31 on the Pop and #12 on the R&B Top 40 charts in 1973.
“You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder’s third #1 hit, and a Grammy winner. Perhaps one of the most timeless and endearing love songs of the 1970s (if not today), this chart-topper was written by Stevie himself. Little known fact: The first two lines of this love song are delivered not by Wonder, but by Jim Gilstrap and Lani Groves, with Stevie Wonder’s vocals coming in afterward.
“My Love” by Paul McCartney & Wings
The second #1 Pop Top 40 hit on the 1973 love song list, reportedly written by Paul about his wife Linda McCartney, and was the second of nine #1 songs in the post-Beatles career of McCartney. The title phrase “My love” has a dual meaning, both as an expression of a feeling and a term of endearment.
“I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More” by Barry White
And then came Barry White… “I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More” was White’s first Top 40 chart appearance, reaching #3 Pop and #1 R&B in the hot summer of 1973, and this tune only made it hotter. Clearly a love song, but yet clearly a little bit more, this song established Barry White and his distinctive deep sensual voice as a between-the-sheets favorite.
“Diamond Girl” by Seals and Crofts
Quite the analogous love song, “Diamond Girl” makes many clever comparisons of its subject (“Diamond Girl”) to how she is like a precious stone, to how she shines, to how she is unearthed with cliché wordplay. This Soft Rock classic reached #6 in the summer of 1973, and lives on today as an elevator easy-listening classic.
“Just You ‘N’ Me” by Chicago
With bassist Peter Cetera on lead vocal, this 1973 Chicago love song rose to #4 on the Billboard Pop Top 40, and is an endearing song with lyrics like “You are the love of my life, you are my inspiration” and “Baby you’re everything I ever dreamed of” clearly expressing warm and fuzzy love.
“Top Of The World” by The Carpenters
The Carpenters recorded love song after love song, and this 1973 #1 hit is no exception. Co-written by Richard Carpenter, with the angelic multi-tracked vocals of the legendary Karen Carpenter, this up-beat love song is both melodious and beautiful. It’s a bouncy classic, fun-filled and positively love.
“Time In A Bottle” by Jim Croce
By far of the most poetic love songs of the 1970s, singer/songwriter Jim Croce sat down to write this classic in 1970 upon learning that his wife Ingrid was pregnant. Its chilling lyrics suggest a precognition, as they suggest a desire for more time with the subject of the song’s love. “Time In A Bottle” was released as a single in late 1973 after Croce’s untimely death earlier that year, and rose to #1 on the charts.
The list of ten love songs above has been arranged in order of their appearance on the Billboard Top 40 charts, starting with Anne Murray and finishing with the late Jim Croce. Each song is a celebration of all that is amazing about love, with many of them still popular today.
Love the love…
Sources: The Billboard Book of Top 40 [Pop] Hits and The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B Hits by Joel Whitburn and Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits by Fred Bronson.