7 Loud Rockers from the 1970s

When the film Spinal Tap came out in 1984, its signature amp volume-raising phrase, “Turn it up to 11,” earned its application years prior. While rock ‘n’ roll was born in the 1950s, rock music was cemented in the 1970s thanks to big, loud bands.

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Below we highlight seven such big, loud bands from the 1970s. Groups that challenged the decibel levels that the human ear can take. Bands that pushed their speakers, amps and crew to the limits. Yes, these are seven loud bands from the 1970s.


Known for their tongues and breathing fire, this group, which was founded in 1973 in New York City, perhaps put on the best live shows of any group ever. Part of that was their rows and rows of speakers bolted to the ceilings and splayed on the stage.

2. Led Zeppelin

While Led Zeppelin may be known as a bit more of an artful band than, say, KISS, the group, fronted by Robert Plant and backed by guitarist Jimmy Page, knew how to crank up the volume. In fact, the band’s not-so-secret weapon when it came to the task of pumping up the volume was their seemingly eight-limbed drummer, John Bonham, who could shake the skin off a snake.

3. Deep Purple

During its career Deep Purple, was one time known as the loudest band of all time, dubbed so by the iconic Guinness Book of World Records. Deep Purple had just played a rollicking at the Rainbow Theater in London when they got the nod. Not the band you want to put on to drift off to sleep to, that’s for sure.

4. Bruce Springsteen

The Boss hits you with volume and duration, like a steady stream of ocean waves against the rocks. Bruce Springsteen can rev up the energy with songs like “Born to Run” and his E Street Band knows how to keep the lively energy flowing like cheap beer on the beaches of New Jersey. Known for infusing the most energy possible into a live set, Bruce may just make you consider getting earplugs.

5. Heart

Do us a favor, and turn to the 2:15-minute mark in this song below. Heart moves from delicate vocals to sharp, electric, knifing rock. It’s the kind of stuff that likely makes Greta Van Fleet get out of bed in the morning. Heart is the real deal. Loud and window-rattling.

6. The Who

Drummer Kieth Moon makes sure all the skeletons are shaking here. He is a beast on the kit and only pushes the band to new heights when it comes to rock and volume. The Who boasts almost as many amps as KISS and almost as much energy as Springsteen. The result is a powerhouse of its own breed.

7. AC/DC

Their band moniker is a literal nod to the electrical power supply. When you do that, you’ve gotta live up to your name. And, well, AC/DC most certainly does. In fact, it seems the Australian-born band prioritizes energy and sonic wallops more than anything. Their songs are reasons to start jumping and dancing if ever there were any.

Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

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