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Celebrating songs released 50 years ago

Some of the most popular musical hits were released 50 years ago, but many may not know the history, cultural significance or where some of the bands are now. 

Here's a list of songs celebrating 50 years of release:

"Hooked on a Feeling"

"Hooked on a Feeling," the popular song by Blue Swede and Bjorn Skifs, was a one-hit wonder. It was originally released in 1968 by country and pop singer B.J. Thomas and written by Mark James. However, the famous "Ooga-Chaka" comes from the Blue Swede's cover of the song, which was released by the band in 1974. The song was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 18 weeks, and that was the end for Blue Swede. The band split ways in 1975. The song later regained popularity after a feature in the 2014 film "Guardians of the Galaxy," but the band never duplicated the success of "Hooked on a Feeling.”

"Come and Get Your Love"

A hit by Redbone, "Come and Get Your Love," recently regained popularity in 2014 through movies like "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Avengers: Endgame“ and the 2010 comedy film "Grown Ups." The song was released in 1973 and written by Lolly Vegas, who sang lead on the track and played the guitar and electric sitar. This iconic tune has taken on a life of its own. Redbone was inducted into the Native American Music Association Hall of Fame in 2008 and is accredited by the Smithsonian as the first Native American rock/Cajun group to have a No. 1 single in the U.S. and internationally. 

"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"

A legendary album and hit song by Elton John, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is considered one of John's finest songs. Using the familiar cinematic metaphor from "The Wizard of Oz," this classic ballad evokes the feeling of leaving a life behind and being content with the decision to finally move on. Since its release, the song has been present on John's setlists throughout the entirety of his career. It has been used in movies like "Rocketman" and "Sing 2." John recently completed his last tour, called the "Farwell Yellow Brick Road," which spanned over five years and had 330 shows. It was the first tour to make more than $900 million. 

"Bennie and the Jets"

Another hit from the same album, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by John, "Bennie and the Jets" has been described as one of the oddest songs he recorded and was intended to have a futuristic sound to it. The unforgettable sputter of the line "Buh-buh-buh-Bennie" is a small touch that makes the song so appealing. The song was re-popularized through the 2008 romantic comedy "27 Dresses," introducing a whole new generation to John's impressive discography. There are now rumors that John could secretly be working on new music that could be released later this year. 

"Top of the World" 

"Top Of the World" by the Carpenters was originally released on the 1972 album "A Song for You," then as a single a year and a half later. The Carpenters' music was often rich, layered and thoughtful. "Top Of The World" can be heard in movies and TV shows like "Dark Shadows," "Shrek Forever After," "Friends" and "The Simpsons." The duo made 10 studio albums throughout their careers, which ended when Karen Carpenter passed away in 1983 from heart failure.

"Band on the Run"

Written and sung by Paul McCartney and the Wings, "Band on the Run" was McCartney's break for freedom after parting ways with The Beatles. "Band on the Run" went on to reach No. 1 in the U.S. singles charts and sell more than 1 million copies. Despite its enduring popularity, it hasn't yielded many notable covers. According to McCartney, the song's message is "A million things … all put together. Band on the run — escaping, freedom, criminals. You name it, it's there."


One of the many hits made popular by ABBA, "Waterloo" was entered in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, after ABBA finished third the previous year in the Swedish pre-selection contest, Melodifestivalen. The band would go on to win first place at the song contest, and the song was the first of ABBA's nine U.K. No. 1 singles, topping the charts for two weeks. In the 2015 film, "The Martian," the song is used as he battles for survival on the surface of a hostile planet, which pairs beautifully with the lyrical references to the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. The band went on a hiatus in 1982 and announced plans for retirement in 2016. The quartet released its ninth and final studio album, Voyage, in November 2021, earning five Grammy nominations. 


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