Maybe as a reaction to the previous year, though maybe just coincidence, 1974 didn’t have the all round focus of it’s forebears. Whereas 1973 had been a home to various albums that have spanned generations, ’74’s best strengths were in the singles market.
Bowie’s escalating drug habit left him with ideas of an unfinished musical and an album that’s arguably his most unfocused of the decade. ‘Rebel Rebel’, however, remains a great and enduring single cut, brimming with the last vestiges of glam. Lulu did an excellent job of covering ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ and ‘Watch That Man’, filling both sides of an essential 7″, Ace’s ‘How Long’ – while easily dismissed as soft radio filler has stood the test of time and now sounds like a near perfect piece of songcraft, while everyone’s favourite ragamuffin, David Essex, topped the UK chart with a smart and disposable single about making disposable pop music.
On the albums front, there was a debut and a follow up from Kiss, a genuine classic from Neil Young that spent most of it’s lifespan in a mythical state and an out of print limbo and Supertramp’s ‘Crime of The Century’, a career best, and possibly the best long player of the year.
To counterbalance the more familiar, we’ve dug deep to bring you a couple of overlooked cuts from Freddie King’s ‘Burglar’ – a fine swansong from a blues legend – alongside cult classics from Renaissance, Gong, Camel, JJ Cale and more besides. For a year with no obvious musical trend, there’s still much to love.
…And so, as Real Gone’s Great Seventies Project reaches the half-way stage, we invite you to take a look and listen to the sounds of ’74, a real curate’s egg of artistry. Put your feet up, stick the kettle on and open your ears. As always, we hope you find a new discovery. Until next time, happy listening…and have a great weekend!