Over and Over – The Most Overplayed Rock Songs of the 1970s

One aspect of music is that it is subjective. One person thinks is a great song, another may hate. Granted, musicians may have more liking to songs due to its complexity or lack of, but music is a major part of life. We remember where we were when a song is released (back in the day, when it was actually released on radio and was charted, unlike the downloaded society we have now). The song brings back certain memories of where we lived, what we were doing, or who were with when that song has that special meaning.

However, songs end up being overplayed throughout the years, and with today’s limited radio format, the same songs get played every hour. That is why I made this list of overplayed songs of the 1970s (I will do one of the 1980s later).  Keep in mind that a regional aspect is also in play in my list. I may hear this song every hour in Ohio, but someone in California may not hear these on their radio stations. I do not have satellite radio either, so that is a non-factor. The qualifications are that it is overplayed throughout the years in my area. I also want to state that these songs are not bad songs-they are remembered throughout the years for a reason, but I would like a break from these songs.

So here are my picks for the Most Overplayed Songs of the 1970s (in no particular order). Feel free to dispute them.

hotel-california
Eagles Hotel California Album
  1. Hotel California-The Eagles (1977). I like the Eagles, and a lot of their songs are classics. This song made it to #1 on the charts, but it is long and a guitar player’s song. As a drummer, I can’t tell you how many bands I was in that had to play this song just because the guitar player wants to solo for 5 minutes. The audience got bored very quick playing this in a cover band. Many people still dispute what the song is about (Christians claim it’s about the church, which was disputed by the band themselves, to others saying it’s about the record company).  Regardless of what the song is about, this is a song that the deejay steps out of the booth to take a lunch break. There are other great songs that the band does not get played on the air (I love 1974’s “James Dean” and “Ol ‘55” from “On The Border” album).  This Hotel needs to shut down for a season.

 

queen
As great as the band Queen is, they do need a few songs to go into the vault.
  1. We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions- Queen (1977). This song is played together at every sporting event in the world it seems. I think it is one of Queen’s lesser quality songs. I can’t name the many Queen songs that I’d rather hear than this one (“Bohemian Rhapsody” is another one that can be added to this list). Freddy Mercury was one of the greatest singers is all music, and I feel gets ignored in the Greatest Rock Singers of all time argument.  I think many people are tired of this song.
ronnie van zant
Ronnie Van Zant
  1. Freebird- Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974-1977) . This song charted a few times, with the most famous in 1975 at #19. The live version hit #38 in 1977. Like “Hotel California,” this is a guitar player’s song, and when it comes on the radio or a band plays it, it is bathroom break time. The song is very long, and I got tired of it being a pro wrestling fan when The Fabulous Freebirds used it during their runs. I have never been a fan of Southern Rock and every band ends up playing the song if they play covers. By the time the song is over, the band could have played 2-3 more songs in their set list. The song is usually played late at night or after midnight on the radio stations. Some stations have limited it’s play due to it being so long, but it’s still play too much.  If I don’t hear this song for 20 years, it’ll still be too soon. Plus the fact that every person on the planet shouts out the name of the song at every concert, regardless of the artist, makes me hate the song even more.
bob seger
Bob Seger
  1. Turn The Page-Bob Seger (1977 studio track, 1979 live version). Much like other songs in the 1970s, this song was never released as a single, but the way it gets played, you’d think it was a #1 hit worldwide. It seems everyone has done a version of this song. I saw Garth Brooks perform it when I saw him in concert once. Seger is another artist that I am not a major fan of, so it may sound bias, but this song is another too long to be played on radio. Yes, I know albums were huge in the 1970s and people wanted longer songs, and listened to the album in whole, as opposed to today’s single downloaded songs. This song is as long as the road trip it describes in the song. The song is slow and boring-it does not rock.
cheap trick
As much as I love Cheap Trick, one song could use a rest.
  1. I Want You To Want Me-Cheap Trick (1977 studio, 1979 live). I love Cheap Trick, and even though they have been finally inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame, they are still underrated. I have seen them in concerts several times, and I know they have to play some of the hits, but this is a song I could handle if it was retired for a while (it’ll never happen even though the band does a great job mixing their set lists). Most casual fans do not know that the studio version is different and is used to the live version.  This song was tough for me to add to the list because it rocks, and has a catchy guitar and drum beat, but it seems to be the only song played on radio by the band besides “Surrender” or “The Flame.”  I’d love to hear “Voices,” or “I Can’t Take It” played on the radio.

 

kiss shirt
Most Kiss fans would agree to this song on my list.
  1. Rock and Roll All Night-Kiss (1975 studio, 1976 live). I love Kiss. Kiss, The Beach Boys, and The Oak Ridge Boys were the earliest music experiences I had as a child. I like all the versions of Kiss- I am particularly a big fan of the Eric Carr Years. I am not one of those fans that say that Ace and Peter are not in the band, so Kiss does not exist. That being said, I know this is a song that put the on the map and is a Rock and Roll Anthem, but I could handle the song being less played on radio and at events.  Even though the live version is better than the studio version, I was never a huge fan of the song. The same goes for “Detroit Rock City.” I would love to hear songs like “Mr. Speed” or “Crazy, Crazy Nights,” or “Reason to Live.” Radio stations; play something from Revenge album, which I feel was one of their best albums. I am older now, and don’t need to Rock and Roll All Night.
led zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
  1. Stairway To Heaven –Led Zeppelin (1971). This is another song that you’d think was a huge hit all over the world, but the song did not chart in the U.S.  Another thing that amazes me is how some people claim that this band is the greatest band in music history. I have nothing against the musical talents of the band members, but I would state bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, and The Who could be listed before I’d named Zeppelin.  The song is credited as one of the greatest songs of all time, but there has been several lawsuits stating the song was ripped off (as of this writing, the matter has enough steam to go into the courts).  If it is the greatest songs of all time, what is it about? Many cannot even tell you what all the words are to the song either. I think the greatest Rock and Roll Song should actually be Rock and Roll, not an orchestrated ballad.
doobie brothers
It may be a guitar classic, but give this Doobie’s hit a rest.
  1. China Grove-The Doobie Brothers (1973). This song has been taught in many guitar lessons ever since it came out and hit #15 on the U.S. Charts. The song has a basic beat to it, but is played to death in my area. To me the song bores me musically. If someone was going to have me suggest a song by the band, I’d choose “The Doctor” from 1989, which was their last hit on the charts.  China Grove is another guitar player song, where guitar players in cover bands always want to play the song. From the Classic Rock to the Oldies Radio stations, this song is heard almost every hour or two hours of the day, and always ends up being played on top of it whenever the stations have caller requests. This song amazes me of its popularity and it’s continued playing.

 

 

 

frampton
Stop showing me the way Mr Frampton.
  1. Show Me the Way-Peter Frampton (studio 1975, live version 1976). Most people know this song by the use of Frampton’s talk box effect during the song, which helped the song go to #6 on the U.S. Charts. Frampton wasn’t the first artist to use the effect, but many fans of the 1970s think of him when that effect is discussed.  This song has been covered by many artists, but it seems this song is played almost every hour on Classic Rock and Oldies radio stations. This is another song that can retire for several years from radio rotation.

 

 

Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Feel free to comment and subscribe to this page!

 

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The Hall of Fame Icon: My Salute to Steve “Sting” Borden

crow sting
The Crow Sting look.

 

It was 1986 when I first heard of the wrestler named Sting. I was in junior high school talking to one friend who was a wrestling fan (who I frequently traded old comics books for his wrestling magazines), and he told me of a guy in the UWF that had his face painted and was managed by “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert. Since I was only familiar with leagues such as NWA, WWF, AWA, World Class Wrestling, and occasionally Mid South Memphis area, I did not get UWF on television, so I didn’t think much of it until 1987 when Sting appeared in Jim Crockett’s NWA after the UWF merged with the NWA.  From that day on, Sting became my favorite wrestler, especially after buying 1987’s Starrcade home video on VHS, where the UWF was featured merging with the NWA.

I remember cheering for him at the first ever Clash of the Champions on TV as he battled Ric Flair to a draw.  I loved his tag team with Lex Luger, and then when he and Lex fought against each other when Luger made many heel turns, even though I was a fan of Luger’s, I still had to side with Sting. Since I was mainly a WWF fan at that time, the very first Non WWF Merchandise I ever purchased was Sting’s “Fatal Encounter” T Shirt, which I wore proudly.

 

wcw merch 1
I still have my WCW Merchandise Catalog, where I got my first Sting shirt-the one that he is wearing here when I was in junior high.

There were many memorable matches Sting had in the early NWA days, from his TV Title run against The Great Muta, to him becoming a member of The Four Horsemen, and his U.S. Title and his World Title runs. He had great matches against Rick Rude, Cactus Jack (Mick Foley), The Dungeon of Doom, The Dangerous Alliance, and Vader (I never like Vader from the days I saw him in the AWA as “The Baby Bull” but when he went against Sting, I disliked him even more).

Most fans remember the Crow Sting, which was created once Hulk Hogan turned heel and started The New World Order.  Sting hid in the rafters of the arena, did not speak, not wrestling for almost a full year. This was my favorite incarnation of Sting. I purchased several black scorpion T Shirts that WCW (which was renamed after the NWA was sold to Ted Turner).  I taped WCW’s Monday Nitro and Thursday Night Thunder television programs every week while I was at college, while I had my parents tape WWF’s Monday Night Raw at their house. Normal wrestling fans started tuning into the Monday Night Wars between the WWF and WCW, each having their own favorite alliance. I also collected as many of the wrestling magazines that had Sting on the front cover or an article on him at this time.

Sting Mag Covers
A few magazines that I collected with Sting on the cover.

Even though Sting was the top guy in the WCW, never leaving to go to the WWE, when others WCW Stars like Flair, Luger, The Steiner Brothers all headed to McMahon land, he was stuck in several bad booking angles at the time, but still managed to work with what he had been given. Several bad booking ideas he was a part in was the Robocop association (which Sting made a great joke about it at his recent WWE Hall of Fame speech), The White Castle of Fear, the Barry Windham fake Sting (which was recycled years later during the NWO angles),  the infamous Shockmaster , his rotten program with Vampiro in WCW’s New Blood story, TNA’s Aces and Eights angles, and losing the TNA Tag Titles to NFL Football player Pac Man Jones, without Jones being allowed to have any physical contact in the ring.  Even though some liked the version of the Sting character, I never approved of the red faced Wolf Pac Sting. I thought I would see some great matches in 1998 when Bret Hart came to WCW and had a small program with Sting, but the booking somehow dropped the ball on this idea between my two favorite wrestlers.

wcw and christian mag covers
Some more magazines that I collected, including a Christian Magazine.

I enjoyed Sting’s TNA run with his matches against Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Abyss, and Jeff Jarrett. I liked the idea of the original Main Event Mafia angle starting in 2008, but did not think bringing back the group in 2013 and including an MMA fighter in the group was a great idea.

 

 

sting dvd covers
My TNA DVD’s with Sting on the cover, and the WWE Blu Ray.

On a vacation trip to Florida in 2006, I got to see a TNA Impact TV Taping at the Impact Zone (where I met Jimmy Hart), hoping that I would finally get to see Sting wrestle in person, since the NWA/WCW did not come around to my area of Ohio that often. When WCW and TNA came to the Youngstown, Ohio area, Sting was not there at the WCW House Shows in 1998 and 2000 when I attended, along with the 2008 TNA show in Niles, Ohio.  Sting was at the tapings in Florida, but was up in the rafters doing promos, so I never did get to see him in action live.

sting t shirts
I kept one WCW T Shirt, and the recent WWE Shirt with Sting. I got rid of the WCW Scorpion shirts that I owned back in the day.

 

I was one of the few people that did not want Sting to go to the WWE after his TNA run was over. It was nothing against me not seeing my favorite wrestler again, but I did not think that the WWE would give Sting the character justice, must like Steve Borden (Sting’s real name) mentioned in a TNA Video, stating that the WWE buried former WCW wrestlers when they came to the league. Many people were critical of Sting’s Wrestlemania loss, which I admit I did not think the WWE made him look good and only wanted to promote their WCW footage on the WWE Network, Sting got his Wrestlemania moment that he claimed he wanted.  Even though some critics wrongly report this, Sting’s WWE Record ended up being 2-2, which was not that bad considering how little he was used.

Steve Borden ‘s appeal was apparent outside the wrestling ring as well with his acting. He appeared in his own movie about his life called “Moment of Truth “ in 2004,  2000’s “Ready To Rumble” and “Shutterspeed,” 1994’s “Thunder in Paradise” and 2001 “Walker Texas Ranger” TV Shows, and in Christian Films like 2011 “The Encounter,”  and 2013’s “Revelation Road” movies. He also hosted Christian Shows on TBN, and was in another movie called “The Real Reason Men Commit Crimes” in 1998, which is the only movie I never seen of his. I enjoyed the movie “Shutterspeed,” where he plays a cop , along with actress Daisy Fuentes. Not many former wrestlers or current wrestlers have had the skills or the exposure to be able to do that many movies at that time. I also enjoy the fact that Borden discusses his Christian faith in interviews and takes the time to do some of these movies, where several wrestlers would not. Not to judge them, but Borden is a great role model for people that look up to the wrestlers.

sting odd merch
A few odd books and DVDs . A signed photo that came with the Sting book/DVD “Moment of Truth,” WCW trading card, and his Christian film “The Encounter.”

There are many that wonder why Sting was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and some so called “experts” question whether or not Sting was a successful wrestler that brought in successful runs. I will only say that in my biased opinion, some of the people that are in the WWE Hall of Fame had less success that Sting did, and had a less time span that Borden did. Many wrestling fans dressed like Sting during Halloween and bought plenty of his merchandise. Sting was the face of WCW for years.  Some of his titles won were NWA Champ (1), TV Champ (1), International Champion (2), U.S. Champ (2), WCW World Champion (6), WCW Tag Champ (3), TNA NWA Champ (1), TNA World Champ (4), TNA Tag Champ (1), UWF Tag Champ (1) and WWA World Champ (1).  That’s a pretty impressive resume to me. Sting also was a select few wrestlers that have changes their images and still was successful with the times, no matter if it was blonde flat top surfer, The Crow, Wolfpac, Mafia, or Joker Sting.

Even though I never got to see the man in person, Steve “Sting” Borden will always be my favorite wrestler of all time (for those wondering Bret Hart is my number 2). I am glad he decided to retire at the Hall of Fame Ceremony. I did not want to see any further injury to him, and even though he did not get his WWE Match with The Undertaker (who he wrestled in WCW), Steve Borden still had a great career and hopefully I will see more of him in movies. Thanks for the great years Stinger!!