The Friday 5×2: Radio Veronica, from This Date in 1974

Back to that ship off the coast of The Netherlands that we talked about a couple of weeks ago. It’s mid-summer 1974, and Radio Veronica’s Top 10 looks much different from any of the ones in the US. There are a few here I have never heard before, in some cases by bands I’ve never heard of. This should be fun.

  1. Terry Jacks, “If You Go Away” Jacks is best known for his #1 hit and quintessential EBS Special, “Seasons In The Sun.” This was his follow-up, which went to #10 on the Canadian AC chart and #8 in the UK, but failed to reach the Top 40 in the US.
  2. Catapult, “Let Your Hair Hang Down” Never heard of these guys or the song. They were a Dutch Glam-Rock band whose name was suggested by olden Earring’s vocalist Barry Hay. Golden Earring’s hit “Radar Love” was still making its way up the US chart at the time. This made its way all the way to #5 on the Dutch Singles chart.
  3. Hot Chocolate, “Emma” This British soul band was formed by Jamaican lead singer Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, and were a little more influential than I thought: the US band Stories took their “Brother Louie” to #1 in 1973. They had their biggest international hit with “You Sexy Thing” in 1975. This made it to #8 on the Hot 100, and I don’t remember hearing it.
  4. Gerard Cox, “Die Goeie Ouwe Tijd” (“That Good Old Time”) Rotterdam-based Cox is an actor who for fifteen years played the lead character on the Dutch sitcom Toen Was Geluk Heel Gewoon, which Google translates as “When Was Geluk Very Ordinary.” I’m sure that anyone who speaks Dutch can come up with a better translation. (For that matter, I’m sure anyone who doesn’t speak Dutch can come up with a better translation.) Wikipedia tells us that the sitcom was a Dutch adaptation of The Honeymooners.
  5. Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” At the same time this song was topping the charts in Chicago for a fourth consecutive week, it was #6 with a bullet on Radio Veronica.
  6. Wings, “Band On The Run” Sir Paul and crew were headed down the charts in the US, but were still rising in Europe.
  7. Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” While this had just reached the Top 20 in the US, it was #4 with a bullet in The Netherlands. Meanwhile in the US, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods’ cover of Paper Lace’s “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (the subject of a Battle of the Bands a couple of years ago that ended in a tie) was starting its descent down the US chart.
  8. Resonance, “O. K. Chicago” Resonance was basically a French singer named Pierre Bachelet who had a “gentle, romantic voice,” according to Wikipedia, not that you’d know it from this song.
  9. Earth & Fire, “Love Of Life” Never heard of either the band or the song. Earth & Fire (not to be confused with Earth, Wind & Fire, obviously) was “a progressive and symphonic rock band who over time evolved into a pop group,” according to Wikipedia. This reached #2 on the Dutch charts and #20 in Belgium.
  10. The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” As was the case so often during the ’60’s and ’70’s, the hit song came before the band. In this case, it was a group of studio musicians who were brought together by Wayne Bickerton, head of A&R at Polydor Records, and his songwriting partner Tony Waddington, who had written this song and couldn’t sell to anyone. It went to #1 for four weeks in the UK and #37 here in the US.

And there’s your Friday 5×2 for July 27, 2018.

4 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: Radio Veronica, from This Date in 1974

  1. I’m familiar with some of these songs. I agree with Dan – Band on the Run was overplayed. I enjoyed Rock the Boat, kind of an upbeat song.


    1. “Rock The Boat” was a good song, even if it was disco. I agree about “Band On The Run.” It’s like I always say, the more popular a song is, the more it gets played, and some people couldn’t get enough of that one.

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