Music Lists #5: The Top 55 Depressing Songs of the 1970's
The 1970's were real good at producing songs of depression. Here's a list in no particular order of some gut wrenching tunes that will have you reaching for your Prozac.
1. Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilbert O'Sullivan
2. Diary - Bread
3. Shannon - Henry Gross
4. Needle and the Damage Done - Neil Young
5. Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
6. Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
7. Rainy Days and Mondays - The Carpenters
8. All By Myself - Eric Carmen
9. Reflections of My Life - Marmalade
10. Wishing You Were Here - Pink Floyd
11. Dust in the Wind - Kansas
12. At Seventeen - Janis Ian
13. He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother) - The Hollies
14. It Never Rains in Southern California - Albert Hammond
"... Out of work/ I'm out of my head/Out of self respect/ I'm out of bread
I'm under loved/ I'm under fed/I wanna go home..."
15. I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself - Elton John
16. Fly Away - John Denver
17. Goodbye to Love - The Carpenters
18. Deacon Blue - Steely Dan
19. Love Hurts - Nazareth
20. That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be - Carly Simon
21. Fire and Rain - James Taylor
22. Aubrey - Bread
23. One - Three Dog Night/Harry Nilsson
24. Superstar- The Carpenters
25. Billy Don't Be a Hero - Paper Lace
26. I've Gotta Get a Message to You - The Bee Gees
"I've just got to get a message to you/One more hour and my life will be through..."
27. Send in the Clowns - Judy Collins
28. You Don't Bring Me Flowers - Barbara Streisand & Neil Diamond
29. Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
30. Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town - Kenny Rogers
31. Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake and Palmer
32. He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
33. Just Another Day - Paul McCartney & Wings
"... As she posts another letter to the sound of five/People gather round her/And she finds it hard to stay alive..."
34. So Far Away - Carol King
35. By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Isaac Hayes (12 minute ver.)
36. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
37. It's Not Easy Being Green - Kermit the Frog
"...People tend to pass you over, cause you’re not standing out / Like flashy sparkles in the water, or stars in the sky..."
38. Down from Dover - Dolly Parton
39. Suicide is Painless - M*A*S*H* Theme Song
40. Cotton's Dream - Bless the Beasts and Children theme (Later used as the theme for The Young and the Restless and AKA "Nadia's Theme".41. Everything I Own - Bread
42. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word - Elton John
43. Abraham, Martin and John - Dion
44. Vincent - Don McLean
45. Mandy - Barry Manilow
46. Mr. Bojangles - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
47. I Am... I Said - Neil Diamond
48. Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas) - John Denver
"... And now I'm almost eight as you can see/You came home at a quarter past eleven/Fell down underneath our Christmas tree/Please Daddy, don't get drunk this Christmas/I don't wanna see my Mumma cry..."
49. She's Gone - Hall & Oates
50. I'm Not in Love - 10cc
51. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
52. Piano Man - Billy Joel
53. Lyin' Eyes - The Eagles
54. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - The Bee Gees
55. Sylvia's Mother - Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
Too bad George Jones' "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" didn't get released till 1981, because that would've fit perfectly on this list.
I almost titled this post as "Songs from the 1970's that make me want to kill myself", but I thought that might leave this list open to songs like "You Light Up My Life" which are not at all sad, but are so awful that I contemplate offing myself just to end the pain.
Let me know if there's a particularly depressing 70's tune that I missed, or if one off this list jumps out at you as the absolute low point of all the depressing sounds of the seventies.
[See a related retrospace post: Depressing Songs of the Seventies where several of these songs were pulled.]