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Any Hits from 1974 Vol. 1

April 18th, 2024 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the first of two mixes of hits from 1974, we concentrate on songs that were hits in the United States. Volume 2 will look at the hits in the UK and Europe.

1974 is not widely regarded as a high-water point of pop music, but it marked an interesting point of convergence, in the US especially. This Hits from 1974 mixes reflect some of that.

Disco started to emerge from the underground club scene into the mainstream, with hits like Rock Your Baby by George McCrae and Rock The Boat by the Hues Corporation (both will be on Vol. 2). These songs helped propel disco into the mainstream consciousness. In the US, Eddie Kendricks’ Boogie Down, as US hit in early 1974, helped pave the way for that, as did The Jackson 5’s Dancing Machine and MFSB’s TSOP.

Funk and soul had already had a presence on the charts in the preceding years. In 1974, that presence seemed to grow. Of 36 US #1 in 1973, 11 were by soul, funk or disco acts.

Country music continued to cross over into pop, with artists like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Billy Swan enjoying mainstream success. John Denver, who really was a folk singer-songwriter, was co-opted by the country scene, as was Olivia Newton-John. In 1975, Denver was awarded the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award, having scored two #1s in 1974 (Sunshine On My Shoulders and Annie’s Song). A drunk Charlie Rich announced the award which he evidently didn’t agree with — and set fire to the announcement card.

Other singer-songwriters also did well, with acts like Gordon Lightfoot and Carole King, representing their genre here. The sax on the King track is by Tom Scott, seeing as you will probably wonder.

Where possible, I have used the 7” single versions of the featured hits. The tracklisting is roughly chronological. As always, these are not necessarily my choices of the best hits of the year; rather, I hope to recreate a bit of the vibe of the year in question, using some of the better music of the year.

Links for all past mixes in the series are up.  If you dig the feel of 1974, take a look at the collection of posters from West-Germany’s Bravo magazine in 1974 (other years are available, too).

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-boogiedowned covers. PW in comments.

1. Eddie Kendricks – Boogie Down
2. Cher – Dark Lady
3. Redbone – Come And Get Your Love
4. The Jackson 5 – Dancing Machine
5. William DeVaughn – Be Thankful For What You Got
6. The O’Jays – For The Love Of Money
7. Wet Willie – Keep On Smilin’
8. The Doobie Brothers – Another Park, Another Sunday
9. Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown
10. Chicago – Call On Me
11. Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care Of Business
12. Billy Preston – Nothing From Nothing
13. First Class – Beach Baby
14. Carole King – Jazzman
15. Neil Diamond – Longfellow Serenade
16. Olivia Newton-John – I Honestly Love You
17. The Three Degrees – When Will I See You Again
18. The Kiki Dee Band – I’ve Got The Music In Me
19. Helen Reddy – Angie Baby
20. Billy Swan – I Can Help
21. J. Geils Band – Must Of Got Lost

GET IT!

Any Major Hits from 1944
Any Major Hits from 1947
Any Major Hits from 1961
Any Major Hits from 1970
Any Major Hits from 1971
Any Major Hits from 1972 Vol. 1
Any Major Hits from 1972 Vol. 2
Any Major Hits from 1973 Vol. 1
Any Major Hits from 1973 Vol. 2

A Year in Hits
More CD-R Mixes

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  1. amdwhah
    April 18th, 2024 at 08:28 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. lil williamson
    April 21st, 2024 at 01:48 | #2

    Wow does this list take me back! in 1974 I was in 7th-8th grades and had recently started my own collection of 45’s. I had 7 of the hits you have listed in my neon singles tote, hahah; it would travel with me on sleepovers at friends’! I logged each record on the provided list cardboard & eventually that case collection grew to 8 or 9, through my Senior year of high school. Such good memories and oh yeah I probably also knew all the words to the songs on your list that I didn’t buy. Those of us who grew up with the AM & FM radio in the 60’s to early 80’s can likely claim the same. I look forward to your posts; thank you again! *P.S.- For all you guys who didn’t meticulously catalog your 45’s; those totes held 50 singles and we would list Artist & song title

  3. amdwhah
    April 21st, 2024 at 10:38 | #3

    Great memories. We had an album for our 7″ singles, with transparent plastic sleeves for each (or even two) record.

  4. Jo
    April 26th, 2024 at 14:54 | #4

    Felt nostalgic, googled Locomotion Town & Country Club (I, too, was a regular in ’86/’87), found your blog. Made me remember the guy who kept talcum powder in his pocket to dust on the dance floor. He travelled far every Friday just to go to Locomotion. Anyhow, just wanted to say I am looking forward to reading your blog from beginning to end.

  5. amdwhah
    April 26th, 2024 at 15:26 | #5

    I got to see Percy Sledge for free at the Kentish Town & Country Club. As I remember it, he performed after Locomotion. I didn’t leave, and somehow I ended up in the crowd. Sledge shook my hand, which was like touching royalty (which is a turn of phrase; I’m a committed republ… anti-monarchist).

  6. Jo
    April 27th, 2024 at 11:04 | #6

    @amdwhah
    Wow! Lucky you! I have a vague memory of Locomotion ending earlier one night because of someone playing but I could just be making it up. Oh, why did I not stay?!
    As for royalty, I was may more starstruck when Paul Weller brushed past me on a staircase at a Red Wedge concert than when I by accident came upon Lady Diana and Charles outside the cinema on Lower Regent Street.

  7. Jo
    April 27th, 2024 at 11:07 | #7

    *“way more”, not “may more”, of course. Don’t want anyone doubting how Paul Weller’s arm made me feel.

  8. amdwhah
    April 28th, 2024 at 22:54 | #8

    Yeah, it ended early a couple of times. Around that time I also saw Johnny Clegg & Savuka after a Locomotion night, but for that gig I had bought tickets.

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