The Year 1974 summary
- OPEC ends the oil embargo begun in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War (Mar. 18).
- Nixon and Brezhnev meet in Moscow to discuss arms limitation agreements. Background: nuclear disarmament
- Leftist revolution ends almost 50 years of dictatorial rule in Portugal (launched Apr. 25).
- India successfully tests an atomic device, becoming the world’s sixth nuclear power (May 18).
- Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed. A collective military dictatorship assumes power (Sept. 12).
- House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee (July 30).
- Richard M. Nixon announces he will resign the next day, the first President to do so (Aug. 8).
- Movies: Chinatown, The Godfather Part II, Day for Night, Blazing Saddles, The Towering Inferno
- Deaths: Bud Abbott, Dizzy Dean, Duke Ellington, Charles Lindbergh, Ed Sullivan
- Only one song per artist/group
- The song must be released that specific year
- Songs from live albums not allowed
- Restricted to only 20 songs
A lot of wonderful music was released in 1974, very hard to pick only 20.
Forever Young – Bob Dylan
Written in Arizona in 1972 and recorded in California in November 1973. The song first appeared (in two different versions, a slow and a fast) on Dylan’s 1974 album Planet Waves.
A demo version of the song, recorded in New York City in June 1973, was included on Dylan’s 1985 compilation Biograph.
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
Ambulance Blues – Neil Young
Released on the album “On The Beach” – July 16, 1974.
Back in the old folky days
The air was magic when we played.
The riverboat was rockin’
in the rain
Midnight was the time
for the raid.
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Written by Ed King, Gary Rossington & Ronnie Van Zant & released as a single June 24, 1974. It was included an Lynyrd Skynyrd’s album “Second Helping”.
Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the south-land
I miss ‘ole’ ‘bamy once again
And I think it’s a sin
Piss Factory – Patti Smith
A protopunk song written by Patti Smith and Richard Sohl, and released as a B-side on Smith’s debut single “Hey Joe” in 1974.
Sixteen and time to pay off
I got this job in a piss factory inspecting pipe
Forty hours thirty-six dollars a week
But it’s a paycheck, Jack.
It’s so hot in here, hot like Sahara
You could faint in the heat
But these bitches are just too lame to understand
Too goddamned grateful to get this job
To know they’re getting screwed up the ass
Love Hurts – Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris
Written and composed by Boudleaux Bryant & first recorded by The Everly Brothers in July 1960.
This version was included on Parsons’ posthumously released Grievous Angel album from 1974.
Love wounds and marks
Any heart not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain
Ooo-oo love hurts
It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It) – The Rolling Stones
The lead single from The Rolling Stones’ 1974 album It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll.
If I could stick my pen in my heart
And spill it all over the stage
Would it satisfy ya, would it slide on by ya
Would you think the boy is strange? Ain’t he strange?
If I could win ya, if I could sing ya
A love song so divine
Would it be enough for your cheating heart
If I broke down and cried? If I cried?
I said I know it’s only rock ‘n roll but I like it
Linden Arden Stole The Highlights – Van Morrison
Released on “Veedon Fleece” October 1974.
Linden Arden stole the highlights
With one hand tied behind his back
Loved the morning sun, and whiskey
Ran like water in his veins
The Grand Tour – George Jones
Recorded January 22, 1974 & released as a single May 1974.
The song is widely hailed as one of the finest performances in country music history. Genre historian Bill Malone, in his liner notes for Classic Country Music: A Smithsonian Collection, called it a “perfect matching of lyrics and performance” and “one of the great modern songs of divorce.”
Step right up, come on in
If you’d like to take the grand tour
Of a lonely house that once was home sweet home
I have nothing here to sell you,
Just some things that I will tell you
Some things I know will chill you to the bone.
The Real Me (single jan 1974) – The Who
Written by Pete Townshend on The Who’s second full-scale rock opera, Quadrophenia in 1973 & released as a single 12 January 1974.
I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink.
I sit and tell him about my weekend,
But he never betrays what he thinks.Can you see the real me, doctor?
Withered and Died – Richard & Linda Thompson
Released on the album “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” in April 1974.
This cruel country has driven me down
Teased me and lied, teased me and lied
I’ve only sad stories to tell to this town
My dreams are withered and died
I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
Released on June 6, 1974 as the second single from Parton’s thirteenth solo studio album, Jolene (1974). The singer wrote the song, which was recorded on June 13, 1973, for her one-time partner and mentor Porter Wagoner, from whom she was professionally splitting at the time.
If I should stay
Well, I would only be in your way
And so I’ll go, and yet I know
That I’ll think of you each step of my way
And I will always love you
I will always love you
Louisiana 1927 – Randy Newman
A 1974 song telling the story of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 that left 700,000 people homeless in Louisiana and Mississippi. The song was written and originally recorded by Randy Newman on the 1974 album Good Old Boys.
What has happened down here is the winds have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and it rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
Bloody Mary Morning – Willie Nelson
Written by Willie Nelson inspired by his struggles to become a “better parent”.
It was included in Nelson’s 1974 concept album Phases and Stages, where the meaning of the song was shifted by the context of the album, changing the theme to a man who is left by his wife. Released as a single, it peaked at number 17 in Billboard’s Country singles in 1974, later becoming an essential part of Nelson’s live performances repertoire.
It’s a Bloody Mary morning,
Baby left me without warning
Sometime in the night
So I’m flyin’ down to Houston
Forgetting her’s the nature of my flight
Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City – Bobby Bland
Written by Michael Price and Dan Walsh, and first recorded by Bobby “Blue” Bland for the ABC Dunhill album Dreamer. Bland scored a minor hit with the song, landing in the top ten of the R&B charts.
Ain’t no love in the heart of the city,
Ain’t no love in the heart of town.
Ain’t no love, sure ’nuff is a pity,
Ain’t no love ‘cos you ain’t around.
Baby, since you been around.
Lady of The North – Gene Clark
Released on No Other (September 1974) – the fourth solo studio album by Gene Clark.
Flying high above the clouds, we lay in the grassy meadow
The earth was like a pillow for our dreams
Trials never entered into any conversation
That was the relation of our dreams
Free Man In Paris – Joni Mitchell
Written by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. It appeared on her 1974 album Court and Spark, as well as her live album Shadows and Light. It is one of her most popular songs. The song is about music agent/promoter David Geffen, a close friend of Mitchell in the early 1970s, and describes Geffen during a trip Geffen and Mitchell made to Paris with Robbie and Dominique Robertson.
The way I see it, he said, you just can’t win it
Everybody’s in it for their own gain
You can’t please ’em all
There’s always somebody calling you down
I do my best and I do good business
There’s a lot of people asking for my time
They’re trying to get ahead
They’re trying to be a good friend of mine
(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night – Tom Waits
Released on The Heart of Saturday Night – the second studio album by singer and songwriter Tom Waits, released in October 1974 on Asylum Records. In 2003, the album was ranked number 339 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, his highest placing.
Well you gassed her up
Behind the wheel
With your arm around your sweet one
In your Oldsmobile
Barrelin’ down the boulevard
You’re looking for the heart of Saturday night
The Carpet Crawlers – Genesis
Released on the double concept album “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” – recorded and released in 1974. It was their sixth studio album, and the last to feature original singer and frontman Peter Gabriel.
There is lambswool under my naked feet
The wool is soft and warm
Gives off some kind of heat
A salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed
Imaginary creatures are trapped in birth
I Shot The Sheriff – Eric Clapton
Written by Bob Marley, Eric Clapton’s cover version was included on his 1974 album, 461 Ocean Boulevard. It is the most successful cover version of the song, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2003, Clapton’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
(I shot the sheriff
But I didn’t shoot no deputy, oh no! Oh!
I shot the sheriff
But I didn’t shoot no deputy, ooh, ooh, oo-ooh.)
Yeah! All around in my home town,
They’re tryin’ to track me down;
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy,
For the life of a deputy.
Autobahn – Kraftwerk
Composed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider of the band, with Emil Schult collaborating on the lyrics. It is co-produced by Conny Plank, and was the band’s first track to use sung lyrics. Recorded in 1974, the song is designed to capture the feel of driving on a motorway.
Included on their 1974 album “Autobahn“.
Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der AutobahnVor uns liegt ein weites Tal
Die Sonne scheint mit GlitzerstrahlDie Fahrbahn ist ein graues Band
Weisse Streifen, gruener Rand
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