A cursory glance at the calendar reminds me that it has been about a month since my last Music Friday post, so I missed a couple Fridays in there. Sorry. In the pursuit of determining my “Peak Music Year” I have so far examined the BillBoard Hot 100 charts from 1965 thru 1973, now all we have left to look at are 1974 and 1975. What a long strange trip it’s been. Today we shall inspect the 1974 Chart. Lemme just get a quick look at it…holy crap. This is another one of those schizoid years that bounced all over the place. There’s no shortage of weirdness either, and the mood changed frequently. A strange trip indeed. There are only nine songs that stayed at #1 longer than one week and out of those nine, six stayed at #1 for only two weeks, and three stayed at #1 for three weeks. So…those three songs must have been killer, right? Right? WRONG! These three songs are examples of everything that was wrong with popular music in the 70’s and quite possibly what was wrong with the actual 70’s. In hindsight I don’t understand why these songs did not cause protests, riots and mass hysteria in general. If these songs were “killer” in any sense it would be in the sense that after listening to them one becomes markedly suicidal. I hesitate to even post them here for fear of alienating the very few readers I have. OK, here goes. Just remember I didn’t write them or perform them. I didn’t like them in 1974 nor do I like them now.
Hmmm…this may have been a covert plot by Canada to overthrow the U.S. because I see in the Wiki bios of Terry Jacks and Paul Anka that they are Canadians. That’s it. There’s no other explanation. This fact alone may disqualify 1974 as my peak music year.
But wait! There’s more! There is a smattering of goodenss if not greatness, especially if you are a folk rock fan. The 70’s were the hayday of artists like John Denver, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin and Gordon Lightfoot, all of whom had #1 songs that year. And also in the mix are a few #1’s by ex- Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and (honorary Beatle) Billy Preston. But 1974 apparently being the year of the short National Attention Span, these songs stayed at #1 for only one week apiece.
How did I describe 1974 earlier? Schizophrenic? Maybe Manic-depressive is a better description. Or bi-polar as they call it now. High highs and low lows. I believe I can safely rule it out as my Peak Music Year, but I won’t rank it last because of a few gems in the pile of rubble. There is no clear winner this year, so I will simply present a couple of my favorite songs from that year. Enjoy! Gotta go!