Fire and Rain: the year that was 1970

1970 is known for the “Chicago Seven,” the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the birth of Earth Day, Apollo 13, the Kent State shootings, the Women’s Strike for Equality, the Isle of Wight Festival, the birth of the Ford Pinto and the deaths of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. It was a tumultuous time, to say the least.

In David Browne’s book, Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970, the Rolling Stone contributing editor offers insight into these four major folk-rock artists and how their various contributions played out over the backdrop of one era lurching into the next.

Yes, many music lovers may look back with a sneer, but the 1970s were not without merit. And particularly, 1970 offered a pivotal change in popular music and our culture overall.

A very well-researched story of the year and the music and the strife and the madness captured through interviews with hundreds of musicians (including some of those highlighted in the book), this is a must-read for any fan of folk music or music writing.

Browne sets the stage in his introduction: “…1970 felt like the moment at which the remaining slivers of the idealism of the ‘60s began surrendering to the buzz-kill comedown of the decade ahead; each subsequent year built on its foundations.”

Let’s rediscover that lost year through music.

Playlist for 1970. What songs would you choose?


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14 Responses to Fire and Rain: the year that was 1970
  1. oh_pook
    August 3, 2011 | 8:41 am

    Haha!! Weird. Two days ago I was to pick a song from my birth year. (which happens to be 1970) There were too many awesome ones from which to choose. So I chose nothing. Today, I shall go with:

    John Lennon’s Instant Karma

  2. oh_pook
    August 3, 2011 | 8:43 am

    Check out the first 30 on this list

    smh… it’s really quite a playlist… wow

    • Mari
      August 3, 2011 | 9:15 am

      That is awesome! I’m a product of 1970 as well, and with the top songs featuring artists from Black Sabbath to Merle Haggard? Explains a LOT about me! Thanks for sharing.
      Mari´s last [type] .."Hipster."

      • Michael
        August 3, 2011 | 8:11 pm

        Hee Hee !! I am a 1970 model myself :) actually it was Friday 13 November at that year… All I can remember from this first decade of mine is good music and a Heavy retro feeling of just about everything…

        I thank you to for this link you’ve put here,
        I Love it :)
        Michael´s last [type] ..Do You Have Issues With Homeschooling

  3. Ri
    August 3, 2011 | 3:25 pm

    Well, no wonder I love you two! My hubs is a 1970 baby, too! (Not me. No, I was born in the 60′s, thankyouverymuch. I think…)

    Anyway, too many great songs/artists to really choose, but I WILL say that after looking at the list that Pook linked, I’m happily singing along to Mungo Jerry’s “In The Summertime”. ;)

  4. morijude
    August 3, 2011 | 8:17 pm

    Really 70′s songs are awesome and timeless.I just love listening to it.
    morijude´s last [type] angry birds online

  5. Danica Torres
    August 4, 2011 | 6:31 am

    I was never born on that year or that decade yet and I don’t know any of those songs above ‘cept Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix. My Dad used to wiggle his belly to that song whenever he had too much drink. I even got it on video once,haha.
    Danica Torres´s last [type] ..Russian Language Learning Software

  6. Erin
    August 4, 2011 | 3:37 pm

    Thank you so much for the tracks, you just built my playlist for the day :-)
    Erin´s last [type] ..Biomechanics of a Golf Swing Explained

  7. Shahar
    August 8, 2011 | 7:12 pm

    Love the 70′s !!
    The greatest era in mankind – music, fashion, movies, you name it :)
    Shahar´s last [type] ..Technology at its best

  8. Kim
    August 13, 2011 | 1:26 am

    I am a product of 1970, as well :) Songs for me would have to be:

    (and honestly? I’m just with songs on albums released in 1970, so some may not have hit till ’71 or so….)

    Roadhouse Blues – The Doors
    Tangerine – Led Zeppelin
    Speed King – Deep Purple
    Nativity in Black – Black Sabbath
    Whisky Train – Procol Harum
    In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry

    There ya go!
    Kim´s last [type] ..Show me the green!

  9. Kim
    August 13, 2011 | 2:18 am

    And how could I forget Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic”, one of my favorite songs of all time?
    Kim´s last [type] ..It’s been an amazing night

  10. Kevin
    August 29, 2011 | 10:56 am

    I just admire the music of this period. And Jimi Hendrix was and remains a revolutionary sound pioneer who inspired some the best music acts of the 70s and 80s (yes, Prince!)
    Kevin´s last [type] ..Becoming Jimi Hendrix – A Jimi Hendrix Biography

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    September 11, 2014 | 3:10 am

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