The Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 Hits of the 1970s

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Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Andy Gibb of the Bee Gees at the 1977 Billboard Music Awards.

In honor of Billboard magazine's 120th anniversary on Nov. 1, we're revealing the top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits from each decade since the 1960s (for a total of 120 songs).

One family dominated the Billboard Hot 100 in the '70s: The Gibbs. The three brothers in the Bee Gees landed three of the top 20 hits of the decade, and Andy Gibb -- another brother -- had two more as a solo artist. The Gibb Brothers single-handedly account for 25 percent of the top twenty in the '70s. They didn't start in disco, but they changed with the times, and as a white group embracing the disco sound, they became an unstoppable commercial juggernaut. (Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band's "A Fifth of Beethoven," which appeared on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack alongside the Bee Gees mega-hits, also made it onto the top 20 list.) The Bee Gees weren't the only act to have success with disco -- so did Chic, Donna Summer, the Emotions, and Gloria Gaynor -- meaning that the genre accounted for at least half of the decade's biggest songs.

The Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 Hits of the 1960s

The '70s saw a lot more women on the upper reaches of the charts. While only one woman landed a top twenty hit in the '60s top twenty recap, seven ladies achieved that status in the '70s. Some of these were disco frontwomen, but more were balladeers: Debby Boone, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, and Roberta Flack. In contrast to the previous decade, there weren't many big rock hits; The Knack and Paul McCartney's Wings were the only two, and Wings' "Silly Love Songs" featured a pronounced bass groove that is basically disco. (The former Beatle had a fondness for that genre; see also his 1979 single "Goodnight Tonight.")

Paul McCartney Shares His Unreleased Recording with John Bonham

Speaking of Paul McCartney, he's one of very few singers to appear in the top 20 in two consecutive decades. He made the list twice with the Beatles in the '60s and appeared on it again in the '70s with Wings. Marvin Gaye was the only singer to match McCartney's feat, with "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" in the '60s and his sensual classic "Let's Get It On" in the '70s.

Paul McCartney's Top 10 Billboard Hits

Check out the Spotify playlist of the top 20 below and read on to see when each hit peaked. If you missed the top 20 from the '60s, make sure to read that here.



1. "You Light Up My Life" - Debby Boone
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: October 15, 1977

2. "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)" - Rod Stewart
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: November 13, 1976

3. "Le Freak" - Chic
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: December 9, 1978

4. "How Deep Is Your Love" - Bee Gees
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: December 24, 1977

5. "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" - Andy Gibb
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: July 30, 1977

6. "Silly Love Songs" - Wings 
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: May 22, 1976

7. "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: September 8, 1973

8. "Night Fever" - Bee Gees
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: March 18, 1978

9. "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree" - Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: April 21, 1973

10. "Shadow Dancing" - Andy Gibb 
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: June 17, 1978

11. "Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: February 4, 1978

12. "Hot Stuff" - Donna Summer
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: June 2, 1979

13. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: January 6, 1973

14. "Play That Funky Music"
- Wild Cherry
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: September 18, 1976

15."My Sharona" - The Knack
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: August 25, 1979

16."Killing Me Softly With His Song" - Roberta Flack 
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: February 24, 1973

17. "Best Of My Love" - The Emotions
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: August 20, 1977

18. "The Way We Were" - Barbra Streisand
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: February 2, 1974

19. "A Fifth Of Beethoven" - Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: October 9, 1976

20. "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: March 10, 1979

This top Billboard Hot 100 songs of each decade is ranked based on each title's performance on the Hot 100 through the chart dated Nov. 1, 2014. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits across multiple decades, time frames are weighted to account for fluctuating chart turnover rates due to different methodologies utilized.