The Boy Detective & The Songs of ’74

In the comment thread on my recent essay for Jungle Red Writers, people shared their own memories of the Summer of ’74—and many of them mentioned the music of that year… which prompted me to share a Spotify playlist of the songs I listened to while writing this story.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74” was written over many years—first as a short story, then as one strand of a novel, then as a standalone novella, then as a shorter novella. As part of my research into that year (I was six at the time), I looked through news stories, reviewed the fashions of the times, and revisited a lot of the culture too: books, movies, and music especially.

My original playlist was on iTunes, but I’ve recreated it on Spotify here. Not all of these songs were out in the summer of 1974, and in fact, “Time in a Bottle,” one of the big songs here, came out late in ’73 but was still top 25 for the year at the end of 1974. Hopefully, these songs give a portrait of the year as a whole—and a glimpse behind the scenes of the story and story-making as well!