Monday, November 25, 1974

Nick Drake died: November 25, 1974

Originally posted November 25, 2012.

image from eachnotescure.com

Nick Drake was an English folk singer/songwriter born in Rangoon, Burma, on June 19, 1948. Only three albums were released during his lifetime and each sold less than 5000 copies upon initial release. However, after his death he emerged as a doomed romantic hero. In the mid-‘80s, musicians such as The Cure’s Robert Smith and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck cited him as an influence. The Dream Academy’s 1985 single “Life in a Northern Town” was about Drake.

Drake’s parents were musically inclined, even composing music. At an early age, Nick wrote songs and recorded them on reel-to-reel. He played piano in the school orchestra and learned clarinet and saxophone. In 1967, he won a scholarship to study English literature at Cambridge. He was a bright student who didn’t apply himself. He was more interested in playing and listening to music while smoking marijuana.

He discovered the folk scene via performers like Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs and began performing in clubs and coffee houses around London. With the help of college friend Robert Kirby and American producer Joe Boyd, Drake recorded Five Leaves Left in 1968.

In the autumn of 1969, Drake moved to London to concentrate on music. 1970’s Bryter Layter sported a more upbeat and jazzier sound and featured John Cale and members of Fairport Convention. In October 1971, Drake recorded songs over two nights for what would become 1972’s Pink Moon. Thinking that the sound of Bryter Layter was too elaborate, Drake opted for a stark collection of bleak songs in which his singing was accompanied solely by his own guitar with one piano overdub on the title track.

He visited a psychiatrist in 1971 and was prescribed antidepressants. He also suffered from insomnia and his friend Kirby worried at one point that Drake was showing early signs of psychosis. In 1972, Drake had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for five weeks. He returned home to live with his parents. Musician John Martyn, who wrote the title song of his 1973 album Solid Air about Drake, described him as the most withdrawn person he’d ever met. Nick died at age 26 on November 25, 1974, of an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant. The death has largely been assumed to be a suicide although some have considered it an accidental overdose.

A Skin Too Few (documentary about Nick Drake)


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Saturday, November 16, 1974

Lynyrd Skynyrd chart with “Free Bird”

Updated 1/21/2019.

image from Wikipedia.org

Free Bird

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Writer(s): Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant (see lyrics here)


Released: Nov. 1974


First Charted: 11/16/1974


Peak: 19 US, 25 CB, 31 HR, 21 UK, 47 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: -- US, -- UK, 2.11 world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: 3.0


Video Airplay *: 38.0


Streaming *: --


* in millions

Review:

It “has become a rock and roll joke” to shout out “Free Bird!” at concerts, SF but it is also a tribute to “a towering rock anthem crowned with the mother of all guitar solos” BBC that “has entered hard rock folklore.” HL-104 The song “extend[ed] the influence of Southern rock...started by the Allman Brothers [and was] recorded as a tribute to Duane Allman, who was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1971.” RS500

“‘Free Bird’ is the tale of a restless spirit attempting to explain to his sweetheart” HL-104 “why he can’t settle down and make a commitment.” SF Guitarist Allen Collins’ “steady girlfriend, who realized that the band would always come first, kept asking him questions like, ‘If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?’” KN

He worked on the song on and off for two years. SF When he “first brought it into rehearsals, volatile singer Ronnie Van Zandt was unenthusiastic, claiming it had too many chords.” BBC The band first recorded the song as a ballad BBC in 1972 that clocked in at 7 ½ minutes. SF Club audiences didn’t respond until “the climatic guitar duel” BBC was added to the end, stretching the song to 10 minutes.

The “record company…thought it was too long [for a single]. Even the band never thought this was going to be a hit.” SF After “Sweet Home Alabama” was a chart success, an edited “Free Bird” was released, but “the long version from the album has always been more popular.” SF

“When Skynyrd reformed in the late ‘80s it was performed as an instrumental, with an empty mic stand...adorned with Ronnie’s trademark cowboy hat” BBC as a memorial to him – he “was killed along with two other band members in a plane crash in 1977.” BBC


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Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.

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Monday, November 4, 1974

Elton John's first Greatest Hits released

This page has been moved here where the Greatest Hits compilation and other Elton John anthologies are highlighted on one page to offer a career retrospective.

Friday, October 11, 1974

Billy Joel’s Streetlife Serenade released

First posted 5/9/2011; updated 9/21/2020.

Streetlife Serenade

Billy Joel


Released: October 11, 1974


Peak: 35 US, -- UK, 16 CN, 85 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop/rock singer-songwriter


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Streetlife Serenader
  2. Los Angelenos
  3. The Great Suburban Showdown
  4. Root Beer Rag (instrumental)
  5. Roberta
  6. The Entertainer (11/30/74, 34 US, 13 CL, 30 AC, 30 CN, 89 AU)
  7. Last of the Big Time Spenders
  8. Weekend Song
  9. Souvenir
  10. The Mexican Connection (instrumental)


Total Running Time: 37:41

Rating:

3.403 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

About the Album:

With his sophomore album, Billy Joel had achieved success with “Piano Man,” but it threw him. Billy Joel was driven “to deliver an album that established him as both a serious artist and a commercial contender.” AMG While critics didn’t love him, his sophomore album had delivered big with the top-25 success of “Piano Man.” Now he needed to quickly release another album to maintain a high profile, but he’d used his best stuff on Piano Man, so he was short on material.

The resulting third album, Streetlife Serenade, was, therefore, “a bit of a slump.” AMG Still, “since he has skills, he's able to turn out a few winners – Roberta, a love song in the vein of Cold Spring Harbor, the mournful Streetlife Serenader, and the stomping” AMG and “vigorous Los Angelenos,” DB on which he “rocked an electric piano.” DB

“Joel is attempting a grand Americana lyrical vision, stretching from the Wild West through the Depression on ‘Los Angelenos’ and The Great Suburban Showdown.” AMG “Joel’s ruminations on suburban malaise…are at their most overblown.” DB In the end, “it doesn't work, not only because of his shortcomings as a writer, but because he didn't have the time to pull it all together.” AMG

“The presence of two instrumentals screamed, ‘Right – I didn’t have time to write songs for my new album.’” DB “Even if Root Beer Rag, yet another sign of The Sting’s influence, is admittedly enjoyable, they're undeniably fillers.” AMG

Stylistically, it was a reiteration of its predecessor’s” AMG obsession with Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection, “spiked with, of all things, Rockford Files synthesizers and ragtime pulled from The Sting.” AMG “It’s no coincidence that the record’s single and best song, The Entertainer, shares a title with the Scott Joplin rag that provided The Sting with a main theme.” AMG

On that “astonishingly bitter” AMG song, “he not only disparages his own role, but is filled with venom over ‘Piano Man’ being released in a single edit, that made the subtext clear: he’d had enough with California, enough with the music industry, enough with being a sensitive singer/songwriter. It was time for Billy to say goodbye to Hollywood and head back home to New York.” AMG

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Saturday, October 5, 1974

Olivia Newton-John hit #1 with “I Honestly Love You”

First posted 10/24/2020.

I Honestly Love You

Olivia Newton-John

Writer(s): Peter Allen, Jeff Barry (see lyrics here)


First Charted: August 3, 1974


Peak: 12 US, 12 CB, 12 HR, 16 RR, 13 AC, 6 CW, 22 UK, 11 CN, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 2.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 4.0 radio, 4.5 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

Jeff Barry made a name for himself co-writing songs like the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack,” as well as #1 hits for the Dixie Cups, Manfred Mann, and the Archies. He set to produce Peter Allen’s first album for A&M Records. Allen had already written some tunes, but Barry didn’t hear any hits. He had an idea for a song which the two then wrote together and then they made a demo. BR1

The demo was just intended for themselves, but it made its way to John Farrar, the producer for Olivia Newton-John. He’d been a member of the Shadows but took up songwriting and arranging for Olivia. SF He played the song for her and she loved it. In her 2019 memoir Don’t Stop Believin’, she recalled thinking “that everyone would be able to make those words fit in their own personal story of love and perhaps even loss.” SF She told Billboard magazine “I flipped out when I heard it…I was terrified that I would find out it had already been done.” BR1 Barry convinced Allen to let her record it since she was one of the world’s most popular singers. SF

It proved a savvy move which helped launch Allen’s career as a songwriter, SF although he did release a version on his Continental American album which came out at the end of the year. WK She recorded the song in just three takes with vocals which were, at times, “almost a whisper,” as she said. SF Surprisingly, the label didn’t originally intend to release Olivia’s version as a single until radio demand pushed them to decide otherwise. BR1

Radio stations in Denver and Chicago ranked it the song of the year. WK VH1 ranked the song at #11 on its list of soft-rock songs. It also makes the DMDB’s list of the top 100 adult contemporary songs of all time. It won Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance – Female.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Olivia Newton-John
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books. Page 378.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Friday, August 16, 1974

The Ramones’ first gig at CBGB: August 16, 1974

Originally posted August 16, 2011.



When Hilly Krystal launched his New York club, the intended focus was country, bluegrass, and blues (CBGB). However, the dive bar became perhaps the world’s best-known venue for launching punk rock. Among some of the best loved bands to get at least CBGB assists in their careers are the Ramones, Blondie, Patti Smith, the Talking Heads, and Television.

August 16, 1974 marked the day when Queens, New Yorkers took the stage in jeans, black leather jackets, and Converse high-tops. It was their debut public performance. With a rapid-fire intro of “One! Two! Three! Four!”, the Ramones kicked their career – and the punk revolution into gear. As Legs McNeil, founder of Punk magazine said, “These guys were not hippies. This was something completely new.” TDH


The Ramones at CBGB


The Ramones were “a bracing antidote to the tamed and bloated corporate rock and roll of the mid-1970s.” TDH They went back to the basics with quick, loud blasts of stripped-down rock consisting just of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Their shows were showcases for their philosophy of “no makeup, no egos, no lights shows, no nonsense.” RH The group provided the template for future punk bands like the Sex Pistols and the Clash.

The Ramones are a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. According to Dave’s Music Database, the group’s 1976 debut is one of the top 100 albums of all time and their 1978 song “I Wanna Be Sedated” is in the top 1000 songs of the 20th century list.




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Monday, July 22, 1974

Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness’ First Finale released

First posted 4/8/2008; updated 11/6/2020.

Fulfillingness’ First Finale

Stevie Wonder


Released: July 22, 1974


Peak: 12 US, 18 RB, 5 UK, 11 CN, 19 AU


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.1 UK, 4.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: R&B


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Smile Please [3:28]
  2. Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away [5:02]
  3. Too Shy to Say [3:29]
  4. Boogie on Reggae Woman [4:55] (11/9/74, 3 US, 1 CB, 1 HR, 10 RR, 1 RB, 12 UK, 8 CN)
  5. Creepin’ [4:20]
  6. You Haven’t Done Nothin’ [3:29] (8/3/74, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 HR, 1 RB, 30 UK, 1 CN)
  7. It Ain't No Use [4:01]
  8. They Won't Go When I Go (Wonder, Yvonne Wright) [5:58]
  9. Bird of Beauty [3:48]
  10. Please Don’t Go [4:07]

Songs written by Wonder unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 42:33

Rating:

4.257 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

“After the righteous anger and occasional despair of the socially motivated Innervisions, Stevie Wonder returned with a relationship record: Fulfillingness’ First Finale. The cover pictures his life as an enormous wheel, part of which he’s looking ahead to and part of which he’s already completed (the latter with accompanying images of Little Stevie, JFK and MLK, the Motor Town Revue bus, a child with balloons, his familiar Taurus logo, and multiple Grammy awards).” AMG

First off, there’s the albums two top-ten singles. “With a deep electronic groove balancing organic congas and gospel piano,” AMG the Caribbean-inspired Boogie on Reggae Woman is raucous with an undertone of sadness. The socially conscious You Haven’t Done Nothin’, “an acidic dismissal of President Nixon and the Watergate controversy” AMG is dipped in funk with its midtempo groove and spirited horn arrangement.

Beyond the singles, however, this album has one classic soul recording after another. The album is focused in tone; the music is thought-provoking, from the melody to the lyrics. “The songs and arrangements are the warmest since Talking Book, and Stevie positively caresses his vocals on this set, encompassing the vagaries of love, from dreaming of it (Creepin’) to being bashful of it (Too Shy to Say) to knowing when it’s over (It Ain’t No Use).” AMG In the wake of his serious car accident, Wonder contemplates death and afterlife on Heaven... and They Won’t Go When I Go.

“As before, Fulfillingness’ First Finale is mostly the work of a single man; Stevie invited over just a bare few musicians, and most of those were background vocalists (though of the finest caliber: Minnie Riperton, Paul Anka, Deniece Williams, and the Jackson 5). Also as before, the appearances are perfectly chosen; ‘Too Shy to Say’ can only benefit from the acoustic bass of Motown institution James Jamerson and the heavenly steel guitar of Sneaky Pete Kleinow, while the Jackson 5 provide some righteous amens to Stevie’s preaching on ‘You Haven’t Done Nothin’.” AMG

“It’s also very refreshing to hear more songs devoted to the many and varied stages of romance, among them ‘It Ain’t No Use,’ ‘Too Shy to Say,’ Please Don’t Go. The only element lacking here, in comparison to the rest of his string of brilliant early-‘70s records, is a clear focus; Fulfillingness’ First Finale is more a collection of excellent songs than an excellent album.” AMG

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Monday, June 24, 1974

Lynyrd Skynyrd released “Sweet Home Alabama”

Updated 1/26/2019.

image from radionostalgia.fm

Sweet Home Alabama

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Writer(s): Ed King/Gary Rossington/Ronnie Van Zant (see lyrics here)


Released: 6/24/1974


First Charted: 7/21/1974


Peak: 8 US, 7 CB, 8 HR, 31 UK, 6 CN, 56 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: 3.68 US, 0.6 UK, 4.28 world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: 2.0


Video Airplay *: 134.0


Streaming *: --


* in millions

Review:

This ode to the state of Alabama was written by three non-natives. Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington both hailed from Jacksonville, Florida, while Ed King was born in Glendale, California. According to Rossington, the three of them came up with the tune while waiting for the rest of the band to get to rehearsal. WK

The song was written as a response to Neil Young’s “Southern Man” and “Alabama,” songs implying that American Southerners were “racist and stuck in the past.” SF Lynryd Skynyrd responded with “Sweet Home Alabama,” an ode to Southern pride and which included the comment “Well, I hope Neil Young will remember/ A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow.”

In his 2012 autobiography Waging Heavy Peace, Young acknowledged he deserved the attack in regards to his song “Alabama,” admitting the words “are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue.” WK Young reportedly loved Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song, saying, “‘I’d rather play ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ than ‘Southern Man’ anytime’…The admiration was mutual; Van Zant wore a Young T-shirt on the cover of Skynyrd’s final album, Street Survivors, and according to legend, he is buried in the shirt.” RS500

Lynyrd Skynyrd stirred controversy with lyrics misinterpreted as supportive of George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama and noted supporter of segregation. WK A line seemingly dismissing the Watergate scandal has been interpreted as a commentary by the band that the South wouldn’t judge all northerners by the failure of their leaders in Watergate and that Southerners shouldn’t all be lumped together as contributing to racial problems. WK


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.

Awards:


Wednesday, May 22, 1974

Jon Landau wrote about Bruce Springsteen: May 22, 1974

Originally posted May 22, 2012.

Jon Landau and Bruce Springsteen,
image from reverendjeffrey.blogspot.com

38 years ago, then-writer Jon Landau wrote one of the more famous lines of rock and roll journalism: “I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.” The line referenced a concert he’d seen the Thursday before at the Harvard Square theatre where Springsteen opened for Bonnie Raitt. He also said of the two-hour set, “Can anyone really be this good; can anyone say this much to me; can rock ‘n’ roll still speak with this kind of power and glory?” He answers with a resounding “yes” saying, “Springsteen does it all” and later “there is no one I would rather watch on stage today.”

It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City, live on 3-3-1974

Interestingly, Springsteen isn’t really the focus of the article. Springsteen’s name doesn’t show up until after the halfway point. At the grizzled age of 27, he reminisced about jamming with friends and listening to records as a freshman in college. He noted classics like Dionne Warwick’s “Walk on By,” the Drifters’ “Up on the Roof,” Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour,” and Otis Redding’s “Respect.” He said, “Others enjoyed drugs, school, travel, adventure. I just liked music: listening to it, playing it, talking about it.”

I can relate. Other than my family (and they might complain they rank second) nothing consumes my time and attention more than music. When it comes to favorites, I cite Marillion as my favorite band and Kevin Gilbert as my favorite singer. They both have that proper “who’s that?” quality that makes me appear more in touch with music than the average person. However, when it comes to mainstream music, no one gets me as enthused as Springsteen. I became a fan in high school when Born in the U.S.A. was taking over the world. I’ve eagerly awaited every album he’s done since, lapping them up as soon as they’re released, absorbing them, and then walking away with a couple new favorites to add to The Boss’ already-ripe canon.

Kitty’s Back, live on 1-19-1974

When Landau wrote his “Growing Young with Rock and Roll” article, Springsteen had two going-nowhere albums under his belt with Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle. Columbia Records had already lost $150,000 on those records and while Springsteen had a devoted local following, there seemed to be little chance he’d become a star. However, Columbia trumpeted Landau’s endorsement in full-page ads. While the original article appeared in The Real Paper, a weekly Boston newspaper which ran from 1972 to 1981, Landau had established a significant readership, having written for Rolling Stone, lending his craft to their very first issue in 1967.

More importantly, Landau joined Springsteen’s management team before year’s end. He co-produced Springsteen’s career-making album, 1975’s Born to Run and stayed on board with Springsteen ever since. Landau currently heads the nominating committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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Friday, March 22, 1974

Eagles’ On the Border released

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 10/17/2020.

On the Border

Eagles


Released: March 22, 1974


Peak: 17 US, 28 UK, 12 CN, 27 AU


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.06 UK, 4.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: country rock


Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Already Gone (Robb Strandland/Jack Temphcin) [4:13] (5/4/74, 32 US, 17 CB, 2 CL, 12 CN)
  2. You Never Cry Like a Lover
  3. Midnight Flyer (Paul Craft) [3:58]
  4. My Man
  5. On the Border (Don Henley/Bernie Leadon/Glenn Frey) [4:28] (17 CL)
  6. James Dean (Jackson Browne/Glenn Frey/Don Henley/J.D. Souther) [3:40] (9/7/74, 77 US, 49 CB, 10 CL, 56 CN)
  7. Ol’ ‘55 (Tom Waits) [4:22]
  8. Is It True
  9. Good Day in Hell
  10. Best of My Love (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/J.D. Souther) [4:35] (11/30/74, 11 US, 4 CB, 1 CL, 11 AC, 11 CN)


Total Running Time: 40:25


The Players:

  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar, piano)
  • Don Henley (vocals, drums)
  • Bernie Leadon (guitar, vocals, banjo, mandolin, dobro)
  • Randy Meisner (bass, vocals)
  • Don Felder (guitar)

Rating:

3.755 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

“The Eagles began recording their third album in England with producer Glyn Johns, as they had their first two albums, but abandoned the sessions after completing two acceptable tracks. Johns, it is said, tended to emphasize the group’s country elements and its harmonies, while the band, in particular Glenn Frey and Don Henley, wanted to take more of a hard rock direction…[so] they reconvened with a new producer, Bill Szymczyk, who had produced artists like B.B. King and, more significantly, Joe Walsh.” AMG

“But the resulting album is not an outright rock effort by any means. Certainly, Frey and Henley got what they wanted with Already Gone, the lead-off track, which introduces new band member Don Felder as one part of the twin guitar solo that recalls the Allman Brothers Band; James Dean, a rock & roll song on the order of ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance’; and Good Day in Hell, which is strongly reminiscent of Joe Walsh songs like ‘Rocky Mountain Way’.’” AMG

“But the album also features the usual mixture of styles typical of an Eagles album. For example, Midnight Flyer, sung by Randy Meisner, is modern bluegrass; My Man is Bernie Leadon’s country-rock tribute to the recently deceased Gram Parsons; and Ol’ 55 is one of the group’s well-done covers of a tune by a singer-songwriter labelmate, in this case Tom Waits.” AMG

“Like most successful groups, the Eagles combined many different elements, and their third album, which looked back to their earlier work and anticipated their later work, was a transitional effort that combined even more styles than most of their records did.” AMG The title track “points the band in a new R&B direction that was later pursued more fully.” AMG Meanwhile, the more adult contemporary-focused Best of My Love became the band’s first chart-topper.

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Saturday, March 2, 1974

Roberta Flack wins Grammys for Song and Record of the Year

image from mangore.com


Roberta Flack “Killing Me Softly with His Song”


Writer(s): Charles Fox, Norman Gimbel (see lyrics here)

First charted: 1/20/1973

Peak: 15 US, 2 AC, RB 2, 6 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): 5.0 Video Airplay (in millions): 8.3


Review: At the 16th Grammy Awards on March 2, 1974, Roberta Flack took home the prizes for Song and Record of the Year. She owes this monster hit to Don McLean – and airline headsets.

Folk singer Lori Lieberman was at a Don McLean show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles when she was inspired to write a poem RS500 – but not by “American Pie” or McLean’s other big hit, “Vincent.” No, she heard album track “Empty Chairs,” and thought, “Whoa! This person knows me!” CR-387-8 Unsure how to put the poem into lyric form, CR-388 she showed it to two men she was working with at the time: Gimbel and Fox of Happy Days fame. RS500

She recorded the song and released it as a single, but it didn’t take off – well, that is, until it was literally lifted off the ground in its inclusion on a tape of music for airline headsets. SJ-164 Roberta Flack’s curiosity was peaked when she saw the song title in an in-flight magazine while on a flight from L.A. to New York. SJ-164 She says she “absolutely freaked” RS500 and knew she had to cover the song. CR-388

She and producer Quincy Jones spent three months polishing the track in the studio RS500 to create the “lushy romantic and forlorn atmosphere.” CR-388 The result was her second chart-topper, three Grammy wins, the biggest song of 1973, WHC-100 and, according to Blender magazine, is the eleventh most performed song ever. CR-388

More than 20 years later, the Fugees revived the song with the intention “to bring musicality back to hip-hop.” HL-70 Their version became a big radio hit in 1996 and even lifted a remix of Flack’s original into the dance club play charts.


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Award(s):