Best Songs From 1974

1974 was a great year for music, and produced many songs that have stood the test of time. With hits from famous musicians like ABBA, Elton John, The Jackson 5s and more, here are the best songs from 1974.

1. “Waterloo” by ABBA

Song Year: 1974

Swedish group ABBA changed the course of their career when they released the song “Waterloo” on their second studio album of the same name. This song about love being like the famous Napolean battle in Waterloo, peaked at number one on global weekly music charts and brought ABBA into the limelight for the first time.

2. “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone

Song Year: 1974

“Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone is one of the best songs from 1f974 from their album Wovoka. This hit song peaked at number five on US Billboard weekly music charts, making Redbone the first Native American band to hit the top five spot. It later went on to be featured in the popular Marvel film Guardians Of The Galaxy and got a whole set of new fans.

If you want to see it live, here you go:

3. “Annie’s Song” by John Denver

Song Year: 1974

If you’re looking for a beautiful love song from 1974, listen to “Annie’s Song” by John Denver from his album Back Home Again. This romantic John Denver song is about his deep love for his wife and peaked at number one on global music charts upon its release in 1974.

4. “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede

Song Year: 1974

Another song featured in Guardians Of The Galaxy. “Hooked on a Feeling” is an excellent song from the early 1970s by Blue Swede. Originally performed by B. J. Thomas, Blue Swede released their cover of this love song in 1974. Blue Swede sings about the sensation of new love and how it’s one of the best feelings.

5. “Then Came You” by Dionne Warwick and The Spinners

Song Year: 1974

Dionne Warwick and The Spinners released one of the best songs from 1974, “Then Came You.” Play this popular 1974 soul and pop song to get people dancing. Upon its release, this feel-good dance tune peaked at number one on the music charts and remains a fantastic dance song.

6. “The Loco-Motion” by Grand Funk Railroad

Song Year: 1974

“The Loco-Motion” is one of the best dance songs that can boast a top spot in the music charts for three consecutive decades. Grand Funk Railroad released its version in 1974, marking the second decade as a hit dance song for clubs and parties.

7. “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John

Song Year: 1974

“Bennie and the Jets” is one of the best songs from 1974. It’s easily recognizable within the first few moments of Elton John hitting the keys of his piano. Listeners cannot help but sing this hit song’s dramatic chorus from John’s seventh studio album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

8. “Band on the Run” by Paul McCartney and Wings

Song Year: 1973

“Band on the Run” is one of the best songs from 1974 by Paul McCartney and Wings. This hit song is a single from the album Band on the Run and boasts a memorable chorus that everyone can sing along to. Paul McCartney and Wings share the story of a band that breaks free from prison and is MIA.

9. “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot

Song Year: 1974

Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot released the popular song “Sundown” in 1974, which is Lightfoot’s only number-one Hot 100 song. This fan-favorite tune sings about infidelity, with Lightfoot calling out the name Sundown to stop him from trying to sleep with his lover.

10. “Dancing Machine” by The Jackson 5

Song Year: 1974

The Jackson 5 released “Dancing Machine” as the first track on their ninth studio album G.I.T.: Get It Together. Not only was this song a hit in 1974, but the song also popularized the robot dance move. This dance song, showing off Michael Jackson’s iconic vocals, peaked at number one on the 1974 US Billboard Hot Soul Singles weekly charts.

11. “The Streak” by Ray Stevens

Song Year: 1974

“The Streak” by Ray Stevens is a comedic song from his album Boogity Boogity about the popular craze of streaking naked in public places as a prank. Listeners will laugh as the country song is interrupted by breaking news stories of different streaking occurrences.

12. “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” by Aretha Franklin

Song Year: 1973

Aretha Franklin released her hit song “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” in 1973, but it peaked at number one on weekly music charts and got plenty of radio play in 1974. This love ballad with Aretha Franklin’s breathtaking vocals shares the longing of a woman missing a man who dumped her.

13. “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics

Song Year: 1974

Add some soul to your 1974 playlist with the hit song “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics. Slow and soulful, this love song from the album Let’s Put It Altogether is just one example of good music from 1974.

14. “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace

Song Year: 1974

The English band Paper Lace had a busy time at the top of the charts in 1974 with their hit song “The Night Chicago Died” alongside other top tunes. This popular jam from 1974 sings about a shoot-out between Chicago police and gangers of the notorious Al Capone.

15. “Dark Lady” by Cher

Song Year: 1974

“Dark Lady” is a single from Cher’s 11th studio album of the same name that showed off her dark witchy side in the music and lyrics. This chart-topping song was a big hit upon its release in 1974. Cher saw this pop tune rise to number one on the US Billboard Top 100 weekly music charts.

16. “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Song Year: 1974

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, or BTO for short, released the hit song “Takin’ Care of Business” in January of 1974 as a single for their album Bachman–Turner Overdrive II. This well-known song by the Canadian rock band BTO is a classic rock tune that TV shows and movies often feature in their soundtracks.

17. “Wild Thing” by Fancy

Song Year: 1974

In 1974 the English pop group Fancy made a cover of the famous song “Wild Thing,” originally performed by the Troggs in 1966. Fancy’s sexy rendition of the song “Wild Thing” from their album of the same name features breathy vocals and sexual guitar strokes.

18. “The Way We Were” by Barbara Streisand

Song Year: 1973

Barbara Streisand released one of her most famous songs, “The Way We Were,” in 1973. However, it peaked at the number one spot on the music charts throughout 1974, making “The Way We Were” by Barbara Streisand the number-one song on the US Billboard music charts for 1974.

19. “Love’s Theme” by The Love Unlimited Orchestra

Song Year: 1974

It’s not often that a purely instrumental song peaks at number one, but “Love’s Theme” by The Love Unlimited orchestra did in 1974. Barry White wrote the instrumentals to this orchestral single featured on the albums Rhapsody in White by The Love Unlimited Orchestra and Under the Influence of… Love Unlimited by the vocal group Love Unlimited.  

20. “One Hell of a Woman” by Mac Davis

Song Year: 1974

Mac Davis took the eleventh spot on the US Billboard Top 100 list with the 1974 song “One Hell of a Woman.” Mac Davis sings about an incredible woman with irresistible qualities who wants to spend the night with him. This country pop song is from the album Stop and Smell the Roses.

21. “Spiders and Snakes” by Jim Stafford

“Spiders and Snakes” by Jim Stafford

Song Year: 1974

“Spiders and Snakes” is a chart-topping single from Jim Stafford’s self-titled debut album. This fantastic country song from 1974 has a lively beat and is perfect for adding to a dance playlist. In this song, Jim Stafford shares the lyrical story about his failed attempts at romance with a childhood friend.

22. “Sideshow” by Blue Magic

Song Year: 1974

Blue Magic released the popular song “Sideshow” in 1974 on the album Blue Magic. With a smooth rhythm and ethereal sound, it’s no surprise that “Sideshow” peaked at number one on the US Billboard R&B weekly music charts. This meaningful song by Blue Magic is about feeling like a sideshow freak.

23. “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” by Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods

Song Year: 1974

“Billy Don’t Be a Hero” was released as a successful hit song twice in 1974 by the UK pop/rock band Paper Lace and then again by the American pop group Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods.

The version of “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” by Bo Donaldson, and The Heywoods peaked at number one on Canadian and American weekly music charts. Meanwhile, Paper Lace’s version peaked at number one in Australia, the UK, and Ireland, making it one of the best songs of 1974 for listeners worldwide.

24. “Beach Baby” by The First Class

Song Year: 1974

“Beach Baby” by The First Class is another example of good music from 1974. This classic hit sings about young love and summer days of holding hands on the beach. Unfortunately, the song has a sad ending where love is cut short by life’s changes after high school.

25. “The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies

Song Year: 1974

Everyone will sing along to the chorus of “The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies when it plays on the speakers. This slow jam is one of the best songs from 1974 that talks about how all someone needs is love and oxygen to get by. “The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies peaked at number six on the 1974 US Billboard Hot 100 weekly music charts.

Top Songs From 1974, Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a lot of good music from 1974 to choose from. That’s why we’ve curated this list of the best songs from 1974, with inspiring songs that topped the charts and made a mark on music history.

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