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Feb 23 2020

70 pop stars

70 pop stars




70 pop stars-70 pop stars
The 70s is by far my favorite decade of rock music. Some of the finest progressive, blues rock, and hard rock bands emerged during this time. I am using the term rock pretty loosely meaning I may include some borderline rock artists and as well as funk, but I won't be putting any classical, pure jazz, soul, or blues without rock influence on here. That would just make this list a lot harder to rank. Edit (7/31/2014): Bands added: The Jam, Buzzcocks, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Faust, Caetano, Big Sta, Iggy Pop, Serge Gainsbourg, Jorge Ben, Syd Barrett, John Martyn Bands Removed: Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, Sugarloaf, Free, ZZ Top, Tangerine Dream, Steve Miller Band, Golden Earring, Alan Parsons Project, Boston, Little Feat, Magma, XTC Order of bands updated



70 pop stars

[List333145] | | +26 The 70s is by far my favorite decade of rock music. Some of the finest progressive, blues rock, and hard rock bands emerged during this time. I am using the term rock pretty loosely meaning I may include some borderline rock artists and as well as funk, but I won’t be putting any classical, pure jazz, soul, or blues without rock influence on here. That would just make this list a lot harder to rank. Edit (7/31/2014): Bands added: The Jam, Buzzcocks, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Faust, Caetano, Big Sta, Iggy Pop, Serge Gainsbourg, Jorge Ben, Syd Barrett, John Martyn Bands Removed: Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, Sugarloaf, Free, ZZ Top, Tangerine Dream, Steve Miller Band, Golden Earring, Alan Parsons Project, Boston, Little Feat, Magma, XTC Order of bands updated Simply put, Pink Floyd is God. Their music is incredible, its so far ahead of its time, so musically incredible. After the departure of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd turned away from their psychedelic and went more progressive as shown in their first 1970 release Atom Heart Mother, which is a highly underrated album. This release includes a 24 minute long instrumental epic with an interesting melody and has an orchestra to back them up. Their next release, Meddle is one of their greatest albums with an incredible 24 minute epic with superb guitar work by David Gilmour and wonderful harmonies led by Roger Waters. It also has a great build up of various jazz/folk influenced songs that lead up to the epic. Obscured by Clouds is good but not great, it gives keyboardist Rick Wright more of a chance to shine with some synth work. Dark Side of the Moon is by far one of their greatest releases with some excellent themes and all around great songwriting where all the band members get to shine. Wish You Were here continues on Pink Floyds excellency with a 26 minute epic broken into two titles and 9 parts total. Every song off this album is incredible with superb harmonies that stand out and an overall progressive feel to it. Animals is sort of a concept album with 3 long songs. Animals has some incredible keyboards and guitar, along with an overall great feel. They end the 70s strong with concept album the Wall that is composed of 26 medium to shorter length songs, although I personally find this album overrated, it is still a good listen and has some fantastic themes behind it, along with the usual superb musicianship and harmonies. After the 70s Pink Floyd basically wasn’t the same after Gilmour and Watters had a feud and their later albums failed to live up to their previous glory. But Floyd left behind a large legacy of musical genius and incredible epics that will probably never be matched in the history of mankind. Best Album: Dark Side of the Moon or Wish you Were Here Simply put, Pink Floyd is God. Their music is incredible, its so far ahead of its time, so musically incredible. After the departure of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd turned away from their psychedelic and went more progressive as shown in their first 1970 release Atom Heart Mother, which is a highly underrated album. This release includes a 24 minute long instrumental epic with an interesting melody and has an orchestra to back them up. Their next release, Meddle is one of their greatest albums with an incredible 24 minute epic with superb guitar work by David Gilmour and wonderful harmonies led by Roger Waters. It also has a great build up of various jazz/folk influenced songs that lead up to the epic. Obscured by Clouds is good but not great, it gives keyboardist Rick Wright more of a chance to shine with some synth work. Dark Side of the Moon is by far one of their greatest releases with some excellent themes and all around great songwriting where all the band members get to shine. Wish You Were here continues on Pink Floyds excellency with a 26 minute epic broken into two titles and 9 parts total. Every song off this album is incredible with superb harmonies that stand out and an overall progressive feel to it. Animals is sort of a concept album with 3 long songs. Animals has some incredible keyboards and guitar, along with an overall great feel. They end the 70s strong with concept album the Wall that is composed of 26 medium to shorter length songs, although I personally find this album overrated, it is still a good listen and has some fantastic themes behind it, along with the usual superb musicianship and harmonies. After the 70s Pink Floyd basically wasn’t the same after Gilmour and Watters had a feud and their later albums failed to live up to their previous glory. But Floyd left behind a large legacy of musical genius and incredible epics that will probably never be matched in the history of mankind. Best Album: Dark Side of the Moon or Wish you Were Here 2 2. Yes Never has there been a finer progressive band, at least technical wise, in rock history. To me only a handful of bands came close, but never quite were able to touch the level of professionalism and smoothness in Yes’ melodies. From their early 70s work until the departure of Wakemen, Yes was consistent in releasing great albums, and some incredible live performances along the way. Although their 60s material is average psychedelic rock, the band Yes decided to take a new direction after their first two albums essentially flopped. They followed the direction bands like King Crimson and Caravan were leading since they formed. Yet, Yes added their own twist, Anderson’s high pitched vocals inspired by medieval and renaissance styles, Howe’s jazz influenced guitar, Squires funky bass, Bruford’s incredible self-taught drumming techniques, and Kaye’s excellent hard rocking organ put together an incredible album The Yes Album in 1971 that forever put their mark on progressive history. A fine album that boosted amazing songwriting skills and musicianship, and long, tasteful improvised jams. The departure of Kaye that same year allowed classically trained keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakeman to take charge of the keyboards for the next album, and he had absolute control of them. Wakemen shreds like no other rock keyboardist and with such accuracy and style. Fragile has to be Yes’ finest album with tons of great tracks that are heavily classically and jazz influenced. Close to the Edge is where Yes dives even deeper into progressive territory and records a 19 minute epic, which they further expand on their next album, Tale from a Topographic Ocean feature four lengthy epics. Their next album Relayer follows the direction of previous album Close to the Edge, as in it has one epic and the rest of the songs are much shorter. Although Rick Wakemen temporarily left for this album, it still is a solid listen. Going for the One is really the last great Yes album, also having one long epic. After six great albums, Yes sort of went downhill with the band deciding to change their direction and core members departing at the start of the 80s. They had their first number one pop hit in 1983 with Owner of a Lonely Heart, which showed Yes took the pop route most bands were opting for at the time, and what little progressive was left, seemed to be vanishing. Still, yes continued on after that and Wakeman returned a few times to record some newer stuff, but they still have never been the same since the 70s. Still, their 70s albums are some of the greatest albums ever recorded and show a side of the music that hasn’t quite been explored before blending genres such as jazz, classical, rock, and folk all into well crafted songs. Each musician takes his own approach when playing his instrument, and all them combined make for one incredible band. Best Album: Close to the Edge Never has there been a finer progressive band, at least technical wise, in rock history. To me only a handful of bands came close, but never quite were able to touch the level of professionalism and smoothness in Yes’ melodies. From their early 70s work until the departure of Wakemen, Yes was consistent in releasing great albums, and some incredible live performances along the way. Although their 60s material is average psychedelic rock, the band Yes decided to take a new direction after their first two albums essentially flopped. They followed the direction bands like King Crimson and Caravan were leading since they formed. Yet, Yes added their own twist, Anderson’s high pitched vocals inspired by medieval and renaissance styles, Howe’s jazz influenced guitar, Squires funky bass, Bruford’s incredible self-taught drumming techniques, and Kaye’s excellent hard rocking organ put together an incredible album The Yes Album in 1971 that forever put their mark on progressive history. A fine album that boosted amazing songwriting skills and musicianship, and long, tasteful improvised jams. The departure of Kaye that same year allowed classically trained keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakeman to take charge of the keyboards for the next album, and he had absolute control of them. Wakemen shreds like no other rock keyboardist and with such accuracy and style. Fragile has to be Yes’ finest album with tons of great tracks that are heavily classically and jazz influenced. Close to the Edge is where Yes dives even deeper into progressive territory and records a 19 minute epic, which they further expand on their next album, Tale from a Topographic Ocean feature four lengthy epics. Their next album Relayer follows the direction of previous album Close to the Edge, as in it has one epic and the rest of the songs are much shorter. Although Rick Wakemen temporarily left for this album, it still is a solid listen. Going for the One is really the last great Yes album, also having one long epic. After six great albums, Yes sort of went downhill with the band deciding to change their direction and core members departing at the start of the 80s. They had their first number one pop hit in 1983 with Owner of a Lonely Heart, which showed Yes took the pop route most bands were opting for at the time, and what little progressive was left, seemed to be vanishing. Still, yes continued on after that and Wakeman returned a few times to record some newer stuff, but they still have never been the same since the 70s. Still, their 70s albums are some of the greatest albums ever recorded and show a side of the music that hasn’t quite been explored before blending genres such as jazz, classical, rock, and folk all into well crafted songs. Each musician takes his own approach when playing his instrument, and all them combined make for one incredible band. Best Album: Close to the Edge 3 3. Dav > What would the 70s be without glam/blue eyed soul rocker David Bowie, who literally could cover nearly any genre with his diverse vocal styles. David Bowie was an odd figure who’s albums had equally as weird themes and covers to boot. David Bowie’s 70s material is some his best known and also most diverse. He started off doing folk rock at the start of the 70s, went to glam near the mid 70s, did funk for a brief few albums, then moved to more experimental material at the end of the 70s. Bowie had a wonderful voice that could cover lots of ranges. In fact, thats really what he did best and what makes his music stand out. Most of his songs are centered around vocals. Of course the music that backs him up is pretty good with some nice acoustic or piano in the background. There isn’t really much to say about Bowie other than the fact that he is an icon of the 70s and his music changed the industry forever. His glam and experimental stuff is some of the best. Best Album: Low or Hunky Dory What would the 70s be without glam/blue eyed soul rocker David Bowie, who literally could cover nearly any genre with his diverse vocal styles. David Bowie was an odd figure who’s albums had equally as weird themes and covers to boot. David Bowie’s 70s material is some his best known and also most diverse. He started off doing folk rock at the start of the 70s, went to glam near the mid 70s, did funk for a brief few albums, then moved to more experimental material at the end of the 70s. Bowie had a wonderful voice that could cover lots of ranges. In fact, thats really what he did best and what makes his music stand out. Most of his songs are centered around vocals. Of course the music that backs him up is pretty good with some nice acoustic or piano in the background. There isn’t really much to say about Bowie other than the fact that he is an icon of the 70s and his music changed the industry forever. His glam and experimental stuff is some of the best. Best Album: Low or Hunky Dory 4 4. The Allman Brothers Band Two words, Fillmore East, that alone is a reason for them to be in a top 10 list of 70s bands. On top of that, their early 70s material was incredible before Duane Allman died in 1971. They even made a pretty good effort after he died producing albums such as Eat a Peach and Brothers and Sisters. Their first album of the 70s, Idlewild South is some incredible blues inspired songs, mostly written by guitarist Dickey Betts. Duanes lead guitar and soloing is just incredible and Gregg does an excellent job on the organ with his soulful voice. Of course, nothing could predict their greatest album, live at Fillmore East would come next, the last album before Duane’s untimely passing later that year. Duane’s guitar shines and he has some fine solos, inspired by jazz and blues while Gregg does a fine job mostly playing background chords and beats on the organ with occasional soloing, and of course, his incredible voice, perfect for southern rock. Dickey Betts does a fine job supporting Duane and adding the depth of guitar and produces a few excellent solos in his own. Bassist Berry Oakley is kind of overshadowed by both guitarists and Gregg but he still gets his chance to shine and to be honest, also is an excellent improviser and provides a strong bassline for the others to work on. Drummer Butch Trucks also does an excellent job keeping a good beat for the others to follows and occasionally solos, showing that he is more than just your average drummer. After this, the Allman brothers never produced an album to this level of excellence but Brothers and Sisters is pretty good and sort of shifts directions from a more blues/jazz oriented band to a more country/folk rock sort of band, I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd. After this bassist Berry Oakley died prematurely and the album Eat a Peach was released not long after, following the same direction of Brothers and Sisters. After these two albums the Allman brothers sort of got generic and did nothing new or revolutionary, but produced a few solid albums, although nothing got close to their early 70s work. They sort of broke up after the 80s although occasionally get together to record an album or go live. They have other live albums aside from Fillmore from when Duane was still around, and these are absolutely incredible. The Allman brothers have some incredible long live jams that almost put the Grateful Dead to shame. The Allman brothers are excellent at improvising and creating very catchy and soulful jams with great musicianship and songwriting. Just for this, they earned their spot in the top 10. Top Album: Live at Fillmore East Two words, Fillmore East, that alone is a reason for them to be in a top 10 list of 70s bands. On top of that, their early 70s material was incredible before Duane Allman died in 1971. They even made a pretty good effort after he died producing albums such as Eat a Peach and Brothers and Sisters. Their first album of the 70s, Idlewild South is some incredible blues inspired songs, mostly written by guitarist Dickey Betts. Duanes lead guitar and soloing is just incredible and Gregg does an excellent job on the organ with his soulful voice. Of course, nothing could predict their greatest album, live at Fillmore East would come next, the last album before Duane’s untimely passing later that year. Duane’s guitar shines and he has some fine solos, inspired by jazz and blues while Gregg does a fine job mostly playing background chords and beats on the organ with occasional soloing, and of course, his incredible voice, perfect for southern rock. Dickey Betts does a fine job supporting Duane and adding the depth of guitar and produces a few excellent solos in his own. Bassist Berry Oakley is kind of overshadowed by both guitarists and Gregg but he still gets his chance to shine and to be honest, also is an excellent improviser and provides a strong bassline for the others to work on. Drummer Butch Trucks also does an excellent job keeping a good beat for the others to follows and occasionally solos, showing that he is more than just your average drummer. After this, the Allman brothers never produced an album to this level of excellence but Brothers and Sisters is pretty good and sort of shifts directions from a more blues/jazz oriented band to a more country/folk rock sort of band, I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd. After this bassist Berry Oakley died prematurely and the album Eat a Peach was released not long after, following the same direction of Brothers and Sisters. After these two albums the Allman brothers sort of got generic and did nothing new or revolutionary, but produced a few solid albums, although nothing got close to their early 70s work. They sort of broke up after the 80s although occasionally get together to record an album or go live. They have other live albums aside from Fillmore from when Duane was still around, and these are absolutely incredible. The Allman brothers have some incredible long live jams that almost put the Grateful Dead to shame. The Allman brothers are excellent at improvising and creating very catchy and soulful jams with great musicianship and songwriting. Just for this, they earned their spot in the top 10. Top Album: Live at Fillmore East 5 5. Genesis Well most people are well familiar with the post Peter Gabriel pop friendly Genesis of the early 80s, the Genesis I love is the early 70s work with Peter Gabriel as the front man rather than Phil Collins. Genesis was a band that combined progressive influences with folk and sort of nursery rhyme themes to their music. Starting with their first album of the 70s, Trespass, Genesis has a solid entry into their progressive catalog with the addition of drummer Phil Collins, yet it is nowhere near the brilliance the following albums have. Nursery Cryme is their next album. Progressive legend Steve Hackett replaces previous guitarist and this is their first incredible album that has the trademark Genesis sound. Very fairy tale like lyrics sung by Gabriel with sort of a soft and relaxing feel to it, country to the faster, more upbeat stuff most other progressive bands at the time were trying to do. These guys had quite a unique sound with Hacketts incredible classically influenced guitar, Gabriel’s bizarre singing styles, Banks relaxing piano/organ, Rutherfords soothing bass, and Collin’s unique approach to drumming. Much like Yes, each member contributes their own to make each album masterful. Their next album, Foxtrot is much like their previous album and very easy to listen to, the guitar work really shines on the 23 minute final track. Selling England by the pound further expands their mastery with some incredible vocals by Gabriel and synth work by Banks. Its a lot more upbeat than their previous albums, which is welcoming. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is just an incredible album and last to feature singer Peter Gabriel. In A Trick of the Tail, Collins takes over vocals and heads Genesis in sort of a different direction. This surprisingly works okay and Collins does a decent job on vocals, but nowhere near the level of genius of Gabriel. Their next few albums have the same feel and are very heavy on keyboards. Their final album of the 70s . And Then There Were Three sees the departure of Hackett as guitarist and this is when genesis starts becoming less progressive, and more of a pop/soft rock outfit. Unfortunately a lot of people aren’t familiar with pre 80s Genesis due to the fact that it was their 80s stuff that made them so popular. But their 70s stuff is their most superb and is some of the most complex and beautifully written music out there. Gabriel is an incredible singer and the band just put together some amazing albums. I think true Genesis fans need to acknowledge their 70s albums so they can realize this is the Genesis that actually made great music. Best Album: Selling England by the Pound Well most people are well familiar with the post Peter Gabriel pop friendly Genesis of the early 80s, the Genesis I love is the early 70s work with Peter Gabriel as the front man rather than Phil Collins. Genesis was a band that combined progressive influences with folk and sort of nursery rhyme themes to their music. Starting with their first album of the 70s, Trespass, Genesis has a solid entry into their progressive catalog with the addition of drummer Phil Collins, yet it is nowhere near the brilliance the following albums have. Nursery Cryme is their next album. Progressive legend Steve Hackett replaces previous guitarist and this is their first incredible album that has the trademark Genesis sound. Very fairy tale like lyrics sung by Gabriel with sort of a soft and relaxing feel to it, country to the faster, more upbeat stuff most other progressive bands at the time were trying to do. These guys had quite a unique sound with Hacketts incredible classically influenced guitar, Gabriel’s bizarre singing styles, Banks relaxing piano/organ, Rutherfords soothing bass, and Collin’s unique approach to drumming. Much like Yes, each member contributes their own to make each album masterful. Their next album, Foxtrot is much like their previous album and very easy to listen to, the guitar work really shines on the 23 minute final track. Selling England by the pound further expands their mastery with some incredible vocals by Gabriel and synth work by Banks. Its a lot more upbeat than their previous albums, which is welcoming. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is just an incredible album and last to feature singer Peter Gabriel. In A Trick of the Tail, Collins takes over vocals and heads Genesis in sort of a different direction. This surprisingly works okay and Collins does a decent job on vocals, but nowhere near the level of genius of Gabriel. Their next few albums have the same feel and are very heavy on keyboards. Their final album of the 70s . And Then There Were Three sees the departure of Hackett as guitarist and this is when genesis starts becoming less progressive, and more of a pop/soft rock outfit. Unfortunately a lot of people aren’t familiar with pre 80s Genesis due to the fact that it was their 80s stuff that made them so popular. But their 70s stuff is their most superb and is some of the most complex and beautifully written music out there. Gabriel is an incredible singer and the band just put together some amazing albums. I think true Genesis fans need to acknowledge their 70s albums so they can realize this is the Genesis that actually made great music. Best Album: Selling England by the Pound 6 6. Led Zeppelin When people ask about 70s rock, Zeppelin is one of the first bands that usually comes to mind. Zeppelin perfectly blended blues, folk, and hard rock into well-crafted albums, while appealing to mainstream radio stations and rock fans. Although back in the 70s it actually took musical talent to make it big on rock radio stations. What stands out the most in Zeppelin is guitarist Jimmy Page, who helped define a style and genre that would forever change the rock industry. You can tell a lot of Page’s influences came from electric blues from the likes of guys like Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. This in its own makes Page a well-respectable musician. Robert Plant is an excellent rock singer with high pitched vocals and a very soulful voice. He is the sole definition of hard rock vocals, along with Ian Gillan of course. John Bonhams drumming was also incredible and he could accommodate well to Zeppelin’s style. John Paul Jones was the bassist and sort of the utility man who could also play keyboards and rhythm guitar when needed. Zepplin’s first 70s album, Zeppelin III is an incredible bluesy album that pretty much expands on their previous 60s albums. It has some great hard rocking and acoustic songs. There next album Led Zeppelin IV is an incredible folk/blues rock album that is a little more refined than their previous albums. Houses of the Holy sort of has a jazzy feel to it and has some incredible guitar work. Its a little softer than their previous albums. Physical Graffiti is just a very hard rocking album with lots of heavy guitar and also features longer songs than previous albums. Presence isn’t quite as experimental or unique as their previous album, but is a solid effort with some great guitar work. Their final album of the 70s In Through the Out Door is a bit more riff based and also not as strong as their early 70s output. Still despite two weaker albums, Led Zeppelin is the definition of 70s rock and had some amazing melodies with very bluesy influences. Zeppelin had a style that was very unique for the time and influenced new generations of rockers to come. They had many very amazing albums. Best Album: Houses of the Holy or Led Zeppelin IV When people ask about 70s rock, Zeppelin is one of the first bands that usually comes to mind. Zeppelin perfectly blended blues, folk, and hard rock into well-crafted albums, while appealing to mainstream radio stations and rock fans. Although back in the 70s it actually took musical talent to make it big on rock radio stations. What stands out the most in Zeppelin is guitarist Jimmy Page, who helped define a style and genre that would forever change the rock industry. You can tell a lot of Page’s influences came from electric blues from the likes of guys like Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. This in its own makes Page a well-respectable musician. Robert Plant is an excellent rock singer with high pitched vocals and a very soulful voice. He is the sole definition of hard rock vocals, along with Ian Gillan of course. John Bonhams drumming was also incredible and he could accommodate well to Zeppelin’s style. John Paul Jones was the bassist and sort of the utility man who could also play keyboards and rhythm guitar when needed. Zepplin’s first 70s album, Zeppelin III is an incredible bluesy album that pretty much expands on their previous 60s albums. It has some great hard rocking and acoustic songs. There next album Led Zeppelin IV is an incredible folk/blues rock album that is a little more refined than their previous albums. Houses of the Holy sort of has a jazzy feel to it and has some incredible guitar work. Its a little softer than their previous albums. Physical Graffiti is just a very hard rocking album with lots of heavy guitar and also features longer songs than previous albums. Presence isn’t quite as experimental or unique as their previous album, but is a solid effort with some great guitar work. Their final album of the 70s In Through the Out Door is a bit more riff based and also not as strong as their early 70s output. Still despite two weaker albums, Led Zeppelin is the definition of 70s rock and had some amazing melodies with very bluesy influences. Zeppelin had a style that was very unique for the time and influenced new generations of rockers to come. They had many very amazing albums. Best Album: Houses of the Holy or Led Zeppelin IV 7 7. Neil Young Neil Young is perhaps famous for his inclusion in the rock quartet, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, but his solo career is just as important. Neil Young was an incredibly diverse musician who could play laid back acoustic folk, or he could play some hard rocking blues. Neil Young is an incredible song writer who could connect to his listeners, and was an expansion of CSNY. He kept the spirit of the woodstock era, and expanded it in the 70s. He may not be my favorite singer or song writer, but he definitely deserves a spot on this list for his contributions and original music. Best Album: After the Gold Rush Neil Young is perhaps famous for his inclusion in the rock quartet, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, but his solo career is just as important. Neil Young was an incredibly diverse musician who could play laid back acoustic folk, or he could play some hard rocking blues. Neil Young is an incredible song writer who could connect to his listeners, and was an expansion of CSNY. He kept the spirit of the woodstock era, and expanded it in the 70s. He may not be my favorite singer or song writer, but he definitely deserves a spot on this list for his contributions and original music. Best Album: After the Gold Rush Black Sabbath, the guys who created metal as some call them, others know them as that band Ozzy was in before he went solo. Either way, Sabbath deserves as much praise as they can get for pioneering a genre that was just taking its first baby steps, and still would not start walking full force until the 80s. Sabbath was the hardest rock you can imagine, they outdid Hendrix, Helter Skelter, Deep Purple, and Iron Butterfly. In fact I’m pretty sure these guys inspired Deep Purple to change their direction at the start of the 70s. Their early 70s work with Ozzy was brilliant and has some really hard driving riffs, with some dark and one of a kind vocals from Ozzy. They were dark, and wrote a lot of their songs in minor keys, yet they were the perfect band at the time to contrast a lot of the popier rock going on at the time such as Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Carpenters. Their themes and lyrics were brilliant and catchy, and they wrote songs that could get your blood rushing fast, a feeling that most metal goes for. Yet Black Sabbath wasn’t quite metal, they were simply very hard rock that used many elements that would later be staples in the metal genre. Their work with Ozzy was all pretty similar styled and featured their genius work with the awesome guitar solos and riffs of Tony Iommi, the fast paced/heavy cymbal drumming of Bill Ward, the dark and crazy lyrics of Ozzy Osbourne, and incredibly riffy bass of Geezer Buttler. Ozzy left the band at the end of the 70s but instead of disbanding, they instead replace Ozzy with metal legend Ronnie F’ing Dio, to open up their 80s stint, which was a lot more metal now that the genre was well off its feet, but thats a different story. Sabbath was the best at what they did, and had some pretty dark and musically heavy music for their time, and thats what made them legends. They may not be in my top 10, but I respect these guys for what they did, and highly enjoy their early 70s work, its simply the best of its genre. Best Album: Paranoid Black Sabbath, the guys who created metal as some call them, others know them as that band Ozzy was in before he went solo. Either way, Sabbath deserves as much praise as they can get for pioneering a genre that was just taking its first baby steps, and still would not start walking full force until the 80s. Sabbath was the hardest rock you can imagine, they outdid Hendrix, Helter Skelter, Deep Purple, and Iron Butterfly. In fact I’m pretty sure these guys inspired Deep Purple to change their direction at the start of the 70s. Their early 70s work with Ozzy was brilliant and has some really hard driving riffs, with some dark and one of a kind vocals from Ozzy. They were dark, and wrote a lot of their songs in minor keys, yet they were the perfect band at the time to contrast a lot of the popier rock going on at the time such as Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Carpenters. Their themes and lyrics were brilliant and catchy, and they wrote songs that could get your blood rushing fast, a feeling that most metal goes for. Yet Black Sabbath wasn’t quite metal, they were simply very hard rock that used many elements that would later be staples in the metal genre. Their work with Ozzy was all pretty similar styled and featured their genius work with the awesome guitar solos and riffs of Tony Iommi, the fast paced/heavy cymbal drumming of Bill Ward, the dark and crazy lyrics of Ozzy Osbourne, and incredibly riffy bass of Geezer Buttler. Ozzy left the band at the end of the 70s but instead of disbanding, they instead replace Ozzy with metal legend Ronnie F’ing Dio, to open up their 80s stint, which was a lot more metal now that the genre was well off its feet, but thats a different story. Sabbath was the best at what they did, and had some pretty dark and musically heavy music for their time, and thats what made them legends. They may not be in my top 10, but I respect these guys for what they did, and highly enjoy their early 70s work, its simply the best of its genre. Best Album: Paranoid 9 9. The Who Ah, what is a rock list without British rockers The Who being in the top 10. 1960s mod rockers who inspired an entire culture in England later decided to change their image in the 70s to fit with the cultural changes occurring and went for a more mature approach with their first album of the 70s Who’s Next be an incredible album that is musically and lyrically moving. Townsend basically composes the entire album that is a perfect blend of folk, hard rock, and rock n roll. The Who makes good use of keyboards that are present in many of the hits of this album, and guitar work is superb, lots of great solos and musically complex rhythms. The lyrics and singing are by far the highlight of this album, tons of deep and moving issues present in these songs beautifully sung by Daltrey, who has an incredibly diverse singing voice. John does a great job keeping the bassline simple and melodic while drummer Keith Moon, is fantastic, as usual with his complex rhythms. Their next album, Quadrophenia is a beautifully writen rock opera mainly the work of Townsend, that is a lot softer, but more musically complex than their previous albums. A full orchestra is actually used in some of the songs. Its very progressive influenced and is up there with Who’s Next. Who by the Numbers isn’t quite as good as their previous two seventies albums but still a pretty solid album. Who Are You is their last of the 70s and before the unfortunate death of drummer Keith Moon. Who Are You is their weakest release of the 70s, despite its amazing title track. On top of that their amazing live album, Live at Leeds from 1970 is one of the greatest live albums of the 70s with incredible guitar, drumming, and bass work with some decent vocals. The Who defined a genre and were an incredible and diverse rock group who left behind a large legacy, and even with the death of drum their occasionally released albums and toured. Best Album: Who’s Next Ah, what is a rock list without British rockers The Who being in the top 10. 1960s mod rockers who inspired an entire culture in England later decided to change their image in the 70s to fit with the cultural changes occurring and went for a more mature approach with their first album of the 70s Who’s Next be an incredible album that is musically and lyrically moving. Townsend basically composes the entire album that is a perfect blend of folk, hard rock, and rock n roll. The Who makes good use of keyboards that are present in many of the hits of this album, and guitar work is superb, lots of great solos and musically complex rhythms. The lyrics and singing are by far the highlight of this album, tons of deep and moving issues present in these songs beautifully sung by Daltrey, who has an incredibly diverse singing voice. John does a great job keeping the bassline simple and melodic while drummer Keith Moon, is fantastic, as usual with his complex rhythms. Their next album, Quadrophenia is a beautifully writen rock opera mainly the work of Townsend, that is a lot softer, but more musically complex than their previous albums. A full orchestra is actually used in some of the songs. Its very progressive influenced and is up there with Who’s Next. Who by the Numbers isn’t quite as good as their previous two seventies albums but still a pretty solid album. Who Are You is their last of the 70s and before the unfortunate death of drummer Keith Moon. Who Are You is their weakest release of the 70s, despite its amazing title track. On top of that their amazing live album, Live at Leeds from 1970 is one of the greatest live albums of the 70s with incredible guitar, drumming, and bass work with some decent vocals. The Who defined a genre and were an incredible and diverse rock group who left behind a large legacy, and even with the death of drum their occasionally released albums and toured. Best Album: Who’s Next 10 10. Rush When Rush recorded their first album in the mid 70s, nobody quite expected them to emerge from the decade as progressive geniuses. In fact, they were just a solid hard rock group who were sort of a poor man’s Led Zeppelin. Geddy was an excellent bassist who could improvise, Lifeson was an amazing rock guitarist who could make anything rock, and Peart was a drum God who applied jazz drumming to rock to create a unique style. Their first self titled album was basically average hard rock with some good guitar work, but with their next two albums, drummer Neil Peart took over and forever changed rock drumming. Rush’s next two albums were also closer to hard rock with slight progressive influences, although they were a large improvement over their first album. Finally Rush went full into progressive territory with 2112, a 21 minute epic with lots of solid guitar work, superb bass, and Neil’s insane drumming. Rush from this point, moves further into progressive territory with each album. In their next album, A Farewell to Kings, Geddy starts to experiment with synths that would then be a trademark of Rush from then on. A Farewell to Kings is just a very unique sounding album with awesome guitar work and Geddy does an incredible job singing. Hemispheres is sort of an expansion of a Farewell to Kings in that is has a similar sound. It starts off with a softer 18 minute epic and ends with an incredible progressive masterpiece. Geddy’s bass playing is incredible and Neil does an excellent job creating his own style. This all led to 80s Rush, which is a whole different concept, but 70s Rush is just as good as 80s Rush and has some excellent progressive gems. For only three band members, these guys sure were perfectionists and each the best at the instruments they played. Rush evolved from being a decent hard rock band, to progressive legends. Their sound is so pleasant and distinguishable that no other band can accurately replicate any of them. Best Album: A Farewell to Kings When Rush recorded their first album in the mid 70s, nobody quite expected them to emerge from the decade as progressive geniuses. In fact, they were just a solid hard rock group who were sort of a poor man’s Led Zeppelin. Geddy was an excellent bassist who could improvise, Lifeson was an amazing rock guitarist who could make anything rock, and Peart was a drum God who applied jazz drumming to rock to create a unique style. Their first self titled album was basically average hard rock with some good guitar work, but with their next two albums, drummer Neil Peart took over and forever changed rock drumming. Rush’s next two albums were also closer to hard rock with slight progressive influences, although they were a large improvement over their first album. Finally Rush went full into progressive territory with 2112, a 21 minute epic with lots of solid guitar work, superb bass, and Neil’s insane drumming. Rush from this point, moves further into progressive territory with each album. In their next album, A Farewell to Kings, Geddy starts to experiment with synths that would then be a trademark of Rush from then on. A Farewell to Kings is just a very unique sounding album with awesome guitar work and Geddy does an incredible job singing. Hemispheres is sort of an expansion of a Farewell to Kings in that is has a similar sound. It starts off with a softer 18 minute epic and ends with an incredible progressive masterpiece. Geddy’s bass playing is incredible and Neil does an excellent job creating his own style. This all led to 80s Rush, which is a whole different concept, but 70s Rush is just as good as 80s Rush and has some excellent progressive gems. For only three band members, these guys sure were perfectionists and each the best at the instruments they played. Rush evolved from being a decent hard rock band, to progressive legends. Their sound is so pleasant and distinguishable that no other band can accurately replicate any of them. Best Album: A Farewell to Kings 11 11. Bruce Springsteen Springsteen is sort of a cultural image of the 70s. If the 70s had to have one band represent its culture and popularity, it would no doubt be Springsteen, much how Elvis represented the 50s and The Beatles represented the 60s. Springsteen sort of reminds me of Dylan, a poor, struggling young musician, who wanted to represent the common man, and play music they could relate to. He didn’t have the greatest singing voice, but he did have an incredible gift for song writing and wrote some of the most recognizable and humane songs of the 70s. Springsteen initially played in local night clubs and bars, and was soon discovered by legendary talent scout John Hammond. Hammond is also famous for discovering Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Leonard Cohen, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman, yep this guys been around for a while, and later discovering Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was also Hammond who helped struggling black musicians find record labels and fought against discrimination back in the 1930s, but thats another story. Springsteen’s first two albums sort of flopped, despite being solid albums and having lots of blues, folk, and rock n roll inspired songs. When Springsteen thought it was all over and the label was going to drop him, he wrote Born to Run in one last effort to go out with a big bang. To Springsteen’s surprise, this saved Springsteen with the album climbing to #3 on the billboard charts. From that point forward, Springsteen continued making excellent pop rock and used his jazz, blues, and rock influences to create original and unique songs. Despite being a mainstream band, Springsteen’s music was far from mainstream, he used lots of saxophone and horns in his songs, and played music that was totally different than everyone else at the time. Springsteen’s 70s albums are his best in my opinion, and he produced some excellent live albums as well. When he played his songs live, he played them differently than in the studio, and gave a new charm to them. Springsteen may not have been the best singer, and his guitar playing wasn’t the most technical, although it got better with age, but if you are judging the band based on these factors you’re missing the point. Dylan or Costello didn’t necessarily have the greatest singing voices or guitar skills either, but the music just rocks. In a recent interview, Springsteen said the Animals were a huge influence on his songwriting and he remembered there first TV appearance. Most musicians were stating the Beatles, Elvis, or The Rolling Stones as influence, and this guy got a lot of his influence from lots of unique bands. Springsteen’s music is just so diverse and catchy. He is one of the few true musical geniuses and his live performances show it. Best Album: Born to Run or Darkness at the Edge of Town Springsteen is sort of a cultural image of the 70s. If the 70s had to have one band represent its culture and popularity, it would no doubt be Springsteen, much how Elvis represented the 50s and The Beatles represented the 60s. Springsteen sort of reminds me of Dylan, a poor, struggling young musician, who wanted to represent the common man, and play music they could relate to. He didn’t have the greatest singing voice, but he did have an incredible gift for song writing and wrote some of the most recognizable and humane songs of the 70s. Springsteen initially played in local night clubs and bars, and was soon discovered by legendary talent scout John Hammond. Hammond is also famous for discovering Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Leonard Cohen, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman, yep this guys been around for a while, and later discovering Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was also Hammond who helped struggling black musicians find record labels and fought against discrimination back in the 1930s, but thats another story. Springsteen’s first two albums sort of flopped, despite being solid albums and having lots of blues, folk, and rock n roll inspired songs. When Springsteen thought it was all over and the label was going to drop him, he wrote Born to Run in one last effort to go out with a big bang. To Springsteen’s surprise, this saved Springsteen with the album climbing to #3 on the billboard charts. From that point forward, Springsteen continued making excellent pop rock and used his jazz, blues, and rock influences to create original and unique songs. Despite being a mainstream band, Springsteen’s music was far from mainstream, he used lots of saxophone and horns in his songs, and played music that was totally different than everyone else at the time. Springsteen’s 70s albums are his best in my opinion, and he produced some excellent live albums as well. When he played his songs live, he played them differently than in the studio, and gave a new charm to them. Springsteen may not have been the best singer, and his guitar playing wasn’t the most technical, although it got better with age, but if you are judging the band based on these factors you’re missing the point. Dylan or Costello didn’t necessarily have the greatest singing voices or guitar skills either, but the music just rocks. In a recent interview, Springsteen said the Animals were a huge influence on his songwriting and he remembered there first TV appearance. Most musicians were stating the Beatles, Elvis, or The Rolling Stones as influence, and this guy got a lot of his influence from lots of unique bands. Springsteen’s music is just so diverse and catchy. He is one of the few true musical geniuses and his live performances show it. Best Album: Born to Run or Darkness at the Edge of Town 12 12. Jethro Tull Not many rock bands, or any small bands for that matter, have a full time flutist, yet Ian Anderson plays flutes, guitar, all while providing vocals. Jethro Tull is sort of a hard rock/progressive band, with of course, tons of jazz influences, mainly by flutists like Roland Kirk. They started the 70s off with a perfect mixture of acoustic, blues, heavy rock, and progressive masterpieces. Jethro Tull is a band who created a 44 minute progressive song, which took up an entire album, just to spite the people calling their previous work progressive. Anyway, like a lot of 70s progressive bands, their early 70s material is without question, incredible, and in the late 70s, Jethro Tull created some excellent folk rock. Jethro Tull has to be one of the most unique progressive bands with their own sound and some very cool sounding vocal work. The jazz and progressive influences are highly present in their 70s work. Their guitar solos and riffs are some of the best in progressive and they even output some solid keyboard and drumming. Best Album: Thick as a Brick Not many rock bands, or any small bands for that matter, have a full time flutist, yet Ian Anderson plays flutes, guitar, all while providing vocals. Jethro Tull is sort of a hard rock/progressive band, with of course, tons of jazz influences, mainly by flutists like Roland Kirk. They started the 70s off with a perfect mixture of acoustic, blues, heavy rock, and progressive masterpieces. Jethro Tull is a band who created a 44 minute progressive song, which took up an entire album, just to spite the people calling their previous work progressive. Anyway, like a lot of 70s progressive bands, their early 70s material is without question, incredible, and in the late 70s, Jethro Tull created some excellent folk rock. Jethro Tull has to be one of the most unique progressive bands with their own sound and some very cool sounding vocal work. The jazz and progressive influences are highly present in their 70s work. Their guitar solos and riffs are some of the best in progressive and they even output some solid keyboard and drumming. Best Album: Thick as a Brick 13 13. Caravan What do you get when you have a progressive rock band that wants to do jazz? Well other than Soft Machine you have Caravan, and in fact most Canterbury bands at the time. Caravan’s early 70s work was simply superb, very jazz influenced riffs, mixed with progressive elements and superb musicianship made for some incredibly developed albums. From free flowing organ riffs, to extensive guitar solos, and soft vocals in odd keys. Caravan was simply the best at what they did and shows in their early 70s work. Caravan is indescribable, they can take a catchy riff, turn in into jazz, yet add their own twist to it and label it as rock, and it all works out. They have some incredible long songs, that have really good flow and incredible musicianship on all parts, most notable guitar and drums. Though their later 70s work isn’t quite as brilliant or complex as their early 70s work, they still earn a spot in the top 10 for being one of the most brilliant bands at a time where jazz was basically dead among younger generations. They have some of the most beautiful songs of the 70s and are simply a relaxing band to listen to. Best Album: If I Could Do it All Over Again, I’d Do it All Over You or In the Land of Grey and Pink What do you get when you have a progressive rock band that wants to do jazz? Well other than Soft Machine you have Caravan, and in fact most Canterbury bands at the time. Caravan’s early 70s work was simply superb, very jazz influenced riffs, mixed with progressive elements and superb musicianship made for some incredibly developed albums. From free flowing organ riffs, to extensive guitar solos, and soft vocals in odd keys. Caravan was simply the best at what they did and shows in their early 70s work. Caravan is indescribable, they can take a catchy riff, turn in into jazz, yet add their own twist to it and label it as rock, and it all works out. They have some incredible long songs, that have really good flow and incredible musicianship on all parts, most notable guitar and drums. Though their later 70s work isn’t quite as brilliant or complex as their early 70s work, they still earn a spot in the top 10 for being one of the most brilliant bands at a time where jazz was basically dead among younger generations. They have some of the most beautiful songs of the 70s and are simply a relaxing band to listen to. Best Album: If I Could Do it All Over Again, I’d Do it All Over You or In the Land of Grey and Pink 14 14. Stevie Wonder I know a lot of you are thinking what is Stevie Wonder doing on a list of greatest rock artists/bands. Well Stevie Wonder may not be pure rock, many of his 70s albums have rock influences and are a blend of rock, funk, and soul among other genres. Music of My Mind has songs on it that sound like they are heavily influenced by folk rock from the late 60s. Lets also not forget the influences Stevie Wonder has had on the evolution of both funk and rock. Stevie’s Innvervisions touches on soft rock territory and he plays some very deep and personal songs. Stevie Wonder created some of the greatest anthems of all time. His 70s albums are all classics, and it was the decade that defined who he was. During the 60s, Stevie was still a kid and maturing, playing bubblegum and family friendly soul, while in the 70s, he started playing music that could connect to the listener regardless of their skin color or personal beliefs. With each album, Stevie only got stronger and stronger, making his succeeding album better than his last album. After the 70s, Stevie went downhill and started playing cheesy pop and generic soul music. Still, he created some of the finest and most advanced albums of his time, and his legacy is massive. Best Album: Songs in the Key of Life or Innervisions I know a lot of you are thinking what is Stevie Wonder doing on a list of greatest rock artists/bands. Well Stevie Wonder may not be pure rock, many of his 70s albums have rock influences and are a blend of rock, funk, and soul among other genres. Music of My Mind has songs on it that sound like they are heavily influenced by folk rock from the late 60s. Lets also not forget the influences Stevie Wonder has had on the evolution of both funk and rock. Stevie’s Innvervisions touches on soft rock territory and he plays some very deep and personal songs. Stevie Wonder created some of the greatest anthems of all time. His 70s albums are all classics, and it was the decade that defined who he was. During the 60s, Stevie was still a kid and maturing, playing bubblegum and family friendly soul, while in the 70s, he started playing music that could connect to the listener regardless of their skin color or personal beliefs. With each album, Stevie only got stronger and stronger, making his succeeding album better than his last album. After the 70s, Stevie went downhill and started playing cheesy pop and generic soul music. Still, he created some of the finest and most advanced albums of his time, and his legacy is massive. Best Album: Songs in the Key of Life or Innervisions 15 15. Can Can is a pretty weird band, and very uneasy to listen to. I tried playing part of this album for my dad because he wanted to know what they were like, and couldn’t even make it through a song because it was too unsettling for him. Surprisingly, I liked Can after listening to a few of their albums, and appreciated their style. Tago Mago is a piece of art, and Can uses it to stretch their definition of how far you can stretch music and add their own creative touches. Sure their music is uneasy, sure its bizarre, sure their are a few odd screeches and incomprehensible babbles by the vocalist, and maybe these guys are very experimental, but thats what makes Can stand out. They go into territory that most bands, even odd bands like Gentle Giant, David Bowie, and Focus were frightened to enter due to fear of becoming obscure and scaring off potential fans. Can was a pretty obscure back in the 70s, outside of their native Germany, ask any prog head past the age of 50 if he remembers Can back in the day, and you’ll probably get the answer “Never Heard of Them”. They sort of built a cult following since then, and many bands such as the Sex Pistols came out admitting Can was a huge influence on their sound. Can did so much for the music industry, and their music was very unique and sounded like nothing anyone has ever done before. They even lost a vocalist who quick because of a nervous breakdown and got a Japanese vocalist to replace him, and now he looks like one of the bad ass sensais you’d see in a Jackie Chan movie. Can is sort of a hard band to digest, but once you grow to appreciate them, you realize they are worth it. Best Album: Tago Mago Can is a pretty weird band, and very uneasy to listen to. I tried playing part of this album for my dad because he wanted to know what they were like, and couldn’t even make it through a song because it was too unsettling for him. Surprisingly, I liked Can after listening to a few of their albums, and appreciated their style. Tago Mago is a piece of art, and Can uses it to stretch their definition of how far you can stretch music and add their own creative touches. Sure their music is uneasy, sure its bizarre, sure their are a few odd screeches and incomprehensible babbles by the vocalist, and maybe these guys are very experimental, but thats what makes Can stand out. They go into territory that most bands, even odd bands like Gentle Giant, David Bowie, and Focus were frightened to enter due to fear of becoming obscure and scaring off potential fans. Can was a pretty obscure back in the 70s, outside of their native Germany, ask any prog head past the age of 50 if he remembers Can back in the day, and you’ll probably get the answer “Never Heard of Them”. They sort of built a cult following since then, and many bands such as the Sex Pistols came out admitting Can was a huge influence on their sound. Can did so much for the music industry, and their music was very unique and sounded like nothing anyone has ever done before. They even lost a vocalist who quick because of a nervous breakdown and got a Japanese vocalist to replace him, and now he looks like one of the bad ass sensais you’d see in a Jackie Chan movie. Can is sort of a hard band to digest, but once you grow to appreciate them, you realize they are worth it. Best Album: Tago Mago 16 16. King Crimson King Crimson was known by some as the progressive band who started it all. Before King Crimson, the closest you got to progressive was Canterbury, which was more jazz and fusion but did have some progressive elements. In my opinion, the first true progressive band was King Crimson, guys like Soft Machine and Caravan were really closer to psychedelic and jazz, Procol Harum was more pop and symphonic, and Frank Zappa was more parody and experimental. King Crimson, like many early progressive bands, mixed classical and jazz music into their sound, using flutes and saxophones. Yet inside all of this, is a very musically complex group with amazing instrumental passages and guitar work of the legendary Robert Fripp. King Crimson was the start of the progressive rock era and led to many bands, such as Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Soft Machine, to name a few, to change their sound and hop onto the progressive rock train that was just making its first run. Of course, King Crimson was also very experimental. They had some great solos, but they also explored genres like psychedelic and jazz/fusion. King Crimson was very professional and changed the way music was produced and written forever. They opened the gates for many future progressive acts who were influenced by their sound. They were the first non-psychedelic rock band to create long instrumental passages that blended solos of different instruments and complex rhythms, and they are one of the few bands who still remain relevant to day and sound undated. They have some incredible albums, and managed to make some of the most original and most professional music of their time. Although their 70s work isn’t the most consistent, they sort of got weak in the late 70s, and they were constantly changing their lineup. Best Album: Red King Crimson was known by some as the progressive band who started it all. Before King Crimson, the closest you got to progressive was Canterbury, which was more jazz and fusion but did have some progressive elements. In my opinion, the first true progressive band was King Crimson, guys like Soft Machine and Caravan were really closer to psychedelic and jazz, Procol Harum was more pop and symphonic, and Frank Zappa was more parody and experimental. King Crimson, like many early progressive bands, mixed classical and jazz music into their sound, using flutes and saxophones. Yet inside all of this, is a very musically complex group with amazing instrumental passages and guitar work of the legendary Robert Fripp. King Crimson was the start of the progressive rock era and led to many bands, such as Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Soft Machine, to name a few, to change their sound and hop onto the progressive rock train that was just making its first run. Of course, King Crimson was also very experimental. They had some great solos, but they also explored genres like psychedelic and jazz/fusion. King Crimson was very professional and changed the way music was produced and written forever. They opened the gates for many future progressive acts who were influenced by their sound. They were the first non-psychedelic rock band to create long instrumental passages that blended solos of different instruments and complex rhythms, and they are one of the few bands who still remain relevant to day and sound undated. They have some incredible albums, and managed to make some of the most original and most professional music of their time. Although their 70s work isn’t the most consistent, they sort of got weak in the late 70s, and they were constantly changing their lineup. Best Album: Red 17 17. Van der Graaf Generator Van Der Graaf Generator is a progressive band sort of comparable to Yes with a bit of Genesis in there as well. They are very organ and keyboard heavy, and have sort of a spacey sound and feel to them. They do an incredible job building up their songs, and have some very excellent instrumental passages. Vocals are pretty heavy rocking and full of emotion, while guitar and bass do an excellent job keeping rhythm mainly with occasional soloing. Their singer sounds like a mixture of Bruce Dickinson and David Bowie and has one of the most unique voices I’ve heard. What is very cool about Van Der Graaf is their use of saxophone in many of their songs, kind of like what King Crimson did. These guys rock pretty hard, and I can’t give these guys enough credit for their excellent keyboard work. They also produced many long jams, seeing several 10 minute long songs in one of their albums was pretty normal. Best Album: Pawn Hearts Van Der Graaf Generator is a progressive band sort of comparable to Yes with a bit of Genesis in there as well. They are very organ and keyboard heavy, and have sort of a spacey sound and feel to them. They do an incredible job building up their songs, and have some very excellent instrumental passages. Vocals are pretty heavy rocking and full of emotion, while guitar and bass do an excellent job keeping rhythm mainly with occasional soloing. Their singer sounds like a mixture of Bruce Dickinson and David Bowie and has one of the most unique voices I’ve heard. What is very cool about Van Der Graaf is their use of saxophone in many of their songs, kind of like what King Crimson did. These guys rock pretty hard, and I can’t give these guys enough credit for their excellent keyboard work. They also produced many long jams, seeing several 10 minute long songs in one of their albums was pretty normal. Best Album: Pawn Hearts 18 18. Deep Purple What would the 70s be without hard rockers Deep Purple, the sole definition of rock in the 1970s, well along with Led Zeppelin and maybe the Eagles. Theses guys to put it simple, really rocked. I haven’t heard any finer hard rock band, Deep Purple took what Black Sabbath pioneered and turned it into something incredible. Hard driving guitar lines and solos, distorted electric organs, high pitched screaming vocals, and consist cymbal wailing on the drums are only a few of the trademarks Deep Purple left the music industry. During the 60s, Deep Purple was new and still developing their style but in 1970s the MK II Deep Purple their fans grew to love was formed when singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover replaced previous bandmates. Deep Purple in Rock was released in 1970 and was really the first great album the band put forth. This album steps straight into hard rock territory with a slight touch of progressive. Fireball is another incredible hard rock release with incredible guitar soloing and John Lord playing rhythm on the organ. Machine Head dives full force into hard rock territory and by far their most famous album with plenty of radio hits on it. It continues the use of excellent guitar work and Lord continues to shred the organ like he owns it. Bassist Roger Glover does an incredible job keeping rhythm and forming his own basslines, mainly inspired by blues. Ian Paice is an incredible rock drummer who adds just the right amount of cymbal to keep the excitement going and Gillan’s trademark high pitched vocals help this album rock hard. Who Do We Think We Are sort of breaks the pace and Deep Purple don’t quite rock as hard, due to being forced to make a deadline and rush the album but their next album Burn, returns to the Deep Purple fans grew to love, although Glover and Gillan are replaced during this album. Stormbringer wasn’t quite as good as previoius albums but Come Taste the Band was a solid release, despite not having Blackmore on guitar. After this Deep Purple sort of broke up until the mid 80s, but never had any more incredible albums after the 70s. Deep Purple just rocked really hard and made excellent use of soloing and rhythm, Lord explored areas with the organ that haven’t been found yet like using a guitar amp to destort the organ and give it a guitar-like sound, which he used to play rhythm because Blackmore hated playing rhythm and Lord, a classically trained pianist did an excellent job as well as some superb solos, Blackmore is just a guitar legend who could solo like no other, Gillan had the voice of a metal god, Paice rocked the drums so hard, and Glover’s basslines ranged so much in influence and style that he could pretty much add his own touch to anything. An all around incredible band who revolutionized a genre, despite their constant lineup change every 4 years or so. Best Album: Deep Purple in Rock or Machine Head What would the 70s be without hard rockers Deep Purple, the sole definition of rock in the 1970s, well along with Led Zeppelin and maybe the Eagles. Theses guys to put it simple, really rocked. I haven’t heard any finer hard rock band, Deep Purple took what Black Sabbath pioneered and turned it into something incredible. Hard driving guitar lines and solos, distorted electric organs, high pitched screaming vocals, and consist cymbal wailing on the drums are only a few of the trademarks Deep Purple left the music industry. During the 60s, Deep Purple was new and still developing their style but in 1970s the MK II Deep Purple their fans grew to love was formed when singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover replaced previous bandmates. Deep Purple in Rock was released in 1970 and was really the first great album the band put forth. This album steps straight into hard rock territory with a slight touch of progressive. Fireball is another incredible hard rock release with incredible guitar soloing and John Lord playing rhythm on the organ. Machine Head dives full force into hard rock territory and by far their most famous album with plenty of radio hits on it. It continues the use of excellent guitar work and Lord continues to shred the organ like he owns it. Bassist Roger Glover does an incredible job keeping rhythm and forming his own basslines, mainly inspired by blues. Ian Paice is an incredible rock drummer who adds just the right amount of cymbal to keep the excitement going and Gillan’s trademark high pitched vocals help this album rock hard. Who Do We Think We Are sort of breaks the pace and Deep Purple don’t quite rock as hard, due to being forced to make a deadline and rush the album but their next album Burn, returns to the Deep Purple fans grew to love, although Glover and Gillan are replaced during this album. Stormbringer wasn’t quite as good as previoius albums but Come Taste the Band was a solid release, despite not having Blackmore on guitar. After this Deep Purple sort of broke up until the mid 80s, but never had any more incredible albums after the 70s. Deep Purple just rocked really hard and made excellent use of soloing and rhythm, Lord explored areas with the organ that haven’t been found yet like using a guitar amp to destort the organ and give it a guitar-like sound, which he used to play rhythm because Blackmore hated playing rhythm and Lord, a classically trained pianist did an excellent job as well as some superb solos, Blackmore is just a guitar legend who could solo like no other, Gillan had the voice of a metal god, Paice rocked the drums so hard, and Glover’s basslines ranged so much in influence and style that he could pretty much add his own touch to anything. An all around incredible band who revolutionized a genre, despite their constant lineup change every 4 years or so. Best Album: Deep Purple in Rock or Machine Head 19 19. Joy Division During the late 70s, you had a lot of underground music who felt punk was too simplistic and restrictive. Many of these bands came from England, where the punk scene was exploding quickly. Joy Division was one of these underground bands, and have become a cult favorite, and one of RYMs most popular bands. They were one of the most unique and creative bands of their time, creating some unforgettable riffs and melodies that counteracted against all the punk and new wave going on around them. Aside from incorporating elements of punk and new wave, Joy Division also explored gothic, alternative, and even industrial. Its true this is the movement indie, alternative, and industrial music emerged from, bands that experimented with punk and new wave and added their own twist to those genres. Just by listening to a single Joy Division album, you can tell they were ahead of their time, blending many elements from genres that were still in the process of emerging. Lead signer Ian Curtis had a unique voice that sort of had a new wave/punk feel to it, yet he conveyed so much emotion. Joy Division’s music was simple, yet complex at the same time. They became a staple band in England’s underground circuit, despite performing horribly on the pop charts and receiving little to no recognition from the media. They are one of the bands that didn’t earn the credit they deserved until well after they broke up. Joy Division only recorded two albums, and only one of these was put out in the 70s. Yet this was by far their greatest album, and a huge statement for the music industry. Well punk and new wave, well quite good, weren’t really taking music to the next level nor the next step in the evolution of popular music. New wave soon died out once the 80s ended and punk survived, but in the 90s and 2000s, alternative and indie dominated the pop and rock charts, and industrial started dominating with bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails in the early 90s. Bands like R.E.M., Coldplay, and Jane’s Addiction have Joy Division to thank for helping opening the gates to these new genres and helping to define the styles present in them. Joy Division is one of the few 70s rock bands that have aged incredibly well and can be listened by teenagers and college students today, and still sound as fresh and engaging as they were back in the late 70s. Unfortunately we all know the story of Ian committing suicide in 1980, forcing Joy Division to break up, however the remaining members added an additional member and formed their own band called New Order, who continued playing music similar to Joy Division, only more new wave like. But thats for another list and story. Best Album: Unknown Pleasures During the late 70s, you had a lot of underground music who felt punk was too simplistic and restrictive. Many of these bands came from England, where the punk scene was exploding quickly. Joy Division was one of these underground bands, and have become a cult favorite, and one of RYMs most popular bands. They were one of the most unique and creative bands of their time, creating some unforgettable riffs and melodies that counteracted against all the punk and new wave going on around them. Aside from incorporating elements of punk and new wave, Joy Division also explored gothic, alternative, and even industrial. Its true this is the movement indie, alternative, and industrial music emerged from, bands that experimented with punk and new wave and added their own twist to those genres. Just by listening to a single Joy Division album, you can tell they were ahead of their time, blending many elements from genres that were still in the process of emerging. Lead signer Ian Curtis had a unique voice that sort of had a new wave/punk feel to it, yet he conveyed so much emotion. Joy Division’s music was simple, yet complex at the same time. They became a staple band in England’s underground circuit, despite performing horribly on the pop charts and receiving little to no recognition from the media. They are one of the bands that didn’t earn the credit they deserved until well after they broke up. Joy Division only recorded two albums, and only one of these was put out in the 70s. Yet this was by far their greatest album, and a huge statement for the music industry. Well punk and new wave, well quite good, weren’t really taking music to the next level nor the next step in the evolution of popular music. New wave soon died out once the 80s ended and punk survived, but in the 90s and 2000s, alternative and indie dominated the pop and rock charts, and industrial started dominating with bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails in the early 90s. Bands like R.E.M., Coldplay, and Jane’s Addiction have Joy Division to thank for helping opening the gates to these new genres and helping to define the styles present in them. Joy Division is one of the few 70s rock bands that have aged incredibly well and can be listened by teenagers and college students today, and still sound as fresh and engaging as they were back in the late 70s. Unfortunately we all know the story of Ian committing suicide in 1980, forcing Joy Division to break up, however the remaining members added an additional member and formed their own band called New Order, who continued playing music similar to Joy Division, only more new wave like. But thats for another list and story. Best Album: Unknown Pleasures 20 20. Talking Heads Well these guys might also be well-known for their 80s albums, but they had 3 very well-crafted albums out before the 80s rolled over. You can’t quite place the Talking Heads into a category, they kind of were experimental and opted more over groove type music, over specific genres. One thing that stands out about the Talking Heads is there tendency to break away from mainstream music. They wanted to be like no other band, and created a unique style. No instrument quite stands out over the other, and no band member outshines the other. Bass is actually very noticeable in Talking Heads’ songs and most songs revolve around a groovy bass line. The singing of David Byrne is very strange sounding and interesting, he sort of talk sings. Talking Heads were one of the first true hipster bands, as much as I despise the term hipster, Talking Heads were the anti-mainstream of their time. Talking Heads also helped pioneer a genre that would take over the 80s called New Wave. Talking Heads are pretty hard to describe, they basically tried to apply jazz and funk elements with a post punk-like feel. Guitar is very rhythmic and does some pretty cool things, drums do an excellent job keeping their odd beats, and keyboard helps add an extra layer of rhythm. These guys deserve as much praise as they get here, and there 70s stuff is no exception. Best Album: Fear of Music Well these guys might also be well-known for their 80s albums, but they had 3 very well-crafted albums out before the 80s rolled over. You can’t quite place the Talking Heads into a category, they kind of were experimental and opted more over groove type music, over specific genres. One thing that stands out about the Talking Heads is there tendency to break away from mainstream music. They wanted to be like no other band, and created a unique style. No instrument quite stands out over the other, and no band member outshines the other. Bass is actually very noticeable in Talking Heads’ songs and most songs revolve around a groovy bass line. The singing of David Byrne is very strange sounding and interesting, he sort of talk sings. Talking Heads were one of the first true hipster bands, as much as I despise the term hipster, Talking Heads were the anti-mainstream of their time. Talking Heads also helped pioneer a genre that would take over the 80s called New Wave. Talking Heads are pretty hard to describe, they basically tried to apply jazz and funk elements with a post punk-like feel. Guitar is very rhythmic and does some pretty cool things, drums do an excellent job keeping their odd beats, and keyboard helps add an extra layer of rhythm. These guys deserve as much praise as they get here, and there 70s stuff is no exception. Best Album: Fear of Music 21 21. Steely Dan I find Steely Dan to be kind of a love/hate band in the rock community, either you hate them or love them, not much middle ground, and I can understand why. A lot of rock bands don’t have patience or interest in jazz, nor really understand it well. Imagine a rock band who isn’t really rock, a jazz group that isn’t jazz, or a pop band that isn’t quite mainstream or snug enough to be pop. Steely Dan falls comfortably in a place between these three genres, touching on all these, but never fully committing to one genre over the other. Fusion is the closest description that matches the Steely Dan sound, they mixed various genres from rock, to jazz, blues, latin, progressive, pretty much any genre that was popular at the time. Most Steely Dan fans will also be fans of post bop era jazz and fusion like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Steely Dan is highly talented at what they do. Walter Becker is a highly skilled guitarist who can solo like no other, yet he also can take it slow and create some very jazzy chords and riffs. While keyboardist Donald Fagen improvises and creates some very catchy grooves and licks, as well as solos from time to time. On top of that throw in amazing vocal harmonies by the two, some incredible drum and bass work, and you have 70s Steely Dan. Steely Dan were perfectionists and often hired multiple studio musicians for a single part just for one album. Most of Steely Dan’s songs are very catchy and unforgettable. These guys cleverly and created some very deep and witty songs, while going in directions that no musician at the time went. They relied heavily on each others genius and created some of the greatest albums of all time. Steely Dan continued to evolve and each album has its own feel and theme. Steely Dan was incredibly smooth and some of the most talented musicians of their time. Its a shame most people are only familiar with Reelin in the Years when they have a ton of other great songs. Best Album: Aja I find Steely Dan to be kind of a love/hate band in the rock community, either you hate them or love them, not much middle ground, and I can understand why. A lot of rock bands don’t have patience or interest in jazz, nor really understand it well. Imagine a rock band who isn’t really rock, a jazz group that isn’t jazz, or a pop band that isn’t quite mainstream or snug enough to be pop. Steely Dan falls comfortably in a place between these three genres, touching on all these, but never fully committing to one genre over the other. Fusion is the closest description that matches the Steely Dan sound, they mixed various genres from rock, to jazz, blues, latin, progressive, pretty much any genre that was popular at the time. Most Steely Dan fans will also be fans of post bop era jazz and fusion like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Steely Dan is highly talented at what they do. Walter Becker is a highly skilled guitarist who can solo like no other, yet he also can take it slow and create some very jazzy chords and riffs. While keyboardist Donald Fagen improvises and creates some very catchy grooves and licks, as well as solos from time to time. On top of that throw in amazing vocal harmonies by the two, some incredible drum and bass work, and you have 70s Steely Dan. Steely Dan were perfectionists and often hired multiple studio musicians for a single part just for one album. Most of Steely Dan’s songs are very catchy and unforgettable. These guys cleverly and created some very deep and witty songs, while going in directions that no musician at the time went. They relied heavily on each others genius and created some of the greatest albums of all time. Steely Dan continued to evolve and each album has its own feel and theme. Steely Dan was incredibly smooth and some of the most talented musicians of their time. Its a shame most people are only familiar with Reelin in the Years when they have a ton of other great songs. Best Album: Aja 22 22. Frank Zappa Some refer to him as a musical genius, some know him as a psychotic eccentric maniac, and some just know him as God. Either way, Zappa changed the way people felt about music and was one of the earliest musicians to take a dump in the face of censorship and openly oppose it. Zappa has a huge discography, he created more albums in 5 years than most some bands made in their entire span. He released 20 albums alone in the 70s, and thats just the start of it. Zappa’s music for the most part has been highly experimental and relies heavily on Zappa’s love for jazz, classical, and rock n roll. Zappa released a lot of controversial music during his time and didn’t mind using a bit of strong language and vulgar/sexual themes in his songs at a time where bands like The Carpenters were singing about innocent love. Zappa uses his wonderful sense of humor and mixes it with progressive and jazz influences to create some very enjoyable albums. Of course, some of his experimental albums are a bit over the top and even not so enjoyable, but out of his 20 70s albums, there are a lot of gems. Zappa is hilarious and very musical at the same time, his guitar playing puts many to shame and his soloing was incredible. When Zappa took his music seriously, it was some of the best at the time. I also should mention Zappas music was very diverse, even more so than David Bowie. He created albums solely centered around classical orchestra work with no singing or rock sound, albums based on 50s doo wop, albums just to show people the definition of music can be stretched, and albums based on jazz. This guy is so much that I could probably write a book on him and still leave out important details. So I will end by stating Zappa was an incredibly talented musician and despite a lot of his material being experimental and even a little sarcastic, there are many gems in his albums and his humor is pretty funny, I mean who doesn’t find a song about titties and beer funny. Zappa just has so much that its hard to find something you won’t like in his large category. Best Album: Over-Nite Sensation or Apostrophe (‘) Some refer to him as a musical genius, some know him as a psychotic eccentric maniac, and some just know him as God. Either way, Zappa changed the way people felt about music and was one of the earliest musicians to take a dump in the face of censorship and openly oppose it. Zappa has a huge discography, he created more albums in 5 years than most some bands made in their entire span. He released 20 albums alone in the 70s, and thats just the start of it. Zappa’s music for the most part has been highly experimental and relies heavily on Zappa’s love for jazz, classical, and rock n roll. Zappa released a lot of controversial music during his time and didn’t mind using a bit of strong language and vulgar/sexual themes in his songs at a time where bands like The Carpenters were singing about innocent love. Zappa uses his wonderful sense of humor and mixes it with progressive and jazz influences to create some very enjoyable albums. Of course, some of his experimental albums are a bit over the top and even not so enjoyable, but out of his 20 70s albums, there are a lot of gems. Zappa is hilarious and very musical at the same time, his guitar playing puts many to shame and his soloing was incredible. When Zappa took his music seriously, it was some of the best at the time. I also should mention Zappas music was very diverse, even more so than David Bowie. He created albums solely centered around classical orchestra work with no singing or rock sound, albums based on 50s doo wop, albums just to show people the definition of music can be stretched, and albums based on jazz. This guy is so much that I could probably write a book on him and still leave out important details. So I will end by stating Zappa was an incredibly talented musician and despite a lot of his material being experimental and even a little sarcastic, there are many gems in his albums and his humor is pretty funny, I mean who doesn’t find a song about titties and beer funny. Zappa just has so much that its hard to find something you won’t like in his large category. Best Album: Over-Nite Sensation or Apostrophe (‘) 23 23. Elvis Costello Elvis Costello some may cite as the first true hipster, others probably know him as the guy with nerdy glasses who resembles Buddy Holly, but we can’t forget the historical importance and highly energetic music Costello was pumping out in the late 70s. During the late 70s in England, the new wave and punk movement were starting to pick up, and Costello was no exception, he took advantage of these movements and started playing new wave and punk in local bars. He may have been playing the same type of music as everyone else in underground England was playing at that time, but the way he played and his style were very much different. He added sort of a 50s rock n roll feel and style to his music, only mixed with modern sounding equipment and a very quick tempo. He was essentially blended punk with new wave and adding a 50s rock n roll flavor to it. With his band, the Attractions, he created some of the most original and catchy new wave music of the time. His vocals may not have been the most pleasant, but they fit perfectly with the music he was playing that you almost couldn’t imagine anyone else doing them, and his backing band was incredible, keeping the tempo just perfect and rarely getting sloppy which was typically a common problem with punk and new wave at that time. He even used an old fashioned vox organ in his band, that gave them sort of that new wave feel. So the question arises, was he the first hipster? Probably not, but he was one of the first hipsters who made a huge impact on the music industry and his music is still incredible and has aged very well, which is very hard to say for other new wave bands of the late 70s. Best Album: This Year’s Model Elvis Costello some may cite as the first true hipster, others probably know him as the guy with nerdy glasses who resembles Buddy Holly, but we can’t forget the historical importance and highly energetic music Costello was pumping out in the late 70s. During the late 70s in England, the new wave and punk movement were starting to pick up, and Costello was no exception, he took advantage of these movements and started playing new wave and punk in local bars. He may have been playing the same type of music as everyone else in underground England was playing at that time, but the way he played and his style were very much different. He added sort of a 50s rock n roll feel and style to his music, only mixed with modern sounding equipment and a very quick tempo. He was essentially blended punk with new wave and adding a 50s rock n roll flavor to it. With his band, the Attractions, he created some of the most original and catchy new wave music of the time. His vocals may not have been the most pleasant, but they fit perfectly with the music he was playing that you almost couldn’t imagine anyone else doing them, and his backing band was incredible, keeping the tempo just perfect and rarely getting sloppy which was typically a common problem with punk and new wave at that time. He even used an old fashioned vox organ in his band, that gave them sort of that new wave feel. So the question arises, was he the first hipster? Probably not, but he was one of the first hipsters who made a huge impact on the music industry and his music is still incredible and has aged very well, which is very hard to say for other new wave bands of the late 70s. Best Album: This Year’s Model 24 24. Grateful Dead I’m not quite what you’d call a Dead Head, hence why they are lower on the list than some would give them, but they are still more than worthy of being in the top 25. Jerry Garcia’s guitar playing and soloing are simply some of the greatest. The Grateful Dead were kind of the start to a genre known as jam, where you take a riff and expand on it until you realize 20 minutes later you’re still in the middle of the same song. The Grateful Dead were highly innovative and have some superb live material, very heavily based on folk rock and blues. Although they also have sort of a country sound to them. They’re more a band to listen to during the Summer or when you just want to sit back and relax. They are very laid back, yet have some very good instrumental passages and riffs. Unfortunately the studio Grateful Dead comes nowhere near as great the live Grateful Dead. Their studio material is pretty structured and feels more country, where there live jams feel looser and more bluesy. Its incredible seeing these guys transition from sort of a west coast psychedelic/pop group, to roots and country rock. The Grateful Dead are all incredible musicians and can take a jam and make the best of it, and that is what makes them as great as they are. Best Album: American Beauty or Europe ’72 I’m not quite what you’d call a Dead Head, hence why they are lower on the list than some would give them, but they are still more than worthy of being in the top 25. Jerry Garcia’s guitar playing and soloing are simply some of the greatest. The Grateful Dead were kind of the start to a genre known as jam, where you take a riff and expand on it until you realize 20 minutes later you’re still in the middle of the same song. The Grateful Dead were highly innovative and have some superb live material, very heavily based on folk rock and blues. Although they also have sort of a country sound to them. They’re more a band to listen to during the Summer or when you just want to sit back and relax. They are very laid back, yet have some very good instrumental passages and riffs. Unfortunately the studio Grateful Dead comes nowhere near as great the live Grateful Dead. Their studio material is pretty structured and feels more country, where there live jams feel looser and more bluesy. Its incredible seeing these guys transition from sort of a west coast psychedelic/pop group, to roots and country rock. The Grateful Dead are all incredible musicians and can take a jam and make the best of it, and that is what makes them as great as they are. Best Album: American Beauty or Europe ’72 25 25. Kraftwerk Kraftwerk was doing synth pop long before anyone even knew what it was, and at least 10 years before early staple synth pop groups such as Depeche Mode and New Order even formed. In the 70s, synth was the very new and cool instrument that many bands were experimenting with but mainly for small effects and funky bass lines, as seen in disco, but Kraftwerk decided to take it a step further and exclusively use synth. All four members played synth and pieced each others riffs together to create some of the first electronic sounding songs. The band also opted for the drum machine, that was mainly popular in disco. They pioneered a genre and led the way for future 80s synth pop bands to create some amazing electronic jams. Kraftwerk made some very futuristic sounding music and flawlessly pieced all their parts together. They also use lots of cool effects and beats. They were far ahead of their time and thats what makes their music enjoyable to listen to. There music had pretty repetitive riffs and vocal lines, but thats what made Kraftwerk so catchy. Best Album: Trans-Europe Express Kraftwerk was doing synth pop long before anyone even knew what it was, and at least 10 years before early staple synth pop groups such as Depeche Mode and New Order even formed. In the 70s, synth was the very new and cool instrument that many bands were experimenting with but mainly for small effects and funky bass lines, as seen in disco, but Kraftwerk decided to take it a step further and exclusively use synth. All four members played synth and pieced each others riffs together to create some of the first electronic sounding songs. The band also opted for the drum machine, that was mainly popular in disco. They pioneered a genre and led the way for future 80s synth pop bands to create some amazing electronic jams. Kraftwerk made some very futuristic sounding music and flawlessly pieced all their parts together. They also use lots of cool effects and beats. They were far ahead of their time and thats what makes their music enjoyable to listen to. There music had pretty repetitive riffs and vocal lines, but thats what made Kraftwerk so catchy. Best Album: Trans-Europe Express 26 26. The Stooges I don’t care what anyone says, the Stooges were really the first true punk band. They represented punk culture before it really existed. The group consisted of young rebels who didn’t like being told what to do, and they wanted to do everything their way. Their frontman, Iggy Pop was incredibly rebellious, not to mention he was addicted to all sorts of drugs and alcohol, and hated wearing shirts, he represented the sexuality and attitude of punk music. The Stooges helped transform garage and rock n roll, into what would become punk in the late 70s. Of course, the stooges weren’t just punk, they also did a lot of experimental, hard rock, and avant garde music, similar to what T. Rex and David Bowie were doing at the time. Iggy might not have been a great singer, but his energy and enthusiasm helped fuel the band, creating some great riffs. Best Album: Fun House I don’t care what anyone says, the Stooges were really the first true punk band. They represented punk culture before it really existed. The group consisted of young rebels who didn’t like being told what to do, and they wanted to do everything their way. Their frontman, Iggy Pop was incredibly rebellious, not to mention he was addicted to all sorts of drugs and alcohol, and hated wearing shirts, he represented the sexuality and attitude of punk music. The Stooges helped transform garage and rock n roll, into what would become punk in the late 70s. Of course, the stooges weren’t just punk, they also did a lot of experimental, hard rock, and avant garde music, similar to what T. Rex and David Bowie were doing at the time. Iggy might not have been a great singer, but his energy and enthusiasm helped fuel the band, creating some great riffs. Best Album: Fun House 27 27. Emerson, Lake & Palmer These guys were progressive Gods, simply an amazing rock trio with a highly talented keyboardist who could match Rick Wakeman, and Carl Palmer has to by far be one of the most underrated drummers of all time. Of course Greg Lake’s solid guitar work and very arena rock sounding voice. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer were one of the first progressive bands to break into mainstream and were known as one of the greatest live acts of the decade. They were all about crazy solos, long instrumental passages, and over the top stage performances such as Wakeman stabbing his organ to sustain notes and pulling it to the ground. These are themes that would be very influential on the rest of the progressive rock community. ELP had a very distinguishable sound to them, mainly keyboard driven with some very fast licks and solos that you think God himself is playing them. For a progressive band, ELP was very complex and have some of the most technically difficult pieces, yet the reason for not making the top 10 is they are a little over the top. Some of their albums tend to be full of cheesy, overblown prog, especially their late 70s work. However, their early 70s work is pretty consistent and rocks pretty hard, while being musically impressive. ELP helped lay the way for future progressive bands and were among some of the best in the genre. They have some of the best keyboards in progressive I’ve ever heard. Best Album: Brain Salad Surgery These guys were progressive Gods, simply an amazing rock trio with a highly talented keyboardist who could match Rick Wakeman, and Carl Palmer has to by far be one of the most underrated drummers of all time. Of course Greg Lake’s solid guitar work and very arena rock sounding voice. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer were one of the first progressive bands to break into mainstream and were known as one of the greatest live acts of the decade. They were all about crazy solos, long instrumental passages, and over the top stage performances such as Wakeman stabbing his organ to sustain notes and pulling it to the ground. These are themes that would be very influential on the rest of the progressive rock community. ELP had a very distinguishable sound to them, mainly keyboard driven with some very fast licks and solos that you think God himself is playing them. For a progressive band, ELP was very complex and have some of the most technically difficult pieces, yet the reason for not making the top 10 is they are a little over the top. Some of their albums tend to be full of cheesy, overblown prog, especially their late 70s work. However, their early 70s work is pretty consistent and rocks pretty hard, while being musically impressive. ELP helped lay the way for future progressive bands and were among some of the best in the genre. They have some of the best keyboards in progressive I’ve ever heard. Best Album: Brain Salad Surgery 28 28. Brian Eno Brain Enos another guy that sort of has a huge cult following on RYM. He created some very experimental music during his time, and was one of the big names of art rock. Eno was very diverse starting off doing glam rock, and then moving on to art rock later in the 70s. There’s really nothing bad to say about Brian Eno because he took popular genres during his time period and added his own creative interpretations, using lots of interesting synth effects, atmospheric guitar solos, and odd vocal lines. Best Album: Another Green World or Here Come the Warm Jets Brain Enos another guy that sort of has a huge cult following on RYM. He created some very experimental music during his time, and was one of the big names of art rock. Eno was very diverse starting off doing glam rock, and then moving on to art rock later in the 70s. There’s really nothing bad to say about Brian Eno because he took popular genres during his time period and added his own creative interpretations, using lots of interesting synth effects, atmospheric guitar solos, and odd vocal lines. Best Album: Another Green World or Here Come the Warm Jets 29 29. The Clash A lot of people like to hate punk, many cite it as being the genre that killed rock music, others cite it as the genre that hurt progressive rock during the late 70s. I like to think of punk being the rock n roll of the new wave generation. When punk bands like the Clash came on the radio and their teenage kids would listen to them, parents feared this would be the new standard for music, much like in the late 50s when their parents feared rock n roll would take over adult oriented jazz and pop. Much like rock n roll, punk was all about teenage rebellion, freedom, and expressing individuality. And as much as I am not a huge punk fan, I must give the Clash credit for being the best of their genre. The Clash conveyed some powerful themes in their music and called for a revolution in the youth at the time, to fight for their individuality and right to express whatever they wanted. The Clash have to be the most diverse punk band I’ve heard. They mix rock n roll, reggae, funk, and new wave, all into their albums, which contain many short songs. The Clash weren’t about making long jams or excessive soloing, they were all about conveying messages and producing upbeat material that teenagers could dance to. The Clash were all excellent musicians excellent guitar work, very well-polished keyboards that surprisingly work (Which was very uncommon and rare for punk bands to use), rhythmic bass, and fast paced drumming. Of course, the vocal work of frontman Joe Strummer is probably what made the Clash have their charm. He had a very distinguishable voice with a thick British accent. The Clash proved to the music industry punk was a very relevant genre that with the right people, can have lots of talent. And with the Clash, Ramones, and Sex Pistols, a new genre emerged, which later helped pave the way to alternative rock and new wave. Best Album: London Calling A lot of people like to hate punk, many cite it as being the genre that killed rock music, others cite it as the genre that hurt progressive rock during the late 70s. I like to think of punk being the rock n roll of the new wave generation. When punk bands like the Clash came on the radio and their teenage kids would listen to them, parents feared this would be the new standard for music, much like in the late 50s when their parents feared rock n roll would take over adult oriented jazz and pop. Much like rock n roll, punk was all about teenage rebellion, freedom, and expressing individuality. And as much as I am not a huge punk fan, I must give the Clash credit for being the best of their genre. The Clash conveyed some powerful themes in their music and called for a revolution in the youth at the time, to fight for their individuality and right to express whatever they wanted. The Clash have to be the most diverse punk band I’ve heard. They mix rock n roll, reggae, funk, and new wave, all into their albums, which contain many short songs. The Clash weren’t about making long jams or excessive soloing, they were all about conveying messages and producing upbeat material that teenagers could dance to. The Clash were all excellent musicians excellent guitar work, very well-polished keyboards that surprisingly work (Which was very uncommon and rare for punk bands to use), rhythmic bass, and fast paced drumming. Of course, the vocal work of frontman Joe Strummer is probably what made the Clash have their charm. He had a very distinguishable voice with a thick British accent. The Clash proved to the music industry punk was a very relevant genre that with the right people, can have lots of talent. And with the Clash, Ramones, and Sex Pistols, a new genre emerged, which later helped pave the way to alternative rock and new wave. Best Album: London Calling 30 30. Sly & The Family Stone Sly & The Family Stone were another incredible funk rock band, blending psychedelic riffs into their funk music. Sly’s 70s output was much more mature and complex than their 70s. Sly used a lot of horns in their music and they had incredibly funky guitars and vocals. They were creating music funkier than Stevie Wonder during their time, and I’m sure they influenced Stevie to get more funky. There music also spoke powerful messages of racial issues and violence, and was very emotional. Best Album: There’s a Riot Going On Sly & The Family Stone were another incredible funk rock band, blending psychedelic riffs into their funk music. Sly’s 70s output was much more mature and complex than their 70s. Sly used a lot of horns in their music and they had incredibly funky guitars and vocals. They were creating music funkier than Stevie Wonder during their time, and I’m sure they influenced Stevie to get more funky. There music also spoke powerful messages of racial issues and violence, and was very emotional. Best Album: There’s a Riot Going On 31 31. Rainbow Rainbow is an awesome band, simply put, with some of the greatest hard rock and metal players to grace its lineup. Rainbow emerged in the mid 70s after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore grew tired of Deep Purple, and wanted his own band. Their first album is actually titled Ritchie Blacmore’s Rainbow, and with his creative control, Rainbow played some of rocks heaviest and need I say bad ass riffs and solos. Even the legendary Ronnie Dio appears on their earlier albums for vocals. Although Rainbow was constantly changing their lineup, and in this end, this hurt the band, since Blackmore was the only consistent member. At the end of the 70s, Rainbow was going more pop and becoming predictable, and no longer had that edge they had for their first albums. And by the 80s, they were just a mess. However, mid 70s Rainbow was on fire and one of the greatest hard rock groups of their time, even managing to outdo the albums Deep Purple were putting out during that time (Deep Purple sort of declined after Blackmore’s departure). They will go down in history as one of the greatest hard rock groups of all time. Best Album: Rising Rainbow is an awesome band, simply put, with some of the greatest hard rock and metal players to grace its lineup. Rainbow emerged in the mid 70s after guitarist Ritchie Blackmore grew tired of Deep Purple, and wanted his own band. Their first album is actually titled Ritchie Blacmore’s Rainbow, and with his creative control, Rainbow played some of rocks heaviest and need I say bad ass riffs and solos. Even the legendary Ronnie Dio appears on their earlier albums for vocals. Although Rainbow was constantly changing their lineup, and in this end, this hurt the band, since Blackmore was the only consistent member. At the end of the 70s, Rainbow was going more pop and becoming predictable, and no longer had that edge they had for their first albums. And by the 80s, they were just a mess. However, mid 70s Rainbow was on fire and one of the greatest hard rock groups of their time, even managing to outdo the albums Deep Purple were putting out during that time (Deep Purple sort of declined after Blackmore’s departure). They will go down in history as one of the greatest hard rock groups of all time. Best Album: Rising 32 32. George Harrison After the Beatles broke up in 1969, a rivalry and sort of mutual feud between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Paul and John were slipping in references in their songs and albums, taking cheap shots at each other and name calling under their breaths. Both John and Paul rose to a new level of fame, exceeding the Beatles and both became incredibly absorbed in outdoing and outselling the other, that nobody really saw George Harrison come in out of left field and create a masterpiece that outdid any solo album that Lennon and McCartney managed to release or would ever release in their entire careers. As a member of the Beatles, both Lennon and McCartney tended to overshadow the other two members Harrison and Ringo. Despite Harrison’s awesome guitar solos and riffs, and his brilliant song writing in songs like While my Guitar Gently Weeps and Here Comes the Sun, and on top of that, he had a pretty pleasant singing voice, he never really received the recognition or credit he deserved, he often disputed with McCartney having too much control over his parts. After leaving the Beatles, Harrison proved to the world he didn’t need Lennon or McCartney holding him down or backing him up to create incredible albums. In my opinion, McCartney’s albums were too poppy and sort of predictable, Lennon’s were a little too preachy for my liking and had too much Yoko influence. Harrison’s albums were more spiritual and full of lots of catchy folk/blues influences. Harrison wasn’t afraid to experiment with his sound and what you get here, is a completely different George Harrison than the one who played with the Beatles in the 60s. The Harrison was more confident, more mature, and he played some incredibly well written acoustic guitar songs. Sure, his popularity never really succeeded that of McCartney’s or Lennon’s during his solo career either. He did have a number of billboard hits, but Lennon and McCartney were pretty much unstoppable during the 70s. Harrison proved something though. Its not about who is the most popular or who can make the most hits. Its about the music and how it connects with the listeners. I feel more connected and can relate to Harrison’s music a lot more than I can Lennons or McCartney’s and his music to me, has a much more complex and mature feel to it, at least to me it does. Plus he rocks pretty hard, creating some awesome blues riffs and solos, where McCartney and Lennon both stuck to piano/acoustic ballads for the most part, where Harrison threw in variety. And unlike McCartney and Lennon, George kept quiet about his personal feelings and never took cheap shots or complained about his former bandmates, nor did he make enemies. George Harrison is probably, aside from Ringo, the most respectable Beatle, and his music shows it. Best Album: All Things Must Pass After the Beatles broke up in 1969, a rivalry and sort of mutual feud between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Paul and John were slipping in references in their songs and albums, taking cheap shots at each other and name calling under their breaths. Both John and Paul rose to a new level of fame, exceeding the Beatles and both became incredibly absorbed in outdoing and outselling the other, that nobody really saw George Harrison come in out of left field and create a masterpiece that outdid any solo album that Lennon and McCartney managed to release or would ever release in their entire careers. As a member of the Beatles, both Lennon and McCartney tended to overshadow the other two members Harrison and Ringo. Despite Harrison’s awesome guitar solos and riffs, and his brilliant song writing in songs like While my Guitar Gently Weeps and Here Comes the Sun, and on top of that, he had a pretty pleasant singing voice, he never really received the recognition or credit he deserved, he often disputed with McCartney having too much control over his parts. After leaving the Beatles, Harrison proved to the world he didn’t need Lennon or McCartney holding him down or backing him up to create incredible albums. In my opinion, McCartney’s albums were too poppy and sort of predictable, Lennon’s were a little too preachy for my liking and had too much Yoko influence. Harrison’s albums were more spiritual and full of lots of catchy folk/blues influences. Harrison wasn’t afraid to experiment with his sound and what you get here, is a completely different George Harrison than the one who played with the Beatles in the 60s. The Harrison was more confident, more mature, and he played some incredibly well written acoustic guitar songs. Sure, his popularity never really succeeded that of McCartney’s or Lennon’s during his solo career either. He did have a number of billboard hits, but Lennon and McCartney were pretty much unstoppable during the 70s. Harrison proved something though. Its not about who is the most popular or who can make the most hits. Its about the music and how it connects with the listeners. I feel more connected and can relate to Harrison’s music a lot more than I can Lennons or McCartney’s and his music to me, has a much more complex and mature feel to it, at least to me it does. Plus he rocks pretty hard, creating some awesome blues riffs and solos, where McCartney and Lennon both stuck to piano/acoustic ballads for the most part, where Harrison threw in variety. And unlike McCartney and Lennon, George kept quiet about his personal feelings and never took cheap shots or complained about his former bandmates, nor did he make enemies. George Harrison is probably, aside from Ringo, the most respectable Beatle, and his music shows it. Best Album: All Things Must Pass 33 33. The Rolling Stones Like many, I kind of have mixed feelings about the 70s Rolling Stones. In the early 70s, many British invasion bands began to die out, at least in the United States, due to pop rock, hard rock, and more contemporary music becoming the new standard. Bands like the Beatles, The Animals, The Zombies, and Peter and Gordon were either disbanded or ignored by the time the 70s rolled. The Rolling Stones were an exception and perhaps were the only first wave British invasion group to make it through the 70s with nearly equal popularity as they were in the 60s, with maybe a small exception for the Kinks. In fact the Rolling Stones pumped out albums at the same rate they did a decade earlier and many of those albums gained just as much success. By the time the 70s rolled, the Rolling Stones needed a different approach, or otherwise they’d be left in the dust and labeled as an oldies act like Elvis or Chuck Berry. Rather they strayed away from their rock and roll, pop rock 60s and moved more into blues rock and hard rock, and even a bit of country. The Rolling Stones were much harder rocking in the 70s and had a more mature and sophisticated approach, and this is what caused them to stay relevant in a time when music was changing just a fast as the cultural trends. They had a wide variety of styles, but never really strayed away from their dirty blues approach. Keith Richards is a pretty good guitarist, but I’ll never consider him for a list of top 10 or even 20 guitarists in rock. Mick Jagger is also a pretty good singer for the style he’s trying to achieve, while everyone else just sits back and get into a jam. Anyways, the Rolling Stones in the 70s had lots of hard rocking blues with great guitar soloing but they also had their fare share of rubbish as they say in England. The mid 70s Rolling Stones were failing to deliver solid albums and it seemed like most classic rock outfits, they had run their course, but they produced one more solid album at the end of the 70s and that was really the last of their great albums. After the 70s, the Rolling Stones continued to pump out many disastrous albums that were disco and pop rock and they still are around touring occasionally. Its a shame they became irrelevant after the 70s but their 70s material is essential, and just as good as their 60s material. Best Album: Sticky Fingers Like many, I kind of have mixed feelings about the 70s Rolling Stones. In the early 70s, many British invasion bands began to die out, at least in the United States, due to pop rock, hard rock, and more contemporary music becoming the new standard. Bands like the Beatles, The Animals, The Zombies, and Peter and Gordon were either disbanded or ignored by the time the 70s rolled. The Rolling Stones were an exception and perhaps were the only first wave British invasion group to make it through the 70s with nearly equal popularity as they were in the 60s, with maybe a small exception for the Kinks. In fact the Rolling Stones pumped out albums at the same rate they did a decade earlier and many of those albums gained just as much success. By the time the 70s rolled, the Rolling Stones needed a different approach, or otherwise they’d be left in the dust and labeled as an oldies act like Elvis or Chuck Berry. Rather they strayed away from their rock and roll, pop rock 60s and moved more into blues rock and hard rock, and even a bit of country. The Rolling Stones were much harder rocking in the 70s and had a more mature and sophisticated approach, and this is what caused them to stay relevant in a time when music was changing just a fast as the cultural trends. They had a wide variety of styles, but never really strayed away from their dirty blues approach. Keith Richards is a pretty good guitarist, but I’ll never consider him for a list of top 10 or even 20 guitarists in rock. Mick Jagger is also a pretty good singer for the style he’s trying to achieve, while everyone else just sits back and get into a jam. Anyways, the Rolling Stones in the 70s had lots of hard rocking blues with great guitar soloing but they also had their fare share of rubbish as they say in England. The mid 70s Rolling Stones were failing to deliver solid albums and it seemed like most classic rock outfits, they had run their course, but they produced one more solid album at the end of the 70s and that was really the last of their great albums. After the 70s, the Rolling Stones continued to pump out many disastrous albums that were disco and pop rock and they still are around touring occasionally. Its a shame they became irrelevant after the 70s but their 70s material is essential, and just as good as their 60s material. Best Album: Sticky Fingers 34 34. UFO UFO is what I would call an incredible second generation hard rock band. Of course the first generation and creation of hard rock began in the late 60s with guys like Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple and led to a series of second generation of hard rockers that emerged in the mid to late 70s, which ultimately led to third generation hard rock groups who would be more associated with the metal movement which was getting ready to take full flight by the start of the 80s. UFO formed in the early 70s, and started off as sort of a space rock/progressive group, kind of like Hawkwind. Its not really until lead guitarist Michael Schenker became a part of the band that they decided to change directions and just stick with hard rock. The guitar work and improvisation is amazing, some of the best I’ve heard in rock music. UFO is such a tight hard rock group, and they create some very catchy and well-written songs that you almost can’t believe or explain why these guys rock so hard. From their first Schenker album, Phenomenon to their revolutionary live album, Strangers in the Night, this band stays on fire for the rest of the 70s until his unfortunate departure at the end of the decade. Uncoincidentally, these are also the guys who inspired the likes of Iron Maiden, who were a staple in hard rock and metal throughout the 80s, and still are to this day. All the members of the band just play their parts perfectly and Phil Moog’s vocals do complete justice with the amazing riffs going on around him, and they keyboards sort of add a Deep Purple sound. UFO kept hard rock alive and helped pass the candle to a new generation. Best Album: Strangers in the Night UFO is what I would call an incredible second generation hard rock band. Of course the first generation and creation of hard rock began in the late 60s with guys like Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple and led to a series of second generation of hard rockers that emerged in the mid to late 70s, which ultimately led to third generation hard rock groups who would be more associated with the metal movement which was getting ready to take full flight by the start of the 80s. UFO formed in the early 70s, and started off as sort of a space rock/progressive group, kind of like Hawkwind. Its not really until lead guitarist Michael Schenker became a part of the band that they decided to change directions and just stick with hard rock. The guitar work and improvisation is amazing, some of the best I’ve heard in rock music. UFO is such a tight hard rock group, and they create some very catchy and well-written songs that you almost can’t believe or explain why these guys rock so hard. From their first Schenker album, Phenomenon to their revolutionary live album, Strangers in the Night, this band stays on fire for the rest of the 70s until his unfortunate departure at the end of the decade. Uncoincidentally, these are also the guys who inspired the likes of Iron Maiden, who were a staple in hard rock and metal throughout the 80s, and still are to this day. All the members of the band just play their parts perfectly and Phil Moog’s vocals do complete justice with the amazing riffs going on around him, and they keyboards sort of add a Deep Purple sound. UFO kept hard rock alive and helped pass the candle to a new generation. Best Album: Strangers in the Night 35 35. Santana Nobody realizes the extent guitarist Carlos Santana has an influence on the music industry, but ask any young guitarist interested in jazz and rock or latin music, and you will find Santana near the top of their lists. Santana was a very unique band for their time while most rock radio stations were playing blues rock, hard rock, and folk rock, Santana decided to go with jazz and latin, two genres that weren’t really popular in mainstream at the time. Santana successfully fused these two genres to get a distinguishable sound. Santana’s guitar playing is the first thing that stands out with his soulful solos and latin/jazz influenced licks. Santana is one of the most refined guitarists and could solo like no other. Santana also had a very talented young keyboardist Gregg Rolie, who would later go on to form a staple 80s band Journey. Rolie was also into jazz and was great at soloing. Rolie’s organ is a staple in the Santana sound. Of course the bass work also stands out on Santana records since latin music has a very distinguishable rhythm that relies bass to keep it going. Lots of different drums are used such as congas and timbales which are popular in latin jazz. Santanas first 70s album was titled Abraxas and essentially expands on the superb latin jazz feel of the first album. Santana just mixes tons of genres together and Rolie’s singing is so jazzy. Santa III is the final album to feature the woodstock lineup and is also pretty similar to the previous two albums. Incredible jams, guitar solos, and organ everywhere. After the lineup change, Santana sort of went his own way and albums tended to get a bit jazzier. Santana was always excellent at keeping his part perfect, although some of his mid 70s material is a little less exciting, some albums stand out like Amigos. Santana’s late 70s was more blues oriented, although Santana was starting to go more mainstream at this point, and get less jazzy. Santana had 10 studio albums by the time the 70s ended, and their early 70s work marked their place in music history. Santana did something with music that had never been done before, and they are one of the first rock bands to bring both jazz and latin influences into mainstream. Carlos Santana is one of the greatest guitarists of all time and shows why in his 70s releases. Their late 70s stuff is a little mainstream and bland, but their mid early 70s is good enough to get them a spot in the top 20. Best Album: Santana III or Abraxas Nobody realizes the extent guitarist Carlos Santana has an influence on the music industry, but ask any young guitarist interested in jazz and rock or latin music, and you will find Santana near the top of their lists. Santana was a very unique band for their time while most rock radio stations were playing blues rock, hard rock, and folk rock, Santana decided to go with jazz and latin, two genres that weren’t really popular in mainstream at the time. Santana successfully fused these two genres to get a distinguishable sound. Santana’s guitar playing is the first thing that stands out with his soulful solos and latin/jazz influenced licks. Santana is one of the most refined guitarists and could solo like no other. Santana also had a very talented young keyboardist Gregg Rolie, who would later go on to form a staple 80s band Journey. Rolie was also into jazz and was great at soloing. Rolie’s organ is a staple in the Santana sound. Of course the bass work also stands out on Santana records since latin music has a very distinguishable rhythm that relies bass to keep it going. Lots of different drums are used such as congas and timbales which are popular in latin jazz. Santanas first 70s album was titled Abraxas and essentially expands on the superb latin jazz feel of the first album. Santana just mixes tons of genres together and Rolie’s singing is so jazzy. Santa III is the final album to feature the woodstock lineup and is also pretty similar to the previous two albums. Incredible jams, guitar solos, and organ everywhere. After the lineup change, Santana sort of went his own way and albums tended to get a bit jazzier. Santana was always excellent at keeping his part perfect, although some of his mid 70s material is a little less exciting, some albums stand out like Amigos. Santana’s late 70s was more blues oriented, although Santana was starting to go more mainstream at this point, and get less jazzy. Santana had 10 studio albums by the time the 70s ended, and their early 70s work marked their place in music history. Santana did something with music that had never been done before, and they are one of the first rock bands to bring both jazz and latin influences into mainstream. Carlos Santana is one of the greatest guitarists of all time and shows why in his 70s releases. Their late 70s stuff is a little mainstream and bland, but their mid early 70s is good enough to get them a spot in the top 20. Best Album: Santana III or Abraxas 36 36. Supertramp Supertramp is one of my favorite progressive bands from the 70s and have some really incredible harmonies and superb keyboard work, but I left them out due to their slight inconsistency. Supertramp kind of started off on the wrong foot and they were still trying to find a sound that worked well for them. But in 1974s Crime of the Century Supertramp creates an incredible progressive album that is heavy on electric piano and has the wonderful harmonies and very relaxing, catchy riffs, that Supertramp would continue throughout the 70s. Their Breakfast in America album was the perfect album to end the 70s with, and has simply beautiful vocals and riffs. Unfortunately after the 70s, Supertramp went completely downhill, especially after losing incredibly talented lead singer, Roger Hodgson. Still Supertramp was a very awesome progressive band and one of the few to experiment extensively with electric pianos, and they have harmonies to match Yes, and very catchy riffs that are hard to forget. Best Album: Crime of the Century or Breakfast in America Supertramp is one of my favorite progressive bands from the 70s and have some really incredible harmonies and superb keyboard work, but I left them out due to their slight inconsistency. Supertramp kind of started off on the wrong foot and they were still trying to find a sound that worked well for them. But in 1974s Crime of the Century Supertramp creates an incredible progressive album that is heavy on electric piano and has the wonderful harmonies and very relaxing, catchy riffs, that Supertramp would continue throughout the 70s. Their Breakfast in America album was the perfect album to end the 70s with, and has simply beautiful vocals and riffs. Unfortunately after the 70s, Supertramp went completely downhill, especially after losing incredibly talented lead singer, Roger Hodgson. Still Supertramp was a very awesome progressive band and one of the few to experiment extensively with electric pianos, and they have harmonies to match Yes, and very catchy riffs that are hard to forget. Best Album: Crime of the Century or Breakfast in America 37 37. Roxy Music Roxy Music, simply put, is one of the greatest art rock groups of all time. They were led by Bryan Ferry, who also had a pretty successful solo career. Roxy Music liked including pictures of young and attractive women on their album covers, as noted on the image beside their name, and their music had sort of a wild and experimental sound to it. Roxy Music used lots of keyboard and some of the coolest guitar solos I’ve heard. They did a little everything, they did funk, rock n roll, blues, jazz, and progressive. Although their early 70s albums were significantly better than anything else they made. Still, they are just an interesting band, and keep their music highly original and interesting. You could hear rock n roll, blues, or even some jazz in their albums. Ferry stated he liked keeping his music simple and uncomplicated, and thats part of what gave Roxy Music its charm. Roxy Music’s guitar work is also amazing. They are just an overall well rounded band. Best Album: For Your Pleasure Roxy Music, simply put, is one of the greatest art rock groups of all time. They were led by Bryan Ferry, who also had a pretty successful solo career. Roxy Music liked including pictures of young and attractive women on their album covers, as noted on the image beside their name, and their music had sort of a wild and experimental sound to it. Roxy Music used lots of keyboard and some of the coolest guitar solos I’ve heard. They did a little everything, they did funk, rock n roll, blues, jazz, and progressive. Although their early 70s albums were significantly better than anything else they made. Still, they are just an interesting band, and keep their music highly original and interesting. You could hear rock n roll, blues, or even some jazz in their albums. Ferry stated he liked keeping his music simple and uncomplicated, and thats part of what gave Roxy Music its charm. Roxy Music’s guitar work is also amazing. They are just an overall well rounded band. Best Album: For Your Pleasure 38 38. Soft Machine I’d like to start off by mentioning these guys deserve more credit than is often given to them. Soft Machine was a very sophisticated psychedelic band who could make early Pink Floyd look like amateurs. During the 70s, Soft Machine turned more towards jazz and created some pretty unique albums with eerie sounding effects and lots of saxophone. Their 70s stuff is a lot more relaxing and slower than their fast paced 60s material. Soft Machine is a great example of free flowing jazz, yet they still stay in the rock category. They have a sound that can’t be replicated, although their 70s material is mainly a hit or miss, as the 70s progress they decide to go deeper and deeper into jazz territory and ignore their rock roots. Yet despite this, they still are brilliant and write some incredible material. They could create long psychedelic jams and improvisations that manage to stay fresh and engaging throughout the entire length. I can respect any rock band who state jazz as their main influence and use it to guide their music. Best Album: Third I’d like to start off by mentioning these guys deserve more credit than is often given to them. Soft Machine was a very sophisticated psychedelic band who could make early Pink Floyd look like amateurs. During the 70s, Soft Machine turned more towards jazz and created some pretty unique albums with eerie sounding effects and lots of saxophone. Their 70s stuff is a lot more relaxing and slower than their fast paced 60s material. Soft Machine is a great example of free flowing jazz, yet they still stay in the rock category. They have a sound that can’t be replicated, although their 70s material is mainly a hit or miss, as the 70s progress they decide to go deeper and deeper into jazz territory and ignore their rock roots. Yet despite this, they still are brilliant and write some incredible material. They could create long psychedelic jams and improvisations that manage to stay fresh and engaging throughout the entire length. I can respect any rock band who state jazz as their main influence and use it to guide their music. Best Album: Third 39 39. Camel Camel is one of those progressive bands where you look at them and say, that is everything that is good about progressive rock. Camel is a pretty laid back progressive band that is more on the symphonic side of prog. They are really heavy on keyboard soloing and have some bass riffs that stand out. There harmonies are just as amazing as the next progressive band and also have many psychedelic influences. Camel is just a very relaxing and awesome sounding band to listen to. They are very musical and very underrated. Its like 60s psychedelic rock meets Yes, meets Baroque. Very different than your typical prog. Best Album: Mirage Camel is one of those progressive bands where you look at them and say, that is everything that is good about progressive rock. Camel is a pretty laid back progressive band that is more on the symphonic side of prog. They are really heavy on keyboard soloing and have some bass riffs that stand out. There harmonies are just as amazing as the next progressive band and also have many psychedelic influences. Camel is just a very relaxing and awesome sounding band to listen to. They are very musical and very underrated. Its like 60s psychedelic rock meets Yes, meets Baroque. Very different than your typical prog. Best Album: Mirage 40 40. Queen Queen are a symbol of 70s rock, with eccentric front man Freddie Mercury forever embedded in rock enthusiasts minds everywhere for his bizarre stunts on stage and incredibly high singing range. Queen is known but some as the fathers of arena rock. Freddie had an incredible vocal range but also could play piano very well and often used it to accompany many of the bands hit songs. Guitarist Brian May is simply incredible at what he does, his solos are very well constructed and have the perfect amount of notes. Drummer Roger Taylor is sort of the co leader and occasionally will sing lead, but his drumming is also very good and stands out, while bassist John Deacon has moments to shine when May isn’t playing. Queens first self titled album is a good start, and the band is starting to develop their sound. Its good arena rock but their next album is what puts their name on the board. Queen II is a pretty good album that rocks hard and feels a lot more evolved from their first album. Of course, Sheer Heart Attack is when Queen starts to really shine. There are a few hits on this album and Freddie really stands out on vocals. A Night at the Opera is an album where all the band members shine and collaborate quite well together. This album has many hits on it and just flows very well. It had a variety of songs from old barbershop sounding songs, to rock anthems. A Day at the Races opts at more of a pop rock approach, but is still a solid album with a few hit songs. News of the World practically is an extension of their previous album and takes the same direction with more hit songs. Their final album of the 70s Jazz, is a good blend of piano rock that Mercury gets to shine on, but is still nowhere as good as the mid 70s albums. Queen continued to make many successful albums until Freddie’s death in the early 90s. Overall, Queen is just a fantastic band for any situation, for sporting events, for parties, for people who just want to sit back and listen to good music. Queen stands out for having incredible vocals and harmonies and also have a great rock sound to them. They were truly a one of a kind band with an irreplaceable front man. Best Album: A Night at the Opera Queen are a symbol of 70s rock, with eccentric front man Freddie Mercury forever embedded in rock enthusiasts minds everywhere for his bizarre stunts on stage and incredibly high singing range. Queen is known but some as the fathers of arena rock. Freddie had an incredible vocal range but also could play piano very well and often used it to accompany many of the bands hit songs. Guitarist Brian May is simply incredible at what he does, his solos are very well constructed and have the perfect amount of notes. Drummer Roger Taylor is sort of the co leader and occasionally will sing lead, but his drumming is also very good and stands out, while bassist John Deacon has moments to shine when May isn’t playing. Queens first self titled album is a good start, and the band is starting to develop their sound. Its good arena rock but their next album is what puts their name on the board. Queen II is a pretty good album that rocks hard and feels a lot more evolved from their first album. Of course, Sheer Heart Attack is when Queen starts to really shine. There are a few hits on this album and Freddie really stands out on vocals. A Night at the Opera is an album where all the band members shine and collaborate quite well together. This album has many hits on it and just flows very well. It had a variety of songs from old barbershop sounding songs, to rock anthems. A Day at the Races opts at more of a pop rock approach, but is still a solid album with a few hit songs. News of the World practically is an extension of their previous album and takes the same direction with more hit songs. Their final album of the 70s Jazz, is a good blend of piano rock that Mercury gets to shine on, but is still nowhere as good as the mid 70s albums. Queen continued to make many successful albums until Freddie’s death in the early 90s. Overall, Queen is just a fantastic band for any situation, for sporting events, for parties, for people who just want to sit back and listen to good music. Queen stands out for having incredible vocals and harmonies and also have a great rock sound to them. They were truly a one of a kind band with an irreplaceable front man. Best Album: A Night at the Opera 41 41. Lynyrd Skynyrd Truth be told I used to hate these guys with a passion, I could not stand listening to the song Sweet Home Alabama, yet I also feel I was biased because that was the only song I really knew by them and before I really started to get into rock music. After listening to several of their songs, they have become one of my favorite southern rock groups and are simply a very enjoyable band. They are extremely influenced by blues, rock n roll, and country, yet aren’t quite any of these. What stands out the most in Lynyrd Skynyrd is their very precise and soulful guitar solos, that almost can match Duane Allman, and of course, their honky tonk sounding piano riffs. Lynyrd Skynyrd is very talented at creating some very catchy jams that build up to very climatic solos with some very southern sounding vocals. Lynyrd Skynyrd was great at creating some unforgettable riffs. These guys could rock pretty damn hard and could make a transition from slow and country to fast and rock seem flawless. They even have an incredible live album that shows each musicians talent at improvising and keeping their material original. Its a shame that the lead singer, one of their lead guitarists, and a background singer had to die in a plane crash in 1977, ending the band for a while. The albums they released between the early 70s and then were all perfect examples of what is good about southern rock and have some of the best riffs known to rock music. Best Album: (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) or One More From the Road Truth be told I used to hate these guys with a passion, I could not stand listening to the song Sweet Home Alabama, yet I also feel I was biased because that was the only song I really knew by them and before I really started to get into rock music. After listening to several of their songs, they have become one of my favorite southern rock groups and are simply a very enjoyable band. They are extremely influenced by blues, rock n roll, and country, yet aren’t quite any of these. What stands out the most in Lynyrd Skynyrd is their very precise and soulful guitar solos, that almost can match Duane Allman, and of course, their honky tonk sounding piano riffs. Lynyrd Skynyrd is very talented at creating some very catchy jams that build up to very climatic solos with some very southern sounding vocals. Lynyrd Skynyrd was great at creating some unforgettable riffs. These guys could rock pretty damn hard and could make a transition from slow and country to fast and rock seem flawless. They even have an incredible live album that shows each musicians talent at improvising and keeping their material original. Its a shame that the lead singer, one of their lead guitarists, and a background singer had to die in a plane crash in 1977, ending the band for a while. The albums they released between the early 70s and then were all perfect examples of what is good about southern rock and have some of the best riffs known to rock music. Best Album: (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) or One More From the Road 42 42. Bob Dylan Bob Dylan was one of the most influential and arguably most famous song writer of the 60s, writing many songs that could connect to the common man and convey a strong personal message. 70s Dylan was just as well known as 60s Dylan, continuing to craft clever and personal lyrics that could connect to the average person and convey lots of emotion. Dylan started going more electric at this time, and was evolving his music with the times. If you’re turned off by Dylan just based on the sound of his voice, you’re missing the point of his music. Dylan was an incredibly diverse musician playing folk, blues, jazz, rock, and country. His influence was almost as huge as that of the Beatles. As the 70s progressed he became more conservative and spiritual, and he used lots of themes dealing with spirituality in his later 70s albums. Dylan was a musical genius and he shows it by continuing to remain relevant after the woodstock generation. Best Album: Blood on the Tracks Bob Dylan was one of the most influential and arguably most famous song writer of the 60s, writing many songs that could connect to the common man and convey a strong personal message. 70s Dylan was just as well known as 60s Dylan, continuing to craft clever and personal lyrics that could connect to the average person and convey lots of emotion. Dylan started going more electric at this time, and was evolving his music with the times. If you’re turned off by Dylan just based on the sound of his voice, you’re missing the point of his music. Dylan was an incredibly diverse musician playing folk, blues, jazz, rock, and country. His influence was almost as huge as that of the Beatles. As the 70s progressed he became more conservative and spiritual, and he used lots of themes dealing with spirituality in his later 70s albums. Dylan was a musical genius and he shows it by continuing to remain relevant after the woodstock generation. Best Album: Blood on the Tracks 43 43. John Lennon In 1970, the Beatles disbanded and each Beatle went his own way. Paul sort of stuck to his pop rock stuff that made him famous with the Beatles and girls of course, George stuck to straight rock, and Ringo did rock n roll and classic rock type albums. John on the other hand was doing stuff pretty close to what he was doing with the Beatles in their final years. John was a huge supporter of the peace/hippie movement and would use humanistic messages that conveyed powerful themes of peace, of love, and of brotherhood. John Lennon in my opinion was the most successful Beatle in creating catchy music, that at the same time, was very emotional and beautiful. Paul, George, and Ringo all failed to leave such themes that could withstand the test of time, and were constantly changing with the times, while John’s music was more or less always very pleasant sounding and melodic. John had such a wonderful rock voice, but could also go ballad and you can just listen to him sing song after song without growing bored. The music that accompanies his voice is simply very pleasant with lots of easy sounding piano, acoustic guitar chord progressions, and even violin and stringed instruments. Of course he had some harder rocking songs that were mainly based off blues and stuff off Abbey Road. Regardless of what people will say, I think John’s music stands out the most of any Beatle and is by far the most pleasant to listen to, and his faster harder rocking stuff is simply superb. He had one of the best rock voices of all time, and left behind a very powerful message. Best Album: Imagine In 1970, the Beatles disbanded and each Beatle went his own way. Paul sort of stuck to his pop rock stuff that made him famous with the Beatles and girls of course, George stuck to straight rock, and Ringo did rock n roll and classic rock type albums. John on the other hand was doing stuff pretty close to what he was doing with the Beatles in their final years. John was a huge supporter of the peace/hippie movement and would use humanistic messages that conveyed powerful themes of peace, of love, and of brotherhood. John Lennon in my opinion was the most successful Beatle in creating catchy music, that at the same time, was very emotional and beautiful. Paul, George, and Ringo all failed to leave such themes that could withstand the test of time, and were constantly changing with the times, while John’s music was more or less always very pleasant sounding and melodic. John had such a wonderful rock voice, but could also go ballad and you can just listen to him sing song after song without growing bored. The music that accompanies his voice is simply very pleasant with lots of easy sounding piano, acoustic guitar chord progressions, and even violin and stringed instruments. Of course he had some harder rocking songs that were mainly based off blues and stuff off Abbey Road. Regardless of what people will say, I think John’s music stands out the most of any Beatle and is by far the most pleasant to listen to, and his faster harder rocking stuff is simply superb. He had one of the best rock voices of all time, and left behind a very powerful message. Best Album: Imagine 44 44. Television I can already see a ton of jokes being inspired by the band name like Too much Television will rot your brain, or Television is bad for the kids. But with all jokes aside, they were one of the greatest new wave, punk, art rock groups of their time. They sort of have a mixture between Roxy Music and the Clash sound to them. Marquee Moon has gained an incredible reputation, making its way into the top 100 most popular albums on RYM. Lets face it, these guys were incredibly unique for their time, and made music different than the other punk and art rock groups around them. Their riffs and melodies are just so catchy and their vocals are infectious. They are by far one of the greatest post punk groups of all time. Best Album: Marquee Moon I can already see a ton of jokes being inspired by the band name like Too much Television will rot your brain, or Television is bad for the kids. But with all jokes aside, they were one of the greatest new wave, punk, art rock groups of their time. They sort of have a mixture between Roxy Music and the Clash sound to them. Marquee Moon has gained an incredible reputation, making its way into the top 100 most popular albums on RYM. Lets face it, these guys were incredibly unique for their time, and made music different than the other punk and art rock groups around them. Their riffs and melodies are just so catchy and their vocals are infectious. They are by far one of the greatest post punk groups of all time. Best Album: Marquee Moon 45 45. Gentle Giant What is there to say about Gentle Giant other than they were kind of the odd progressive band. They made music that was much different than other progressive bands at the time and relied heavily on their vocals and synths. Gentle Giant made a number of superb albums in the 70s, and unlike other progressive bands at the time, relied on shorter songs while bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, and Van Der Graaf Generator, were pumping out at least one or two 10-15 minute long songs per album, some even longer like Yes’ Topographic Ocean album. But back to the point, it was rare, to find a Gentle Giant song extending 10 minutes, or even 9 minutes for that matter. The longer songs on Gentle Giant albums tended to run 7-8 minutes and it worked out pretty well this way. They were more the short but sweet approach, and perfected their music to the point where they delivered multiple epic songs that were just long enough to savor the taste and then move on to the next dish without becoming too full for the rest of the meal. Shortly put, these guys were incredible and made some fantastic music with lots of synth and incredible harmonies, along with some superb guitar work, drumming, and bass. Although near the end of the 70s they started to fall apart and take the pop rock approach. But despite this, they were one of the greatest progressive bands of their time, and had a distinct sound that can not be replicated. Best Album: The Power and The Glory or Playing the Fool What is there to say about Gentle Giant other than they were kind of the odd progressive band. They made music that was much different than other progressive bands at the time and relied heavily on their vocals and synths. Gentle Giant made a number of superb albums in the 70s, and unlike other progressive bands at the time, relied on shorter songs while bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, and Van Der Graaf Generator, were pumping out at least one or two 10-15 minute long songs per album, some even longer like Yes’ Topographic Ocean album. But back to the point, it was rare, to find a Gentle Giant song extending 10 minutes, or even 9 minutes for that matter. The longer songs on Gentle Giant albums tended to run 7-8 minutes and it worked out pretty well this way. They were more the short but sweet approach, and perfected their music to the point where they delivered multiple epic songs that were just long enough to savor the taste and then move on to the next dish without becoming too full for the rest of the meal. Shortly put, these guys were incredible and made some fantastic music with lots of synth and incredible harmonies, along with some superb guitar work, drumming, and bass. Although near the end of the 70s they started to fall apart and take the pop rock approach. But despite this, they were one of the greatest progressive bands of their time, and had a distinct sound that can not be replicated. Best Album: The Power and The Glory or Playing the Fool 46 46. Robert Wyatt Robert Wyatt is perhaps best known for being the drummer of the Canterbury progressive rock band, Soft Machine, but after leaving Soft Machine, Wyatt pursued a solo career. His music had a similar jazzy feel of Caravan, but Wyatt used a lot more synths. Wyatts vocals are some of the best I’ve heard and his music is just so surreal sounding and relaxing. I can’t begin to describe how incredible Wyatt’s music is, its basically jazz, meets synth rock, meets opera. Its incredible too, that after becoming paralyzed from the waist down after an accident, Wyatt was still able to drum and create some of his best albums. Best Album: Rock Bottom Robert Wyatt is perhaps best known for being the drummer of the Canterbury progressive rock band, Soft Machine, but after leaving Soft Machine, Wyatt pursued a solo career. His music had a similar jazzy feel of Caravan, but Wyatt used a lot more synths. Wyatts vocals are some of the best I’ve heard and his music is just so surreal sounding and relaxing. I can’t begin to describe how incredible Wyatt’s music is, its basically jazz, meets synth rock, meets opera. Its incredible too, that after becoming paralyzed from the waist down after an accident, Wyatt was still able to drum and create some of his best albums. Best Album: Rock Bottom 47 47. Patti Smith Patti Smith was sort of the first female punk rocker, I mean who was there before her, Joan Jett came out of Patti Smith’s influence. Smith might not have been a super attractive model in a dress like Debbie Harry, but her voice just killed, it was kind of like Janis Joplin but less raspy. The music was super energetic and at the same time, also can get soft and melodic, Smith was pretty versatile, and her cover of Gloria by Them is almost better than the original. If any performer had to represent female fronted rock of the 70s, I’d easily give Patti Smith the spot, because she was making some of the most innovative music, didn’t give a shit, and inspired a new generation of musicians. Best Album: Horses Patti Smith was sort of the first female punk rocker, I mean who was there before her, Joan Jett came out of Patti Smith’s influence. Smith might not have been a super attractive model in a dress like Debbie Harry, but her voice just killed, it was kind of like Janis Joplin but less raspy. The music was super energetic and at the same time, also can get soft and melodic, Smith was pretty versatile, and her cover of Gloria by Them is almost better than the original. If any performer had to represent female fronted rock of the 70s, I’d easily give Patti Smith the spot, because she was making some of the most innovative music, didn’t give a shit, and inspired a new generation of musicians. Best Album: Horses 48 48. Funkadelic Funkadelic isn’t really a full out funk band, despite its name. There’s no doubt there’s major funk influence in the band, but the band was a lot more rock/psychedelic funk based. Funkadelic was basically the brother band to Parliament, both coexisting together and having many of the same members switch between the two groups. Funkadelic was more raw and rock sounding, while Parliament dived head first into funk and soul. Both groups were lead by funk legend George Clinton, not to be confused with Bill. Under Clinton’s leadership, Funkadelic produced some of the hardest rocking funk albums, with amazing guitar solos, lots of funky keyboard riffs and soulful vocals. Funkadelic fused rock and funk perfectly, adding in a little bit of soul and jazz here and there as well. These guys had some of the best rhythm as well, and a lot of their songs relied on a steady and rhythmic drum beat, which stood out. Near the end of their career, they began to change their lineup and become more bland. Best Album: Maggot Brain Funkadelic isn’t really a full out funk band, despite its name. There’s no doubt there’s major funk influence in the band, but the band was a lot more rock/psychedelic funk based. Funkadelic was basically the brother band to Parliament, both coexisting together and having many of the same members switch between the two groups. Funkadelic was more raw and rock sounding, while Parliament dived head first into funk and soul. Both groups were lead by funk legend George Clinton, not to be confused with Bill. Under Clinton’s leadership, Funkadelic produced some of the hardest rocking funk albums, with amazing guitar solos, lots of funky keyboard riffs and soulful vocals. Funkadelic fused rock and funk perfectly, adding in a little bit of soul and jazz here and there as well. These guys had some of the best rhythm as well, and a lot of their songs relied on a steady and rhythmic drum beat, which stood out. Near the end of their career, they began to change their lineup and become more bland. Best Album: Maggot Brain 49 49. T. Rex When people think of the early 70s many things come to mind, but hardly anyone will mention T. Rex or the influence these guys had on glam or rock in general. In fact, outside of the U.K., they were really only known for their Get it On single and billed as a one hit wonder. In reality T. Rex had many more great songs, despite its short span. T. Rex released 9 albums in the 70s, which ended in short due to frontman Marc Bolan’s death in 1977. T. Rex just bleeded glam, even more so than Bowie. Early T. Rex, like most English rock bands at the time, were mainly a folk and psychedelic band when they started out, but as the 70s progressed, they became glam and continued to expand on that even more at the end of their career. T. Rex was all about experimenting and using heavy distorted electric guitars, T. Rex had some pretty heavy material for their time. In fact, the guitar work in T. Rex is incredible, it rocks really hard and the acoustic stuff is just pleasant, while the other instruments do a very good job finding their own place in the song. A lot of T. Rexs song sort of feel like modern versions of 50s rock n roll styled songs. Marc Bolan is an incredible vocalist and has a very unique range and voice. Unfortunately T. Rex began to get a little too simplistic and even a bit uninteresting in the mid 70s and never made anything after that that rivaled their early 70s work. T. Rex is still a very interesting band and is very underrated, while they may be a bit simplistic and not be a top billboard hit band, they produced some incredible albums that helped change music and influence many others. Best Album: Electric Warrior When people think of the early 70s many things come to mind, but hardly anyone will mention T. Rex or the influence these guys had on glam or rock in general. In fact, outside of the U.K., they were really only known for their Get it On single and billed as a one hit wonder. In reality T. Rex had many more great songs, despite its short span. T. Rex released 9 albums in the 70s, which ended in short due to frontman Marc Bolan’s death in 1977. T. Rex just bleeded glam, even more so than Bowie. Early T. Rex, like most English rock bands at the time, were mainly a folk and psychedelic band when they started out, but as the 70s progressed, they became glam and continued to expand on that even more at the end of their career. T. Rex was all about experimenting and using heavy distorted electric guitars, T. Rex had some pretty heavy material for their time. In fact, the guitar work in T. Rex is incredible, it rocks really hard and the acoustic stuff is just pleasant, while the other instruments do a very good job finding their own place in the song. A lot of T. Rexs song sort of feel like modern versions of 50s rock n roll styled songs. Marc Bolan is an incredible vocalist and has a very unique range and voice. Unfortunately T. Rex began to get a little too simplistic and even a bit uninteresting in the mid 70s and never made anything after that that rivaled their early 70s work. T. Rex is still a very interesting band and is very underrated, while they may be a bit simplistic and not be a top billboard hit band, they produced some incredible albums that helped change music and influence many others. Best Album: Electric Warrior 50 50. Judas Priest Judas Priest was a very consistent group from the start, and one of the few bands to make great albums in 3 different decades. I still prefer their 70s stuff, despite having some great 80s albums, 70s Priest was more on the hard rock side and just had some great hard rock melodies, with Halfords high voice that probably beats Gillan from Deep Purple. Priest had albums that just had an incredible flow to them. The guitar solos were some of the best of their time. Priest just had some of the best hard rock of the 70s and their guitar work was superb, along with excellent vocals. Of course Priest was all about the awesome riffs, and their 70s albums had such great flow to them. They were on of the first metal groups to emerge, and helped set the goundwork for 80s heavy metal. Best Album: Sad Wings of Destiny Judas Priest was a very consistent group from the start, and one of the few bands to make great albums in 3 different decades. I still prefer their 70s stuff, despite having some great 80s albums, 70s Priest was more on the hard rock side and just had some great hard rock melodies, with Halfords high voice that probably beats Gillan from Deep Purple. Priest had albums that just had an incredible flow to them. The guitar solos were some of the best of their time. Priest just had some of the best hard rock of the 70s and their guitar work was superb, along with excellent vocals. Of course Priest was all about the awesome riffs, and their 70s albums had such great flow to them. They were on of the first metal groups to emerge, and helped set the goundwork for 80s heavy metal. Best Album: Sad Wings of Destiny 51 51. Nick Drake Nick Drake is another one of RYMs favorite artists. He created some of the most beautiful and laid back songs of his time. He was playing music far ahead of his time, creating some excellent folk rock with a beautiful voice to boot. Drake just created some of the most pleasant music of all time and its a shame he was pretty much unknown until after his death in 1974 due to either suicide or accidental overdose. Best Album: Pink Moon Nick Drake is another one of RYMs favorite artists. He created some of the most beautiful and laid back songs of his time. He was playing music far ahead of his time, creating some excellent folk rock with a beautiful voice to boot. Drake just created some of the most pleasant music of all time and its a shame he was pretty much unknown until after his death in 1974 due to either suicide or accidental overdose. Best Album: Pink Moon 52 52. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was sort of a supergroup, consisting of 4 very talented and folk influenced musicians, David Crosby of the Byrds, Graham Nash of the Hollies, and Neil Young and Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield. I can’t think of a better band that represents the spirit of Woodstock, Hendrix was great and put forward the most unforgettable performance, but CSNY just oozed Woodstock with their laid back acoustic and blues rock. They only released a handful of albums and only got together every few years, but when they did, they produced some of the finest blues rock/folk songs or all time. They all also had solo careers in the 70s, although Neil Young’s was the most successful and well known. All the members of CSNY had great singing voices and could sing some of the best harmonies. They could change from blues to country at the drop of a hat, and their acoustic work is some of the most beautiful of the time. They are definitely one of the best supergroups out there, and its good to see all the members are still alive and doing well, even performing together occasionally. Combined with Hendrix, these guys are pretty much Woodstock defined. Best Album: Deja Vu Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was sort of a supergroup, consisting of 4 very talented and folk influenced musicians, David Crosby of the Byrds, Graham Nash of the Hollies, and Neil Young and Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield. I can’t think of a better band that represents the spirit of Woodstock, Hendrix was great and put forward the most unforgettable performance, but CSNY just oozed Woodstock with their laid back acoustic and blues rock. They only released a handful of albums and only got together every few years, but when they did, they produced some of the finest blues rock/folk songs or all time. They all also had solo careers in the 70s, although Neil Young’s was the most successful and well known. All the members of CSNY had great singing voices and could sing some of the best harmonies. They could change from blues to country at the drop of a hat, and their acoustic work is some of the most beautiful of the time. They are definitely one of the best supergroups out there, and its good to see all the members are still alive and doing well, even performing together occasionally. Combined with Hendrix, these guys are pretty much Woodstock defined. Best Album: Deja Vu 53 53. Uriah Heep Uriah Heep was the hard rock of progressive, they perfectly fused the style of Deep Purple with Yes and Van Der Graaf Generator. Uriah Heep was heavy like Deep Purple yet had lots of progressive instrumentals and long passages on their albums, that kept them fresh and unlike the other hard rock groups. Uriah Heep pumped out albums like crazy too and ever since Demons and Wizards, which outsold Deep Purple’s Machine Head by nearly 4 times, they became one of the most popular rock bands of the 70s. Despite their popularity, they pumped out many good albums, even if their were a few duds. By the end of the 70s they released 12 studio albums and a live album. What stands out the most in Uriah Heep are the incredibly catchy guitar and organ riffs, creating some of the catchiest riffs of hard rock I’ve ever heard. Plus they way they blend different elements of genres such as funk, progressive, and blues is just incredible. Though like Deep Purple, they lost much of their edge in the late 70s, they lost their original vocalist and bassist, and the new singer was nowhere near as great as the original. Still with a band like Uriah Heep, you need to look at their original lineup, and you’ll realize they were an unstoppable force before until they started losing original members. Best Album: Demons and Wizards or Look at Yourself Uriah Heep was the hard rock of progressive, they perfectly fused the style of Deep Purple with Yes and Van Der Graaf Generator. Uriah Heep was heavy like Deep Purple yet had lots of progressive instrumentals and long passages on their albums, that kept them fresh and unlike the other hard rock groups. Uriah Heep pumped out albums like crazy too and ever since Demons and Wizards, which outsold Deep Purple’s Machine Head by nearly 4 times, they became one of the most popular rock bands of the 70s. Despite their popularity, they pumped out many good albums, even if their were a few duds. By the end of the 70s they released 12 studio albums and a live album. What stands out the most in Uriah Heep are the incredibly catchy guitar and organ riffs, creating some of the catchiest riffs of hard rock I’ve ever heard. Plus they way they blend different elements of genres such as funk, progressive, and blues is just incredible. Though like Deep Purple, they lost much of their edge in the late 70s, they lost their original vocalist and bassist, and the new singer was nowhere near as great as the original. Still with a band like Uriah Heep, you need to look at their original lineup, and you’ll realize they were an unstoppable force before until they started losing original members. Best Album: Demons and Wizards or Look at Yourself 54 54. The Jam The Jam were pretty much the Who of the late 70s, the Who sort of became irrelevant once Keith Moon died, which was in 1978, which is when the Jam released Mod Cons, so the Jam sort of picked up where the Who left off, they were sort a Who meets punk sort of band. The Jam’s music was just catchy and their hooks are just classic, they honestly are one of those awesome bands who were still living in the mid 1960s, but adding a modern tint to it, creating some very interesting music. Best Album: All Mod Cons The Jam were pretty much the Who of the late 70s, the Who sort of became irrelevant once Keith Moon died, which was in 1978, which is when the Jam released Mod Cons, so the Jam sort of picked up where the Who left off, they were sort a Who meets punk sort of band. The Jam’s music was just catchy and their hooks are just classic, they honestly are one of those awesome bands who were still living in the mid 1960s, but adding a modern tint to it, creating some very interesting music. Best Album: All Mod Cons 55 55. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso Banco del Mutuo Soccorso were an amazing symphonic prog group from Italy. They sort of blended Italian opera with symphonic prog to create some amazing riffs and vocals. All the musicians were incredibly talented with insane keyboard solos, some quick driven guitar solos, and of course spectacular drumming and bass work. They were distinguishable from the other prog rock groups, and that made them stand out. Although as the decade progressed, the group sort of started lacking originality, but their early 70s work is some of the best prog out there. Best Album: Darwin! Banco del Mutuo Soccorso were an amazing symphonic prog group from Italy. They sort of blended Italian opera with symphonic prog to create some amazing riffs and vocals. All the musicians were incredibly talented with insane keyboard solos, some quick driven guitar solos, and of course spectacular drumming and bass work. They were distinguishable from the other prog rock groups, and that made them stand out. Although as the decade progressed, the group sort of started lacking originality, but their early 70s work is some of the best prog out there. Best Album: Darwin! 56 56. Van Morrison Van Morrison is an Irish rocker who was previously a member of a core British invasion group Them!. After leaving Them! in the late 60s, Morrison took on what would become a long, and incredibly successful solo career. Morrison was one of the most diverse solo artists, blending jazz, folk, blues, soul, rock, and pretty much anything that sounded pleasant. Van Morrison loved experimenting and even used a backing choir for a few of his albums. Van Morrison is incredibly relaxing to listen to and his blues rock material is pretty damn good as well. Van Morrisons voice was pretty good, and in a way, sort of reminds me of Jim Morrison. Like Frank Zappa, he just released so many studio albums during the 70s that there will definitely be something you will like. Best Album: Moondance Van Morrison is an Irish rocker who was previously a member of a core British invasion group Them!. After leaving Them! in the late 60s, Morrison took on what would become a long, and incredibly successful solo career. Morrison was one of the most diverse solo artists, blending jazz, folk, blues, soul, rock, and pretty much anything that sounded pleasant. Van Morrison loved experimenting and even used a backing choir for a few of his albums. Van Morrison is incredibly relaxing to listen to and his blues rock material is pretty damn good as well. Van Morrisons voice was pretty good, and in a way, sort of reminds me of Jim Morrison. Like Frank Zappa, he just released so many studio albums during the 70s that there will definitely be something you will like. Best Album: Moondance 57 57. Jorge Ben Jorge Ben was my introduction to Brazilian music, before him I didn’t really know much, I thought it was all jazz, bossa nova, and well Jorge Ben’s music certainly has an element of that, it also goes into folk rock too. Jorge Ben is really the folk hero of Brazil, while Caetano might be the Elvis Presley of Brazil, Jorge Ben is comparable to the likes of Bob Dylan, crafting very fine songs and singing them very well. Best Album: A Tábua de Esmeralda Jorge Ben was my introduction to Brazilian music, before him I didn’t really know much, I thought it was all jazz, bossa nova, and well Jorge Ben’s music certainly has an element of that, it also goes into folk rock too. Jorge Ben is really the folk hero of Brazil, while Caetano might be the Elvis Presley of Brazil, Jorge Ben is comparable to the likes of Bob Dylan, crafting very fine songs and singing them very well. Best Album: A Tábua de Esmeralda 58 58. Gene Clark Gene Clark left the Byrds pretty early on, and went solo, but it wasn’t until the 70s where he really started to emerge. Of course he was pretty much obscure, nowhere near the level of fame David Crosby went after his Byrd’s days, but his albums sort of went on to cult fame status, the thing is Clark wasn’t just playing folk inspired Byrds type music, but he was going into heavy psychedelic and country rock, it wasn’t quite all about playing pleasant soft music, although Clark certainly went into that too. I honestly think Gene Clark was doing a better solo job than David Crosby, although he might not come close to CSN, but he wrote some very beautiful music. Best Album: No Other Gene Clark left the Byrds pretty early on, and went solo, but it wasn’t until the 70s where he really started to emerge. Of course he was pretty much obscure, nowhere near the level of fame David Crosby went after his Byrd’s days, but his albums sort of went on to cult fame status, the thing is Clark wasn’t just playing folk inspired Byrds type music, but he was going into heavy psychedelic and country rock, it wasn’t quite all about playing pleasant soft music, although Clark certainly went into that too. I honestly think Gene Clark was doing a better solo job than David Crosby, although he might not come close to CSN, but he wrote some very beautiful music. Best Album: No Other 59 59. Buzzcocks In all honestly, Buzzcocks may have been more a singles band, but there singles were so fine crafted and catchy that they deserve a spot. Buzzcocks were sort of a more musical Sex Pistols. It was catchy, to the point, and well-crafted. Not much else to say because they really are a band worth checking out rather than just writing about. Best Album: Another Music in a Different Kitchen In all honestly, Buzzcocks may have been more a singles band, but there singles were so fine crafted and catchy that they deserve a spot. Buzzcocks were sort of a more musical Sex Pistols. It was catchy, to the point, and well-crafted. Not much else to say because they really are a band worth checking out rather than just writing about. Best Album: Another Music in a Different Kitchen 60 60. Rory Gallagher Rory Gallagher was certainly the Stevie Ray Vaughan of his time period. While other bands around him were mostly playing hard rock, AOR, pop rock, and funk, he was playing pure blues, with rock influences of course. And like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rory was not successful on the billboard charts and hardly got any attention from the music industry or media before his death. Gallagher played in many blues rock groups in the 60s, including the famed blues rock group Taste. By the time the 70s rolled, he decided to pursue a solo career. Rory’s guitar playing and style was so refined and distinguishable from other bands at the time. He had some of the greatest and original solos and his backing band was great, producing some incredible riffs for him to work around. Rory really stood out at his live shows, extending his jams and producing some very awesome musicianship. He was one of the few great Irish guitarists. Unfortunately he died of alcohol abuse destroying his liver, and was only 47. He will go down as one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century. Best Album: Irish Tour ’74 Rory Gallagher was certainly the Stevie Ray Vaughan of his time period. While other bands around him were mostly playing hard rock, AOR, pop rock, and funk, he was playing pure blues, with rock influences of course. And like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rory was not successful on the billboard charts and hardly got any attention from the music industry or media before his death. Gallagher played in many blues rock groups in the 60s, including the famed blues rock group Taste. By the time the 70s rolled, he decided to pursue a solo career. Rory’s guitar playing and style was so refined and distinguishable from other bands at the time. He had some of the greatest and original solos and his backing band was great, producing some incredible riffs for him to work around. Rory really stood out at his live shows, extending his jams and producing some very awesome musicianship. He was one of the few great Irish guitarists. Unfortunately he died of alcohol abuse destroying his liver, and was only 47. He will go down as one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century. Best Album: Irish Tour ’74 61 61. Serge Gainsbourg I honestly had no clue France had any rock music worth listening too, I’m not trying to sound close minded or anything, but I always thought French music was generally more traditional and they were more into Sinatra type show tunes music, but Serge Gainsbourg experimented with rock, creating some really good guitar solos and crafting some tight albums. This guy completely nullifies the fact that France doesn’t really have much more to offer in terms of music, because this guy’s music just rocks. Top Album: Histoire de Melody Nelson I honestly had no clue France had any rock music worth listening too, I’m not trying to sound close minded or anything, but I always thought French music was generally more traditional and they were more into Sinatra type show tunes music, but Serge Gainsbourg experimented with rock, creating some really good guitar solos and crafting some tight albums. This guy completely nullifies the fact that France doesn’t really have much more to offer in terms of music, because this guy’s music just rocks. Top Album: Histoire de Melody Nelson 62 62. Blue Öyster Cult Blue Oyster Cult was an incredible hard rock band, who actually didn’t fall into the unoriginal or cheesy category and had a pretty strong run throughout the 70s, and they never really produced any bad albums in that decade. They’re kind of a hard band to describe, they are basically a hard rock band like Boston but with a lot more psychedelic influences. In fact, a lot of the early Blue Oyster Cult work sounds heavily influenced by 60s psychedelic rock with repetitive, trippy bass and bizarre riffs. Blue Oyster produced some very quality albums, and were all about polished work. In fact, these guys were some of the best at what they did. The guitar work is very refined and professional at the same time, keyboard work is pretty psychedelic, bass as well, and vocals are just different compared to other hard rock groups. Blue Oyster Cult in essence is very highly refined hard rock with influences in the right places. They also were one of the first early bands that helped pave the path to the newly emerging metal genre. They were a very diverse rock band and just fun to listen to. Best Album: Secret Treaties Blue Oyster Cult was an incredible hard rock band, who actually didn’t fall into the unoriginal or cheesy category and had a pretty strong run throughout the 70s, and they never really produced any bad albums in that decade. They’re kind of a hard band to describe, they are basically a hard rock band like Boston but with a lot more psychedelic influences. In fact, a lot of the early Blue Oyster Cult work sounds heavily influenced by 60s psychedelic rock with repetitive, trippy bass and bizarre riffs. Blue Oyster produced some very quality albums, and were all about polished work. In fact, these guys were some of the best at what they did. The guitar work is very refined and professional at the same time, keyboard work is pretty psychedelic, bass as well, and vocals are just different compared to other hard rock groups. Blue Oyster Cult in essence is very highly refined hard rock with influences in the right places. They also were one of the first early bands that helped pave the path to the newly emerging metal genre. They were a very diverse rock band and just fun to listen to. Best Album: Secret Treaties 63 63. The Cars Kind of like Talking Heads, The Cars were also well-known for their 80s work, only their 70s albums outshined anything they ever did in the 80s. The Cars were the start of a generation of bands emerging from post-punk culture, that would come to be known as New Wave. The Cars were the very definition of New Wave with lots of synth and poppy vocals. Of course, they also are very influenced by rock n roll and pretty much use rock beats and rhythms in many of their songs. The Cars have some excellent songs that are catchy and help define a genre. The Cars were kind of minimalist using very basic guitar patterns and beats, but making the best of it, and combining lots of different influences together. The Cars are by far one of the best new wave bands. Best Album: The Cars Kind of like Talking Heads, The Cars were also well-known for their 80s work, only their 70s albums outshined anything they ever did in the 80s. The Cars were the start of a generation of bands emerging from post-punk culture, that would come to be known as New Wave. The Cars were the very definition of New Wave with lots of synth and poppy vocals. Of course, they also are very influenced by rock n roll and pretty much use rock beats and rhythms in many of their songs. The Cars have some excellent songs that are catchy and help define a genre. The Cars were kind of minimalist using very basic guitar patterns and beats, but making the best of it, and combining lots of different influences together. The Cars are by far one of the best new wave bands. Best Album: The Cars 64 64. Caetano Veloso Caetano Veloso is perhaps the most popular of the Brazilian performers of the 60s/70s, I remember reading somewhere him being the Brazilian equivalent of Elvis Presley. Lets face it, Caetano is the very definition of Brazil, his melodies are soft and full of bossa nova, but at the same time there are flavors of folk and psychedelic, it was a perfect fusion for the time. He made Brazil seem like a paradise to an outsider, where in reality it was undergoing political corruption and I had a friend who lived in Brazil for a few years say it was far from paradise. Caetano made some of the most beautiful music and its really hard to dislike it, even if you try hard. Best Album: Transa Caetano Veloso is perhaps the most popular of the Brazilian performers of the 60s/70s, I remember reading somewhere him being the Brazilian equivalent of Elvis Presley. Lets face it, Caetano is the very definition of Brazil, his melodies are soft and full of bossa nova, but at the same time there are flavors of folk and psychedelic, it was a perfect fusion for the time. He made Brazil seem like a paradise to an outsider, where in reality it was undergoing political corruption and I had a friend who lived in Brazil for a few years say it was far from paradise. Caetano made some of the most beautiful music and its really hard to dislike it, even if you try hard. Best Album: Transa 65 65. The Band These guys have to have the laziest band name in history. Its like they were debating a name for their band and said screw it, lets just call ourselves the band, its probably not taken. The band weren’t quite a country band, nor folk, nor blues, nor blues rock. They were instead, a combination of all this, as well as being a roots and southern rock band. Its debateable that the band were the the first southern rock band to make a big difference in the music industry, coming a year before the Allman Brothers. Did I mention Eric Clapton and George Harrison were huge fans of the Band and stated their early 70s solo careers were heavily influenced by these guys. Bob Dylan liked them so much that he decided to use them as his backing band for his early 70s live performances. The Band are equally as known for their 70s output as they are for their 60s, despite being a bit weaker in their 70s career. Two of the bands 70s albums were live. They pruduced some very fine albums that had lots of diversity, and the bands I usually find the most talented and interesting to listen to (The Beatles, Yes, Frank Zappa) are those that create albums where all the songs stand their own ground and experiment with different genres and styles, rather than all sounding similar. The Band nearly perfected this, having a country sounding song, followed by a sort of jazzy song, then followed by a sort of southern rock song. All the Band’s members were equally as talented, and could play multiple instruments. Garth Hudson played piano, flute, accordion, trumpet, bass, drums, cello, and saxophone to name a few. The band wasn’t afraid to experiment either. The band in the 70s strayed more away from roots rock and more towards just straight rock. They were still good though, despite having a few lackluster albums. Their late 70s albums were really the only disappointing part of the bands discography, although their early 70s albums were good and their two live albums were some of the most groundbreaking live albums at the time. Unfortunately the bands had many members pass away since, drummer Levon Helm passed away earlier this year from cancer, bass and fiddle player Rick Danko died in 1999 from drugs, and lead vocalist/keyboardist Richard Manuel committed suicide in 1986. Best Album: The Last Waltz These guys have to have the laziest band name in history. Its like they were debating a name for their band and said screw it, lets just call ourselves the band, its probably not taken. The band weren’t quite a country band, nor folk, nor blues, nor blues rock. They were instead, a combination of all this, as well as being a roots and southern rock band. Its debateable that the band were the the first southern rock band to make a big difference in the music industry, coming a year before the Allman Brothers. Did I mention Eric Clapton and George Harrison were huge fans of the Band and stated their early 70s solo careers were heavily influenced by these guys. Bob Dylan liked them so much that he decided to use them as his backing band for his early 70s live performances. The Band are equally as known for their 70s output as they are for their 60s, despite being a bit weaker in their 70s career. Two of the bands 70s albums were live. They pruduced some very fine albums that had lots of diversity, and the bands I usually find the most talented and interesting to listen to (The Beatles, Yes, Frank Zappa) are those that create albums where all the songs stand their own ground and experiment with different genres and styles, rather than all sounding similar. The Band nearly perfected this, having a country sounding song, followed by a sort of jazzy song, then followed by a sort of southern rock song. All the Band’s members were equally as talented, and could play multiple instruments. Garth Hudson played piano, flute, accordion, trumpet, bass, drums, cello, and saxophone to name a few. The band wasn’t afraid to experiment either. The band in the 70s strayed more away from roots rock and more towards just straight rock. They were still good though, despite having a few lackluster albums. Their late 70s albums were really the only disappointing part of the bands discography, although their early 70s albums were good and their two live albums were some of the most groundbreaking live albums at the time. Unfortunately the bands had many members pass away since, drummer Levon Helm passed away earlier this year from cancer, bass and fiddle player Rick Danko died in 1999 from drugs, and lead vocalist/keyboardist Richard Manuel committed suicide in 1986. Best Album: The Last Waltz 66 66. Tom Waits Tom Waits was sort of the blues influence rock needed at that time. Tom Waits hated the hippie culture in the late 60s and didn’t like psychedelic music or hard rock. He felt rock at the time didn’t have enough emotion or personal feeling attached to it. When Tom Waits started recording in the early 70s, he was doing something far different than everyone else. He was playing very bluesy rock, that almost had sort of a vaudeville feel to it. He sang with lots of emotion and his songs sort of had a dark feel to them. His music almost reminds me of a haunted circus, but that’s what makes Tom Waits so incredible, he can invoke such deep feelings and get a unique sound and style from it. Tom Waits started off doing folk and jazz in clubs and when he started recording albums, he put that dirty blues and folk influences in his albums. I can’t really describe Tom Wait’s music other than what I previously stated, but he definitely has one of the most unique voices in rock and does a fine job creating some very deep songs. Best Album: Small Change Tom Waits was sort of the blues influence rock needed at that time. Tom Waits hated the hippie culture in the late 60s and didn’t like psychedelic music or hard rock. He felt rock at the time didn’t have enough emotion or personal feeling attached to it. When Tom Waits started recording in the early 70s, he was doing something far different than everyone else. He was playing very bluesy rock, that almost had sort of a vaudeville feel to it. He sang with lots of emotion and his songs sort of had a dark feel to them. His music almost reminds me of a haunted circus, but that’s what makes Tom Waits so incredible, he can invoke such deep feelings and get a unique sound and style from it. Tom Waits started off doing folk and jazz in clubs and when he started recording albums, he put that dirty blues and folk influences in his albums. I can’t really describe Tom Wait’s music other than what I previously stated, but he definitely has one of the most unique voices in rock and does a fine job creating some very deep songs. Best Album: Small Change 67 67. Big Star Big Star is that band mainly known for having Alex Chilton, who would be later be referenced in that Replacements song, but Big Star are a band from America that decided to cash in on the glam scene, while at the same time not straying too far away from the rock roots established by the Beatles and Kinks. They were singing big melodies like they were a pop band, but playing heavy power chords like they were a rock band, which became known as power pop later. They might not have been the first power pop band, but they were possibly the most famous consistent one, sure the Beatles and Kinks messed around with power pop, but weren’t power pop bands. Big Star were actually pretty close to the Beatles musically, with their incredible harmonies, and catchy guitar riffs. Big Star went on to have a huge influence on alternative rock, and there’s no denying Big Star were a very catchy band. Best Album: Third Big Star is that band mainly known for having Alex Chilton, who would be later be referenced in that Replacements song, but Big Star are a band from America that decided to cash in on the glam scene, while at the same time not straying too far away from the rock roots established by the Beatles and Kinks. They were singing big melodies like they were a pop band, but playing heavy power chords like they were a rock band, which became known as power pop later. They might not have been the first power pop band, but they were possibly the most famous consistent one, sure the Beatles and Kinks messed around with power pop, but weren’t power pop bands. Big Star were actually pretty close to the Beatles musically, with their incredible harmonies, and catchy guitar riffs. Big Star went on to have a huge influence on alternative rock, and there’s no denying Big Star were a very catchy band. Best Album: Third 68 68. Focus Focus is another awesome 70s progressive band. I know by now you all are probably tired of seeing so much progressive on this list so I’ll make it short. Focus is an incredible prog band from the Netherlands and they have some amazing jams. Lots of hammond organ and flute along with great guitar solos and riffs. In fact, there isn’t really anything to hate about these guys, they have everything you could ask for in a progressive band. Tons of keyboard and solos check, incredible breakneck speed drumming check, acoustic guitar and electric guitar solos check, complex bass lines check, jazz influenced flute check, unique and melodic vocals/harmonies check, and songs that exceed 15 minutes check. They are just an incredible band that had a very raw progressive sound. Plus they have a very odd singer, who likes to yodel songs. Best Album: Moving in Waves or Focus 3 Focus is another awesome 70s progressive band. I know by now you all are probably tired of seeing so much progressive on this list so I’ll make it short. Focus is an incredible prog band from the Netherlands and they have some amazing jams. Lots of hammond organ and flute along with great guitar solos and riffs. In fact, there isn’t really anything to hate about these guys, they have everything you could ask for in a progressive band. Tons of keyboard and solos check, incredible breakneck speed drumming check, acoustic guitar and electric guitar solos check, complex bass lines check, jazz influenced flute check, unique and melodic vocals/harmonies check, and songs that exceed 15 minutes check. They are just an incredible band that had a very raw progressive sound. Plus they have a very odd singer, who likes to yodel songs. Best Album: Moving in Waves or Focus 3 69 69. Premiata Forneria Marconi During the 70s there was really 3 main prog influences. Of course, you had your core prog groups from England like Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, and ELP, then you had your German area prog groups like Can, Focus, and Tangerine Dream, and then finally you had your Italian prog like PFM and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Premiata was by far the finest prog group to emerge from Italy. They blended prog with sort of pleasant classical sounding passages. They used lots of awesome synth, and even combined some jazz into their albums. They were one of the most diverse prog acts of their time. There albums flowed so well, and their vocals were smooth and had sort of a 60s feel to them. All the members of the band are so talented. They are by far, one of the most pleasant prog groups of the 70s, and one of my favorite to listen to. Best Album: Storia Di Un Minuto During the 70s there was really 3 main prog influences. Of course, you had your core prog groups from England like Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, and ELP, then you had your German area prog groups like Can, Focus, and Tangerine Dream, and then finally you had your Italian prog like PFM and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Premiata was by far the finest prog group to emerge from Italy. They blended prog with sort of pleasant classical sounding passages. They used lots of awesome synth, and even combined some jazz into their albums. They were one of the most diverse prog acts of their time. There albums flowed so well, and their vocals were smooth and had sort of a 60s feel to them. All the members of the band are so talented. They are by far, one of the most pleasant prog groups of the 70s, and one of my favorite to listen to. Best Album: Storia Di Un Minuto 70 70. Derek and The Dominos These guys are incredible, they went on and recorded one album before breaking up. The group included two guitar legends, Duane Allman and Eric Clapton. It’s quite a shame they only made it through one album. There isn’t much to say about this album, other than it is the definition of what made blues rock great. The guitar soloing is incredible and everything is just so well crafted in this album that it definitely places these guys on the chart, despite their short run. Some bands are never able to produce albums even half as good as Derek and the Dominoes in their entire career, let alone on their first attempt. Its such a shame the band had to dissolve and Duane had to die later that year. Overall, its just a really incredible album, put forth by very talented musicians and is definitely one of the highlights of the 70s. Some of the finest blues rock and jams I’ve heard. Best Album: Layla (It’s also their only album) These guys are incredible, they went on and recorded one album before breaking up. The group included two guitar legends, Duane Allman and Eric Clapton. It’s quite a shame they only made it through one album. There isn’t much to say about this album, other than it is the definition of what made blues rock great. The guitar soloing is incredible and everything is just so well crafted in this album that it definitely places these guys on the chart, despite their short run. Some bands are never able to produce albums even half as good as Derek and the Dominoes in their entire career, let alone on their first attempt. Its such a shame the band had to dissolve and Duane had to die later that year. Overall, its just a really incredible album, put forth by very talented musicians and is definitely one of the highlights of the 70s. Some of the finest blues rock and jams I’ve heard. Best Album: Layla (It’s also their only album) 71 71. Syd Barrett Syd was the forgotten member of Pink Floyd, only being able to complete one album with the band before losing his mind to LSD. He then went solo once he cleared his mind up a little, working with David Gilmour and members of Soft Machine to back him up. He only released 2 albums in his solo career but they were very good efforts and much better than what Pink Floyd was doing during that year. It was pretty much an extension of Piper, but just remove a bit of the psychedelic and add a bit more folk. Barrett was essentially a mad man recording very personal music, and we’re lucky to get those 2 albums before he faded into obscurity and lived a quiet life. Top Album: The Madcaps Laugh Syd was the forgotten member of Pink Floyd, only being able to complete one album with the band before losing his mind to LSD. He then went solo once he cleared his mind up a little, working with David Gilmour and members of Soft Machine to back him up. He only released 2 albums in his solo career but they were very good efforts and much better than what Pink Floyd was doing during that year. It was pretty much an extension of Piper, but just remove a bit of the psychedelic and add a bit more folk. Barrett was essentially a mad man recording very personal music, and we’re lucky to get those 2 albums before he faded into obscurity and lived a quiet life. Top Album: The Madcaps Laugh 72 72. Hawkwind What would the 70s be without some early space rock. Hawkwind is a group from England most notable for the inclusion of bassist Lemmy Kilmister, who would later become the frontman of Motorhead. Hawkwind helped pioneer space rock, and were basically an evolution of psychedelic rock from the late 60s. Lots of Hawkwinds songs revolve around instrumental jams, with repetitive and trippy bass/drum lines. They also had elements of punk and are often considered the bridge between punk and hippie cultures. They also used lots of synths, were were a new instrument at the time, giving them that surreal sound that would be harder to achieve with just an organ or piano. Hawkwinds influences stretched pretty far, influencing groups like the Sex Pistols, Ministry, and pretty much most neo psychedelic groups that followed them. They pretty much laid the groundwork for post 60s space rock and psychedelic music and produced some of the best jams of the early 70s. Unfortunately as the 70s progressed, Hawkwind started losing core members, and sort of changed their direction. But they helped pioneer a genre that is continuing to evolve today, and created some of the best live jams. Best Album: Space Ritual What would the 70s be without some early space rock. Hawkwind is a group from England most notable for the inclusion of bassist Lemmy Kilmister, who would later become the frontman of Motorhead. Hawkwind helped pioneer space rock, and were basically an evolution of psychedelic rock from the late 60s. Lots of Hawkwinds songs revolve around instrumental jams, with repetitive and trippy bass/drum lines. They also had elements of punk and are often considered the bridge between punk and hippie cultures. They also used lots of synths, were were a new instrument at the time, giving them that surreal sound that would be harder to achieve with just an organ or piano. Hawkwinds influences stretched pretty far, influencing groups like the Sex Pistols, Ministry, and pretty much most neo psychedelic groups that followed them. They pretty much laid the groundwork for post 60s space rock and psychedelic music and produced some of the best jams of the early 70s. Unfortunately as the 70s progressed, Hawkwind started losing core members, and sort of changed their direction. But they helped pioneer a genre that is continuing to evolve today, and created some of the best live jams. Best Album: Space Ritual 73 73. Paul McCartney This is also including the Wings. In the 70s, the Beatles all went their separate ways, as I stated in the description of John Lennon, Paul sort of stuck to his poppy, acoustic driven rock. Of course, Paul in the 70s was still pretty diverse, he did pop, rock n roll, folk, and continued to remain a huge icon in pop culture. While I prefer the direction John took in the 70s, Paul was just as successful and created some good albums. Paul started the decade off by releasing solo albums, including Ram and McCartney and then formed the Wings shortly after with his wife and remained with them the rest of the decade. The Wings had their share of good albums and singles, despite what people like to say. The Wings also had a lot of cheesy pop and generic rock. Once you dig through this though, you will find many gems. In fact, even the cheesy McCartney is still enjoyable to an extent. McCartney could cover a large range of music, and his voice is still as good as when he was with the Beatles. There are even songs where McCartney comes close to imitating former bandmate, John Lennon. Unfortunately, many people today overlook the Wings and Paul and blow it off as being cheesy and the low point in Paul’s career. Even though the Wings and Paul had there fair share of poor albums, there good albums were some of the best of the 70s and showed why Paul was a musical genius. Best Album: Band on the Run This is also including the Wings. In the 70s, the Beatles all went their separate ways, as I stated in the description of John Lennon, Paul sort of stuck to his poppy, acoustic driven rock. Of course, Paul in the 70s was still pretty diverse, he did pop, rock n roll, folk, and continued to remain a huge icon in pop culture. While I prefer the direction John took in the 70s, Paul was just as successful and created some good albums. Paul started the decade off by releasing solo albums, including Ram and McCartney and then formed the Wings shortly after with his wife and remained with them the rest of the decade. The Wings had their share of good albums and singles, despite what people like to say. The Wings also had a lot of cheesy pop and generic rock. Once you dig through this though, you will find many gems. In fact, even the cheesy McCartney is still enjoyable to an extent. McCartney could cover a large range of music, and his voice is still as good as when he was with the Beatles. There are even songs where McCartney comes close to imitating former bandmate, John Lennon. Unfortunately, many people today overlook the Wings and Paul and blow it off as being cheesy and the low point in Paul’s career. Even though the Wings and Paul had there fair share of poor albums, there good albums were some of the best of the 70s and showed why Paul was a musical genius. Best Album: Band on the Run 74 74. Thin Lizzy Long before U2, there was Thin Lizzy, arguable the first real Irish rock band to hit big. Aside from having some catchy songs, they were a pretty solid hard rock outfit that had some unforgettable classics. Bassist Phil Lynott is a big name for musicians, and for good reason, Thin Lizzy had some great solos and riffs. They were one of the classic rock bands who remained original and didn’t become sellouts like a lot of bands were doing as they reached popularity. There riffs and catchy song writing helped them write some of the most unforgettable anthems in 70s rock. They helped influence the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, and they could rock pretty hard. They were one of the best live acts of their time. Best Album: Live and Dangerous Long before U2, there was Thin Lizzy, arguable the first real Irish rock band to hit big. Aside from having some catchy songs, they were a pretty solid hard rock outfit that had some unforgettable classics. Bassist Phil Lynott is a big name for musicians, and for good reason, Thin Lizzy had some great solos and riffs. They were one of the classic rock bands who remained original and didn’t become sellouts like a lot of bands were doing as they reached popularity. There riffs and catchy song writing helped them write some of the most unforgettable anthems in 70s rock. They helped influence the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, and they could rock pretty hard. They were one of the best live acts of their time. Best Album: Live and Dangerous 75 75. Mike Oldfield Not many people know who this guy is, well outside of England at least where his early albums were highly successful. Mike Oldfield you could say was the godfather of new age and symphonic prog. Oldfield music was very relaxing in filled with lots of medieval and folk influences. While listening to his music, you’d swear a lot of it is off a soundtrack for some medieval film set in an ancient countryside somewhere. This is what separates Oldfield from the other prog rockers. He wanted to achieve a sense of peace and serenity in his music, as well as professionalism. Mike not only composed his own music, he played nearly every instrument, guitar, bass, various percussive instruments, piano, and to top that off he really only created long songs during the 70s. In fact it wasn’t until the end of the 70s, 1979 that Oldfield opted to produce an album with various short songs in favor of a two song album each averaging in around 25 minutes. Oldfield does kind of take a certain type of ear and appreciation for ambient sounding and classical music to fully understand his music. A lot of it starts off really slow and ambient and very slowly works towards a climax, where it picks up and gets a lot faster. Mike Oldfield also liked experimenting with various instruments like Tubular Bells, flutes, and synthesizers, as is relevant in much of his songs. Oldfield drew off lots of influences and used it to create modern classical music, with prog and slight rock influences. Some of his songs tend to drag on a little and are slow, but they are very relaxing and good to listen to when you want to sit back and relax. He was a genius at composing long songs and keeps them original and interesting enough where they don’t just completely bore the listener. Best Album: Tubular Bells Not many people know who this guy is, well outside of England at least where his early albums were highly successful. Mike Oldfield you could say was the godfather of new age and symphonic prog. Oldfield music was very relaxing in filled with lots of medieval and folk influences. While listening to his music, you’d swear a lot of it is off a soundtrack for some medieval film set in an ancient countryside somewhere. This is what separates Oldfield from the other prog rockers. He wanted to achieve a sense of peace and serenity in his music, as well as professionalism. Mike not only composed his own music, he played nearly every instrument, guitar, bass, various percussive instruments, piano, and to top that off he really only created long songs during the 70s. In fact it wasn’t until the end of the 70s, 1979 that Oldfield opted to produce an album with various short songs in favor of a two song album each averaging in around 25 minutes. Oldfield does kind of take a certain type of ear and appreciation for ambient sounding and classical music to fully understand his music. A lot of it starts off really slow and ambient and very slowly works towards a climax, where it picks up and gets a lot faster. Mike Oldfield also liked experimenting with various instruments like Tubular Bells, flutes, and synthesizers, as is relevant in much of his songs. Oldfield drew off lots of influences and used it to create modern classical music, with prog and slight rock influences. Some of his songs tend to drag on a little and are slow, but they are very relaxing and good to listen to when you want to sit back and relax. He was a genius at composing long songs and keeps them original and interesting enough where they don’t just completely bore the listener. Best Album: Tubular Bells 76 76. Lou Reed Lou Reed’s solo work was more or less an expansion of the Velvet Underground, just minus some of the more experimental stuff. Lou Reed’s solo music was a bit more accessible to the public, imagine a more pop-oriented Velvet Underground, but at the same time he also did some experimental stuff to show he wasn’t going to conform. Plus his voice was surprisingly soothing, despite the fact that it wasn’t very musical. Best Album: Transformer Lou Reed’s solo work was more or less an expansion of the Velvet Underground, just minus some of the more experimental stuff. Lou Reed’s solo music was a bit more accessible to the public, imagine a more pop-oriented Velvet Underground, but at the same time he also did some experimental stuff to show he wasn’t going to conform. Plus his voice was surprisingly soothing, despite the fact that it wasn’t very musical. Best Album: Transformer 77 77. Cheap Trick Another Chicago area band that I think is great. Cheap Trick was one of the most consistent hard rock bands of the 70s. They sort of had a punk sound to them, but weren’t quite punk. They had some of the catchiest songs of the late 70s and managed to be original and avoid being Cheesy unlike their rivals like Styx and to an extend Foreigner. Cheap Trick’s live material from the 70s is essential and some of the greatest hard rock of all time, especially the incredible guitar work and soloing. These guys were a little bizarre and sarcastic but that only adds to their likableness. These guys were everything that was good about hard rock in the late 70s, and they even had sort of a rockabilly sound to them. Best Album: At Budokan Another Chicago area band that I think is great. Cheap Trick was one of the most consistent hard rock bands of the 70s. They sort of had a punk sound to them, but weren’t quite punk. They had some of the catchiest songs of the late 70s and managed to be original and avoid being Cheesy unlike their rivals like Styx and to an extend Foreigner. Cheap Trick’s live material from the 70s is essential and some of the greatest hard rock of all time, especially the incredible guitar work and soloing. These guys were a little bizarre and sarcastic but that only adds to their likableness. These guys were everything that was good about hard rock in the late 70s, and they even had sort of a rockabilly sound to them. Best Album: At Budokan 78 78. Nektar Nektar isn’t one of my favorite progressive rock bands, but they are essential for any prog fan, and are often overlooked or underrated, their highest rated album on this site deserves at least a 3.90. Nektar is another German progressive rock group who obtained a cult following throughout the years. During the early 70s, Nektar produced some awesome prog rock albums with tons of cool solos and riffs, and almost had a psychedelic sound to them. Sure you had other mainland European prog bands like Focus and Can who could create more advanced and professional albums, but Nektars albums had a bit of a rawer sound. They were all about the riffs and were definitely not lacking in that field. Nektar also had pretty good solos as well, and were a pretty well rounded band. Unfortunately, they started dropping their progressive sound and went for more of a pop influence in their late 70s albums. Still, their early 70s work is highly enjoyable and some of the best prog out there. Best Album: A Tab in the Ocean Nektar isn’t one of my favorite progressive rock bands, but they are essential for any prog fan, and are often overlooked or underrated, their highest rated album on this site deserves at least a 3.90. Nektar is another German progressive rock group who obtained a cult following throughout the years. During the early 70s, Nektar produced some awesome prog rock albums with tons of cool solos and riffs, and almost had a psychedelic sound to them. Sure you had other mainland European prog bands like Focus and Can who could create more advanced and professional albums, but Nektars albums had a bit of a rawer sound. They were all about the riffs and were definitely not lacking in that field. Nektar also had pretty good solos as well, and were a pretty well rounded band. Unfortunately, they started dropping their progressive sound and went for more of a pop influence in their late 70s albums. Still, their early 70s work is highly enjoyable and some of the best prog out there. Best Album: A Tab in the Ocean 79 79. Renaissance Renaissance is sort of another odd prog rock group, being the fact that their classic lineup was entirely different than their 60s lineup, and they were also one of the onlly progressive rock groups to feature a female lead vocalist. Renaissance were on the softer side of prog and played some very happy and laid back symphonic prog. And like most prog bands, they also had some amazing instrumental passages and long jams with tons of soloing. They were definitely one of the best symphonic prog groups of all time. Best Album: Scheherazade and Other Stories Renaissance is sort of another odd prog rock group, being the fact that their classic lineup was entirely different than their 60s lineup, and they were also one of the onlly progressive rock groups to feature a female lead vocalist. Renaissance were on the softer side of prog and played some very happy and laid back symphonic prog. And like most prog bands, they also had some amazing instrumental passages and long jams with tons of soloing. They were definitely one of the best symphonic prog groups of all time. Best Album: Scheherazade and Other Stories 80 80. John Martyn John Martyn is another folk singer of the 70s, sure folk singers during the 70s were so common that they were pretty much a dime a dozen, but to stand out as a folk singer was difficult, and John Martyn was able to. His music was very atmospheric and bit eccentric, which gave him an edge over many of his contemporaries. Best Album: Solid Air John Martyn is another folk singer of the 70s, sure folk singers during the 70s were so common that they were pretty much a dime a dozen, but to stand out as a folk singer was difficult, and John Martyn was able to. His music was very atmospheric and bit eccentric, which gave him an edge over many of his contemporaries. Best Album: Solid Air 81 81. Iggy Pop After the Stooges, it really came no surprise Iggy went solo. His solo stuff was pretty similar overall, hard rock and proto punk, it was catchy and fun music, and well that pretty much is what Iggy is, not much to say other than read the Stooges overview for a more in depth on the music style. Best Album: Lust for Life After the Stooges, it really came no surprise Iggy went solo. His solo stuff was pretty similar overall, hard rock and proto punk, it was catchy and fun music, and well that pretty much is what Iggy is, not much to say other than read the Stooges overview for a more in depth on the music style. Best Album: Lust for Life 82 82. Fleetwood Mac During the 1970s, you had a lot of pop and female fronted bands, particularly during the earlier half of the decade, before AOR and disco started taking over in the later half. The difference between these other female fronted pop bands and Fleetwood Mac is the fact that Fleetwood Mac not only had 2 female vocalists, but they were backed by incredible musicians. Fleetwood Mac was actually originally a British rock band started in the late 60s by former John Mayall drummer. In fact it wasn’t until 1973 that Fleetwood Mac moved over to the United States and 1975 when they formed their all star lineup consisting of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and keyboardist/vocalist Stevie Nicks, and by this time Mick Fleetwood was really the only true original member. Although mid-late 70s Fleetwood Mac was more polished, I think early 70s Fleetwood deserves more credit, sure they were still searching for their sound, but were some pretty solid rock. By the time they released their self-titled album in 1975, they were struggling to find their sound and lineup but with Stevie and Lindsey coming to the band, they were able to find their place in music history and record some very laid back and incredible pop rock with a little bit of country. Stevie Nicks was a pretty good song writer and uses very realistic and personal themes in her songs. Its amazing what this band was able to do, especially considering that while recording Rumours, the band was constantly fighting with each other and dealing with addictions, plus John McVie and Mick Fleetwood going through rough divorces and Lindsey breaking up with Stevie. Despite the tension, this band managed to record some very pop friendly and catchy albums with some incredible musicianship. Fleetwood Mac was practically done for at the end of the 70s with the recording of Tusk, which was their last album to feature their all star lineup. Still, Fleetwood Mac created some of the most well known and catchiest albums of the 70s, and were the very definition of successful female fronted pop. They were incredible at all the instruments they played and their collaborative work and harmonies were top notch. Best Album: Rumours During the 1970s, you had a lot of pop and female fronted bands, particularly during the earlier half of the decade, before AOR and disco started taking over in the later half. The difference between these other female fronted pop bands and Fleetwood Mac is the fact that Fleetwood Mac not only had 2 female vocalists, but they were backed by incredible musicians. Fleetwood Mac was actually originally a British rock band started in the late 60s by former John Mayall drummer. In fact it wasn’t until 1973 that Fleetwood Mac moved over to the United States and 1975 when they formed their all star lineup consisting of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and keyboardist/vocalist Stevie Nicks, and by this time Mick Fleetwood was really the only true original member. Although mid-late 70s Fleetwood Mac was more polished, I think early 70s Fleetwood deserves more credit, sure they were still searching for their sound, but were some pretty solid rock. By the time they released their self-titled album in 1975, they were struggling to find their sound and lineup but with Stevie and Lindsey coming to the band, they were able to find their place in music history and record some very laid back and incredible pop rock with a little bit of country. Stevie Nicks was a pretty good song writer and uses very realistic and personal themes in her songs. Its amazing what this band was able to do, especially considering that while recording Rumours, the band was constantly fighting with each other and dealing with addictions, plus John McVie and Mick Fleetwood going through rough divorces and Lindsey breaking up with Stevie. Despite the tension, this band managed to record some very pop friendly and catchy albums with some incredible musicianship. Fleetwood Mac was practically done for at the end of the 70s with the recording of Tusk, which was their last album to feature their all star lineup. Still, Fleetwood Mac created some of the most well known and catchiest albums of the 70s, and were the very definition of successful female fronted pop. They were incredible at all the instruments they played and their collaborative work and harmonies were top notch. Best Album: Rumours 83 83. Alice Cooper Alice Cooper was sort of considered the odd one out of his time period. He created some of the strangest and most cynical/darkest music of his time. He had musical themes that dealt with monsters, people getting murdered, and abusive marriages. Yet, Alice has since maintained sort of a cult following, and since, become one of the biggest names in rock music. Schools Out has sort of become an anthem for high school students graduating, as well as inspired the inclusion of the children’s chorus in Another Brick in the Wall Part II by Pink Floyd. I actually saw Cooper live last month, he was the opening act for Iron Maiden. Although I’m not including him for this reason, Cooper really created some of the most unique and awesome albums of his time. His music had a very raw sound, as well as glam. Some of his music even had a vaudeville feel, half of Alice Cooper is the way he presents his music. He’s one hell of a live act, and knows how to put on an interesting show. His music lets your imagination wander, rather than staying predictable and plain. Cooper had his share of generic and bland 70s albums as well, but much of his early/mid 70s albums are essential and help Alice define his trademark style. His backing band does a great job backing his sinister vocals, and produce a few great solos and riffs of their own. Cooper’s had too many band members backing him up to count and frequently changes them. He was one of the most unique and awesome figures and music and surprisingly is still goings strong at 64, apparently he said hes waiting for Mick Jagger to retire, then he wants to go 6 more years so he can equal Mick Jagger’s longevity. Best Album: Billion Dollar Babies or Welcome to My Nightmare Alice Cooper was sort of considered the odd one out of his time period. He created some of the strangest and most cynical/darkest music of his time. He had musical themes that dealt with monsters, people getting murdered, and abusive marriages. Yet, Alice has since maintained sort of a cult following, and since, become one of the biggest names in rock music. Schools Out has sort of become an anthem for high school students graduating, as well as inspired the inclusion of the children’s chorus in Another Brick in the Wall Part II by Pink Floyd. I actually saw Cooper live last month, he was the opening act for Iron Maiden. Although I’m not including him for this reason, Cooper really created some of the most unique and awesome albums of his time. His music had a very raw sound, as well as glam. Some of his music even had a vaudeville feel, half of Alice Cooper is the way he presents his music. He’s one hell of a live act, and knows how to put on an interesting show. His music lets your imagination wander, rather than staying predictable and plain. Cooper had his share of generic and bland 70s albums as well, but much of his early/mid 70s albums are essential and help Alice define his trademark style. His backing band does a great job backing his sinister vocals, and produce a few great solos and riffs of their own. Cooper’s had too many band members backing him up to count and frequently changes them. He was one of the most unique and awesome figures and music and surprisingly is still goings strong at 64, apparently he said hes waiting for Mick Jagger to retire, then he wants to go 6 more years so he can equal Mick Jagger’s longevity. Best Album: Billion Dollar Babies or Welcome to My Nightmare 84 84. Scorpions Like Golden Earring, the Scorpions are a European hard rock group often associated with the 80s, despite having been around since the mid 60s. The Scorpions created some of the greatest rock anthems of the late 70s, and were really one of the few hard rock groups that hadn’t lost their touch by the end of the decade, by the contrary, they only got better as the decade progressed. Despite being from Germany, the Scorpion’s lead singer could sing in perfect English and put power and emotion into his voice. The guitar riffs of the Scorpions were superb and original and they also had some great drumming. Of course they were also a controversial band, their Virgin Killer album had a naked 10 year old girl on its front, damn those Europeans can literally get away with anything over their. But despite this controversy, they still managed to gain a reputation across Europe and even across to the US. Although after a strong decade of hard rock, the Scorpions decide to go with more adult friendly and generic rock in the 80s. Best Album: Taken By Force Like Golden Earring, the Scorpions are a European hard rock group often associated with the 80s, despite having been around since the mid 60s. The Scorpions created some of the greatest rock anthems of the late 70s, and were really one of the few hard rock groups that hadn’t lost their touch by the end of the decade, by the contrary, they only got better as the decade progressed. Despite being from Germany, the Scorpion’s lead singer could sing in perfect English and put power and emotion into his voice. The guitar riffs of the Scorpions were superb and original and they also had some great drumming. Of course they were also a controversial band, their Virgin Killer album had a naked 10 year old girl on its front, damn those Europeans can literally get away with anything over their. But despite this controversy, they still managed to gain a reputation across Europe and even across to the US. Although after a strong decade of hard rock, the Scorpions decide to go with more adult friendly and generic rock in the 80s. Best Album: Taken By Force 85 85. Traffic Traffic were sort of an odd band, creating some very psychedelic and folk based albums, and they used lots of mellotron. They were one of the most diverse groups of there time, playing folk, psychedelic, jazz, and blues. Steve Winwood was awesome on keyboards and could provide some interesting riffs, while the guitar and bass riffs also were interesting. Traffic was just a very interesting band, despite being a bit inconsistent. Best Album: John Barleycorn Must Die Traffic were sort of an odd band, creating some very psychedelic and folk based albums, and they used lots of mellotron. They were one of the most diverse groups of there time, playing folk, psychedelic, jazz, and blues. Steve Winwood was awesome on keyboards and could provide some interesting riffs, while the guitar and bass riffs also were interesting. Traffic was just a very interesting band, despite being a bit inconsistent. Best Album: John Barleycorn Must Die 86 86. Electric Light Orchestra Electric Light Orchestra was a pretty unique band for their time, imagine taking a symphony orchestra composed of lots of violins and stringed instruments backing up a rock n roll band. ELO is a very unique sounding band, and very diverse. They weren’t quite a rock n roll band, they weren’t really classical, nor were they all that pop. Instead they were a little of everything, they even touched on progressive rock territory with some very Beatles sounding violin in some of their songs, similar to Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour albums. Their music had sort of a Beatles feel to it. John Lennon himself once stated that if the Beatles were still around in the 70s, they’d be making music just like ELO. ELO did a little of everything in their albums, a little bit of classical rock n roll, a little disco, a little pop, a little folk, even a little spacey sounding. Singer Jeff Lynne kind of has a John Lennon type of voice that works well. ELO had so much rhythm and are highly catchy to listen to. They are one of the few rock bands that mixes classically inspired violins with rock music to acquire a very diverse sound. They are a very happy band and have some really good melodies. They were one of the bands that defined the diverse style of music in the 70s. Best Album: A New World Record Electric Light Orchestra was a pretty unique band for their time, imagine taking a symphony orchestra composed of lots of violins and stringed instruments backing up a rock n roll band. ELO is a very unique sounding band, and very diverse. They weren’t quite a rock n roll band, they weren’t really classical, nor were they all that pop. Instead they were a little of everything, they even touched on progressive rock territory with some very Beatles sounding violin in some of their songs, similar to Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour albums. Their music had sort of a Beatles feel to it. John Lennon himself once stated that if the Beatles were still around in the 70s, they’d be making music just like ELO. ELO did a little of everything in their albums, a little bit of classical rock n roll, a little disco, a little pop, a little folk, even a little spacey sounding. Singer Jeff Lynne kind of has a John Lennon type of voice that works well. ELO had so much rhythm and are highly catchy to listen to. They are one of the few rock bands that mixes classically inspired violins with rock music to acquire a very diverse sound. They are a very happy band and have some really good melodies. They were one of the bands that defined the diverse style of music in the 70s. Best Album: A New World Record 87 87. Blondie As much as you guys might hate to admit, Blondie represents everything that was good and creative about the new wave generation. Blondie is sort of an odd band when you think of it, featuring an attractive skinny youthful looking blonde woman (Debbie Harry), surrounded by 5 odd looking dark haired guys who played the instruments. Although she has that look on her face on the album cover of Parallel Lines as well as attitude in the way she things, that says “Touch me and I’ll kick your asses, I don’t care if I’m in a white dress and high heels, stay the hell away”. Although she did date the guitarist for a while. And Debbie was very much an independent strong woman. I’m not much for female singers in rock music, they usually end up being too innocent or smooth for the style they are going for, but Debbie’s vocals have so much emotion and sensuality behind them, that you immediately get hooked into the music. Debbie was a rock icon, becoming a sex icon of the late 70s and early 80s, as well as having her share of relationships with both men and woman, and of course drugs and alcohol she was addicted to, and shockingly enough she never married or had kids. Yet despite Debbie being the driving force behind Blondie, lets not forget the awesome backing band, who created a very interesting and creative sound to accompany Harry’s vocals. The guitar work was simplistic, yet was catchy and rocked and the keyboards were very typical of new wave going on at the time. In fact, Blondie were experimenting with many different styles in the late 70s, aside from their typical new wave, they also did a little punk, disco, power pop, and rock. The band just put a lot of energy and catchiness into their riffs, and had a great singer, and created some of the most well known new wave of the 70s. Best Album: Parallel Lines As much as you guys might hate to admit, Blondie represents everything that was good and creative about the new wave generation. Blondie is sort of an odd band when you think of it, featuring an attractive skinny youthful looking blonde woman (Debbie Harry), surrounded by 5 odd looking dark haired guys who played the instruments. Although she has that look on her face on the album cover of Parallel Lines as well as attitude in the way she things, that says “Touch me and I’ll kick your asses, I don’t care if I’m in a white dress and high heels, stay the hell away”. Although she did date the guitarist for a while. And Debbie was very much an independent strong woman. I’m not much for female singers in rock music, they usually end up being too innocent or smooth for the style they are going for, but Debbie’s vocals have so much emotion and sensuality behind them, that you immediately get hooked into the music. Debbie was a rock icon, becoming a sex icon of the late 70s and early 80s, as well as having her share of relationships with both men and woman, and of course drugs and alcohol she was addicted to, and shockingly enough she never married or had kids. Yet despite Debbie being the driving force behind Blondie, lets not forget the awesome backing band, who created a very interesting and creative sound to accompany Harry’s vocals. The guitar work was simplistic, yet was catchy and rocked and the keyboards were very typical of new wave going on at the time. In fact, Blondie were experimenting with many different styles in the late 70s, aside from their typical new wave, they also did a little punk, disco, power pop, and rock. The band just put a lot of energy and catchiness into their riffs, and had a great singer, and created some of the most well known new wave of the 70s. Best Album: Parallel Lines 88 88. Ramones The punk scene in the United States was pretty bland, while England had staple punk groups like The Clash, Sex Pistols, and Patti Smith, all the United States really had to rival England was the Ramones. Yet the Ramones were good enough to rival anything the Clash or Sex Pistols released. The Ramones were all about anarchy, rebellion, and good old rock n roll. The Ramones were even more arguably punk than the Clash, who were more experimental and mixed other genres. You can tell a Ramones song as soon as it begins, with a single repeated driving guitar chord strummed in rhythm over and over followed by bass and drums playing the same note over and over with basic chord changes and patterns and sort of a bad boy attitude. The vocals were equally as repetitive and stayed in a simple range for the most part. Yet, this is what defined punk, the Ramones were the rock n roll of the 70s. The children of the baby boom generation who used rock n roll and Elvis Presley and the Beatles to rebel against their parents and society were in the same shoes as their parent’s. Children of the baby boomers were listening to the Ramones and punk to rebel against their parents, which had similar elements of rock n roll, only a lot more provocative and upbeat. The lyrics to some of their songs were just nonsensical fun, consisting of repeating single syllables over and over or simple just AY OH. Yet the Ramones had so much energy behind their music and were doing something that was never done before in rock music. They were creating music that was so simple, and so catchy at the same time, that it was almost genius. Best Album: It’s Alive The punk scene in the United States was pretty bland, while England had staple punk groups like The Clash, Sex Pistols, and Patti Smith, all the United States really had to rival England was the Ramones. Yet the Ramones were good enough to rival anything the Clash or Sex Pistols released. The Ramones were all about anarchy, rebellion, and good old rock n roll. The Ramones were even more arguably punk than the Clash, who were more experimental and mixed other genres. You can tell a Ramones song as soon as it begins, with a single repeated driving guitar chord strummed in rhythm over and over followed by bass and drums playing the same note over and over with basic chord changes and patterns and sort of a bad boy attitude. The vocals were equally as repetitive and stayed in a simple range for the most part. Yet, this is what defined punk, the Ramones were the rock n roll of the 70s. The children of the baby boom generation who used rock n roll and Elvis Presley and the Beatles to rebel against their parents and society were in the same shoes as their parent’s. Children of the baby boomers were listening to the Ramones and punk to rebel against their parents, which had similar elements of rock n roll, only a lot more provocative and upbeat. The lyrics to some of their songs were just nonsensical fun, consisting of repeating single syllables over and over or simple just AY OH. Yet the Ramones had so much energy behind their music and were doing something that was never done before in rock music. They were creating music that was so simple, and so catchy at the same time, that it was almost genius. Best Album: It’s Alive 89 89. Faust Can may have been the top Krautrock band of their time, but Faust was a pretty close contender, and I feel like Faust were on the more experimental/Jazzy side of Krautrock where Can were more on the rock/funk side. Faust were overall pretty repetitive but their music was far from simple, it was layered with electronic sounds and psychedelic inspired riffs, it was how psychedelic music continued to thrive in the 70s, it evolved into genres like Krautrock and some hard rock, and of course later it would be revived with neo psychedelia but Faust helped give Krautrock a good push, and were playing a very different spectrum of Krautrock than the other bands of the time, giving them that unique sound. Best Album: Faust IV or Faust Can may have been the top Krautrock band of their time, but Faust was a pretty close contender, and I feel like Faust were on the more experimental/Jazzy side of Krautrock where Can were more on the rock/funk side. Faust were overall pretty repetitive but their music was far from simple, it was layered with electronic sounds and psychedelic inspired riffs, it was how psychedelic music continued to thrive in the 70s, it evolved into genres like Krautrock and some hard rock, and of course later it would be revived with neo psychedelia but Faust helped give Krautrock a good push, and were playing a very different spectrum of Krautrock than the other bands of the time, giving them that unique sound. Best Album: Faust IV or Faust 90 90. Elvis Presley There are many people who refuse to listen to any of Elvis’ albums or singles after the 50s. Many state Elvis grew fat, started becoming a lounge act, and lost his powerful influence on music and energy he had back in the late 50s. This may be true of Elvis of the 60s. After 1962, Elvis started appearing in a lot of cheesy, and god awful movies, that for the most part, ended up flopping and making Elvis look like a joke. While bands around him at the time (ironically many who he directly influenced) like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and even the Beach Boys were constantly changing the direction of the music industry and the way people listened to music, as well as were experimenting and changing their sound as the decade progressed (listen to how different the Beatles early material sounds to their late psychedelic and blues albums). Meanwhile Elvis was playing the same, lounge type, family friendly pop rock throughout most of the 60s. He was close to becoming a washed up musician and he lost the interest of many of his fans and was having trouble reaching out to new audiences. Then in 1968, he broke through with his comeback special, thankfully the media was still interested in making Elvis a star again. Elvis showed in that special that he still possessed the energy and passion, as well as originality and charm he had back in the late 50s. In no time, Elvis was back on the pop charts, with some of his most original and influential songs. Elvis stated himself he was a new man and would no longer star in movies he wasn’t interested in. Elvis in the 70s was a lot more confident and mature than the Elvis of the 60s. He played some of his greatest live shows, and sang some of his greatest material. In my opinion, 70s Elvis was almost as good as 50s Elvis. Instead of just sticking to radio friendly pop rock, he instead explored different genres. He did a little country, he started getting back into gospel, he did soul, and of course his trademark rock n roll. Elvis of the 70s was much more diverse than ever. Elvis was starting to reach middle age, he was already 35 at the start of the decade. But if he was getting older, he sure wasn’t showing it, putting lots of energy into his performances, and his voice had more power behind it than ever. Elvis also changed his image. He was no longer a shy, humble young adult, but a rock legend. He started wearing capes, suits studded in diamonds, and sunglasses. This new image and diverse sound helped Elvis climb back up the billboards and regain the interest of his fans, as well as helped him reach out to new fans who were too young to appreciate Elvis back in his heyday. Elvis had to have been one of the best live acts of the 70s, and that voice, simply unforgettable. I think more people need to give 70s Elvis another chance, I can understand ignoring 60s Elvis, but 70s Elvis was the complete opposite of 60s Elvis. Elvis was finally fitting in with the times and unfortunately he died in 1977. Who knows where he would have went from there, but Elvis in the 70s was simply unstoppable. Best Album: Elvis in Person There are many people who refuse to listen to any of Elvis’ albums or singles after the 50s. Many state Elvis grew fat, started becoming a lounge act, and lost his powerful influence on music and energy he had back in the late 50s. This may be true of Elvis of the 60s. After 1962, Elvis started appearing in a lot of cheesy, and god awful movies, that for the most part, ended up flopping and making Elvis look like a joke. While bands around him at the time (ironically many who he directly influenced) like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and even the Beach Boys were constantly changing the direction of the music industry and the way people listened to music, as well as were experimenting and changing their sound as the decade progressed (listen to how different the Beatles early material sounds to their late psychedelic and blues albums). Meanwhile Elvis was playing the same, lounge type, family friendly pop rock throughout most of the 60s. He was close to becoming a washed up musician and he lost the interest of many of his fans and was having trouble reaching out to new audiences. Then in 1968, he broke through with his comeback special, thankfully the media was still interested in making Elvis a star again. Elvis showed in that special that he still possessed the energy and passion, as well as originality and charm he had back in the late 50s. In no time, Elvis was back on the pop charts, with some of his most original and influential songs. Elvis stated himself he was a new man and would no longer star in movies he wasn’t interested in. Elvis in the 70s was a lot more confident and mature than the Elvis of the 60s. He played some of his greatest live shows, and sang some of his greatest material. In my opinion, 70s Elvis was almost as good as 50s Elvis. Instead of just sticking to radio friendly pop rock, he instead explored different genres. He did a little country, he started getting back into gospel, he did soul, and of course his trademark rock n roll. Elvis of the 70s was much more diverse than ever. Elvis was starting to reach middle age, he was already 35 at the start of the decade. But if he was getting older, he sure wasn’t showing it, putting lots of energy into his performances, and his voice had more power behind it than ever. Elvis also changed his image. He was no longer a shy, humble young adult, but a rock legend. He started wearing capes, suits studded in diamonds, and sunglasses. This new image and diverse sound helped Elvis climb back up the billboards and regain the interest of his fans, as well as helped him reach out to new fans who were too young to appreciate Elvis back in his heyday. Elvis had to have been one of the best live acts of the 70s, and that voice, simply unforgettable. I think more people need to give 70s Elvis another chance, I can understand ignoring 60s Elvis, but 70s Elvis was the complete opposite of 60s Elvis. Elvis was finally fitting in with the times and unfortunately he died in 1977. Who knows where he would have went from there, but Elvis in the 70s was simply unstoppable. Best Album: Elvis in Person 91 91. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers You know the phase goes, haters gonna hate, and well, this is more than true for Tom Petty, he has a lot of haters. Yet, there no denying Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were one of the biggest acts of their time, as well as one of the greatest live acts. Tom Petty was heavily influenced by blues and rock n roll, and created lots of great riffs. Most of Tom Pettys songs were short and to the point, which is what I like about him. Sometimes I don’t have the time or patience to listen to long, extended jams or albums. Tom Petty rocked and made some of the catchiest singles of the late 70s. His music was very straightforward and true to its genre. His acoustic songs are also some good ones. Best Album: Damn the Torpedoes You know the phase goes, haters gonna hate, and well, this is more than true for Tom Petty, he has a lot of haters. Yet, there no denying Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were one of the biggest acts of their time, as well as one of the greatest live acts. Tom Petty was heavily influenced by blues and rock n roll, and created lots of great riffs. Most of Tom Pettys songs were short and to the point, which is what I like about him. Sometimes I don’t have the time or patience to listen to long, extended jams or albums. Tom Petty rocked and made some of the catchiest singles of the late 70s. His music was very straightforward and true to its genre. His acoustic songs are also some good ones. Best Album: Damn the Torpedoes 92 92. Bee Gees When I made this list, I really didn’t want to put any R&B or soul since that would distract from the rock factor and I feel like guys like Al Green and Curtis Mayfield would dominate the top of the list. However, disco bands like the Bee Gees crossed over into rock in many of their songs, and in fact, were very influenced by rock considering the Bee Gees started off as a folk rock band during the British invasion in the late 60s. During the 1970s, the Bee Gees moved into disco and funk and became one of the most popular bands of the decade. The Bee Gees are cheesy, their outdated, they may even be the definition of disco, but despite these factors, that doesn’t change the fact that they are one of the catchiest bands ever. Its true, every hit single they’ve released in the 70s will be stuck in your head forever just after one listen. I’m sure this is also why they get a lot of hate. The Bee Gees were the very definition of mainstream and produced a lot of cheese to get there. But who doesn’t like cheese every now and then, the Bee Gees are a fun band to listen to, and they have some amazing vocal work. In fact, their falsettos are incredible and the instrumental work in the background is also very catchy and funky. In fact, the Bee Gees make a very fun band to dance to, their music is just filled with lots of rhythmic beats and electronic sounds like synth and drum machine. Although, I have to admit, outside of their singles, the Bee Gees were kind of weak and lacked originality, especially in the very early 70s rock albums. These guys still get a lot more hate than they deserve, and probably has to due with their outdated sound and association with disco, but I still find them incredibly catchy and pretty amazing singers. While they are nowhere near being one of my favorite bands, they still deserve a place on the top 100 rock bands of the 70s for being one of the catchiest bands of the decade, as well as using rock influences in their music. Best Album: Main Course When I made this list, I really didn’t want to put any R&B or soul since that would distract from the rock factor and I feel like guys like Al Green and Curtis Mayfield would dominate the top of the list. However, disco bands like the Bee Gees crossed over into rock in many of their songs, and in fact, were very influenced by rock considering the Bee Gees started off as a folk rock band during the British invasion in the late 60s. During the 1970s, the Bee Gees moved into disco and funk and became one of the most popular bands of the decade. The Bee Gees are cheesy, their outdated, they may even be the definition of disco, but despite these factors, that doesn’t change the fact that they are one of the catchiest bands ever. Its true, every hit single they’ve released in the 70s will be stuck in your head forever just after one listen. I’m sure this is also why they get a lot of hate. The Bee Gees were the very definition of mainstream and produced a lot of cheese to get there. But who doesn’t like cheese every now and then, the Bee Gees are a fun band to listen to, and they have some amazing vocal work. In fact, their falsettos are incredible and the instrumental work in the background is also very catchy and funky. In fact, the Bee Gees make a very fun band to dance to, their music is just filled with lots of rhythmic beats and electronic sounds like synth and drum machine. Although, I have to admit, outside of their singles, the Bee Gees were kind of weak and lacked originality, especially in the very early 70s rock albums. These guys still get a lot more hate than they deserve, and probably has to due with their outdated sound and association with disco, but I still find them incredibly catchy and pretty amazing singers. While they are nowhere near being one of my favorite bands, they still deserve a place on the top 100 rock bands of the 70s for being one of the catchiest bands of the decade, as well as using rock influences in their music. Best Album: Main Course 93 93. Kansas Kansas sounds like such a boring band just by their name, I mean isn’t all the state of Kansas has to offer is corn and the introduction to the Wizard of Oz? Well those and an incredibly symphonic influenced progressive rock band. Kansas’ work was very influenced by classical as well as boogie rock, hell they had a full time violinist. Kansas rocked the world in the 1970s with their symphonic masterpieces, with heavy synthesizer work, and incredible acoustic and electric guitar solos. Kansas is a very complex band that have some incredible melodies and anthems. Their vocals and harmonies are also very melodic. In fact, their really isn’t any instrument Kansas hasn’t mastered. Kansas went from a solid hard rock ground, to some incredible symphonic prog, all within a few year span. Kansas is just incredibly fun to listen to and a very happy band, and they went on to even more success in the 80s, although their 70s material is by far their best. Not much to say about this band other than they were incredible musicians and give Kansas something to be proud of. Best Album: Leftoverture Kansas sounds like such a boring band just by their name, I mean isn’t all the state of Kansas has to offer is corn and the introduction to the Wizard of Oz? Well those and an incredibly symphonic influenced progressive rock band. Kansas’ work was very influenced by classical as well as boogie rock, hell they had a full time violinist. Kansas rocked the world in the 1970s with their symphonic masterpieces, with heavy synthesizer work, and incredible acoustic and electric guitar solos. Kansas is a very complex band that have some incredible melodies and anthems. Their vocals and harmonies are also very melodic. In fact, their really isn’t any instrument Kansas hasn’t mastered. Kansas went from a solid hard rock ground, to some incredible symphonic prog, all within a few year span. Kansas is just incredibly fun to listen to and a very happy band, and they went on to even more success in the 80s, although their 70s material is by far their best. Not much to say about this band other than they were incredible musicians and give Kansas something to be proud of. Best Album: Leftoverture 94 94. Billy Joel Billy Joel has to be one of the most famous pop icons of the late 20th century, he literally took the piano and made it a lead instrument when most pop/rock artists were using it in the background. As a songwriter, Billy Joel wrote some very fine material that was piano heavy and offered some very catchy rhythms. His stuff was pretty poppy but he did have some superb hard rocking songs that are often overlooked. Billy Joel was at the top of his game in the 70s and wrote some beautiful songs, and had a pretty good voice. Most of the themes of his albums revolved around city life and common problems faced by its residents. Joel was the king of piano rock/pop and I prefer him to Elton John simply because Joel is more jazzy and Joel has a much smoother voice. You can sense the classical influences in Joel’s music during his solos and complex piano licks that flow near flawlessly, and of course Joel also used saxophone, clarinet, and other classical instruments in some of his songs. The guitar work and drumming for the most part is simple and in the background, but occasionally stands out, but that isn’t the point of Billy Joel. His music is all about the beauty in his themes and piano. Joel does an excellent job keeping his music original and interesting and thats what makes him one of the best songwriters and musicians of the decade. Best Album: The Stranger Billy Joel has to be one of the most famous pop icons of the late 20th century, he literally took the piano and made it a lead instrument when most pop/rock artists were using it in the background. As a songwriter, Billy Joel wrote some very fine material that was piano heavy and offered some very catchy rhythms. His stuff was pretty poppy but he did have some superb hard rocking songs that are often overlooked. Billy Joel was at the top of his game in the 70s and wrote some beautiful songs, and had a pretty good voice. Most of the themes of his albums revolved around city life and common problems faced by its residents. Joel was the king of piano rock/pop and I prefer him to Elton John simply because Joel is more jazzy and Joel has a much smoother voice. You can sense the classical influences in Joel’s music during his solos and complex piano licks that flow near flawlessly, and of course Joel also used saxophone, clarinet, and other classical instruments in some of his songs. The guitar work and drumming for the most part is simple and in the background, but occasionally stands out, but that isn’t the point of Billy Joel. His music is all about the beauty in his themes and piano. Joel does an excellent job keeping his music original and interesting and thats what makes him one of the best songwriters and musicians of the decade. Best Album: The Stranger 95 95. Dire Straits Dire Straits were one of the most popular rock groups of the 80s and made some incredible albums, but it all started in the late 70s. At a time where most British bands were doing either punk, hard rock, or New Wave, Dire Straits decided to go with rockabilly and rock n roll, and you could tell by their style, they were going for something different than the other bands at the time. And they were successful, with catchy guitar and riffs, and unforgettable vocals that sort of had an echo to them. Lets also not forget Knopfler’s incredible guitar solos as well. Of course, they are also another band whos 80s material unfortunately overshadows their 70s material, well outside of Sultans of Swing that is. Best Album: Dire Straits Dire Straits were one of the most popular rock groups of the 80s and made some incredible albums, but it all started in the late 70s. At a time where most British bands were doing either punk, hard rock, or New Wave, Dire Straits decided to go with rockabilly and rock n roll, and you could tell by their style, they were going for something different than the other bands at the time. And they were successful, with catchy guitar and riffs, and unforgettable vocals that sort of had an echo to them. Lets also not forget Knopfler’s incredible guitar solos as well. Of course, they are also another band whos 80s material unfortunately overshadows their 70s material, well outside of Sultans of Swing that is. Best Album: Dire Straits 96 96. Jim Croce Jim Croce is basically the prototype for 70s folk rock. In fact, he may also be the very definition of it. Folk was sort of dying out after the 60s, Dylan was starting to go electric, the woodstock era was coming to an end and the hippies were getting older and changing their life styles. Jim Croce saw the changes going on around him in the early 70s, and instead of completely taking a different direction, he instead continued with folk, however, he shaped it so it would fit in with 70s culture and the changing musical interests. He also grew his trademark mustache during this time. He mixed folk and pop so perfectly, that you could never figure out whether he was going for a 60s folk rock sort of approach, or a contemporary pop sort of style. Croce is one of the guys responsible for keeping folk alive in the 70s, and taking it to a new level. Croce’s acoustic playing was pretty good, and he could whip out some rock n roll and folk riffs that were unforgettable. Its too bad he had to die in 1973 at the age of 30 due to a plane accident. Best Album: I Got a Name Jim Croce is basically the prototype for 70s folk rock. In fact, he may also be the very definition of it. Folk was sort of dying out after the 60s, Dylan was starting to go electric, the woodstock era was coming to an end and the hippies were getting older and changing their life styles. Jim Croce saw the changes going on around him in the early 70s, and instead of completely taking a different direction, he instead continued with folk, however, he shaped it so it would fit in with 70s culture and the changing musical interests. He also grew his trademark mustache during this time. He mixed folk and pop so perfectly, that you could never figure out whether he was going for a 60s folk rock sort of approach, or a contemporary pop sort of style. Croce is one of the guys responsible for keeping folk alive in the 70s, and taking it to a new level. Croce’s acoustic playing was pretty good, and he could whip out some rock n roll and folk riffs that were unforgettable. Its too bad he had to die in 1973 at the age of 30 due to a plane accident. Best Album: I Got a Name 97 97. AC/DC Before I get a load of hate, I have to say, as much as I think these guys are overrated, they do have some really good songs and are catchy. Now that that’s out of the way time for the description. AC/DC came to the scene when hard rock was at the top of its game. British groups like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath were at the height of their popularity by the mid 70s and Australia wanted its piece of hard rock. Five long haired Australians wearing school boy uniforms with short shorts and striped ties emerged on the rock scene at this time. They produced a number of albums that were very hard rocking with tons of catchy guitar riffs and high pitched vocals. The guitar soloing is excellent. I don’t want to go on too much, but they were Australia’s much needed call to rock n roll fame. However, a lot of their material starts to sound similar after a while, I still have trouble distinguishing certain AC/DC songs from others. And not much stands out besides their guitar work aside from maybe a few vocal segments and perhaps the drumming on certain songs. Still, AC/DC was a pretty solid rock band and produced some of rocks catchiest songs, and they deserve a spot on this list for that reason. Best Album: Let There Be Rock or Highway to Hell Before I get a load of hate, I have to say, as much as I think these guys are overrated, they do have some really good songs and are catchy. Now that that’s out of the way time for the description. AC/DC came to the scene when hard rock was at the top of its game. British groups like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath were at the height of their popularity by the mid 70s and Australia wanted its piece of hard rock. Five long haired Australians wearing school boy uniforms with short shorts and striped ties emerged on the rock scene at this time. They produced a number of albums that were very hard rocking with tons of catchy guitar riffs and high pitched vocals. The guitar soloing is excellent. I don’t want to go on too much, but they were Australia’s much needed call to rock n roll fame. However, a lot of their material starts to sound similar after a while, I still have trouble distinguishing certain AC/DC songs from others. And not much stands out besides their guitar work aside from maybe a few vocal segments and perhaps the drumming on certain songs. Still, AC/DC was a pretty solid rock band and produced some of rocks catchiest songs, and they deserve a spot on this list for that reason. Best Album: Let There Be Rock or Highway to Hell 98 98. Elton John I’m know a lot of Elton John fans are going to hate me for placing him this low on the list, but I consider it even lucky that I was able to place him this high. Elton John is an incredible pianist and can write some catchy piano pop or rock n roll songs, but lets face it, Elton was all about his singles and maybe a select few early 70s albums. Elton John was and probably still is one of the most famous figure in the music industry and has a large size of number one singles that can only be matched by the like of Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson. In fact, he also pumped out albums at a pretty fast rate, already having 13 albums out by the end of the 70s. Elton John was also one of the first publicly gay music artists, he came out of the closet before Ricky Martin and Freddie Mercury. Elton John started off playing rock n roll and had a pretty mature style. His voice was great for rock music and he covered a wide variety of genres. Throughout the 70s, Elton John sang pop, rock, disco, glam, and even a little psychedelic. The thing about Elton is, a lot of his music is cheesy and poppy that it feels unoriginal at a point. Outside his singles, his later 70s albums fall to this fate. His early rock albums, were pretty fun, even though they’re not my favorite, they were at least original and showed Elton’s gift for catchy song writing. Elton was an incredible pianist, no doubt, in fact, hes probably just as good if not better than Billy Joel, yet he never really used his full potential as he progressed in his career. Although, Elton still deserves credit for being as big as he was and making some highly original and catchy music, and he has some of the most brilliant singles. Its too bad he didn’t really produce any noteworthy albums after 1975. Best Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road I’m know a lot of Elton John fans are going to hate me for placing him this low on the list, but I consider it even lucky that I was able to place him this high. Elton John is an incredible pianist and can write some catchy piano pop or rock n roll songs, but lets face it, Elton was all about his singles and maybe a select few early 70s albums. Elton John was and probably still is one of the most famous figure in the music industry and has a large size of number one singles that can only be matched by the like of Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson. In fact, he also pumped out albums at a pretty fast rate, already having 13 albums out by the end of the 70s. Elton John was also one of the first publicly gay music artists, he came out of the closet before Ricky Martin and Freddie Mercury. Elton John started off playing rock n roll and had a pretty mature style. His voice was great for rock music and he covered a wide variety of genres. Throughout the 70s, Elton John sang pop, rock, disco, glam, and even a little psychedelic. The thing about Elton is, a lot of his music is cheesy and poppy that it feels unoriginal at a point. Outside his singles, his later 70s albums fall to this fate. His early rock albums, were pretty fun, even though they’re not my favorite, they were at least original and showed Elton’s gift for catchy song writing. Elton was an incredible pianist, no doubt, in fact, hes probably just as good if not better than Billy Joel, yet he never really used his full potential as he progressed in his career. Although, Elton still deserves credit for being as big as he was and making some highly original and catchy music, and he has some of the most brilliant singles. Its too bad he didn’t really produce any noteworthy albums after 1975. Best Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 99 99. Chicago Naturally being from the Chicago-land area and growing up there, I had to consider placing these guys somewhere up on this list, although I am not using this to bias my ranking, otherwise these guys would be in the top 50. Imagine a full horns orchestra with trumpets, trombones, and such, now imagine those backing up a full piece rock band with a guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, singer, and drummer. Chicago was basically the Electric Light Orchestra of brass instruments using tons of horns in their songs. Chicago was very influenced by smooth jazz and used a lot of easy-listening jazz in their hits, while not straying too far away from their rock influences. Chicago qiuckly grew to be one of the most popular acts of the 70s, producing 13 albums by the end of the decade, and all but one went platinum, their 1979 album only went gold. Chicago had very good rhythm, they had an entire horn section dedicated to rhythm, and their guitar work was excellent, producing some amazing solos. In fact, I can’t think of anything bad about any of the instruments, they each stand out and shine, keyboard has some cool jazz chords and riffs, bass is very groovy, drumming is fantastic with lots of kick pedal and guitar work is superb. The problem with Chicago didn’t lie in their band members, but rather in their inconsistency. Chicago produced a lot of cheese and pop in the 70s, some of which is tasteful, some which is just cringe worthy. Their early 70s albums were a lot more rock oriented while they turned more pop near the end. A lot of their later 70s work is generic and slightly boring, but that still doesn’t mean their hits or early 70s work wasn’t superb. Chicago was a very unique band for their time and produced some of the catchiest music of the 70s, with an excellent rhythm section and guitar work. Best Album: Chicago II Naturally being from the Chicago-land area and growing up there, I had to consider placing these guys somewhere up on this list, although I am not using this to bias my ranking, otherwise these guys would be in the top 50. Imagine a full horns orchestra with trumpets, trombones, and such, now imagine those backing up a full piece rock band with a guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, singer, and drummer. Chicago was basically the Electric Light Orchestra of brass instruments using tons of horns in their songs. Chicago was very influenced by smooth jazz and used a lot of easy-listening jazz in their hits, while not straying too far away from their rock influences. Chicago qiuckly grew to be one of the most popular acts of the 70s, producing 13 albums by the end of the decade, and all but one went platinum, their 1979 album only went gold. Chicago had very good rhythm, they had an entire horn section dedicated to rhythm, and their guitar work was excellent, producing some amazing solos. In fact, I can’t think of anything bad about any of the instruments, they each stand out and shine, keyboard has some cool jazz chords and riffs, bass is very groovy, drumming is fantastic with lots of kick pedal and guitar work is superb. The problem with Chicago didn’t lie in their band members, but rather in their inconsistency. Chicago produced a lot of cheese and pop in the 70s, some of which is tasteful, some which is just cringe worthy. Their early 70s albums were a lot more rock oriented while they turned more pop near the end. A lot of their later 70s work is generic and slightly boring, but that still doesn’t mean their hits or early 70s work wasn’t superb. Chicago was a very unique band for their time and produced some of the catchiest music of the 70s, with an excellent rhythm section and guitar work. Best Album: Chicago II 100 100. KISS

Arena rock was never my favorite genre, it tends to get repetitive and generic after a while. Yet, KISS is probably the best of these 70s arena rockers, using their hard rock and metal influences to transform arena rock into what it is today. The music of KISS is pretty catchy and has some pretty decent vocals, and Ace Frehley was a better than average guitarist, producing some cool solos. Yet, KISS is mostly on this list not for their music, but the originality and stagemanship of the band. KISS was one of the first rock bands to fully go out in facial makeup and costumes that looked like they were straight from outer space. They looked like characters straight out of a comic book. Their entire faces were white with black around their eyes to shape their personalities. They all had long hair as well. They were the symbols of rock n roll, care free, they just wanted to rock n roll all night, and have a good time. They helped transform rock into a more visual show, and many bands followed in their footsteps, KISS had some of the best live concerts of their time, putting on a great show. And their music, well not the greatest, was a decent soundtrack to these visuals and the 4 white faced, rockers. Their contributions to the rock industry are revolutionary, and they deserve a spot on this list for that.

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70 pop stars

SOURCE: http://rateyourmusic.com/list/jweber14/top_100_rock_bands_of_the_70s/


70 pop stars 70 pop stars 70 pop stars 70 pop stars

70 pop stars

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