Maybe you’ve never really thought about it in these terms, but by the time you finish checking out this article and the special djrobblog countdown at the end, you might agree that 1977 ranks right up there as one of the best – if not the best – years for soul/R&B music.
I’m already convinced.
When I think back to the many great old-school grooves that were popular during that year, I can recall few other years that packed as many classics. And some of the premier artists of that era – Rufus & Chaka, Earth, Wind & Fire, Barry White, Commodores and Natalie Cole – while already noted veterans, were still coming into their stride and releasing some of the best stuff of their well established careers while becoming superstars in the process.
And the already-established superstars, like Stevie Wonder and Isley Brothers? Well they just became icons.
Even newcomers like Heatwave, Chic and Brick got in on the fun with their introductory singles, which still have butts shakin’ to this day.
In celebration of the Class of 1977’s 40th Anniversary, djrobblog pays tribute with this special countdown of that year’s best R&B jams. It’s a countdown extravaganza of old-school jams that helped make it, in my not-so-humble opinion, the greatest year in R&B music history!
To be eligible, the songs had to appear on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles (the then-named forerunner of today’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart) at some point during 1977. Their djrobblog rankings are based on three factors: how well they did in 1977, how well they’ve stood up since then and their quality, with the latter being the ever-subjective matter of opinion.
The 12 Honorable Mentions include ten on-the-1977-cuff songs, plus two iconic albums with so many great tunes, they’d take up too much space if each of their songs were listed individually.
As it already stands, you’ll be hard-pressed to come up with a better year musically than 1977. And before you try in vain to do so, just enjoy this stroll down memory lane with my special djrobblog 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Greatest Year in R&B Music History: The 50 Greatest R&B Jams of 1977!
After you’ve finished scrolling through the rankings, feel free to provide comments below or on my Facebook page. You can also vote on each individual song on the list.
The countdown begins with a few 1977 honorable mentions. Languishing somewhere between disco and soul/funk, this late-1977 dance gem shared more than the Columbia record label with Earth, Wind & Fire. "Come Go With Me" by the Pockets was also produced and cowritten by one of EWF's founders, Verdine White.
Do you agree with my musical assessment of that great year, or am I just lost in a 1977 haze?