7 of the Best Rock Bands of the ’70s

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The ’70s were undoubtedly the mecca for rock n’ roll. By then, the genre had found its footing and expanded beyond what its originators thought was possible. It transcended beyond a genre and had become the lifeblood of culture in more ways than one.

From Led Zeppelin to The Eagles, rock bands were ruling the world and ushering in a new wave of hedonism, breezy dispositions, and sex appeal. Below, we’re going through seven of the best rock bands that got their start or rose to new heights in the ’70s.

1. Led Zeppelin

There’s no mistaking Led Zeppelin for any other band when Robert Plant’s singular voice rings out over the speakers. With marked pomp and grandeur, their music seems almost otherwordly. Singing along to “Stairway to Heaven” or “Immigrant Song” is almost second nature at this point. They may have made waves in the ’70s but their influence is alive and well today.

2. Pink Floyd

To put it simply, Pink Floyd was far ahead of its time. Shifting from psychedelia to prog-rock flavors, the group was a singular force. With deeply philosophical lyrics, sprawling musical compositions, and elaborate live shows, few can hold a candle to Pink Floyd.

3. The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are one of the most enduring rock groups to ever do it. Their success has largely not waned since the ’70s despite ever-shifting music trends. Their bluesy-rock riffs have made some of the most recognizable songs in history, which have only become more iconic throughout the years.

4. Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac is a perfect example of using frustration and in-fighting to their advantage as opposed to letting it be their downfall. By now, it’s safe to assume everyone knows what was going on behind the scenes when the band was recording their magnum opus, Rumours—affairs, break-ups, and copious amounts of drugs. Nevertheless (or perhaps subsequently), the group delivered one of the most iconic albums of the era.

5. The Who

The Who were rock n’ rollers through and through with a penchant for destroying instruments and heavy use of feedback. With songs like “Baba O’ Riley,” “Pinball Wizard” and “Tommy” the group was one of the most innovative of the era.

6. Deep Purple

At one time, the Guinness Book of World Records considered Deep Purple the “world’s loudest band.” Having sold millions of records worldwide, they are pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal. We know you’ve heard a novice guitar player, or two, hammer out the opening riff to “Smoke on the Water”— just one mark of their enduring influence.

7. The Eagles

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone on planet Earth that doesn’t know “Hotel California.” That guitar solo has gone down in history as one of the best of all time and the chorus is cemented into the minds of a majority of the world. The Eagles’ country rock inspired an entire generation of artists and the band continues to excite audiences around the world today, albeit with some line-up changes.

Do you agree with our list – let us know your top 7. Comment below.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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