1970s Top 40 radio was the ultimate melting pot. Where else could you hear a Helen Reddy song sandwiched between cuts from George McRae and David Bowie? 1974 was the year that I started actively listening to the radio on my own, and the incredible diversity that I encountered across the dial helped to shape my vast musical landscape.
Ok, that last line was a little too Robert Christgau for the Analog Kid. Let’s try this instead:
Casey Kasem shoved all kinds of music into his American Top 40 Shake ‘N Bake bag, and the result was a mix of tender, juicy tunes that melded musical and cultural boundaries into a giant feast of ’70s goodness. And I helped!
My love of ’70s soul and R&B came directly from Top 40 radio, and that love continues to this day. I am constantly rediscovering great songs from my childhood, and I am finding new (to me, anyways) incredible music from the era as well. I will share these classic soulful tunes with you every Groovy Tuesday on the Analog Kid blog.
Groovy Tuesday: 1974
Ann Peebles” “I Can’t Stand The Rain” (Don Bryant/Bernard Miller/Ann Peebles)
From the album I Can’t Stand The Rain
Hi Records, 1974
Ann Peebles took this song to #38 on the pop charts in 1974, and subsequent covers versions from Eruption and Tina Turner charted as well. John Lennon said “I Can’t Stand The Rain” was “the best song ever.” Of course, John Lennon spent most of 1974 snorting cocaine out of Harry Nilsson’s cookie jar– but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong…
Bobby Womack: “Looking For A Love” (James Alexander/Zelda Samuels)
From the album Looking For A Love Again
United Artists Records, 1974
Bobby had first recorded “Looking For A Love” in 1962 as a member of the family act The Valentinos. His 1974 re-recording (with his brothers again on backing vocals) went all the way to #10 on the pop charts, and also topped the soul charts.
The Tymes: “You Little Trustmaker” (C.M. Jackson)
From the album Trustmaker
RCA Records, 1974
“You Little Trustmaker” returned The Tymes to the Top 20 after an eleven-year absence, and it brings up an obvious question: why hasn’t this song appeared in a Mentos commercial? It’s too bad “Mad Men” won’t make it to 1974, as I have no doubt that Peggy Olson would make this connection immediately.
Gladys Knight & The Pips: “I Feel A Song (In My Heart)” (Tony Camillo/Mary Sawyer)
From the album I Feel A Song
Buddah Records, 1974
The year after boardin’ the midnight train, Gladys Knight & The Pips took this beautiful song to #21 on the Hot 100.
Kool & The Gang: “Summer Madness” (Alton Taylor/Robert Mickens/Kool & The Gang)
From the album Light Of Worlds
De-Lite Records, 1974
Kool & The Gang would eventually morph into in a poppier R&B hit machine, but this classic cut is pure soul. “Summer Madness” has been sampled by multiple artists, and it also made a memorable appearance in 1976’s “Rocky.”
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Helen Reddy: “Angie Baby” (Alan O’Day)
From the album Free And Easy
Capitol Records, 1974
George McRae: “Rock Your Baby” (Harry Wayne Casey/Richard Finch)
From the album Rock Your Baby
T.K. Records, 1974
Vinyl rip courtesy of The Analog Kid
David Bowie: “Rebel Rebel” (David Bowie)
From the album Diamond Dogs
RCA Records, 1974
Eruption: “I Can’t Stand The Rain [Single Version]” (Don Bryant/Bernard Miller/Ann Peebles)
Original version from the album Eruption
Ariola Records, 1978
Tina Turner: “I Can’t Stand The Rain” (Don Bryant/Bernard Miller/Ann Peebles)
From the album Private Dancer
Capitol Records, 1984