6 Sep 2005, Comments (0)

The way we were

Author: Helen

Well at least there was Bazza

Here’s another music meme from Body and Soul. For this one, you need to go here and type the year you graduated from high school into the search box.
(Yeah, it shows everyone instantly how old you are. Depends how cagey you want to be about that one…)

Click on the link “Top 100 hits of… (your graduation year)” and cut and paste the results into your blog.

Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favourite. Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about).

Top 100 Hits of 1974

1. The Way We Were, Barbra Streisand
2. Seasons In The Sun, Terry Jacks
3. Love’s Theme, Love Unlimited Orchestra
4. Come And Get Your Love, Redbone
5. Dancing Machine, Jackson 5
6. The Loco-Motion, Grand Funk Railroad
8. The Streak, Ray Stevens
9. Bennie And The Jets, Elton John
10. One Hell Of A Woman, Mac Davis
11. Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do), Aretha Franklin
12. Jungle Boogie, Kool and The Gang
13. Midnight At The Oasis, Maria Muldaur
14. You Make Me Feel Brand New, Stylistics
15. Show And Tell, Al Wilson
16. Spiders And Snakes, Jim Stafford
17. Rock On, David Essex
18. Sunshine On My Shoulder, John Denver
19. Sideshow, Blue Magic
20. Hooked On A Feeling, Blue Swede
21. Billy Don’t Be A Hero, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods
22. Band On The Run, Paul McCartney and Wings
23. The Most Beautiful Girl, Charlie Rich
24. Time In A Bottle, Jim Croce
25. Annie’s Song, John Denver
26. Let Me Be There, Olivia Newton-John
27. Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot
28. (You’re) Having My Baby, Paul Anka
29. Rock Me Gently, Andy Kim
30. Boogie Down, Eddie Kendricks
31. You’re Sixteen, Ringo Starr
32. If You Love Me (Let Me Know), Olivia Newton-John
33. Dark Lady, Cher
34. Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me, Gladys Knight and The Pips
35. Feel Like Makin’ Love, Roberta Flack
36. Just Dont Want To Be Lonely, Main Ingredient
37. Nothing From Nothing, Billy Preston
38. Rock Your Baby, George McCrae
39. Top Of The World, Carpenters
40. The Joker, Steve Miller Band
41. I’ve Got To Use My Imagination, Gladys Knight and The Pips
42. The Show Must Go On, Three Dog Night
43. Rock The Boat, Hues Corporation
44. Smokin’ In The Boys Room, Brownsville Station
45. Living For The City, Stevie Wonder
46. The Night Chicago Died, Paper Lace
47. Then Came You, Dionne Warwick and The Spinners
48. The Entertainer, Marvin Hamlisch
49. Waterloo, Abba
50. The Air That I Breathe, Hollies
51. Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, Steely Dan
52. Mockingbird, Carly Simon
53. Help Me, Joni Mitchell
54. You Won’t See Me, Anne Murray
55. Never, Never Gonna Give You Up, Barry White
56. Tell Me Something Good, Rufus
57. You And Me Against The World, Helen Reddy
58. Rock And Roll Heaven, Righteous Brothers
59. Hollywood Swinging, Kool and The Gang
60. Be Thankful For What You Got, William Devaughn
61. Hang On In There Baby, Johnny Bristol
62. Eres Tu (Touch The Wind), Mocedades
63. Taking Care Of Business, Bachman-Turner Overdrive
64. Radar Love, Golden Earring
65. Please Come To Boston, Dave Loggins
66. Keep On Smilin’, Wet Willie
67. Lookin’ For Love, Bobby Womack
68. Put Your Hands Together, O’Jays
69. On And On, Gladys Knight and The Pips
70. Oh Very Young, Cat Stevens
71. Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress), Helen Reddy
72. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John
73. I’ve Been Searchin’ So Long, Chicago
74. Oh My My, Ringo Starr
75. For The Love Of Money, O’Jays
76. I Shot The Sherrif, Eric Clapton
77. Jet, Paul McCartney and Wings
78. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Elton John
79. Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield
80. Love Song, Anne Murray
81. I’m Leaving It All Up To You, Donny and Marie Osmond
82. Hello, It’s Me, Todd Rundgren
83. I Love, Tom T. Hall
84. Clap For The Wolfman, The Guess Who
85. I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song, Jim Croce
85. The Lord’s Prayer, Sister Janet Mead
87. Trying To Hold On To My Woman, Lamont Dozier
88. Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing, Stevie Wonder
89. A Very Special Love Song, Charlie Rich
90. My Girl Bill, Jim Stafford
91. My Mistake Was To Love You, Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye
91. Helen Wheels, Paul McCartney and Wings
93. Wildwood Weed, Jim Stafford
94. Beach Baby, First Class
95. Me And Baby Brother, War
96. Rockin’ Roll Baby, Stylistics
97. I Honestly Love You, Olivia Newton-John
98. Call On Me, Chicago
99. Wild Thing, Fancy
100. Mighty Love, Pt. 1, Spinners

This list goes a long way to explain why I’m a neurotic misanthrope who loves to complain. As you can see, 1974 was dire. If you had had to listen to someone’s beloved copy of Tubular Bells on constant rotation on the 6th form (antediluvian term for VCE student, kids) rec room turntable, punctuated by Slade Alive! (which does not feature on this list but certainly featured ad nauseum among my classmates), you’d be scarred for life too.

1974 was certainly a year of spectacular musical badness, with a few isolated spikes of brilliance. In the Bad corner, look no further than no. 1 on the list, The Way we Bore, one of the most hated songs of last century. A few more choice selections:

The Stylistics, You Make me Feel Brand New: Whining set to music!
John Denver – two songs, Sunshine on my Shoulder and Annie’s Song— hard to say which is more dreadful.
The Carpenters, Top of the World: I know she’s a beautiful chick drummer and she’s dead, but their songs were horrible.
Brownsville Station, Smokin’ in the Boys Room: I have never heard anything else from this band, which figures.
Blue Swede, Hooked on a Feeling: As above. And what does their name mean, anyway? shoes made out of vegetables?
ABBA, Waterloo: They were huge, but I still hated them. I still have to crank up my postmodern irony levels to full bore to enjoy their stuff.
The Hollies, The Air that I Breathe. Pure Shite.
Helen Reddy, Leave Me alone. Only too happy to.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Taking Care of Business. This is the kind of shuffle-boogie-with-flattened-fifths that makes my eyes glaze over. Cookie-cutter stuff. I loved fanging around the backblocks in the EJ to the sound of You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, though.
Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: An OK song, but done to death, just like
Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells: Aaaaaaaaaiiiiiieeee!
Janet Mead, The Lord’s Prayer: The oldies thought this would make churchgoing “groovy” for the “teens”.


The most egregious dog’s balls of the lot,
Olivia Newton-John, I Honestly Love you… I don’t want to be overly critical of a nice person going through a traumatic experience, but she didn’t happen to sing that one to him just before he disappeared, did she? because that could explain a few things

Even the greats, like Aretha Franklin, were a bit off that year. Until You Come Back to Me is an OK song, but not among my favourites. I loved Joni Mitchell but can’t for the life of me remember Help Me.

But there were some standout songs too in that year, and some of them by quite unlikely people. Like David Essex, Rock On and Barry White Never Never going to Give you Up. I was a bit too young to appreciate Barry properly in those days, but I have made up for it since. Then there was Gordon Lightfoot Sundown, Steely Dan Rikki Don’t Lose that Number and that mighty classic, Golden Earring’s Radar Love, which I got to cover in later life. But all up, 1974 was a celebration of mediocrity in the top 100.

No wonder so many of us Generation Jones gave up in disgust at what was on offer in the mid-70s commercial airwaves and embraced the Saints, the Go Betweens, the Birthday Party. I’ll find time to blog all that one day.

I’m sending this meme on to FX Holden, Flop-Eared Mule, Burnt Karma, and Brownie.

Comments (0)

  • cs says:

    Barry White! My toes are curling.

    And here I can see what else you listen to – not pretty Helen.

  • Dave says:

    Mamma weer all crazeee now. Slade is still going strong, touting themselves as the Best Rockn Roll Band Ever, asking for votes into the RnR Hall of fame, touring Belgium and releasing new albums like Cum on Let’s Party, I think they should have stayed at school and learn’t to spell.

  • cileo says:

    Obviously not an UK list, no mention of Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music and the glorious (still with us) Sparks, who released my favourite EVER song of all time in 1974.

    Zoo time is she and you time. The mammals are your favourite type, and you want her tonight, Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat. You hear the thunder of stampeding rhinos, elephants and tacky tigers. This town ain’t big enough for both of us. And it ain’t me who’s gonna leave

    Pure genius.

  • Kent says:

    You think 1974 was bad. Try the top 100 today or (for me) three years ago.

    When songs entitled “I’m A Thug” are on the list, you know something is very wrong.

  • R.H. says:

    ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New.’ You’ve crossed it out. Okay. Well I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can love you anymore.
    I know your type, the type to sneer at romance. You’d even sneer at ‘I Wouldn’t Say No To A Naughty’ the most romantic song of all time! And a Billy Sneddon favourite too. He sang it in a motel room and was found dead the next morning. That’s what he did for love! Romantic old coot! And who’d have thought so? Well, plenty as it turns out. Especially Truth Newspaper. “Billy Dies On The Job!” it said. Yes, well, you can’t get more romantic than that!

  • R.H. says:

    I don’t know what Postmodernism means. And I’m glad.

  • Helen says:

    Robert!? You know what Billy Snedden was singing while he was “on the job”? Come on, more details!

  • R.H. says:

    I’m saving it for the Women’s Weekly.

  • Julie says:

    ‘each to their own’, as long as I don’t have to go to the school reunion.

  • Guido says:

    1974 was a very important year for me because it was the year when I migrated to Australia, and many of these songs still give me a strong emotional feeling when I hear them.

    For instance ‘Love Theme’ (which I really like BTW) was played on the Alitalia plane before the inflight movie. ‘Goodbye yellow brick road’ has been played to death, but on the inflight entertainment they played ‘Funeral For A Friend’ which I still really like (especially those flutes) and bring me back immediately.

    Then there are those who do not bring me such good memories – the difficulties of a new school, no English and settling – but I still like to listen just as a way to realise how much better is my life now. Songs that were played on 2SM such as ‘Midnight At The Oasis’ and ‘Rock Your Baby’

    And yes – I bless 3RRR when in 1978 I found that there was music beyond.

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