eurohitlist.eu

Angie Baby

“Angie Baby” is a popular song that was written by American Alan O’Day, and became a hit for Australian singer Helen Reddy. The song reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart at the end of December 1974 and became one of Reddy’s biggest-selling singles. The song also topped the U.S. adult contemporary chart, Reddy’s fifth #1 on this chart.[1]

The song’s cryptic lyrics have inspired a number of listener theories as to what the song is really about. Reddy has refused to comment on what the true storyline of the song is, partly because she has said she enjoys hearing other listeners’ interpretations. Reddy has also said that “Angie Baby” was the one song she never had to push radio stations into playing.

Cat’s in the Cradle

“Cat’s in the Cradle” is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1974. As Chapin’s only No. 1 hit song, it became the best known of his work and a staple for folk rock music. Chapin’s recording of the song was nominated for the 1975 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011.[2][3]

The song’s lyrics began as a poem written by Harry’s wife, Sandra “Sandy” Gaston; the poem itself was inspired by the awkward relationship between her first husband, James Cashmore, and his father, John, a politician who served as Brooklyn Borough President. She was also inspired by a country music song she had heard on the radio.[4] Harry also said the song was about his own relationship with his son, Josh, admitting, “Frankly, this song scares me to death.”[5]

Kung Fu Fighting

“Kung Fu Fighting” is a song written, composed and performed by Carl Douglas and produced by Biddu.[3] It was released as a single in 1974, on the cusp of a chopsocky film craze, and eventually rose to the top of the British and American charts, in addition to reaching number one on the Soul Singles chart.[4] It received a Gold certification from the RIAA in 1974[5] and popularized disco music.[6] It eventually went on to sell eleven million records worldwide,[2][6] making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song uses the quintessential Oriental riff, a short musical phrase that is used to signify Chinese culture.

“Kung Fu Fighting” was rated number 100 in VH1’s 100 Greatest one-hit wonders, and number 1 in the UK Channel 4’s Top 10 One Hit Wonders list in 2000, the same channel’s 50 Greatest One Hit Wonders poll in 2006 and Bring Back … the one-hit Wonders, for which Carl Douglas performed the song in a live concert.

I Can Help

“I Can Help” is a song written[3] and performed by Billy Swan. Released in July 1974,[2] the song was a big crossover smash, reaching No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Singles charts late that fall. Although Swan had other charting singles on both the Hot 100 and country charts, the song is generally recognized as being Swan’s only major hit single release.[4] However, Swan had continued success as a songwriter for other artists and as a session musician.

Whatever Gets You thru the Night

“Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” is a song written by John Lennon, released as a single in 1974 on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 1874 in the United States and Apple R5998 in the United Kingdom.[1] It peaked at number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cashbox Top 100.[2] It also peaked at number 36 on the British singles chart.[1] It was the lead single for the Walls and Bridges album in the US; in the UK it was released the same day as the album.

In Canada, the song spent two weeks at number two, and became the 30th biggest hit of 1974.[3]

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (Bachman–Turner Overdrive song)

“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” is a rock song written by Randy Bachman and performed by Bachman–Turner Overdrive (BTO) on the album Not Fragile (1974). It was released as a single in 1974 with an instrumental track “Free Wheelin'” as the B-side. It reached the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and the Canadian RPM chart the week of November 9, 1974 as well as reaching #2 on the UK Singles Chart.

You Haven’t Done Nothin’

“You Haven’t Done Nothin'” is a 1974 funk single by Stevie Wonder, taken from his album Fulfillingness’ First Finale and featuring background vocals by The Jackson 5. The politically aware song became Wonder’s fourth Number 1 pop hit and his tenth Number 1 soul hit.[1] In the UK the single spent five weeks on the chart, peaking at Number 30.[2]

The song was one of his angriest political statements and was aimed squarely at President Richard Nixon, who resigned two days after the record’s release. The Jackson Five sing the words “Doo da wop!” repeatedly in the chorus, when Wonder sings “Jackson Five, sing along with me”.[3] The song also features a thick clavinet track and an early appearance of the drum machine. The B-side “Big Brother”, also a political statement, was taken from Wonder’s 1972 album Talking Book.

Then Came You (song)

“Then Came You” is a 1974 Grammy-nominated hit for American soul singer Dionne Warwick and American R&B group The Spinners, and credited to Dionne Warwicke and Spinners (from 1971–1975, Warwick added a final ‘e’ to her last name). The track was written by Sherman Marshall and Phillip T. Pugh, and produced by Thom Bell.

Released during a time that Warwick’s chart fortunes were at an ebb after moving to Warner Bros. Records in 1972, the Philadelphia soul single was a rare mid-1970s success for the singer. Sung as a duet with Spinners main lead singer Bobby Smith and the Spinners, who were one of the most popular groups of the decade, the song became Warwick’s first ever single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also became her highest-charting R&B record reaching number two on that chart. It was also the first number-one pop hit for the Spinners. Spinners member Phillippe Wynne took over lead duties at the very end of the song, as he did on another one of the group’s big hits, “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love”.

While Warwick was signed to Warner Bros. at the time, this release actually came out on Atlantic Records, which was the Spinners’ label, but also a sister label to Warner Bros.
Warwick eventually left Warner Bros. for Arista Records in 1978 where she regrouped and found consistent success again as an artist.

Nothing from Nothing (Billy Preston song)

“Nothing from Nothing” is a song written by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher and recorded by Billy Preston for his 1974 album The Kids & Me. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in October 1974, becoming Preston’s second solo chart-topper in the United States (following his 1973 hit “Will It Go Round in Circles”).[1] It spent four and a half months on the chart.

Preston performed “Nothing from Nothing” later on Saturday Night Live – the first musical performance ever on the show. The song was also used in a Chevrolet commercial, and prominently featured in the 2008 film Be Kind Rewind.

I Honestly Love You

“I Honestly Love You” (first released in Australia as “I Love You, I Honestly Love You”, per its chorus) was a worldwide pop hit single for Olivia Newton-John in 1974. The song was Newton-John’s first number-one single in the United States and Canada.

Released on the Long Live Love album in the United Kingdom by EMI, it was eventually released on the album If You Love Me, Let Me Know in the United States on MCA. The song was written by Jeff Barry and the Australian composer Peter Allen; the latter recorded it around the same time on his album Continental American. It also appears in the musical about Allen’s life, The Boy from Oz. VH1 placed the song at No. 11 on its “40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs” list.[3] The song won Newton-John both the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 17th Grammy Awards.[4] Andy Williams released a version in 1974 on his album, You Lay So Easy on My Mind.

A snippet of the song plays over Chief Brody’s radio in the second shark attack in 1975’s “Jaws”, moments before Alex Kitner and Pippet the dog disappear beneath the waves.

Rock Me Gently (Andy Kim song)

Rock Me Gently was a Billboard #1 hit song for Andy Kim in 1974.

The Canadian singer, who had achieved several hits from 1968 to 1971, had not had a Top 100 single since September 1971, and had been without a record label since early 1973. Nevertheless, he said in a 1974 interview, “I never mentally admitted defeat in spite of three years off the charts.” He formed his own label, Ice Records, and personally financed the recording session that produced “Rock Me Gently”. He could afford to record only two sides, and deciding the second side was good enough to be an A-Side, he put an instrumental of Rock Me Gently on its B-Side.[1]

The single impressed Capitol Records executives, who signed Kim to a deal. “Rock Me Gently” debuted on the Hot 100 on June 22, 1974, and took 14 weeks to reach #1 on September 28. It also rose to #2 on the UK Singles Chart, and #10 in Ireland, and remains his only charting song in either the UK or Ireland. Even the instrumental B-Side received substantial airplay on R&B stations. It would be Kim’s last top 10 hit in either country.[1]

Part of the song was used in a 1970s UK TV commercial for Lever Brothers’ Jif cleaning cream, using the lyric “When Jif’s your cleaner – Tough dirt goes – Away so gently – And it shows – Your home has never been loved like this before”.[2]

The song resurfaced in 2008 in a television commercial for Jeep Liberty.[3]

Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe

“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” is a song written, recorded, and produced by Barry White. Released as the first single from his album Can’t Get Enough in 1974, the song topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts[1] and has since become one of his signature tunes. It was his second U.S. chart-topper, after “Love’s Theme”.

The song is a pop-soul track with lush string arrangements and a disco-influenced beat behind it. The single differs from the LP version in that White sings solo during the intro whereas on the LP version he performs background vocals. The single is also an edit and is mixed differently.

White performed this song live on The Midnight Special in 1974, and on Soul Train on May 24, 1975.[2]

I Shot the Sheriff

“I Shot the Sheriff” is a song written by Bob Marley and released in 1973. It has been covered by Eric Clapton and Warren G.

The story is told from the point of view of a narrator who admits to having killed the local sheriff, and claims to be falsely accused of having killed the deputy sheriff. The narrator also claims to have acted in self-defense when the sheriff tried to shoot him. The song was first released in 1973 on The Wailers’ album Burnin’. Marley explained his intention as follows: “I want to say ‘I shot the police’ but the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice.”[1]

In 1992, with the controversy surrounding the Ice-T song “Cop Killer”, Marley’s song was often cited by Ice-T’s supporters as evidence of his detractors’ hypocrisy considering the older song was never similarly criticized despite having much the same theme.[2]

In 2012, Bob Marley’s former girlfriend revealed the origin of the lyrics. To the surprise of many, she explained that the lyrics, “Sheriff John Brown always hated me, For what, I don’t know: Every time I plant a seed, He said kill it before it grow” was actually in response to the fact that Marley was very opposed to her use of birth control pills. Marley’s opposition to birth control led Marley to substitute the word “sheriff” for “doctor”.[3]

(You’re) Having My Baby

“(You’re) Having My Baby” is a song written and recorded by Canadian singer Paul Anka. Recorded as a duet with female vocalist Odia Coates, the song became Anka’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 15 years, since 1959’s “Lonely Boy.” The song became a Gold record.

Anka, whose last chart-topping hit had been 1959’s “Lonely Boy”, had written the song for his wife and their four daughters while appearing at Lake Tahoe.[1] The song was going to be a solo effort by Anka, but the unknown Coates, whom Anka had met while on tour, was at the studio during the recording session. Upon suggestion by United Artists recording executive Bob Skaff, the song became a duet.[1] Released in late June 1974, “(You’re) Having My Baby” climbed the chart and became Anka’s third No. 1 song. A follow-up single “One Man Woman/One Woman Man”, reached the Top 10 in early 1975.

The Night Chicago Died

“The Night Chicago Died” is a song by the British group Paper Lace, written by Peter Callander and Mitch Murray. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in 1974, reached number 3 in the UK charts, and number 2 in Canada. It is about a fictional shoot-out between the Chicago Police and members of the Al Capone Syndicate. The narrator retells his mother’s anguish while awaiting news of the fate of her husband, a Chicago policeman.

Feel Like Makin’ Love (Roberta Flack song)

“Feel Like Makin’ Love” is a song composed by singer-songwriter Eugene McDaniels, and recorded originally by soul singer-songwriter Roberta Flack. The song has been covered by several R&B and jazz artists.

Released nine months before the album of the same title, the song became one of the greatest musical successes of 1974, as well as of Roberta Flack’s recording career. It scored a week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, making it Flack’s third #1 single. It also had five weeks at #1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.[1] and two weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts of both Canada and the U.S. Flack produced the record under the pseudonym Rubina Flake. It went on to receive three Grammy nominations for Flack: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

Annie’s Song

“Annie’s Song” (also known as “Annie’s Song (You Fill Up My Senses)”) is a folk rock country song recorded and written by singer-songwriter John Denver. The song was released as a single from Denver’s album, Back Home Again. It was his second number-one song in the United States, occupying that spot for two weeks in July 1974. “Annie’s Song” also went to number one on the Easy Listening chart.[2] Billboard ranked it as the No. 25 song for 1974.[3]

It went to number one in the United Kingdom, where it was Denver’s only major hit single (many of Denver’s American hits were more familiar in the UK through cover versions by other artists). Four years later, an instrumental version also became flutist James Galway’s only major British hit.

Rock Your Baby

“Rock Your Baby” is a first studio album by George McCrae. Written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band, “Rock Your Baby” was one of the landmark recordings of early disco music. A massive international hit, the song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States, spending two weeks at the top in July 1974, number one on the R&B singles chart,[2] and repeating the feat on the UK Singles Chart, spending three weeks at the top of the chart in July 1974.[3][4] Having sold 11 million copies, it is one of the fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide.[5][6]

The backing track for the record had been recorded in 45 minutes as a demo, and featured guitarist Jerome Smith of KC and the Sunshine Band, with Casey on keyboards and Finch on bass and drums.[7] The track was not originally intended for McCrae, but he happened to be in the studio, added a vocal, and the resultant combination of infectious rhythm and falsetto vocals made it a hit.

The chord progression of John Lennon’s number one single “Whatever Gets You thru the Night”, released a few months later, bears a great resemblance to the one found in “Rock Your Baby”. Lennon later admitted to using the song as an inspiration.[8] ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus have also cited the song as an inspiration for the backing track of their 1976 smash hit “Dancing Queen”. The song was covered by indie rock band The House of Love for the 1992 compilation album Ruby Trax.[9]

Rock the Boat (The Hues Corporation song)

“Rock the Boat” is a song by American disco group The Hues Corporation in 1974. “Rock the Boat” was written by Waldo Holmes, who also wrote the Blacula songs. “Rock the Boat” was first featured on The Hues Corporation’s 1973 album, Freedom for the Stallion (a different edit version, which was the single, later appeared on certain editions of the band’s follow-up album, 1974’s Rockin’ Soul).[1] It was released as the second single from the album in early 1974 to follow-up Stallion’s title song, which had peaked at #63 on the Hot 100.

Initially, “Rock the Boat” appeared as though it would flop, as months went by without any radio airplay or sales activity. Not until the song became a disco/club favorite in New York did Top 40 radio finally pick up on the song, leading the record to finally enter the Hot 100 and zip up the chart to #1 the week of July 6, 1974, in only its seventh week on the chart (and fourth week in the Top 40). The record also reached the top 10 in the United Kingdom (number 6). “Rock the Boat” is considered one of the earliest disco songs. Some authorities proclaim it to be the first disco song to hit #1, while others give that distinction to “Love’s Theme” by Love Unlimited Orchestra, a chart-topper from earlier in 1974. The song became a gold record. It is a heavy airplay favorite on oldie and adult-contemporary stations today.

Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot song)

“Sundown” is a song by Canadian folk artist Gordon Lightfoot, released as a single in March 1974.
“Sundown” reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and easy listening charts[1] and number thirteen on the Hot Country singles chart,[2] as well as number one in Canada on RPM’s national singles chart.[3] It was Lightfoot’s only single to reach number one on the Hot 100.

The song’s lyrics seem to describe a troubled romantic relationship, with the narrator recounting an affair with a “hard-loving woman [who’s] got me feeling mean”.
There are rumours that “Sundown” was inspired by Lightfoot’s then girlfriend, Cathy Smith, later more infamously known for her involvement in the 1982 drug-related death of actor John Belushi. Lightfoot has commented in interviews that Smith was “the one woman in my life who most hurt me”.[citation needed]

Billy Don’t Be a Hero

“Billy Don’t Be a Hero” is a 1974 pop song that was first a hit in the UK for Paper Lace and then some months later it was a hit in the US for Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods. The song was written by two British songwriters Mitch Murray and Peter Callander.

Because the song was released in 1974, it was associated by some listeners with the Vietnam War, though it actually refers to an unidentified war. But the drum pattern, references to a marching band leading soldiers in blue, and “riding out” (cavalry) would seem to be referencing the American Civil War.
A young woman is distraught that her fiancé chooses to leave the area with Army recruiters passing through the town and go with them to fight. She laments,

Billy, don’t be a hero, Don’t be a fool with your life
Billy, don’t be a hero, Come back and make me your wife
And as he started to go, she said, ‘Billy keep your head low’
Billy, don’t be a hero, Come back to me.

The song goes on to describe how Billy is killed in action in a pitched battle after volunteering to ride out and seek reinforcements (which suggests mounted infantry and a lack of modern two-way radio communications). In the end, the woman throws away the official letter notifying her of Billy’s “heroic” death.

Band on the Run (song)

“Band on the Run” is the title song of Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1973 album Band on the Run. The song was released as a single in 1974, following the success of “Jet”, and became an international chart success. The song topped the charts in the United States, also reaching number 3 in the United Kingdom.[3][4] The single sold over one million copies in 1974 in America.[3] It has since become one of the band’s most famous songs.

A medley of song fragments that vary in style from folk rock to funk, “Band on the Run” is one of McCartney’s longest singles at 5:09. The song was partly inspired by a comment that George Harrison had made during a meeting of the Beatles’ Apple record label. The song-wide theme is one of freedom and escape, and its creation coincided with Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr having parted with manager Allen Klein in March 1973, leading to improved relations between McCartney and his fellow ex-Beatles. The original demos for this and other tracks on Band on the Run were stolen shortly after Wings arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, to begin recording the album. With the band reduced to a trio consisting of McCartney, his wife Linda, and Denny Laine, “Band on the Run” was recorded at EMI’s Lagos studio and completed at AIR Studios in London.

The Streak

“The Streak” is a popular country/novelty song written, produced, and sung by Ray Stevens. It was released in March 1974 as the lead single to his album Boogity Boogity. “The Streak” capitalized on the then popular craze of streaking.[1] In 2007 Cledus T. Judd covered “The Streak” on his album “Boogity Boogity – A Tribute to the Comic Genius of Ray Stevens”.

One of Stevens’ most successful recordings, “The Streak” was his second number one on the Billboard. Hot 100 singles chart in the USA, spending three weeks at the top in May 1974 and reached #3 on the Billboard Country singles chart. A major international hit it also reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, spending a single week at the top of the chart in June 1974.[2] In total it sold over five million copies internationally and ranked on Billboard magazine’s Top hits of 1974 at number 8.

The Loco-Motion

“The Loco-Motion” is a 1962 pop song written by American songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King. “The Loco-Motion” was originally written for Dee Dee Sharp but Sharp turned the song down.[1] The song is notable for appearing in the American Top 5 three times – each time in a different decade, performed by artists from three different cultures: originally African American pop singer Little Eva in 1962 (U.S. No. 1);[2] then American band Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 (U.S. No. 1);[3] and finally Australian singer Kylie Minogue in 1988 (U.S. No. 3).[4]

The song is a popular and enduring example of the dance-song genre: much of the lyrics are devoted to a description of the dance itself, usually done as a type of line dance. However, the song came before the dance.

“The Loco-Motion” was also the second song to reach No. 1 by two different musical acts. The earlier song to do this was “Go Away Little Girl”, also written by Goffin and King. It is one of only nine songs to achieve this feat.[5]

TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)

“TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” is a 1973 hit recording by MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) featuring vocals by The Three Degrees. A classic example of the Philadelphia soul genre, it was written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as the theme for the American musical television program Soul Train, which specialized in African American musical performers. The single was released on the Philadelphia International label. It was the first television theme song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and it is arguably the first disco song to reach that position.

The song is essentially an instrumental piece, featuring a lush blend of strings and horns in the Philadelphia soul style. There are only two vocal parts to the song: a passage close to the beginning during which The Three Degrees sing “People all over the world!”; and the chorus over the fadeout, “Let’s get it on/It’s time to get down”. The words “People all over the world!” are not heard in the original version. The version heard on Soul Train also had the series title sung over the first four notes of the melody, “Soul Train, Soul Train”. This particular version was released on a 1975 Three Degrees album, International.

TSOP hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1974 and remained there for two weeks, the first television theme song to do so in the history of that chart.[1] It also topped the American R&B chart (for one week) and adult contemporary chart (for two weeks).[2] The Three Degrees would revisit the top of the AC chart later in 1974 with their hit single, When Will I See You Again.

Don Cornelius, the creator and host of Soul Train, refused to allow any references to the name of the television series when the single was released, leading Gamble and Huff to adopt the alternate title for the release. Cornelius would later admit that not allowing the single to be named Soul Train was a major mistake on his part.[3] (As a result, the Three Degrees’ singing of the show’s name “Soul Train” during the chorus as heard on the TV version is not heard on the single.)

Although it was rerecorded a number of times for future versions of the show, and various different themes were used during the late 1970s and early 1980s, TSOP returned in the late 1980s and remained the theme song for Soul Train through the disco, 1980s R&B, new jack swing, hip-hop, and neo soul eras of black music.

TSOP was covered by Dexys Midnight Runners and released as a B-side on the 12″ version of the “Jackie Wilson Said” single, later issued on the remastered version of the album Too-Rye-Ay. The band also used it to open some of their live shows.

Another remake of the tune was made in 1978 by reggae band Inner Circle, who had a history of covering American soul songs in the laid-back reggae style of the late 1970s.
Two more covers were made in 1987 (by George Duke), and 1999 (by Sampson); both versions would be used as themes for Soul Train. The 1999 theme would be used until Soul Train ‘s final episode in 2006.

The song is played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia prior to every Phillies home game. The song was also played after Vancouver Whitecaps NASL home games at Empire Stadium in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and after Vancouver 86ers CSL home games in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Pilipinas, Game KNB?, a Philippines game show hosted by actor/politician Edu Manzano, used an adaptation of TSOP (Tanya) called Papayo Yowza as its theme. The song’s opening was also sampled as program identification for all Philadelphia 76ers games broadcast on WCAU-AM in the mid-to-late 1970s.
In 1998, German act BMR featuring Dutch singer Felicia Uwaje sampled the single in their song Check It Out.
A similar melody is used in the anime series Haré+Guu.

Bennie and the Jets

“Bennie and the Jets” (also titled as “Benny & the Jets”) is a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.[1] The song is written in the key of G major and first appeared on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album in 1973. “Bennie and the Jets” has been one of John’s most popular songs and was performed during John’s appearance at Live Aid. The track is spelled Benny on the sleeve of the single and in the track listing of the album, but Bennie on the album vinyl disc label.[2]

Hooked on a Feeling

“Hooked on a Feeling” is a 1968 pop song written by Mark James and originally performed by B. J. Thomas. Thomas’s version featured the sound of the electric sitar, and reached number five in 1969 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] It has been recorded by many other artists, including Blue Swede, whose version reached number one in the United States in 1974.[2] Billboard ranked the Blue Swede version as the No. 20 song for 1974.[3]

Sunshine on My Shoulders

“Sunshine on My Shoulders” (sometimes titled simply “Sunshine”) is a song recorded and co-written by American singer-songwriter John Denver. It was originally released as an album track on 1971’s Poems, Prayers & Promises and later, as a single in 1973. It went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. in early 1974.

Denver described how he wrote “Sunshine on My Shoulders”: “I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call ‘late winter, early spring’. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and it was too cold to go outside and have fun, but God, you’re ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you’re waiting for that sun to shine, and you remember how sometimes just the sun itself can make you feel good. And in that very melancholy frame of mind I wrote ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’.”

It was originally the B-side of one of his earlier songs, “I’d Rather Be a Cowboy”. As the Vietnam War came to an end, the song took on a new significance and began to receive airplay on adult contemporary radio stations. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 90 on January 26, 1974 and moved into the number one spot nine weeks later, remaining at #1 for one week. The song also topped the adult contemporary chart for two weeks in 1974.[1] Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song for 1974.[2]

Dark Lady (song)

“Dark Lady” is a pop rock song recorded by American singer-actress Cher, and the title selection from her eleventh studio album, Dark Lady. Written and composed by John Robert “Johnny” Durrill and produced by Snuff Garrett, it was released as the album’s first single in early 1974. The song became Cher’s third solo U.S. number one hit on March 23, 1974, and her last until “Believe” twenty-five years later.[1]

“Dark Lady” was written and composed by The Ventures’s keyboard player, Johnny Durrill. He recalled: “I spent a week in his (Snuff Garrett’s) office playing him songs, one of which Cher recorded. Later, when I was on tour in Japan with the Ventures, I was writing an interesting song. I telegraphed the unfinished lyrics to Garrett. He said to ‘make sure the bitch kills him.’ Hence, in the song both the lover and fortune teller were killed.”[2] Thus, “Dark Lady” may with some accuracy be described as a murder ballad, even though the narrator of its lyrics essentially commits a crime of passion.

The critic Peter Fawthrop, writing for Allmusic, called this song a “grimly comedic folk song”.[3]
The “Dark Lady” of the song’s title is a gypsy fortune teller in New Orleans with a history of misandry (the narrator of the song describes seeing scratches on the inside of the teller’s limousine from her previous conquests). The narrator follows the fortune teller’s limousine to her lair and pays money for a fortune; as a result of the fortune, she learns that her lover has been unfaithful to her with, as the (audibly uncomfortable) fortune teller says, “someone else who is very close to you”. Advised to leave the fortune teller’s shop, never to return, and to forget she has ever seen the fortune teller’s face, the narrator returns home in a state of shock, unable to sleep, and then realizes to her horror that she had once smelled, in her own room, the very perfume the fortune teller had been wearing. Sneaking back to the fortune teller’s shop with a gun, she there catches her lover and the fortune teller “laughing and kissing”, and shoots them both to death, presumably in a fit of rage.

In 1974, “Dark Lady” topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for one week, becoming Cher’s third solo #1 hit. The song was also a #1 hit in Canada and Sweden, a top ten hit in Norway and a top twenty hit in the Netherlands. Like “Half-Breed”, the song struggled in West Germany and the UK, though it managed to reach top forty status in the UK.

Seasons in the Sun

“Seasons in the Sun” is an English-language adaptation of the song “Le Moribond” by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel[1] with lyrics by American singer-poet Rod McKuen.[2] It became a worldwide hit in 1974 for Canadian singer Terry Jacks and became a Christmas Number 1 in 1999 for Westlife. Jacks’s version is one of the fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million copies worldwide.

The song is a dying protagonist’s farewell to relatives and friends. The protagonist mentions how hard it will be to die now that the spring season has arrived (historically, spring is portrayed as the season of new life).

Love’s Theme

“Love’s Theme” is an instrumental piece recorded by Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra and released in 1973 as an A-Side single. It is one of the few instrumental and purely orchestral singles to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, which it did in early 1974. Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 song for 1974.[1] The piece was included on two albums: 1973’s Under the Influence of… Love Unlimited (by the vocal group Love Unlimited) and 1974’s Rhapsody in White by Love Unlimited Orchestra.

The recording, with a large string orchestra, wah-wah guitar, and big rhythm, is considered by author Peter Shapiro to be an influence to the disco sound, which would explode in popularity the following year. The song was also popular on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S., where the song spent two weeks at #1. It was also used by ABC Sports for many years as the opening theme music for its golf coverage. New York television station WPIX used it as the closing music for its then-Action News franchise during the mid-1970s.[2][3] In Canada, the single saw similar success, reaching #1 on the RPM 100 National Singles Chart on March 2, 1974.[4]

In addition, “Love’s Theme” was also recorded in a vocal version by Love Unlimited (on their 1974 album In Heat). Enoch Light recorded an electro-disco instrumental version of the song on his 1977 album, Disco Disque. The song is also part of Meco’s instrumental medley “Hooked On Instrumentals Part I” (from the 1985 album Hooked On Instrumentals). In May 1993, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released the single “Dream of Me (Based on Love’s Theme)” (from their album Liberator, released the same year) which used a sample of this Barry White composition. This single reached #24 on the UK Singles Chart, and Barry White was given a writing credit.

This song was covered by American smooth jazz trumpeter Rick Braun and by American guitarist Chuck Loeb.[citation needed]

The Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways used the song for their TV advertisements. It was also featured briefly in Mean Girls, Despicable Me 2 and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

The Way We Were (song)

“The Way We Were” is the title song to the 1973 movie The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.[1] The song was written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman (lyrics) and Marvin Hamlisch (music) and performed by Streisand.

Billboard named “The Way We Were” as the number 1 pop hit of 1974. Instrumental backing was provided by L.A. session musicians from the Wrecking Crew.[2] The song won the Academy Award[1] and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Grammy Award for Song of the Year. In 1998, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and finished at number 8 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema in 2004. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.[3]

“The Way We Were” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three non-consecutive weeks in February 1974. After its first week at number one it was replaced by “Love’s Theme” by the Love Unlimited Orchestra;[4] by coincidence, the orchestra, also abbreviated as LUO, did a version of “The Way We Were” on their 1979 album Super Movie Themes: Just a Little Bit Different. It then returned to number one for two more weeks. The song also spent two weeks atop the easy listening chart, Streisand’s second single to reach the top of this chart (following 1964’s “People”). The track peaked at #31 in the UK Singles Chart in 1974.[1]

The version of the song released on 45 RPM single contains a different vocal take than the version which appeared on the original movie soundtrack and subsequent greatest hits compilations. Both versions use the same music track; the difference in the vocals can easily be heard on the line “Smiles we gave to one another” at approximately 1:15 into the song. The true 45 RPM single version has never appeared on CD. The soundtrack version of the song, a completely different take with alternate music track, appears on Just For the Record, Streisand’s 4-CD box set collection released in 1991.

A bootleg of the recording sessions exists featuring Streisand with composer Marvin Hamlisch in a recording studio as they perform various takes of the song. One segment reveals Streisand changing the first word of the song from “Daydreams” to “Memories.”

Streisand’s version was listed at #90 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of All Time.[5]

You’re Sixteen

“You’re Sixteen” is a song written by the Sherman Brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman). It was first performed by American rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette, whose version peaked at number eight on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in December 1960 and number 3 in the U.K. in 1961.[1] The original 1960 version of “You’re Sixteen” by Johnny Burnette is featured prominently on the 1973 motion picture soundtrack of the film American Graffiti.

Show and Tell (song)

“Show and Tell” is a popular song written by Jerry Fuller and first recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1972. This original version made it to #36 on the Easy Listening chart. [1]

A 1973 recording of the song by Al Wilson reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week on January 19, 1974; it sold over two million copies and was named a Cash Box Number One Single of the Year. Billboard ranked it as the No. 15 song for 1974.[2] Wilson’s version also made No. 10 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.

The Joker (song)

“The Joker” is a song by the Steve Miller Band from their 1973 album The Joker. It is one of two Steve Miller Band songs that feature the nonce word “pompatus”. The song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1974.[1]

More than 16 years later, in September 1990, it reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks[2] after being used in “Great Deal”, a Hugh Johnson-directed television advertisement for Levi’s, thus holding the record for the longest gap between transatlantic chart-toppers. This reissue of “The Joker” also topped the Irish Singles Chart,[3] the New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart,[4] the Dutch Nationale Top 100[5] and the Dutch Top 40.[6]

The first line of the lyrics is a reference to the song “Space Cowboy” from Miller’s Brave New World album. Following lines refer to two other songs: “Gangster of Love” from Sailor and “Enter Maurice” from Recall the Beginning…A Journey from Eden.

Time in a Bottle

“Time in a Bottle” is a hit single by singer-songwriter Jim Croce. Croce wrote the lyrics after his wife Ingrid told him she was pregnant with his son, Adrian, in December 1970.[1] It appeared on his 1972 ABC debut album You Don’t Mess Around with Jim. ABC originally did not intend to release the song as a single; but when Croce was killed in a plane crash in September 1973, the song’s lyrics, dealing with mortality and the wish to have more time, had additional resonance. The song subsequently received a large amount of airplay as an album track and demand for a single release built. When it was eventually issued as a 7″, it became his second and final No. 1 hit.[2] After the single had finished its two-week run at the top in early January 1974, the album You Don’t Mess Around with Jim became No. 1 for five weeks.[3] In 1977, “Time in a Bottle” was used as the title for a compilation album of Croce’s love songs.

Scroll To Top