There are many interesting tunes from the 1974 Billboard Top 100 list and they run the gamut, from odd remakes such as Fancy’s cover of “Wild Thing”—best known for the Troggs hit cover—and the Anne Murray cover of “You Won’t See Me,” to original odd-sounding tunes like Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” –an early messenger of the disco era. Sister Margaret Mead brought “The Lord’s Prayer” to #86 and there were several novelty songs doing very well that year as well.
So this list is a follow up to our Top 5 list of lasting tunes from the Billboard Top 100 of that year, the Top 5 Honourable Mentions—to be followed by the Top 5 Worst tunes on the list. Honourable Mentions are actually tougher to list and prioritise than the lasting ones, mostly because there are many candidates for that distinction, including such unlikely but likable tunes as Blue Swede’s cover of “Hooked on a Feeling” and War’s (without Eric Burdon, its founder) “Me and Baby Brother,” to name a few.
There are also two great tunes by Jim Croce, “I’ll Have to say I Love In a Song” from 1973’s I Got a Name and “Time in a Bottle” from 1972’s You Don't Mess Around with Jim—which hit the Top 100 two years after its release because of Croce’s death and the seemingly prescient tenor of the song itself. And then there is “Radar Love” by Golden Earring, often argued to be one of the best driving songs of all time—though some may argue against that designation. And you can argue that some of the proto-disco tunes are foreshadowing what was to come. Then there are clear country tunes, including saccharin ones such as Tom T. Hall’s “I Love.” And so on.
So here is a list of five honourable mentions from 1974’s Billboard Top 100.
#5. (Actual Position=#77) Paul McCartney and Wings, “Jet”—who knows what this song is about...? It sounds great though:
#4. (Actual Position=#84) The Guess Who, “Clap for the Wolfman”—Burton Cummings could certainly sing a song...and write the odd one:
#3. (Actual Position=#70) Cat Stevens, “Oh Very Young”—one of his best and certainly better than many of the tunes that placed better that year:
#2. (Actual Position=#78) Elton John, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”—one of the great piano tunes of the rock era and one of Elton’s most authentic and lasting pieces; Elton had three on the top 100 that year(“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Bennie and the Jets” coming in at #72 and #9 respectively):
#1. (Actual Position=#79) Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells”—the album was rejected by most major labels and then accepted by The Manor, the first residential recording studio in the UK, owned by some guy named Richard Branson and some upstart company called Virgin Records. Oldfield was given a week to record his album:
And honourable mention on the Honourable Mention list has to go to Bachman-Turner Overdrive and their great old tune, “Takin’ Care of Business”