Billboard Soft Rock Hits: 1974

1997: Rhino R2 72740

  1. The Air That I Breathe

    The Hollies

  2. Laughter in the Rain

    Neil Sedaka

  3. Please Come to Boston

    Dave Loggins

  4. Haven’t Got Time for the Pain

    Carly Simon

  5. Seasons in the Sun

    Terry Jacks

  6. I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song

    Jim Croce

  7. Angie Baby

    Helen Reddy

  8. My Eyes Adored You

    Frankie Valli

  9. Tin Man


  10. A Very Special Love Song

    Charlie Rich

I added this to my library specifically for two tracks.

First, Carly Simon’s “Haven’t Got Time for the Pain,” which I’d always thought was tasty little bit of work—surprisingly short, with a mix of passion and either appreciation or dry dismissal, depending on how you read it (I’m in the “dry dismissal” camp, taking the chorus’s lines as meaning that the singee provides enough complication and pain to make previous anxieties secondary). But more importantly to me was that it had a truly intriguingly long outro (about 35 seconds, all instrumental) which conveyed its own version of the story as being a complicated one with nagging afterthoughts. Whoever orchestrated that bit did a great job, as far as I’m concerned.

The other track I wanted this for was Helen Reddy’s “Angie Baby.” I had recalled this track imperfectly from hearing it back in the day, and since years later I’d wanted to first confirm that I’d heard what I’d heard and then consider it anew. It’s such an odd story for Reddy (or anyone) to be telling, although in some ways it was also entirely appropriate fare for its era…light fantasy with psychological overtones, at its core, delivered via light pop cloaked in light darkness.

As for the rest of the album, well, it’s a minor minefield of memories from my mid-’70s youth, but none of the other tracks stands out much for me except maybe “Tin Man,” which always sounded like it meant something deep but never quite communicated whatever that was. Most of this stuff is just what filled the radio programming of the day, to me.