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Groovy 70s Home Decor That Will Have You Reevaluating Your Interior Design Preferences

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You probably don’t have any memories of the familiar swish of bell-bottoms around your calves or the faint scent of marijuana hanging on the northern California breeze, but if you try hard enough, maybe you can imagine yourself there. Woodstock nostalgia, disco, and Jaws–some of the most influential and defining cultural creations of the 20th century. You would think the blow-your-mind styles and out-of-this-world artistic license would have stuck around for longer than a decade.

Here at FamilyWise, we enjoy paying our respects and tipping our virtual hats to the artists, musicians, and culture curators that made the 70s as colorful and memorable as they were. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 most notable interior decorating tropes of the decade.

Whacky 70s Chairs, Colors, Carpets, and More

1. Wood Paneling

 

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You probably recognize this from either your grandparents’ basement, HGTV, or That 70s Show, but either way, it takes the cake for 1970s interior design cliches.

2. Harvest Gold

 

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This color is probably one of the more psychedelic aspects of the 1970s daydream. It was a household staple back in the day, and there was scarcely a middle-class suburban kitchen built without this as the color scheme.

3. Floral Prints

 

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If you were to derive one overarching message from the seventies, it would most definitely be “flower power.”

4. Egg Chairs

 

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In our book, these chairs are still the epitome of cool. Maybe it’s something to do with small, enclosed spaces that just makes you feel all safe and cozy when you’re sitting in them.

5. Band Posters

 

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This is probably one of the more persistent interior design trends on our list–at least for teenagers.

6. Rattan Furniture

 

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Basically, rattan is another word for wicker. You didn’t know that? Don’t worry, neither did we.

7. Sunburst Clocks and Mirrors

 

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If you needed a little bit of sunshine in your life back in the 1970s, the obvious solution was to purchase yourself a literal burst of sun to hang on your wall.

8. Hand Chairs

 

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Chairs are meant to be supportive, right? Whoever designed these bad boys kept that well in mind, what with the whole hand-holding concept.

9. Shag Carpet

 

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This one is a classic. Everyone who lived through the 70s remembers the familiar feeling of this wooly, matted stuff between their toes.

10. Bean Bag Chairs

 

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There are a lot of crazy interior decor ideas out there, but this must have been one of the weirdest by far. If you’d never seen a bean bag chair before, imagine how awkward it must have been plopping yourself down in one for the first time!

11. Sunken Living Rooms

 

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For some reason, normal-leveled flooring was just too basic for the architects and designers of the 70s.

12. Avocado Green

 

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The folks in the kitchen appliance business must have really liked earthy tones back in the day. Who knows? Maybe it had something to do with the environmentalist movement.

13. Macrame Wall Owls

 

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Who knows why these little handmade wall pieces were so popular? Maybe everyone just wanted to absorb a little bit of wisdom, or maybe the obsession with handwoven crafts went just a little bit over the top.

14. Whacky Carpet Colors

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The photo says it all. If you wanted a splash of color in your life back in the 70s, why not just throw it down on the floor and walk all over it?

15. Hanging Plants

 

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You might have noticed that these bad boys haven’t quite gone out of style, especially with the recent resurgence of hippie nostalgia and every millennial’s rising obsession with succulents.

16. Linoleum

 

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Boy, oh boy, do we remember this one! Linoleum was the standard in every suburban dream home. Whether you lived in Nebraska or New York City, this plasticky material was probably what your bathroom floor was made of.

17. Crocheted Blankets

 

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Not only are these things warm and cozy, but they also make for nice throw blankets. Next time you visit your grandparents, keep an eye out for one of them.

18. Lava Lamps

 

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Lava lamps are still totally rad, but in the 1970s, they were the epitome of cool. They resurfaced in the 80s, the 90s, and the 2000s. It’s probably not a stretch to say that they’ll make their rounds again in the next decade.

19. Floating Stairs

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If this trend gives you some Brady Bunch vibes, you’re getting it right. These stairs are one of the most iconic features of 70s suburban home architecture.

20. Vinyl Tables

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Regular old wooden tables? Forget about it! Vinyl tables were the most practical way to go. Easy to clean, portable, and–most importantly–stylish.

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Groovy 70’s Slang

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If you’re anything like us here at FamilyWise, you have tons of fond memories of the 70s. With all those disco balls and funky bellbottoms, it’s no surprise that this decade is one of the most iconic in terms of music, art, and quirky sayings. If you’re looking for ways to spice up your vocabulary or even just in the mood for some soulful nostalgia, you’ve come to the right place.

Below we’ve compiled a list of some fabulous and most groovy 70s slang terms and phrases. Take it from us, you don’t want to miss out on these excellent sayings, sensational words, and hilariously nifty expressions.

Portrait of young hippy woman in sunglasses at festival

Portrait of young hippie woman in sunglasses at festival

70s Slang to Remind You of Trippier Times

“Dream On”

You would say this to an overambitious individual, someone who’s made a statement outside the realm of what you might consider realistic. In other words, if you’ve got to get someone’s head out of the clouds, this is what you would say to them. Short and not so sweet, but it gets the point across.

“Psyche”

This is another way of letting someone know you’ve tricked them or psyched them out.

“Bogue”

This word would have been used to describe an unbelievable idea, something so unrealistic that it was mildly offensive. In modern terms, it’s the response equivalent of “Not cool, man,” or “That’s bogus.”

“Crib”

This is simply a cooler way of referring to someone’s home or apartment.

Modern Bedroom

1970’s living space

“Lay a Gasser”

We try to keep our content pretty clean here at FamilyWise, so we’ll leave you to guess what this one might mean. (Hint: Think stink!)

“Can You Dig It?”

So maybe your algebra teacher never phrased the question this way when teaching you variables, but if they had back in the seventies, any student would have understood exactly what they meant. This saying was simply another way of asking, “Do you understand?” or “Do you get it?”

“I gotta skitty!”

If you’ve ever used the word skedaddle, then you already know the proper usage of this word. The phrase all together means, “I have to hurry,” or “I’ve gotta’ rush.”

“Keep on stepping”

If you wanted someone to “get outta’ here” or “keep it moving,” you would say this to them.

“Later days”

This was just another way of saying goodbye or farewell.

“Let’s blow this taco stand!”

You’re at a party with your friends. The music has gotten repetitive and the chips are stale. What’s the most creative way you can think of to say “Let’s get out of here.” That’s exactly what this phrase is for.

“Let’s blow up the cheese!”

People of the 70s must have just not enjoyed saying “Let’s leave,” or “Let’s get outta’ here,” so they had to come up with a bunch of different ways to say it.

“Peace, love, and granola”

The hippies of the day really lived up to their name with this one. Rather than say goodbye, they’d just say “Peace, love, and granola,” before parting.

Peace sign and three friends

Peace, love, and granola

“Peace out, home fry”

Apparently, referring to your friends as fast-food wouldn’t have earned you a bunch of weird looks back in the 1970s. This was just another way to say goodbye or “See you later.”

“Catch you on the flip-side”

This was just another way of saying “I’ll see you later,” but, like, in a cool way. We don’t know exactly what is on the flip-side, but it must be a pretty cool place for everyone wanting to catch each other there.

Woman enjoying new day

See ya!

“Do me a Solid”

This saying is another way to ask someone for a favor. Our guess is that it sounds less like an imposition when you say it in a hip, offhand way like this. The saying is still used today, so you’ve probably heard it once or twice.

“What a Fry”

And we’re back to the fast-food references. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with calling someone a french fry–I mean, they are pretty delicious–but back in the 70s, if this particular phrase was said to you, it meant that you were acting weird or strange.

Wacky

Silly Family

“The Skinny”

This is just another way to refer to a quick rundown of events, so the next time someone says to you, “Give me the skinny,” what they’re actually asking for is a quick overview of the situation.

“Far Out”

Though we’re pretty sure this is still a widely-used saying, we’ll let you know what it means, anyway. If something is “far out,” it’s probably pretty cool.

“Bunny”

If you were a cute girl in the 70s, you would’ve been considered a “bunny.” Don’t ask us why; we don’t exactly know.

Young brunette woman with retro and hippy style

Young brunette woman with retro style

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Totally Tubular 1980s Interior Design Trends

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The 1980s were a time of gnarly outfits, big hair, and neon dreams. With all the over digitized music, cringy cat photoshoots, and laser wallpapers, it was truly a weird time. But let’s give those 80s artists and culture creators some credit where credit is due. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t still reaping the benefits of this particular brand of pop-culture–especially when it comes to interior design.

Here at FamilyWise, we recognize just how big of an impact this particular decade had. And it goes without saying that there is more to the 80s than meets the eye, but for now, we’ll just be focusing on the “what meets the eye” part. Below we’ve compiled 20 of both the raddest and whackiest 80s interior design trends of the decade for your quarantine enjoyment.

The Most Bodacious 1980s Interior Design Trends

1. Vertical Blinds

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If you were to remember any particular 80s interior design trend the most, it’d probably be this one. Vertical blinds were the set standard for every suburban dream home back in the day, and if you grew up in the 80s, it’s more than likely you remember your parents getting overly frustrated with these things’ easy breakage and lack of adequate sunlight blockage.

2. Tiled Countertops

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Though they technically became a prevalent trend in the 70s, tiled countertops booked their way into 80s homes as well. I mean, come on! What’s not to love? Who doesn’t enjoy putting in a little extra elbow grease to scrub grape juice stains out of the grout?

3. Honey Oak Cabinets

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Your grandma’s house probably still looks a little bit like this–subbing the modern designer pots with cat cookie jars and feline porcelain memorabilia, of course. But if you’re anything like us here at FamilyWise, this hue definitely brings back more than a few distinct kitchen-related memories for you.

4. Glass Blocks

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You thought we would forget about these trippy things? No way! Whether or not this interior design trend was intended to look this wonky or not, they were an extremely popular stylistic choice back in the day. Glass blocks were likely to show up anywhere in your typical 80s floorplan. The kitchen? No surprise there. Dining room? Absolutely. Even your typical suburban master bathroom wasn’t safe!

5. Heavy Curtains

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If you were to sum up the 80s in one word, it would be over-the-top–which is ironic because that’s technically three words in one. Either way, it’s a perfect way to describe this particular interior design trend. Extravagant curtains were the exact opposite of those flimsy vertical blinds. You might even say the interior designers of the day overcompensated a little bit on both sides of the window covering spectrum.

6. Mauve

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Back in the 80s, this was the color of every girl’s toy dollhouse–and actual house, for that matter. Sparked by the death of the famous painter Georgia O’Keefe, the mauve movement not only moved through the world of art but made a splash in the interior design sphere, as well. Whether it was you, your sister, your mother, or your grandmother, you probably knew someone whose room was absolutely drowning in this color.

7. Memphis-Milano Design

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Okay, so we’ve got a few pretty gnarly interior design trends listed here, but this one definitely takes the cake. You might think it’s a bit of an acid trip to look at now, but these whacky geometric designs and odd color combos themed everything from TV shows like Saved By the Bell to everyday, household wallpapers back in the 80s. Believe it or not, Memphis Design was actually inspired by a conglomeration of eccentric Italian artists, Bob Dylan, and rainbows. Makes weird sense, don’t you think?

8. Etched Glass

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Whether it was a decorative mirror hanging in your entryway or the revolving glass door to your office building, these odd (and sometimes downright weird) etchings were practically everywhere in the 80s. The designers of the day were most likely going for an elegantly stylistic vibe, and maybe it worked… for about six years. Now, we can look back and chuckle at the concept of mirrors specially designed to block your reflection and windows specially designed to block your view.

9. Carpeted Bathrooms

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Believe it or not, these actually existed at one point in history. However, there’s no point in dwelling on the mistakes of the past. All we can do is move forward. But let’s take a moment of silence for those who did have to suffer through the era of carpeted toilet closets–gag. We would rather revert to outhouses than experience a resurgence of this particular trend, thank you very much!

10. Novelty Telephones

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Before colorful iPhones were the apple of anyone’s eye–haha, get it?–these chunky at-home receivers were the coolest things around. Anyone who was anyone incorporated one of these once-enviable atrocities into their bedroom decor scheme. Holding a bright red upper lip to your ear while gossiping with your BFF and painting your nails on your bed was apparently the 80s adolescent epitome of cool.

11. Deco Art

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As far as art goes, these pieces ain’t too bad in and of themselves. But when you hang something like this in a room with–let’s say–honey oak cabinets, an etched glass block wall, and/or heavy curtains over some vertical blinds, what you get is a modern interior designer’s worst nightmare, a feng shui travesty of the most epic proportions, a mockery of the very word art. (Okay, so maybe not that drastic, but you get the idea.)

12. Chintz

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Princess Diana was wearin’ it. The whole neighborhood was upholsterin’ it. And you… you were probably just skimmin’ over the latest issue of Tiger Beat surrounded by it. Chintz was one of the more subtle 80s interior design trends, but it definitely had its shining moment in the suburban household spotlight.

13. Pastels

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So this definitely isn’t the most cringe-worthy of interior design hallmarks on our list, but it’s got that distinct 80s feel. Pastels combined the neon craze of the time with some more toned-down, at-home aspects. Even so, it’s still a bit of a trip looking at a photo like this, especially if you were one of those pastel-loving 80s parents–or one of their children, for that matter.

14. Lacquer Furniture

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If you thought you’d seen the last of this plastic sheen on furniture back in 1989, you were wrong. According to several design magazines and YouTube videos, lacquer furniture is making a strong comeback. Whether it’s all the vintage-loving Millenials looking for cheap, durable furniture designs or just pure nostalgia, this trend will forever remain a unique 80s creation in our book.

15. Bulky Entertainment Centers

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They didn’t have flat screens yet, but with the wall space these monoliths occupied, they might as well have. Back in the 80s, the bigger your entertainment center was, the better. After all, it wasn’t real entertainment if it wasn’t framed by the plasticized remains of an entire tree.

16. Japanese Decor

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Obviously, this is one of the more palatable trends on our list, and we’ll admit, it even looks nice. Props to the designers of the day that initiated the Zen movement and inspired this trend. It’s one of the very few redeeming qualities of the world of 1980s interior design.

17. American Gigolo Style

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Richard Gere is pretty timeless, but this particular 1980s design trend with its over-the-top modernistic vibe and vague marble sculptures is not. Maybe in the next 50 years, it’ll make another comeback, but until then, we’d rather keep this in the movies.

18. Country Style

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This was one of those trends that erupted and, to this day, hasn’t quite gone away. Maybe it was something about the old-western feel that toned down the neon spunkiness of the decade and reminded people of simpler times, but either way, it’s probably one of the more lasting interior design trends on our list.

19. Balloon Valances

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Whether on your prom dress sleeves or on curtains, balloon valances were all the rage back in the 80s. You would think interior designers would have figured out how to decorate windows by then, but apparently no one had any better ideas than to bring bad fashion into the game.

20. Wallpaper Borders

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As if the pastels and the carpeted bathrooms weren’t bad enough, these floral wallpaper borders quickly became the most normalized decorative details in the world. All in all, they’re pretty harmless, so it makes sense that they’d be the last decorative objects of ridicule on our list.

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1970s One-Hit-Wonders: 20 Songs to Get Your Groove On

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If you’re anything like us here at FamilyWise, quarantine has made you more retrospective and nostalgic than ever. There is just something about the funk and soul of this decade that has permeated the music and culture of every decade following it. It’s a widely accepted fact that music is one of the best forms of free therapy there is, so if you’re overwhelmed by the state of the world in 2020, you’ve come to the right place.

To quell some of your stress and those pesky “good ole’ days” feels, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best 1970s one-hit-wonders to ever hit the charts. Feel free to put on your dancing shoes, get up off the couch, and shake your groove thing!

20 One-Hit-Wonders of the 1970s

1. “Kung-Fu Fighting” – Carl Douglas (1974)

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If you’ve ever seen the movie Kung-Fu Panda, you could probably belt out this song’s chorus by heart while attempting to karate chop through a block of wood. The 1974 classic was produced as a B-side backup plan in under ten minutes, according to producer Biddo–which makes the fact that it topped the UK charts and sold over 10 million copies worldwide that much more impressive.

2. “Play That Funky Music” – Wild Cherry (1976)

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There’s a reason it’s impossible to read the words “play that funky music, white boy,” without intuitively singing them in your head. This song is that reason. “Play That Funky Music” was initially recorded as B-side, but when record-label owners heard its groovy bass and sappy vocals, they insisted it be released as A-side. The song was a hit, selling a total of over 2 million copies at the time of its release.

3. “The Boys Are Back in Town” – Thin Lizzy (1976)

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There is no greater way to wake yourself up than to this song blasting at full volume. Who needs coffee when you’ve got three dudes with out-of-this-world hairstyles and guitars screaming confidence at you? This song topped charts in both the US and the UK, and it even made The Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest songs of all time.

4. “Hooked on a Feeling” – Blue Swede (1974)

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If you’re like most people of today’s generation, you probably first heard this in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and thought to yourself “Wow, I really like this song.” The familiar “ooga-shaka ooga-shaka” tune took the #1 spot in the US charts in 1974, despite being performed by an obscure Swedish band that no one at the time had ever heard of.

5. “My Sharona” – The Knack (1979)

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This is one of the most iconic seventies songs ever, mostly because of the story behind it. “My Sharona” was inspired by the actual Sharona Alperin, who The Knack’s lead singer Doug Fieger actually met and fell in love with!

6. “You Light Up My Life” – Debby Boon (1977)

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This was the love song to top all love songs. Pretty much every romantic event from a high school prom to a wedding reception featured this song, and anyone who lived through the 70s definitely still knows the lyrics by heart.

7. “Dancing in the Moonlight” – King Harvest (1972)

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The French-American rock group, King Harvest, took inspiration for this song from a surprisingly sad event. While traveling in the Caribbean, the band’s pianist and songwriter, Sherman Kelly, was brutally attacked by a group of gang members. While in the hospital, he imagined what a peaceful and harmonious world might look like, and from that experience, gained the inspiration for the lyrics to this Billboard’s top 100 hit.

8. “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” – Looking Glass (1972)

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This familiar tune is yet another example of Marvel’s far-reaching cultural influence. Showing up on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack back in 2017, this song made a comeback upon release of the film and has been listened to by modern Marvel fans–and their grandparents–with fondness ever since.

9. “I Love the Nightlife (Disco Round)” – Alicia Bridges (1978)

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This OG disco jam topped the charts in France and Germany and made #5 on the US Hot 100 Billboard charts. It was released as a single and became popular in nightclubs across the US and Europe, probably because of its liberating message. When you don’t wanna’ deal with your man, just head out to the disco and boogie the night away!

10. “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” – McFadden & Whitehead (1979)

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To this day, this catchy tune is one of the most motivational melodies of all time. Upon its release, the song soared to #1 on the R&B charts and has maintained its spot in the 70s top 40 for decades. If you’re in need of some high-quality motivation, this is the song for you.

11. “Cruel to Be Kind” – Nick Lowe (1979)

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This classic tune peaked at #12 in the US, UK, and New Zealand. Part of the song’s inherent charm is its poetic license. Lowe based the title of the song off of a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “I must be cruel only to be kind / Thus mad begins and worse remains behind.”

12. “What the World Needs Now / Abraham, Martin and John” – Tom Clay (1971)

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At the time of its release, this song was an artistic breakthrough, portraying a political message through music and incorporating historical speeches into its lyrics. It quickly rose to #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and sold over 1 million copies at the time of its release.

13. “O-o-h Child” – Five Stairsteps (1970)

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In 2014, the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy launched this song to the #1 spot in the US. Though it technically peaked the charts twice, sitting at #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the year 1970, the song still qualifies as a one-hit-wonder. (P.S. It’s also really fun to dance around to in your kitchen.)

14. “Stuck in the Middle With You” – Stealers Wheel (1973)

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This widely popular song was initially written as a parody of Bob Dylan’s paranoia with an added pop arrangement. To songwriter Gerry Rafferty’s surprise, however, it sold more than a million copies. In 1992, it also experienced a resurgence in popularity when it was featured in the Quentin Tarantino film, Reservoir Dogs.

15. “Magic” – Pilot (1974)

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Even if you think you haven’t heard this song, you could probably sing the chorus from memory. When it was released, it hit the charts at #5 in the US and #11 in the UK, and has since been covered multiple times by artists like Olivia Newton-John, The Cars, and Selena Gomez.

16. “House of the Rising Sun” – Frijid Pink (1970)

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This song is a classic melody that has been sung by artists for generations. Its historical origins vary, but the song was first ever recorded by Texas Alexander in the 1920s and subsequently reperformed by Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Nina Simone, and countless other artists. Frijid Pink’s version rose to #4 in the UK and #7 on US charts in 1970.

17. “Mr. Big Stuff” – Jean Knight (1971)

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Jean Knight reemphasized the essence of soul with this 1971 sass melody that charted #2 in America and maintained its #1 position in the R&B category for sixteen consecutive weeks. The song was also nominated for a Grammy and went double platinum. Its blunt and beautiful message is both empowering and unforgettable.

18. “Cat’s in the Cradle” – Harry Chapin (1974)

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This is one of the more heartbreaking titles on our list, but it’s a song that tells an important story of a father and son and the complexities of their roles. If you’re in the mood for some more introspective, nostalgic melodies, this would be a good one to start with. Plus, it topped US charts… and that ain’t too shabby.

19. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – The Charlie Daniels Band (1979)

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If you think you’ve heard country music before, prepare yourself for a whole new level of grassroots and gunslinger! This song’s got the classic western/southern feel with a wonky seventies twist. It rose to the top of the charts, sitting at #1 in country, #3 in the US, and even making #14 in the UK.

20. “Turn the Beat Around” – Vicki Sue Robinson (1976)

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There’s no question that this is one of the more iconic tunes on our list. Vicki Sue Robinson pursued a successful Broadway career both before and after her dive into the commercial music sphere, which technically makes her the literal definition of a one-hit-wonder. This song topped out at #10 on US charts and even won a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal.

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