Rock And Roll In The 70s – I had to follow up my list of 10 classic albums from the 60s with a list of the greatest albums from the 70s, I just wanted to. The 70s were a continuation of the swinging 60s and rock and roll became part of mainstream society. It’s everywhere, music blaring from speakers in every bar and club, drugs, sex and everything related to rock n roll culture. There were concerts everywhere and bands from the 60s came out of their shells and started to find their feet or rather with their rhythm guitar.
The 70’s were the heyday of the seeds that were sown in the 60’s for rock n roll culture and especially music with bands that released some of their best work. Following the music of the 60s is definitely not an easy task, but the band managed to reach their peak and record their most appreciated work.
Rock And Roll In The 70s
However, I have compiled this list strictly based on my knowledge of music and my ear for sound, so if I missed any albums that you like, comment and let me know your top 10. It was hard to compile a top 10 but I did it anyway.
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Notable omissions include – The Eagles – Hotel California, Pink Floyd – Meddle, Pink Floyd- Wish You Are Here, The Rolling Stones (all their 70s albums), Jim Hendrix – Band of Gypsys and more.
Who else to start this list but the great Led Zeppelin. They were just starting to sink their teeth into the music scene in 1969 with their album – Led Zeppelin I – and what an album it was! That was followed by Led Zeppelin II and it hit #1 on the charts. However, when the 1970s arrived, they were able to release the previous two albums and produce an extremely interesting work. Houses Of The Holy is a gentle, artistic, but almost juvenile album with the playful confidence of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page’s vocals delivering stunning guitar riffs and haunting solos. Songs like ‘Songs Still the Same’ and ‘Dance Day’ (listen to Jimmy Page on this one) aren’t their best work, but definitely make for a good listen. Their slow songs on these albums, especially ‘The Rain Song’ and ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ are soulful yet inspiring. ‘D’yer Mak’er’ is definitely a teenager’s wet dream, I don’t know if they cut this song out of some pop song, but it’s still a decent song, I don’t like it at all, but whatever it is, it’s worth listening to. The highlight of the album is ‘No Quarter’ which is a classic Led Zeppelin song that sounds dark, dark and incredibly good that gradually builds to provide the ultimate rock n roll experience. To end the album is the powerful track ‘The Ocean’ which ends the album on a high note.
At number 9, the Kinks came up with their best album, at least I think. The Kinks have a variety of styles up their sleeve and can switch from a full-charge tempo song to a slow strumming rock n roll ballad. This album is a testament to the fact that even though it’s not going to be in the top 10, it’s definitely very good. For starters is ‘The Contender’, a song that tries to transition from a slow number to a regular butt-kicking, guitars and drums kick in at the right time and make your ears happy. Songs like ‘This Time Tomorrow’, and ‘Top Of The Pops’ are The Kinks painting a perfect picture of life in the 70’s as a rock and roll band. ‘Rats’ and ‘Apeman’ are funny songs and ‘A Long Way From Home’ is another good slow song. But the highlight of the album is the single ‘Lola’ which is my all time favorite song by The Kinks and if I’m not mistaken, it hit number 1 in the UK. It’s a great song and the whole album is a classic. Press play and enjoy this!
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The king of the United States in the 70s, the founder of punk and one of the most respected bands from the United States, at number 8, comes ‘The Ramones’ with their self-titled album ‘Ramones’. This is the holy grail of punk and even though this is a classic rock list, I had to include this album because of the brilliance of the Ramones, plus no one really invented the genre on this list! It has some great songs and the bass line and drums go together well. I love all the songs on the album, so I recommend you play and listen to them all.
Fleetwood Mac is your quintessential British-American rock band. Having a woman sing some of the vocals is a welcome change and Lindsey Buckingham certainly has the most beautiful voice. Rumors is an excellent album that really redefines Fleetwood Mac and their musical style from their previous albums from the 60’s. This record is a relaxed rock n roll, with a classic approach with a toe-tapping sound. I love listening to this album, but I don’t know all the songs either, but it’s still worth listening to.
I love Creedence Clearwater Revival, I think their guitar work is probably one of the best bands on this list. CCR is one of the most talented bands from the US and on this album you can hear all the blues influences that make it an interesting listen. Sometimes they are so good, in part, in their music that you wonder why they are not considered one of the best bands from America, but of course that title goes to The Doors, however CCR is there. CCR is very underrated and although they sell a lot of albums, they don’t come close to the heights of other American rival bands. Every song on this album is great and it’s a classic rock n roll album that remains one of the best. Get ready to shake your head and tap your feet non-stop.
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Lou Reed is an extremely talented musician and his work on this album makes it a coveted classic. After their initial success of drug-inspired music, ‘The Velvet Underground’ with Lou Reed and Doug Yule conjured up one of the most defining albums of the 70s, a sharp contrast to their Andy Warhol days. The music is pure quality, straight from the top paintings and will surely inspire you. Lou Reed may have released this album himself and must be kicking himself for leaving the band before releasing ‘Loaded’. The album became a runaway hit and firmly established ‘The Velvet Underground’ as one of the biggest bands from America. Again, all the songs are great, so just keep playing!
The Who are one of my favorite bands and in 1971 they released one of their most interesting albums – ‘Who’s Next’. The album was a runaway hit, reaching No. 1 in the UK charts and No. 4 in the US Billboard charts. The first session of what would become ‘Who’s Next’ was recorded at Mick Jagger’s home! The album is excellent with great songs like ‘Bargain’, ‘Getting In Tune’ and ‘Love Ain’t For Keeping’. However, the highlight of the album and I think we all agree on this is number 1 ‘Baba O’Reily’, which is her most famous song and for me, it is her best song. ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ is another classic late number that is a beautiful song, it’s the same song that was covered by Limp Bizkit later in the 90’s, but the original by the Who is a better version. So ‘who’s next’ to listen to this album?
Zeppelin returns to the list with arguably their best work, or maybe their first album, I’m not sure, but this is definitely their best. This album is a timeless rock n roll classic. Robert Plant does vocals on this album like no other, but this one is recorded and mixed perfectly. Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham all created a very memorable sound on this album and it went to number 1 in the UK in one week and stayed there for 90 weeks! So you can imagine what kind of reception this album received in ’71. The album starts with the awesome tracks ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Rock n Roll’ which are top tracks with Plant’s vocals and of course Page’s sharp guitar work. Songs like ‘The Battle For Evermore’ also pissed off critics with unnecessary J.R.R Tolkien references and although I feel the same way, they could have written it.
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