Like every decade, the ’70s had party hits that had people dancing in the clubs until the wee hours of the morning. In the seventies, disco music, a mix of pop and funk music, was the measure of all things. From 1975 on, disco became a music genre in its own right. The music genre focuses on the beat, groove, and the ability to dance well to the music.
For this reason, many 70s party songs are still trendy today.
The most significant musical success was the Swedish pop group ABBA. With their songs “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Take A Chance On Me,” they animated people worldwide to dance.
The US-American singer and songwriter Donna Summer captivated Germany with her hits “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff” and helped establish disco music in this country. 1977 and 1979 Summer was the most successful singer in Germany. She is already considered since the 70s as the undisputed disco queen.
Other big hits came from the Bee Gees (Stayin’ Alive, Night Fever), the Village People (YMCA), and the US disco band KC & The Sunshine Band (Shake Your Booty, Get Down Tonight).
If you want to take a musical trip back in time to the party scene of the 1970s, you should browse through our unique playlist of the biggest party hits from the seventies.
(At the end of the article we have put together a Spotify playlist for you with all the songs listed here.)
01. “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
That’s when heartbroken people forget their troubles: when “I Will Survive” is played is Dancing announced. The catchy disco number is still considered a Power song for ladies, who finally want to break up with their ex. The song was released in 1978 and can be found on the album “Love Tracks.”
In the lyrics, the lyrical I tells the story of a breakdown after a relationship ends and the subsequent recovery. The composers were Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris, and Mac Huff was responsible for the song’s arrangement. “I Will Survive” became a number 1 hit and won the Grammy for Best Disco Recording.
02. “Stairway To Heaven” – Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin stands for the harder music, as they already proved with hits like “Whole Lotta Love.” But that they can also do something completely different, they prove with the rock ballad “Starway To Heaven” from 1971.
The song is on the classic album “Led Zeppelin IV.” The music starts very quietly with a part mainly carried by the acoustic guitar and a recorder arrangement. The rhythm increases towards the middle part, which finally culminates in a fantastic guitar solo by Jimmy Page.
Although the song was not released as a single, it is one of Led Zeppelin’s most successful songs.
03. “Ladies Night” – Kool & The Gang
Do you want to party with your girls? Then there is no passing this piece guaranteed! Because Kool & The Gang combine here danceable sounds with a party-suitable text.
It is the title track of the album of the same name, which was released in 1979. In the Billboard Hot 100, the number made it to number 8. Even today, the hit is played in clubs to attract the ladies to the dance floor. Here the DJs rely on the approximately three and a half minute extended single version with a catchy beat.
The album version is over six and a half minutes long.
04. “You’re The One That I Want” – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
The movie “Grease” was a huge success in the 70s. It ushered in a true dance revival. This was mainly due to the catchy soundtrack.
First and foremost, the track “You’re The One That I Want” became a hit. Upbeat rhythms drew kids to the dance floor, along with the duo’s languorous vocals and romantic message. For nine weeks, the song was the most successful song of all time in Great Britain.
To this day, the track is one of the most successful songs of all time on the British Isles.
05. “YMCA” – Village People
The track “YMCA” is one of the most successful numbers of the band Village People and is a popular 70s party song. It was released in 1978 and can be found on the record “Cruisin'”.
It’s an anthem for the Christian Young People’s Association. Yet the song is also celebrated in the gay scene for its ambiguity. Through an expressive dance, the song became very popular.
The letters in the chorus are traced with the arms on the dance floor. The song rose to number 1 in the charts in Germany, Switzerland, and England. In the USA it reached number 2.
06. “Love Hurts Without You” – Billy Ocean
The song “Love Really Hurts Without You” was the breakthrough for the British R&B singer Billy Ocean. The song was written by himself (under Les Charles) and Ben Findon and thrills with an upbeat beat.
In the UK charts, the song rose to second place; in the USA, it made it to the top 30. In this country, the highest position was #16. Until today, this piece of music, together with “When The Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going,” is one of the singer’s most successful outputs.
07. “Roxanne” – The Police
“Roxanne” is one of the most famous songs of the English band The Police. The song is part of the record “Outlandos d’Amour” from 1978. It belongs to the genre New Wave/Post-Punk but has a catchy melody, which is very poppy. While the verses are kept rather quiet, the track picks up speed and intensity in the chorus.
In addition, the piece has a tango rhythm. The lyrics are about a prostitute, and Sting wrote the song.
The number is also part of the standard program of many concerts of Sting’s solo tours and is an unforgettable 70s party hit.
08. “Heart of Glass” – Blondie
The charismatic singer Debbie Harry excels in this song with her cool vocals. Together with the Guitarists Christ Stein, she was also the song’s author. “Heart of Glass” is on the album “Parallel Lines,” which was the commercial breakthrough of the US-American rock band.
The single hit record stores in January 1979. Musically, it belongs to the trendy New Wave sound and has some disco elements, which is why die-hard rock fans initially blame the band. But success proved the group right – “Heart of Glass” is one of Blondie’s greatest hits!
09. “Born To Run” – Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen is called the “Boss” by his fans because he paid his stage musicians in cash himself after backstage performances. His big breakthrough came with the title track of his 1975 album. The single is a driving rock number that thrills with positive lyrics.
The success put the musician on the cover of the Times and Newsweek – Springsteen was hailed as a new rock star. Springsteen relied on the massive Wall of Sound sound for the song’s instrumentation. There were eleven guitar tracks during the recording of this song.
10. “Daddy Cool” – Boney M.
With the song “Daddy Cool,” the group Boney M succeeded in. the big breakthrough. The piece with the catchy disco beat occupies place 1 in the charts in numerous countries.
The song is part of the album “Take the Heat off Me” from 1976. It was arranged by the German producer Frank Farian. The title was pushed by the performance of Boney M. in the music show Musikladen.
In total, the song has sold over one million copies worldwide. A well-known Cover version of the song was presented, among others, by the English band Placebo, which gave the 70s party hit its rock sound.
11. “Highway To Hell” – AC/DC
Air guitars unpacked, and off we go: With “Highway To Hell” AC/DC, the Australian hard rockers of AC/DC released probably one of their biggest hits in 1979. Bon Scott at the microphone gives the song an exceptional touch with his haunting, almost screeching vocals. Lead guitarist Angus Young is responsible for the distinctive riff.
With this work, the band made its big breakthrough. It can be found on the album of the same name. The mixture of hard rock and blues-rock made it into the Top 50 of the US charts.
Today, the song should not be missing in any 70s party playlist.
12. “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” – Michael Jackson
Long before Michael Jackson became the universally acclaimed King of Pop, he took his first solo steps with his first record, “Off The Wall,” after being successful with the soul group The Jackson 5. The solo debut hit was “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” a real dancefloor song, which climbed to number 1 in the US charts in 1979.
In addition, the singer won the Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance with this song. Michael Jackson used high falsetto vocals and vocal squeaks for the first time – his later trademarks.
13. “Video Killed The Radio Star” – The Buggles
With the song “Video Killed The Radio Star, ” the Buggles achieved a real-world hit. The song was released in 1979 and delighted with a catchy melody and memorable chorus that everyone could sing along with immediately thanks to the repetitions.
The song can be found on the album “The Age of Plastic.” The song was written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes, and Bruce Woolley. This song was the first video that the music channel MTV aired at the beginning of the broadcast. It reached first place in the charts in England, Austria, and Switzerland, and in this country, it went up to number 2.
14. “Piano Man” – Billy Joel
The US singer Billy Joel presents a thoughtful piano song with the hit “Piano Man.” It tells the story of a bar pianist who describes the patrons of a bar. All the guests have unfulfilled dreams, but the bar musician makes them forget them with his music.
The single reached the top 30 of the US charts, and it has sold over 3 million copies, earning it triple platinum status. In addition, the title also established the nickname of the singer.
Until today Billy Joel is also called Piano Man.
15. “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
The US southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd released this single in 1974 on their second album, “Second Helping.” If the singer and songwriter Neil Young had vigorously attacked the U.S. Southern states in his songs “Southern Man” and “Alabama” and denounced the racist problems, Lynyrd Skynyrd wanted to show the good sides of the region with this song, which is based on a catchy guitar riff.
The entire song consists of only three chords and is in 4/4 time throughout. It can be heard in numerous Hollywood films, including “Forrest Gump,” “8 Mile,” and “Con Air.”
16. “Mamma Mia” – ABBA
The Swedish quartet ABBA had numerous hits, all catchy and with danceable beats. But among the most successful numbers of the quartet from Sweden was the song “Mamma Mia” from 1975. It appeared on the band’s third record, also named “ABBA.”
The content is about a female first-person narrator who is betrayed by her partner but cannot separate from him. The song represents the band’s comeback: If the previous singles were all not so successful, the Swedes jumped with this piece again on the pole position of the charts, including in Germany and England.
17. “Stayin’ Alive” – The Bee Gees
The Bee Gees, Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb set to danceable disco beats. The song was released in December 1977 and rose with its modern sound on 1.2.1978 at number 1 on the charts in the USA.
But the song is not only popular with disco fans: At exactly 103 BPM, “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees corresponds precisely to the recommended beat frequency for a Heart pressure massage. Therefore, this piece is also known as a mnemonic for the first aid measures. The song became famous through the movie of the same name, whose soundtrack it formed – listen to it on “Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track.”
18. “It’s nice to be in the world” – Roy Black and Anita
Also, German-language music is very popular with the party hits of the 70s. Right in the front is the number “Schön ist es auf der Welt zu sein” with its positive statement. The duet of the singer Roy Black with the little Anita Hegerland invites even today to the Sing along a.
For this song, the duo received the lion from Radio Luxemburg. Anita Hegerland became a children’s star in the following. The song “It is nice to be in the world” inspires not only with a positive message but is also very good for partying.
19. “September” – Earth, Wind & Fire
With the song “September,” the funk band Earth, Wind & Fire achieved a real disco hit in 1978. The song can be found on the album “The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol.
1”. The single reached #1 on the R&B charts in the US and #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Maurice White, Al McKay, and Allee Willis were responsible for the songwriting.
The track thrills with a mix of R&B, disco, funk, and soul.
20. “Relight My Fire” – Dan Hartman
Dan Hartman wrote the song “Relight My Fire” himself and released it in 1978. The song stayed on the pole position in the US dance charts for six weeks.
It was the follow-up to the title “Instant Replay,” which had reached the top ten charts in Germany. The cover version also became known through the English Boyband Take That in the 90s. This was a co-production with singer Lulu and rose to the top of the charts.
The song is very catchy and inspired with an infectious rhythm – and actual 70s party song.
Places 21-99 of the best party hits of the 1970s:
Each song is linked to the corresponding music video via the title.
|21.||I Feel Love||Donna Summer||1977|
|24.||Schön ist es auf der Welt zu sein||Roy Black und Anita||1971|
|25.||Disco Inferno||The Trammps||1976|
|26.||ABC||The Jackson Five||1970|
|27.||School’s Out||Alice Cooper||1972|
|28.||Get Down Tonight||KC & The Sunshine Band||1975|
|29.||Turn The Beat Around||Vickie Sue Robinson||1976|
|30.||I.O.I.O.||The Bee Gees||1970|
|31.||You’re My First My Last My Everything||Barry White||1974|
|33.||Last Dance||Donna Summer||1978|
|34.||She’s a Lady||Tom Jones||1971|
|35.||Shake Your Booty||KC & The Sunshine Band||1976|
|36.||Car Wash||Rose Royce||1976|
|37.||Crocodile Rock||Elton John||1972|
|38.||Shake Your Groove Thing||Peaches & Herb||1979|
|41.||The Loco-Motion||Grand Funk Railroad||1974|
|43.||He’s the Greatest Dancer||Sister Sledge||1979|
|44.||Daddy Cool||Boney M.||1976|
|45.||Are ‘Friends’ Electric?||Tubeway Army||1979|
|46.||Macho Man||Village People||1978|
|47.||Every1’s A Winner||The Foundations||1978|
|49.||You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)||Sylvester||1978|
|50.||Sexy Thing||Hot Chocolate||1976|
|51.||Never Can Say Goodbye||Gloria Gaynor||1974|
|52.||Surfin’ USA||Leif Garrett||1977|
|53.||Us and Them||Pink Floyd||1973|
|54.||Night Fever||The Bee Gees||1978|
|55.||Is It Love You’re After||Rose Royce||1979|
|56.||Baker Street||Gerry Rafferty||1978|
|58.||Play That Funky Music||Wild Cherry||1976|
|59.||So You Win Again||Hot Chocolate||1977|
|60.||Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood||Leroy Gomez||1978|
|61.||Dschinghis Khan||Dschinghis Khan||1979|
|63.||Born To Be Alive||Patrick Hernandez||1979|
|64.||Rapper’s Delight||The Sugarhill Gang||1979|
|65.||The Second Time Around||Shalamar||1979|
|66.||Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet||Gonzalez||1977|
|67.||Take A Chance On Me||ABBA||1977|
|68.||Night On Disco Mountain||David Shire||1977|
|69.||Joy To the World||Three Dog Night||1970|
|70.||Thats The Way I Like It||K.C. & The Sunshine Band||1975|
|71.||Love Machine||The Miracles||1976|
|72.||Some Kind of Wonderful||Grand Funk Railroad||1974|
|73.||Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel||Tavares||1976|
|74.||I’m On My Way||Jackie Moore||1979|
|75.||Saturday Night||Bay City Rollers||1974|
|76.||Good Girls Don’t||The Knack||1979|
|77.||And The Beat Goes On||The Whispers||1979|
|79.||Don’t Bring Me Down||Electric Light Orchestra||1979|
|80.||Shame||Evelyn Champagne King||1977|
|81.||Working My Way Back To You||The Spinners||1979|
|82.||In The Navy||Village People||1979|
|83.||Ma Baker||Boney M.||1977|
|84.||Got To Give It Up||Marvin Gaye||1977|
|85.||(Every Time I Turn Around) – Back In Love||L.T.D.||1977|
|86.||If I Can’t Have You||Yvonne Elliman||1978|
|87.||I Love the Nightlife||Alicia Bridges||1978|
|89.||Instant Replay||Dan Hartman||1978|
|90.||Get On The Good Foot||James Brown||1972|
|91.||Brown Sugar||Rolling Stones||1971|
|92.||Rock and Roll||Led Zeppelin||1971|
|93.||Nice and Slow||Jesse Grey||—||1976|
|94.||Kung Fu Fighting||Carl Douglas||1974|
|96.||I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper||Sarah Brightman||1979|
|97.||Shine On You Crazy Diamond||Pink Floyd||—||1978|
|98.||Takin Care of Business||BTO (Bachman Turner Overdrive)||1973|
|99.||Rock and Roll All Night||Kiss||1975|
70er Party-Hits Spotify-Playlist:
These are the 99 best songs of the 1970s, which should not be missing at any 70s party – listen now!