What was the 70's (in music)


Apr 26, 2005
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Raleigh Is No Paradiase
Everyone (or almost everyone), thinks it was DISCO

For me (i graduated High-School 1973)

In order of experiences
... |.......|

Echo's of Woodstock

Echo's of Jimmy Hendrix Experience

Rolling Stones, mature

Rolling Stones- Sticky Fingers
(their last four star album)

Echo's of Janis Joplin

Eric Clapton Solo Album

Allman Brothers with Duane Allman

Dereke and Dominoes, In Concert (no Duane Allman)

Ten Years After

James Gang

Patty Hearst, and SLA

Brewer and Shipley

Rolling Stones-Exile On Main Street
(great but not four star, should have kept Mick Taylor)

Bob Segar and The Silver Bullet Band

Frampton Live

Arena Rock starts to take off

Punk Rock

Glam Rock, with Ziggy Stardust

Alice Cooper, music becomes a show, not music

David Bowie, Glam Rock Icon

Yes , with an Orchestra

Rick James (you had to love him)

DISCO takes off
... |.......|

The End


oh, be nice
Apr 21, 2005
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Dunno, wasn't there. To me the seventies was my dad seeing Black Sabbath, Ten Years After, Mott The Hoople, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones.


Blackmore's Advocate
Apr 23, 2005
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Little River, SC
For me, 70's music began with the "Big 3" of hard rock; Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath all fighting for superiority. Then prog emerged and it was cool for a while but all the pompousness of it resulted in a backlash and punk was born in an effort to simplify rock and roll again. I personally don't care for punk although I've come to appreciate what it meant. Disco for me was mearly a trend that faded. That said many rock bands were sucked in by the disco influence. Listen to the drums on The Eagles One of These Nights or I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You by Alan Parsons. Those are disco influenced songs to my ears. Kiss' I Was Made For Loving You is straight up disco (WTF Ace?) and Rod Stewart forever seperated himself from his Faces and Jeff Beck Group roots with Do Ya Think I'm Sexy. Yes indeed, DISCO SUCKS!
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Senior Member
Jun 11, 2005
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I would also say that you would have to include, besides Led Zeppelin (although in fairness, Zeppelin, actually started in calendar year 1969, or at least that's when they made their first big dent on Rock), you might want to include these other events & milestones of that decade of 1970's (both w/ Classic Rock & other events surrounding music & may have influenced music):

From early 1970's:

First Earth Day (April 1970), celebrated.

Kent State (May 1970); this event also helps bring many songs & groups to have more successful careers as even more strident anti-war songs are written, such as "Ohio" by CSN&Y & "War" by Edwin Starr (to name only two)

Rock Opera, & one time Broadway musical, "Jesus Christ Superstar" is released as an album & becomes big seller!

Paul McCartney has start of successful solo career from Beatles & even starts w/ more success w/ Wings

Rod Stewart

Elton John

"All In the Family" for very first time America laughs at bigotry & also is taught lesson about how stupid bigotry looks (but you got have loved Carroll O'Connor's Archie)

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

as decade continues & other milestones left off of this list:

Janis Joplin's death & on-going fight for women's rights (ERA) & feminization in general leads to sub-genre of rock/pop as more women start to rock & these women become more acceptable to rock-pop stations: For example we would have:

Carole King, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, yes even Olivia Newton-John & later in decade, the Wilson sisters otherwise known as Heart, the group Joan Jett would originally come from: Runaways, etc.

Who's "Quadrephenia " sometime during this time period, shows that this band still has life in it

M*A*S*H* (first the movie than the TV show); this show helps to give more questions in people's mind about on-going Vietnam War

Don McLean's anthem about supposed early days of rock 'n roll, "American Pie" clocking in at over 8 minutes is surprisingly played at several pop stations at that length -- it also becomes first #1 song on Billboard's chart that Casey Kasem will play on American Top 40 at that length, so marks true start of the end of AM Top 40 stations.

Eagles (group that is)

Nixon is re-elected (for good or ill); as it would turn out for more ill as nation will soon learn about Watergate & his subsequent resignation -- much of rock-pop music & much of comedy (& even dramas of this decade) of rest of the decade would also become rather skewered toward suspiciousness & probably necessary angst: to wit : Stealer's Wheel during height of Watergate hearings would have a hit with "Stuck In The Middle With You", with movies, several movies along these lines: ""Paper Moon", "The Way We Were" & " Network" would also follow, with of course culmination of all of this angst being a movie about the Watergate affair (made after Nixon resigns): "All The President's Men"

They & Ray Stevens called him, "The Streak!"

Start of such decade long problems as Oil crises (long gas lines), & inflation (many people have good laugh when next President, Gerald Ford decides best way to stop inflation is by issuing buttons that say "WIN" {"Whip Inflation Now"})

Llittle known (at the time) film director named George Lucas, helps to bring back some 1950's nostalgia to pop culture & in general (or is this escapism from Watergate, Vietnam, oil crises & long gas lines & inflation?), when Lucas releases film called, "American Grafitti", which of course in rock-pop music was partly responsible for Elton John's "Crocodile Rock", Loggins & Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance" & many more, plus the TV shows, "Happy Days" & "Laverne & Shirley"

Queen releases monster, rock opera inspired hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Bruce Springsteen makes cover of "Time" as "Bob Dylan" of decade; although at the time he had only had one minor hit album: "Greetings From Asbury Park" & "Born To Run" from his second album release was minor hit; of course first major hit w/ his name on it, wouldn't even be released from him, but would be monster hit (& continuing staple at all Classic Rock stations) re-worked by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, in 1977, "Blinded By The Light"

On April 30, 1975, nearly five years after Kent State, & two years after Nixon supposedly ended Vietnam War (in January 1973), the South Vietnamese surrender to North Vietnamese (or Vietcong), embarrassing U.S., w/ dramatic footage of airlifts off Hanoi Hilton the following day (May 1, 1975)

"Saturday Night Live" premieres (Fall 1975)

Few other events (music & otherwise) from second half of decade that would also have importance (both for rock & otherwise) & should have been on this list:

Height of CB radio trend as "Convoy" by C.W. McCall is #1.

The Bicentennial & rise of Jimmy Carter that year.

Three events from 1977, alone:

TV's mini-series, "Roots" gathers record audiences

George Lucas' second film & major one in history, "Star Wars" is released, this is unofficial beginning of summer blockbuster movie hits -- granted there were other summer movies, such as "Jaws" before this, that did make it big (at least in U.S.), but "Star Wars" had most hugely worldwide influence on having summer blockbuster movies (& this film cut across many lines, of race, economics & age in becoming a blockbuster, & heh what a cool soundtrack from composer John Williams, a cool #1 hit from Meco & you have to love that it launched successful career {that had been lagging before this} of that cool actor, Harrison Ford)

Elvis Presley dies

During these two years, 1977 - 1978, there was start of many of the careers (or at least successful part of their careers) of several major Classic Rock artist, amongst them:

Foreigner, Styx, Journey, Meat Loaf, Eddie Money, Van Halen, Rush, the Police (although, "Roxanne" wouldn't become minor hit, until early 1979), & I could go on & on with this list

Movie "Saturday Night Fever" is released (for good or bad).

Jim Jones' brings us The Jonestown cult massacre/mass suicide

Also in 1978, the movie, "FM" becomes major hit movie, showing what really goes on at FM radio stations at the time, of course it helps when Steely Dan's song, & title track of soundtrack, "FM (No Static At All)" becomes monster hit.

Final year of decade (1979) would have these events that should be added:

Rod Stewart releases disco tinged song, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" & former punk rockers, Blondie releases disco tinged song, "Heart Of Glass", both Stewart & Blondie are lamented as sell-outs, although both careers would weather this storm (& both songs would become monster hits, both on & off dance floor; perhaps reminding many that much of best of rock has also been very danceable)

Three Mile Island nuclear plant meltdown occurs in February of this year

Billy Joel who had hit w/ "Piano Man" early in decade & some other minor hits, starts hitting big time, w/ "Movin' Out" , ""My Life" & "Big Shot"

Supertamp's "Breakfast In America" is released & becomes monster hit LP on basis of an awesome & monster hit song titled, "Take The Long Way Home"

On heels of monster hit movie, "FM", CBS has monster hit comedy show (one of few for CBS around this time), "WKRP In Cincinnati" (who didn't appreciate Howard Hessman's "Johnny Fever"? or perfect eye candy for straight men, Loni Anderson, yummmie!)

New Wave starts to become force to start to reckon w/ (what would come in 1980's was being hinted at, in 1979) as such unusual & hard to identify by many radio stations hits as Nick Lowe's "Cruel To Be Kind", Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me", The Knack's "My Sharona" , & M (or Robin Scott)'s "Pop Muzik" (amongst some others) become monster hits; this decade will end musically w/ start of careers as diverse as Prince, Pat Benatar & John Mellencamp getting underway -- all that would continue to change both rock & pop stations -- as well as conitinuing & marking rise of "New Wave"!

Nearly forgot two other things to add to 1979 events:

First of these concerns unofficial beginnings of Rap music. Although there had already been one huge rap song that had become hit, as early as 1970 -- "The Rapper" by Jaggerz; & there had been some movement towards rap music w/ James Brown, George Clinton, Parliament, & Funkadelic -- first true Rap song was released & became somewhat minor hit in summer of 1979: ""Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang. Although certainly there wouldn't be a start of trend towards more rap, until 1982 when Aretha released "Jump To It", Gap Band & Dazz Band became minor hit makers. And rap wouldn't start going into mainstream until two years later (1984), when Breakdancing became trend & Chaka Khan would have major hit w/ her song, "I Feel For You".

Also in Fall 1979, burning of Disco records at baseball parks became counterculture trend .

Two bits of bad news would end decade:

1. 52 Americans are taken hostage in American embassy in Tehrain, Iran

2. Former Soviet Union invades Afghanistan on New Year' s Eve, 1979 (what is not known at this time, is how much U.S. would have many problems with this country, Afghanistan, that not many Americans were familiar w/ & few could probably name on map at that time)

Sorry folks if this bores you, or you didn't care, but I am History major from University of South Florida in Tampa & actually I remember most if not all of events I listed here & ones listed above that should have also included these events! (I am 41 years old, & most of these events occurred during time I was child & teenager.)
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Senior Member
Apr 30, 2005
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beautiful Colorado
Wow, that sure is a lot to think about. I too remember all that stuff, being born in '54. Haven't thought about most of those things in a while. Not sure I can add much to any of that. I remember our high school graduating song of '72 was "We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions." We really thought we were cool by choosing those songs. We REALLY wanted the older generation to know that we were rockers and rebels. . . . and then came DISCO . . .WOW!! for me, that was an embarassing moment in time . . .I even played the drums in a 70's disco bar, ya know, for visual entertainment, while the DJ spun those awful disco records . . .it makes me shudder!! :eek:


Senior Member
Jun 11, 2005
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Oh willg, I really don't believe the disco music was all that bad. :rolleyes:

I mean, I agree with Joel Whitburn's assessment (Whitburn is the author or publisher of all of those Billboard magazine books), in that (and I'm paraphrasing Whitburn here), all Rock music at it's roots and some of the best has been very dancable. I just think disco might have ratcheted the beat, up a bit.

I think there are two reasons why it had a very limited run and why many people were opposed to it:

1. It came out of gay and ******* clubs (remember the Village People, they weren't cutting edge -- but were signs of what was going on; I would say this is why disco took a while to become mainstream). I always thought during the time that K.C. ("Get Down Tonight", "Shake, Shake, Shake (Shake Your Booty)", "That's Way I Like It", etc.), Andy Gibb ("I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and "Shadow Dancing") and John Travolta were all three gay (I don't know if that's necessarily true -- but that's what I thought at the time.)

2. The other people who were greatly attracted to it and many of the stars of disco were black women (Donna Summer, Alicia Bridges, Gloria Gaynor, Sister Sledge, the members of Chic, etc. -- they made it more mainstream -- the only black man who I would put in that category was Barry White -- and oh, what great singer he was). I think there was an odd dichotomy going on there, with the black women singing a great deal about heteorosexual responses, while many of the patrons for disco were gay.

But remember that axiom of Whitburn's and Rock in general and some of the best of Rock being very dancable.

By the way also Disco originally spun out of the 1960's "Go-Go" dance clubs (not to be confused by the name of the all women group from the early 1980's, the Go-Go's), as I recall the "Go-Go" dance halls used to have such acts as Motown artists, Martha & the Vandellas, the Four Tops, the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, etc., non-Motown but also American acts such as the McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy"), Johnny Rivers ("Seventh Son", "Secret Agent Man"), Aretha Franklin ("Respect", "Chain Of Fool", etc.), the Rascals ("Good Lovin'"), etc. and British acts including the Who, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Moody Blues playing on the dance/play list to be danced to -- so Disco wasn't totally inventive to the 1970's (remember that the name of the old vinyl 45's used to be "Disc" -- that's partly where Disco got it's name.)

I also do believe Disco of the 1970's that is, main problem wasn't even the music or even it's main original patrons (gays and lesbians), but the excess lifestyle choices involved in the clubs of freeflowing drugs, and uncontrolled sex (in many ways the Discos of the late 1970's, such as Studio 54 helped contribute to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980's and beyond.) I also dreaded the outfits/clothing of the 1970's Disco era (especially the platform shoes and polyester leisure suits).

But really much of todays music, and earlier, New Wave, the dance music of the 1990's and even some of todays acts such as Green Day, Weezer, Coldplay, Caesars, Killers, Bloc Party, Interpol, etc. still borrow liberally from the dancable elements and the beat of Disco.

The Rover

'Ol Timer
Apr 5, 2006
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cnbpjb said:
I would also say that you would have to include, besides Led Zeppelin (although in fairness, Zeppelin, actually started in calendar year 1969, or at least that's when they made their first big dent on Rock)

Well, Led Zeppelin first performed as Led Zeppelin on October 15, 1968 at Surrey Univ in England.......

One of Zeppelin's most powerful albums Led Zeppelin II was released in late 1969, in October, and so, as the 70's dawned, Zeppelin was making a Big impact, and their popularity was growing every day . . .

On Dec. 27, 1969, Led Zeppelin II reached #1 on the US albums charts, and remains there for 7 weeks.

Led Zeppelin II knocked off The Beatles Abbey Road as the #1 album in the UK in Feb. of 1970.

# 1 Albums in the UK in the 70's

Music Wench

Rock and Roll Grandma
Oct 18, 2005
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Must have missed this thread before.

For me the 70s was an excellent decade. I pretty much loved it all. David Bowie, Zeppelin and the Stones (yea, I know they started in the 60s but the early 70s they really rocked) all the way through to the Talking Heads and Blondie. It was great!!!

Disco wasn't great but it had it's moments. Loved the Bee Gees, hated KC & The Sunshine Band.

For me personally, music actually got better towards the end of the decade. Then again, that's when I was in college and learning more about music at my college radio station. Punk and New Wave will always hold a special place in my musical memory.

Reverend Rock

cool music and hot coffee
Oct 24, 2005
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the hills of Tennessee
Is anybody going to acknowledge the importance of funk and R&B in that decade? In the early 70s, you had Sly and the Family Stone's very influential There's A Riot Going On album, you had Stevie Wonder's essential Music of my Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness' First Finale, Isaac Hayes' Hot Buttered Soul, Rufus, War, the whole Parliament/Funkadelic scene, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On album, etc....and all this stuff has had a very big long-term influence (perhaps equal parts good and not-so-good) on the direction of popular music from then till now.
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