Numerous sub-genres of rock, such as classic rock, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock, defined the genre in the 1970s. Rock music was at its peak at the time, with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, and The Who topping the charts and having a significant cultural impact. Strong vocals, distorted guitar riffs, and a concentration on live performance were frequently included in the music. Numerous rock groups from the 1970s also investigated topics such as revolt, social and political commentary, and self-expression.
The decade was a golden decade for rock music and today here we have a list of the best debut singles from the year 1971.
Nobody by The Doobie Brothers
This was a perfect bomb needed, for the Doobie Brothers. It was one of the best songs of the whole era. A bluesy, fast-paced rock tune featuring a catchy guitar riff and a horn section is called “Nobody.” The song’s lyrics depict a man who is pleased with his straightforward existence and has no aspirations of greatness.
Angel From Montgomery by John Prine
It was first distributed on his 1971 debut record of the same name. Since then, it has evolved into one of his most recognizable and frequently covered songs. The song is about a woman who is unhappy with her humdrum life and dreams of a better future. She wants to run away and start over since she feels imprisoned in her predicament. The song’s beautiful acoustic guitar melody and Prine’s raw and emotional vocal performance define it musically. Due to its continuing appeal, it has become a cherished classic of American folk music.
A Horse With No Name by America
America, an American rock band, published “A Horse with No Name” in 1971. Dewey Bunnell, a band member, wrote the song and performs the lead vocals. The song’s lyrics, which include references to many rock formations and other natural elements, describe a voyage through a desolate desert landscape. The song is famous for its recognizable acoustic guitar riff, which is sometimes connected to the Southern California folk-rock style of the early 1970s. The song has a straightforward arrangement that supports Bunnell’s voice with straightforward percussion and harmonies.
It was commercially successful, “A Horse with No Name” and peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972. Numerous hypotheses and interpretations of the song’s meaning have developed throughout time as a result of its bizarre and puzzling lyrics.
When Electricity Came To Arkansas by Black Oak Arkansas
The song’s hard-driving bluesy guitar chords and Mangrum’s animated vocal delivery define it. The group’s down-home Southern rock aesthetic and unpolished, unrefined sound contributed to defining the sound of the genre in the early 1970s. The song was written by the band’s lead singer, Jim “Dandy” Mangrum, and it features his distinctive Southern drawl on vocals.
The song pays homage to the 1930s and 1940s electrification of rural areas in the southern United States. The pleasure and awe that those who had never previously witnessed electric lights or modern appliances felt are captured in the lyrics.
10538 Overture By Electric Light Orchestra
This single was written by band members Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, and Bev Bevan. The song is distinguished by its elaborate orchestral arrangements, which include horns, choir vocals, and strings. The band’s distinctive combination of rock and classical music is on full display in the song’s dynamic transitions between hard rock and classical music parts.
157 Riverside Avenue By R.E.O. Speedwagon
“157 Riverside Avenue” is a song by the American rock band R.E.O. Speedwagon, released in 1971 on their eponymous debut album. The song was written by band member Neal Doughty, and it features Kevin Cronin on lead vocals.
The band used to practice and perform in their rented home at 157 Riverside Avenue in Champaign, Illinois, as described in the song’s lyrics. The goal of rock success and themes of teenage rebellion are also mentioned in the songs.
Although “157 Riverside Avenue” wasn’t a commercial hit when it was first released, it has since grown in popularity and become a mainstay of the band’s live performances. The song has become a staple of the American rock and roll canon thanks to its autobiographical lyrics and memorable guitar riffs.
(Somebody Else Been) Shakin’ Your Tree By ZZ Top
In the song’s lyrics, a lover is warned that “someone else been shakin’ your tree” by a man who believes she has been unfaithful to him. In the lyrics, jealousy and possessiveness are also discussed. The song’s bluesy guitar riffs and Gibbons’ gravelly vocals give it a distinctive musical style.
Although “(Somebody Else Been) Shakin’ Your Tree” wasn’t a commercial hit when it was first released, it did contribute to the development of ZZ Top’s sound and style. The song’s rough, raw tone and blues-based rock and roll approach would later come to be recognized as being distinctive to the music of the band.