Pitchfork’s Top 200 Tracks of the ‘70s

Pitchfork got a lot of shit for their ‘70s list, and most of that is unwarranted. Sure, AM radio, Southern Rock, and Philly Soul are all underrepresented, and they picked the wrong Bowie song to be #1 (sorry, “Life on Mars”). But there’s some great world and reggae selections, which was unexpected, and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” more than deserves its high placement. As a stand-alone playlist, rather than a list of top tracks, it only sometimes works. There’s an occasional serendipity — the shimmering astral mysticism of Alice Coltrane “Journey in Sachidananda” gives way to the plaintive, yearning opening lines of the Beatles’ “Let it Be,” a contrast that teases out the radicalness of both tracks — but it’s also kind of jarring to go from the edgy downtown disco of Dinosaur to fucking Black Sabbath. Still, their piece is a great tool for music discovery — the write-ups are generally solid and frequently inspired — and it’s easy to imagine a dozen, more focused and coherent playlists spawning from this list.