The Biggest Radio Hits Of 1971
via The Rolling Stones/YouTube
The Beatles may have broken up a year prior but that didn’t stop them from pursuing solo careers and well, three of them still managed to churn out hit after hit. Check out the songs that dominated the airwaves in 1971:
Rod Stewart – Maggie May
It’s Rod Stewart’s breakout hit and it was originally released as the B-side of “Reason to Believe” but radio stations began playing “Maggie May” instead. As the latter track became increasingly popular, it helped launch Stewart’s career as a solo artist. It topped the charts in the US and UK. Over five decades and several albums later, it’s still one of his best known songs.
John Lennon – Imagine
It’s John Lennon’s best-selling single of his entire solo career. It continues to resonate with people but over the years, it had its share of controversies. Nevertheless, it charted in several countries and peaked at #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It sold more than 1.5 million copies in UK alone.
Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar
The band was on a roll from 1968 to 1971 and they released some of their best works during this period – one of which is “Brown Sugar”. It was a huge hit in Canada and US. It did attract controversy because the lyrics touched on slavery and sex but somehow it’s popularity always overshadowed the lyrical content. Frontman Mick Jagger later commented, “I never would write that song now.”
George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
In the UK, this was the biggest-selling single of 1971. First featured in his 1970 album “All Things Must Pass”, it was released the following year as George Harrison’s first single as a solo artist. Like several of his compositions during that time, the lyrics tackled his spirituality.
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
It was a radio hit in 1971 and fifty years later, its message remains relevant. The song sold more than two million copies, making it a highlight of Marvin Gaye’s career.