Taking the baton passed from Karen ...
It was my high school graduation year. And, as in most years since 1968 or so, it was filled with musical tripe and mediocrity. The best-selling songs:
1. Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree, Tony Orlando and Dawn
2. Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Jim Croce
3. Killing Me Softly With His Song, Roberta Flack
4. Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye
5. My Love, Paul McCartney and Wings
6. Why Me, Kris Kristofferson
7. Crocodile Rock, Elton John
8. Will It Go Round In Circles, Billy Preston
9. You're So Vain, Carly Simon
10. Touch Me In The Morning, Diana Ross
11. The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, Vicki Lawrence
12. Playground In My Mind, Clint Holmes
13. Brother Louie, Stories
14. Delta Dawn, Helen Reddy
15. Me And Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul
16. Frankenstein, Edgar Winter Group
17. Drift Away, Dobie Gray
18. Little Willy, Sweet
19. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, Stevie Wonder
20. Half Breed, Cher
21. That Lady, Isley Bros.
22. Pillow Talk, Sylvia
23. We're An American Band, Grand Funk Railroad
24. Right Place, Wrong Time, Dr. John
25. Wildflower, Skylark
Aside from the soulsters/funksters (Marvin Gaye, Dobie Gray, Stevie Wonder, Isley Bros., Dr. John), this is an excruciatingly bad list. Not much has changed with the Top 40 since then, either. Tony Orlando and Dawn, Helen Reddy, Cher, soft porn from Diana Ross, total schlock from Elton John and Paul McCartney, who at one time had talent. It is not a pretty sight. What made it worse is that I worked as a busboy at a Holiday Inn throughout that year, a Holiday Inn that featured a particularly egregious lounge band with the requisite Helen-Reddy-wannabe vocalist, so I not only had to put up with this crap on the radio, but I then had to hear it over and over again on Friday and Saturday nights as the lounge band "entertained" the patrons who were already in a food-and-alcohol-induced coma. I'd like to think that those are the only reasons why they didn't simply leave or stick around and throw the high-priced bananas flambee.
I note with some interest that "Hocus Pocus" by Focus actually made it all the way to #68 on the charts that year, perhaps the only hit song in which yodeling is prominently featured.
What was I listening to instead? Jethro Tull ('73 was the year Passion Play was released, although Aqualung and Thick as a Brick were still in heavy rotation), Traffic (Low Spark of High Heeled Boys), a hippie folkster named Shawn Phillips, early Fleetwood Mac (the blues-based band, well before Stevie Nicks, The Embraceable Ewe, arrived on the scene), Wishbone Ash, Paul Simon, Led Zeppelin, and megadoses of Pink Floyd (the most apt metaphor, unfortunately; Dark Side of the Moon was released in '73 as well, but I was particularly into Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother, and Meddle). And Focus. I thought the yodeling was cool. Or at least different.