Disc 12 of 25. This disc contains singles that peaked on the charts in the first half of 1974. The compilation includes quite a few songs I would consider to be novelty songs. I'm surprised Rhino didn't include Dickie Goodman's Mr. Jaws on this disc. Except for the lead track, let's just call the whole thing "light-hearted."
- Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks: Peaked at #1 in March 1974. Previously reviewed on this compilation. Here's what I said then: "Harmless, forgettable pop." I must not have been listening to the morbid lyrics then. The song is a dying man's farewell to relatives and friends. Yikes. It's not harmless, but I hope it's still forgettable and get the song out of my head soon. There's no bridge section, so to hold a listener's interest, we're treated to the occasional upward modulation.
- Spiders & Snakes - Jim Stafford: Peaked at #3 in March 1974. Cornpone humor over a catchy riff. I loved it back in '74, but its painful to hear now. If you're a-hankerin' for a live performance, head to Branson, where Stafford has headlined at his own theater since 1990.
- Jim Dandy - Black Oak Arkansas: Peaked at #25 in February 1974. Southern rock cover of a 1957 LaVern Baker hit. Supposedly Elvis himself encouraged the band to record the song and he knew a thing or two about ripping off old R&B songs.
- Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo - Rick Derringer: Peaked at #23 in March 1974. A great trash rock record. The track influenced much rock that followed, most notably Aerosmith's Walk This Way. The song makes me think of the 1993 movie Dazed And Confused - I need to see that again.
- Rock On - David Essex: Peaked at #5 in March 1974. I never really understood the appeal of this song (musically or lyrically). Embarrassingly, but not surprisingly, I'm more familiar with soap opera actor Michael Damian's 1989 cover. At the Grammy Awards, Essex was nominated for the Best New Artist, but lost to Marvin Hamlisch (see track 11).
- Star - Stealers Wheel: Peaked at #29 in March 1974. I don't remember ever hearing this song before buying this CD. I didn't know the group had a follow-up group to the awesome Stuck In The Middle With You. This song is kind of Beatleseque, but they lose me about a minute in with the entrance of a kazoo section. Overall, I prefer Gerry Rafferty's solo work.
- Hooked On A Feeling - Blue Swede: Peaked at #1 in April 1974. One of the best earworms of all time. I ❤ it. HOOGA CHAKA! 'Nuff said.
- Eres Tu (Touch The Wind) - Mocedades: Peaked at #9 in March 1974. This Spanish language hit had its beginnings as Spain's entry in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. I vaguely remember it which is surprising because it sounds like the kind of song that my older sister would have played constantly while forcing me to memorize the lyrics.
- Come And Get Your Love - Redbone: Peaked at #5 in April 1974. A hook-filled garage funk song performed by the only Native American rock band I can think of. The kind of catchy minor hit I wouldn't specifically seek out, but I'm happy that it appears here so I have a copy.
- The Lord's Prayer - Sister Janet Mead: Peaked at #4 in April 1974 (during Holy Week, naturally). I don't remember this at all - and I'm a preacher's kid! Surely this was played around house back then. According to the liner notes, Casey Kasem introduced this song on American Top 40 by saying, "We've had the Singing Nun and the Flying Nun. Now, here's the Rocking Nun."
- The Entertainer - Marvin Hamlisch: Peaked at #3 in May 1974. Children across our great country think of this as the "ice cream truck" song. More famous in this house for composing the music to A Chorus Line, Hamlisch lightly orchestrated this 1902 Scott Joplin piano rag for the hit 1973 caper movie, The Sting. I prefer the original piano version. Is it just me, or do piano rags make you want to shout out, "Bartender! Another round!"?
- The Streak - Ray Stevens: Peaked at #1 in May 1974. I was seven years old when this song hit. I thought it was the funniest thing I'd ever heard. Almost 40 years later, it still makes me laugh. Don't look, Ethel!
Previously revisited for the blog: