I recently read the following two books about '70s pop music from Don Breithaupt and Jeff Breithaupt.
While there's a little too much disco-bashing for my taste in the latter book, I still recommend them both to you. The reason I bring them up here is that they read very much like extended liner notes to this wonderful series of compilation discs from Rhino. Pick 'em up when you see 'em.
Disc 23 of 25. This disc is all over the place in terms of dates (1973-78) and styles. But I don't mind too much because that's what AM radio was like back then.
- Hocus Pocus - Focus: Peaked at #9 in June 1973. A fun progressive rock tune with a sense of humor. In it, we're treated to yodeling, falsetto wailing, accordion, airy flute, whistling, and killer drum and guitar solos. None of it would work unless the song rocked, and it does.
- Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield: Peaked at #7 in May 1974. Eerie because of its connection to The Exorcist (a movie I was forbidden to see). It's an interesting piece and I've sat through the 49 minute extended version, but a pop hit? Go figure. It's not exactly a summer poolside favorite.
- I've Got The Music In Me - The Kiki Dee Band: Peaked at #12 in November 1974. A fantastic upbeat number and Kiki really brings in it. The whole thing sounds like a bombastic opening production number from a TV variety show and I couldn't care less.
- Never My Love - Blue Swede: Peaked at #7 in October 1974. Why?!? Why desecrate such a classic love song? Surprising: someone thought this was a good idea. Even more surprising: it reached the Top 10.
- Amie - Pure Prairie League: Peaked at #27 in April 1975. For years, I assumed this was an Allman Brothers tune. With its catchy country/rock chorus and singalong vocals, this was a local favorite when I was growing up in West Texas and it still holds up today.
- Back When My Hair Was Short - Gunhill Road: Peaked at #40 in June 1973. I'll pass on this novelty song that sounds like a filler track on a Ringo Starr album.
- Fox On The Run - Sweet: Peaked at #5 in January 1976. I've always enjoyed the singles of this band because they successfully straddled the line between commercial pop and glam rock. This driving song is no exception. The heavy downbeat chorus groove is lifted directly from their 1972 hit, Little Willy, but at least they're stealing from themselves.
- Money Honey - Bay City Rollers: Peaked at #9 in April 1976. A fun bubblegum concoction driven by some great boogie piano playing and sweet background harmonies.
- Let Her In - John Travolta: Peaked at #10 in July 1976. It's worse than I remember it being. For proof, check out Travolta's "ad lib" vocal at about 1:14. Yikes.
- Love Me - Yvonne Elliman: Peaked at #14 in December 1976. Proof that, in the late '70s, even an average Barry Gibb tune was good enough to chart. I had forgotten this one, but now it will be stuck in my head all day.
- This Time I'm In It For Love - Player: Peaked at #10 in June 1978. I have no memory of this song from 1978. I like the backing groove during the verse, but the lack of a memorable hook hurts this one.
- Love Really Hurts Without You - Billy Ocean: Peaked at #22 in May 1976. Another one I don't remember. It's a nice Motown-sounding R&B song that could easily be a late-'60s Temptations tune.
Previously revisited for the blog:
|Volume 1||Volume 2||Volume 3||Volume 4|
|Volume 5||Volume 6||Volume 7||Volume 8|
|Volume 9||Volume 10||Volume 11||Volume 12|
|Volume 13||Volume 14||Volume 15||Volume 16|
|Volume 17||Volume 18||Volume 19||Volume 20|
|Volume 21||Volume 22||Volume 24||Volume 25|
|(from the CD liner notes)|