1974 Was a Year That Truly Rocked: The Biggest & Best Music That Defined the Year

Olivia Newton-Jon, Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan Collage
Getty; Everett

Whether you wanted to rock on, rock your baby, rock and roll all night, spend midnight at the oasis, boogie down, boogie in the jungle, or be just entertained by all of it, 1974 was the year that anything was possible.

1974 in Music News …

Greenwich Village’s legendary The Bottom Line opens its doors.

The first American Music Awards air on ABC.

CAPTAIN AND TENNILLE, Daryl Dragon, Toni Tennille, 1976 - 1977

Everett Collection

The Captain marries Tennille, and soul legend Barry White and his Love Unlimited singer Glodean James tie the knot, while Cher files for divorce from Sonny Bono after a decade of marriage. Sly Stone of Sly & the Family Stone weds actress/model Kathy Silva mid-performance at Madison Square Garden.

Yes sells out two dates at Madison Square Garden without ever advertising the shows.

Rush releases its self-titled debut album.

John Lennon and Harry Nilsson get kicked out of Los Angeles’ Troubadour nightclub for heckling comedy act the Smothers Brothers.

UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of QUEEN and Freddie MERCURY and Brian MAY; Freddie Mercury and Brian May performing live on stage

Ian Dickson/Redferns

Queen plays its first North American concert, opening for Mott the Hoople in Denver.

Among the bands that formed in 1974 are .38 Special, Blondie, Cheap Trick, Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer Band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Firefall, Mannheim Steamroller and Squeeze.

Van Halen and the Ramones each perform for the first time.

THE MAMA CASS TELEVISION PROGRAM, Cass Elliot, (aka Mama Cass), (aired June 26, 1969),

Gene Stein/TV Guide /courtesy Everett Collection

Mama Cass Elliot dies of a heart attack in her sleep at age 32 after two weeks of solo shows in July at London’s Palladium. A still-popular rumor that Elliot choked to death on a ham sandwich was started by her own manager Allan Carr, who — suspecting something more unsavory and wanting to save his star’s reputation — fed the rumor to Elliot’s friend, Hollywood Reporter columnist Sue Cameron, who published it even though she doubted its truth.


Billboard Top 20 Albums of 1974

Elton JOhn Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


Goodbye Yellow Brick Road— Elton John

John Denver’s Greatest Hits— John Denver

Band on the Run— Paul McCartney & Wings

Innervisions— Stevie Wonder

You Don’t Mess Around With Jim— Jim Croce

American Graffiti Soundtrack

American Graffiti Soundtrack— Various Artists

Imagination— Gladys Knight & the Pips

Behind Closed Doors— Charlie Rich

The Sting Soundtrack — Marvin Hamlisch

Tres Hombres— ZZ Top

Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon

Dark Side of the Moon— Pink Floyd

Bachman-Turner Overdrive II— Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Court & Spark— Joni Mitchell

Sundown— Gordon Lightfoot

Maria Muldaur— Maria Muldaur

I Got a Name— Jim Croce

I Got a Name— Jim Croce

Brain Salad Surgery— Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Ship Ahoy— The O’Jays

Full Sail — Loggins & Messina

Wild & Peaceful — Kool & the Gang

Billboard Top 50 Singles

Barbra Streisand — The Way We Were

Terry Jacks — Seasons in the Sun

Love Unlimited Orchestra —Love’s Theme

Redbone — Come and Get Your Love

The Jackson 5 — Dancing Machine

Grand Funk Railroad — The Loco-Motion

MFSB — TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)

Ray Stevens — The Streak 

Elton John — Bennie and the Jets

Mac Davis — One Hell of a Woman

Aretha FranklinUntil You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)

Kool & the Gang — Jungle Boogie

Maria Muldaur — Midnight at the Oasis

The Stylistics — You Make Me Feel Brand New

Al Wilson — Show and Tell 

Jim Stafford — Spiders and Snakes

David Essex — Rock On

John Denver — Sunshine on My Shoulders

Blue Magic — Sideshow

Blue Swede —Hooked on a Feeling

Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods — Billy Don’t Be a Hero 

Paul McCartney & Wings — Band on the Run

Charlie Rich — The Most Beautiful Girl Jim Croce — Time in a Bottle

John Denver — Annie’s Song

Olivia Newton-JohnLet Me Be There

Gordon Lightfoot — Sundown

Paul Anka — (You’re) Having My Baby

Andy Kim — Rock Me Gently

Eddie Kendricks — Boogie Down

Ringo Starr— You’re Sixteen

Olivia Newton-John — If You Love Me (Let Me Know)

Cher — Dark Lady

Gladys Knight & the Pips — Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

Roberta Flack — Feel Like Makin’ Love

The Main Ingredient — Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely

Billy Preston — Nothing From Nothing

George McCrae — Rock Your Baby

The Carpenters — Top of the World

Steve Miller Band — The Joker

Gladys Knight & the Pips — I’ve Got to Use My Imagination

Three Dog Night — The Show Must Go On

The Hues Corporation — Rock the Boat

Brownsville Station — Smokin’ in the Boys Room 

Stevie Wonder — Living for the City

Dionne Warwick & the Spinners — Then Came You

Paper Lace — The Night Chicago Died

Marvin Hamlisch — The Entertainer

ABBA — Waterloo

The Hollies — The Air That I Breathe

Popular Concert Tours of 1974

Bob Dylan and the Band 1974 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Dylan_and_the_Band_1974_Tour#/media/File:Bob_Dylan_and_The_Band_-_1974.jpg

Bob Dylan and the Band 1974 Tour

Bruce Springsteen — Born to Run Tour ’74

David Bowie — The Diamond Dogs Tour

Elton John North American Tour

Kiss — The First Tour

Kiss — Hotter Than Hell Tour

George Harrison and Ravi Shankar — 1974 North American Tour

Fleetwood Mac — Heroes Are Hard to Find Tour

The Jackson 5 World Tour

Joni Mitchell — 1974 Tour of North America

Lynyrd Skynyrd — Nuthin’ Fancy Tour

Pink Floyd 1974 Tours

Queen — Sheer Heart Attack Tour

Santana — Welcome Tour

1974 (50 Years Ago)
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1974 (50 Years Ago)

January 2024

In this time capsule issue of ReMIND Magazine we look back 50 years ago to 1974!

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