In the 1970s, the sentimental love song was in its heyday. The 70s was a decade for lovers, and the radio reflected that. All genres, including soul, country, R&B, pop, and rock, turned out many love songs. They ranged from sweet and straightforward to sad and yearning.
Here are the top 10 love songs of the 70s. No matter your musical tastes, you’ll be able to find something you like from this period. Enjoy exploring these 70s love songs and reliving that groovy decade.
Top Love Songs of the 70s
“Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye
This 1973 smash hit is one of the top soul love songs of the 70s. This steamy song describes how much the singer would like to have an intimate encounter with his lover.
The song combines doo-wop and soul, taking the best of these genres and fusing them into one whole. The track went on to influence future songwriters like D’Angelo and Luther Vandross.
Marvin Gaye himself wrote the song in collaboration with his friend Ed Townsend. The song came in first on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the charts for an impressive 61 weeks.
“I’ll Be There” – Jackson 5
This song is one of the best R&B love songs of the 70s. Sung by 12-year-old Michael Jackson in 1970, the song became an instant hit.
Jackson’s pure soprano voice harmonized beautifully with his brothers’ vocals and created an enduring song. “I’ll Be There” was the R&B group’s fourth consecutive number-one hit.
As an adult, Michael Jackson became one of the top solo recording artists of all time and the “King of Pop.” His fans often turn back to the innocent days of the Jackson 5.
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel
Younger artists still cover this timeless song from 1974. The poetic lyrics emphasize that the singer will be there for his love no matter what happens to them. He emphasizes that he will support her through any hardships they may face.
This song has a dual political meaning and roots as a protest song against the Vietnam war. However, not many people caught onto the controversy, and the true story of the tune did not come out until much later.
The band broke up, and Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel moved on to solo projects, but this track remains one of their most well-known.
“Love Will Keep Us Together” – Captain & Tennille
This hit was everywhere on the radio and television in 1975. It stayed on top of the Billboard Easy Listening and Pop charts for four weeks.
The song is about a couple reflecting on their relationship and telling each other that they’ll stay together despite temptation and interest from other people.
Several other artists recorded this track before it took off as a true hit with Captain & Tennille. They included Neil Sedaka and Mac and Katie Kissoon.
“Take A Chance On Me” – ABBA
This 1977 disco smash has a cheerful sound and an infectious background track. The duet vocals by Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad soar over the catchy rhythmic background.
It came in third on the U.S. pop charts and was number one in the U.K., winning gold records in both countries. The song later appeared in many popular movies and TV shows, most notably the film Mamma Mia.
“You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” – Barry White
This 1975 soul masterpiece is one of the most popular 70s love songs for weddings. The song is a powerful anthem for love that combines a danceable beat with romantic lyrics. The song charted high in 1975 and became one of Barry White’s top enduring hits.
“(They Long To Be) Close to You” – The Carpenters
The song reached its pinnacle at number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary and Hot 100 charts. Later cover versions by Isaac Hayes, Diana Ross, and the Cranberries appeared.
“Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green
“Let’s Stay Together” is another entry on the list of the top soul love songs of the 70s. Green’s powerful vocals and his excellent backup singers project a strong argument for staying together.
The soul ballad came first on the Billboard R&B year-end charts for 1972. The U.S. Library of Congress recognized its enduring appeal in 2010 when it added the tune to the National Recording Registry.
“I Will Always Love You” – Dolly Parton
This 1974 country anthem went on to be covered by Whitney Houston in the 1980s, cementing the song on the all-time pop charts.
Parton wrote it for a departing business partner, but you can easily apply it to a romantic relationship. Whitney Houston’s version appeared in the film The Bodyguard.
“How Deep is Your Love” – Bee Gees
Any roundup of the best love songs of the 1970s must include the Bee Gees. They brought disco into the mainstream and churned out a series of fun and influential dance tunes.
This 1977 song written by the band is a sentimental pop ballad with a spare synth and strings background. Anyone who listens to this song remembers the days of bellbottoms and shag haircuts.
These enduring hits show that 1970s old-school music lives on in the public consciousness. Many of these songs have become timeless and received covers from younger artists. Anyone who grew up in the 1970s or 80s knows these songs due to their extreme popularity.
The 70s seem uncomplicated to today’s audience, but they were a time full of upheaval and uncertainty. These songs helped people feel better and entertained them in difficult times.
This list only begins to scratch the surface of the fantastic songs created in the 1970s. Whether you’re experiencing unrequited love or a blossoming relationship, these songs will show you the full spectrum of love.
Caitlin Devlin is a music, entertainment and lifestyle writer based in London. When she’s not creating playlists for Repeat Replay, she’s reviewing gigs and interviewing artists for Ticketmaster UK and thinking about what her Spotify Wrapped will look like this year.