Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Various Artists - Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 13 (1990)

Disc 13 of 25.  This disc contains singles that peaked on the charts in the latter part of 1974. This disc is different from others in the series because the songs are presented in chronological order, multiple songs hit the top spot on the charts, and there are two songs included from the same band.  One of the stronger volumes in the series.

  • Midnight At The Oasis - Maria Muldaur: Peaked at #6 in June 1974. Previously heard on Greatest Hits of the 70s, Volume One. Here's what I wrote then: "Ignore the stupid lyrics; I love this song. When I finally get around to recording my covers album (tentatively titled Songs In The Key Of Mark), this song will be on it. Maybe I'll throw in a flugelhorn solo for good measure."
  • My Girl Bill - Jim Stafford: Peaked at #12 in June 1974. Novelty song that cleverly suggests homosexuality before the twist at the end. The music is harmless enough, though. I'm sure the Branson crowd loves this one, but we are not amused.
  • Billy, Don't Be A Hero - Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods: Peaked at #1 in June 1974.  A corny story song about a Civil War soldier that served as an allegory for the Vietnam War.  The depressing lyrics don't fit the peppy, bubblegum pop music.  I remembering my sister and her friends listening to this 45 over and over and over.  I wouldn't seek this one out, but I have to admit there are parts that are kinda catchy.
  • Radar Love - Golden Earring: Peaked at #13 in July 1974.  A fun boogie shuffle, this one probably gets more airplay these days than it did back in '74.  I particularly like the instrumental break when the horns kick in.
  • The Night Chicago Died - Paper Lace: Peaked at #1 in August 1974.  Previously heard on Greatest Hits of the 70s, Volume One.  Here's what I wrote then: "the lyrics - totally fictional, the music - totally lame. Now I can't listen to this song without thinking of Jack Black singing it in the movie High Fidelity. 'The night Laura's daddy died. Sha na na na na na na na na! Brother what a night it really was. Mother what a night it really... angina's tough! Glory be!'"
  • Please Come To Boston - Dave Loggins: Peaked at #5 in August 1974. Although it's pretty in a country/folky kind of way, this one doesn't do much for me.  8 year old Mark much preferred a soul ballad to this sort of thing.
  • Keep On Smilin' - Wet Willie: Peaked at #10 in August 1974. A good ol' Southern Rock song in which the band seems to be channeling The Allman Brothers.  Love the bass and harmonica work on this one - it's got such a funky groove.  The positive lyrics were just what were needed in the US in 1974.
  • Who Do You Think You Are - Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods: Peaked at #15 in September 1974. Donaldson had 3 Top 40 hits and two of them are on this disc.  Even though this charted lower than Billy, Don't Be A Hero, I think it's the better song.  It's got a Chicago/Blood Sweat & Tears feel to it, although it also reminds me Chris Rea's Fool If You Think It's Over.
  • Rock Me Gently - Andy Kim: Peaked at #1 in September 1974. Previously heard on AM Gold Pop Classics.  Even though it hit the top spot, I don't remember this Neil Diamond knock-off from 1974 radio, but it sure is fun to sing along to.

  • Beach Baby - First Class: Peaked at #4 in October 1974.  Speaking of knock-offs, this one is fairly obvious.  The chorus sounds more like the Beach Boys than the verse. This song sounds like it was recorded in 1968 and that's fine - maybe that's what they were going for.  The record company probably should have released this earlier for summer play?  It didn't even break into the chart until August.  Oddly, this CD features the longer 5:03 version instead of the single release which clocked in at 3:08.
  • I Can Help - Billy Swan: Peaked at #1 in November 1974. Always liked this organ heavy blues shuffle, even as a kid.  Full of hooks and a memorable guitar solo.  Also hit #1 on the country charts.
  • Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion: Peaked at #8 in November 1974.  There's not much musically to this song, but damn if it's not catchy as hell.  Great way to close this compilation.  The lyrics are a flashback in themselves:

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

Previously revisited for the blog:

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