Various Artists

NOW – Yearbook 1974: 4CD


Release Date: 3 May, 2024

NOW is proud to present the next instalment in our ongoing ‘Yearbook’ series – and take a trip back 50 years in Pop history – with 82 tracks on 4 CDs, to celebrate a stellar year of Pop singles… NOW – Yearbook 1974.

Opening with ‘Killer Queen’ the first Top 5 single for Queen, and followed by the classic ‘Jet’ by Paul McCartney & Wings, and the still breathtakingly original, and hugely influential ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’ from Sparks - this epic beginning to the 1974 Yearbook continues with a run of ‘glamtastic’ Pop from Sweet and Slade, and including #1s from Suzi Quatro, Alvin Stardust and the years’ biggest seller ‘Tiger Feet’ from Mud. The #1’s keep coming with Pop gold from David Essex, The Rubettes and Paper Lace, plus a huge hit from Pilot and the first Top 3 singles for the Bay City Rollers with ‘Shang-A-Lang’, and Leo Sayer with ‘The Show Must Go On’. 1974’s biggest selling singles act was The Wombles, and their debut ‘The Wombling Song’ is up next along with the global smash ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ from Carl Douglas. The first disc closes with some of the years’ best Soul smashes from Barry White, Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye, The Stylistics and the #1s from The Three Degrees and Sweet Sensation.

Disc two opens with legendary singers: Elton John with one of his signature tracks ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ before some of ‘74’s biggest Rock hits, including ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’, ‘Radar Love’, ‘Dance With The Devil’ and Rod Stewart’s vocals on the Faces’ ‘Pool Hall Richard’. An eclectic run of Pop hits follow from Cher, The Arrows, Hello, 10cc and second appearances from Mud and Slade – plus hit covers from Lulu with ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, featuring it’s writer David Bowie on backing vocals and production, and Bryan Ferry with his version of ‘60s classic ‘The ‘In’ Crowd’. The second disc winds down with Soft Rock ballads from Andy Kim and Ace and finishes with the sublime ‘The Air That I Breathe’ from The Hollies.

1974 was a landmark year for soul music, and it included the first global ‘disco’ hits that remain iconic floor-fillers 50 years on, opening with Barry White’s #1 ‘You’re The First, The Last, My Everything’, before a run of hits from Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes, The Hues Corporation, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and a further chart-topper ‘Rock Your Baby’ from George McCrae. Hot Chocolate, The Drifters, Johnny Bristol and Limmie & Family Cookin’ all enjoyed Soul-Pop crossover success, whilst Eddie Holman, The Isley Brothers and Aretha Franklin produced three of the greatest all-time Soul ballads. Ken Boothe enjoyed a #1 with Reggae smash ‘Everything I Own’, and the disc begins its closing run with hits influenced by the year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and ‘60s revival crazes, including here from Showaddywaddy, The Rubettes, Wizzard, and First Class – with the final two tracks a hybrid of Glam and Retro from Alvin Stardust and T.Rex.

The final disc is all about more massive Pop! – Opening with the title track from 1974’s biggest selling album, ‘Band On The Run’ from Paul McCartney & Wings – followed by the timeless ‘Candle In The Wind’ from Elton John and the beautiful ‘I Honestly Love You’ by Olivia Newton-John – her first US #1. Next up is a run of pure Pop heaven led by the #1 ‘Seasons In The Sun’ from Terry Jacks and including the Bay City Rollers, Stephanie De Sykes, Eurovision hit ‘I See A Star’ from Mouth & Macneal, Sweet Dreams’ cover of Abba’s ‘Honey Honey’ and another chart-topper from the New Seekers with ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’… Roxy Music’s ‘All I Want Is You’ and Cockney Rebel’s ‘Mr Soft’ join second Yearbook ’74 appearances from Sparks, Sweet, and Leo Sayer – and two Italian singers scoring big hits – Drupi and Gigliola Cinquetti.

The final four songs on the collection include three more #1’s! Charlie Rich’s ‘The Most Beautiful Girl’ narrowly missed the top spot, but John Denver’s ‘Annie’s Song’ and ‘She’ from Charles Aznavour’ both topped the UK Charts, whilst the last word is given to Mud. As well as having 1974’s biggest seller with the aforementioned ‘Tiger Feet’, they also took the Christmas #1 spot with ‘Lonely This Christmas’.

NOW – Yearbook 1974 – A celebration of the diversity and wonderful creativity of a truly magnificent year in Pop.

CD Album