Andre Gardner

December 1974 wrapped up an historic year, one where Babe Ruth’s home run record was broken by Hank Aaron, people took up “streaking” and a President resigned. On the charts was a stunning selection of rock albums, and here are the top 10:

  • 10. Bad Company - Bad Company

    Bad Company were the first band signed to Led Zeppelin’s “Swan Song” label, and their impact was immediate. Their debut album hit #1 and went on to sell over 3 million copies, making it one of the top 50 best selling albums of the 70s. So why aren’t they in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?? Oy vey. Bad Company drops to #10 this week.

  • 9. Streetlife Serenade - Billy Joel

    Billy Joel didn’t look too happy on the back cover of his third album, Streetlife Serenade.  As it turned out, he’d had his wisdom teeth extracted just two days before that photo was taken, which explains it!  The album peaked here at #9 and features this Joel classic.

  • 8. Chicago VII - Chicago

    The sixth studio album by Chicago was a departure of sorts.  The first five tracks were jazz instrumentals yet, despite that rather unconventional way to start a rock album, Chicago VII topped the charts, their third in a row to do so.  On December 8, 1974, the album slipped to #8.


  • 7. Caribou - Elton John

    The biggest rock star in the world, at the time, was Elton John, and the followup to his masterwork, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road had something very similar to the album we just featured prior.  It, too, was recorded in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at the studio immortalized in the title, Caribou.  It was another chart topper for Elton and, on the countdown this week, it’s #7.

  • 6. Odds And Sods - The Who

    Released as an attempt to thwart the burgeoning bootleg market, Odds And Sods was compiled by John Entwistle from outtakes, b-sides and live performances from the Who’s archives.  In typical Pete Townshend fashion, his liner notes for the album were quite critical of some of the songs, but the fans loved them and the album peaked at #6 on December 8, 1974.  From it is an outtake from 1972, based on a discarded rock opera idea of Pete’s, called “Long Live Rock.”

  • 5. David Live - David Bowie

    David Bowie’s historic run of shows at the Tower Theater in July, 1974 were, thankfully, recorded and released as “David Live,” his first live album, and the #5 rock album on December 8, 1974.

  • 4. War Child - Jethro Tull

    Out of the ashes of an abandoned movie and double album idea came Jethro Tull’s seventh studio album, War Child.  The album went all the way to #2, before dropping two to #4 on December 8, 1974.

  • 3. Walls And Bridges - John Lennon

    It’s still so hard to believe that we lost John 42 years ago today (12/8/22).  He left behind an incredible body of work, both with and without The Beatles.  One of his solo career highlights was this song, which gave John his first U.S. #1 as a solo artist.  It’s “Whatever Gets You Through The Night,” featuring his pal Elton John, and it’s from the #3 rock album on the countdown this week, Walls And Bridges.

  • 2. Not Fragile - Bachman-Turner Overdrive

    Randy Bachman thought it a bit strange that the band Yes, so powerful in their music, would name one of their album’s Fragile.  In tongue-in-cheek fashion, to bust a few chops, Bachman named BTO’s third album, Not Fragile, owing to their hard rock style.  It was the band’ breakthrough and their only #1 album.  After hitting the peak spot, it drops to #2 on December 8, 1974.

  • 1. It's Only Rock And Roll - The Rolling Stones

    At the top of the chart this week is the 14th American studio album by one of the biggest bands of all time.  It would be the last album for their second lead guitarist, who left shortly after its recording.  The album would be the fourth of eight #1 albums in a row for the group.  #1 on December 8, 1974 was It’s Only Rock And Roll by The Rolling Stones.

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