“Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974. It’s a scientific fact!” -Homer Simpson
Our survey brings us now to another year some of you have been looking forward to with excitement (and some of you with dread): 1974. This was, for reasons I’m not quite sure of, the single most tumultuous year by far in the history of the chart. 35 singles made it to #1 this year, with very few of them lasting longer than one week in the top spot, and the single longest run of the year being a mere three weeks.
You know the drill. Which of these songs is the best / your favorite / whatever synonym you prefer for the song you like the most?
Angie Baby may be the best creepy song ever. Cat’s In the Cradle is the song with the best guarantee of getting tears in my eyes. There are some other nice ones including the beautiful Annie’s Song. I’m voting for You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.
Such a bountiful harvest of amazingly silly songs!
I decided a few years into this process that I would go with something stoopid for '74, simply to highlight what 1974 represented in music.
But which to pick???
Seasons in the Sun
The Night Chicago Died
Billy Don’t be a Hero
Hooked on a Feeling
You’re Having my Baby
The Streak (first single I bought with my own money!!)
Kung Fu Fighting
The Joker (honorary mention for The Pompatus of Love!!)
The list goes on - but my god, what a cavalcade of stupid.
Then you have the sappy sentimentality of:
I Honestly Love You
I Can Help
Sunshine on my Shoulders
and, dare I say it, Cat’s in the Cradle - the ultimate Make a Dad Feel Like Shit song
Man oh man, what to pick???
If I was picking for quality, I would probably go with something like BTO’s You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet - meat and potatoes rock. I like Elton’s Bennie, Barry White, Lennon, even Paul’s long and silly Band on the Run isn’t bad.
Wow - so hard to pick.
Ultimately, I think I might go with Hooked on a Feeling - incredibly, profoundly stupid, but catchy and, with its comeback in Guardians of the Galaxy, has demonstrable staying power.
I’m reading through this list, thinking I can’t even vote because it’s so awful, and then: Barry White. I guess it’s probably not a great song, but Barry could sing me the yellow pages and I’d … well, never mind.
Yet again I join the chorus - the 70s sucked like a starving whore.
Since None of the Fucking Above was not an option, I picked Harry Chapin because he’s dead and pretentious. Not John Denver, because of those stupid glasses. John Lennon married Yoko and had an excuse for his music, and Jim Croce looked too much like a porn star. So Cat’s in the Cradle it is.
Although I think Kung Fu Fighting better summed up the Zeitgeist of the early 70s for being catchy and completely stupid.
That was the year I graduated from high school. Look out, world - disco and Shodan are coming.
That’s why I love the seventies. It was a magically bizarre time, anything could have happened! Of course, I was four years old in 1974 and life in general was magically bizarre, but I think my point stands.
“Band On the Run” is probably the actual best song off this list.
“Angie Baby” is the one I’d like to hear most right this moment.
But I choose the one I loved most in 1974: “Dark Lady”. I had the vague idea it was about a witch and even then I dug the spooky shit.