Best Hard Rock Bands of the 70s


The Top Ten

1 Queen Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury more.

QUEEN - THE GREATEST BAND ON EARTH! Absolutely the most perfect band! They could do hard rock, as hard as any of them, minus the cacophonous screaming. Freddie's voice was so magnificent, and Not screeching, that that's probably why some don't consider them 'hard' rock. But they could do it all, from amazing thrash, like Stone Cold Crazy and Dead On Time, to the loveliness of Love Of My Life and Barcelona and Save Me. They were the most eclectic band ever, perfecting over 40 genres of music!
Maybe some of Brian's hard edge got tempered by Freddie's phenomenal vocals, but all 4 were such genius musicians, brilliant in everything they did. Freddie got the job done w/out resorting to the 'shriek' technique; his voice was too gorgeous to sound anything but gorgeous, but never to shy away from anything, he certainly didn't shy away from being hard rock all the way w/ Bri, Roger, and John right behind him, passionately displaying all their genius & talent!
QUEEN - BOLD - BRAZEN - ...more

Queen was truly the best one of a kind rock/hard rock band... Long live freddie...

This is not rock, it's unadulterated pop - easy listening for the simple minded.

You could never call the early albums pop by any stretch of the imagination.
Liar, Ogre Battle, March of the Black Queen et al. Obviously somebody has no idea who the band is.

V 1 Comment
2 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition more.

Most of their songs are NOT hard rock.And most of their hard rock songs were ripp offs.They should not be at #1! - HEAVYMETALTHUNDER12345

Some of the most beautiful, blissful music of all time by four of the greatest artists of a generation that has gone through slow disintegration by society, change and frustrating misfortune.

Rebellion! Queen sucks when compared to Led Zeppelin. The 70s were ruled by jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Freddie Mercury was great but Queen just wasn't hard rock. They were too soft. Led Zeppelin is one of the top bands in rock history ever...

Queen were not at all soft. Do you know that the first thrash song was written by Freddie in 1968 and recorded a bit later? (Stone Cold Crazy). Metallica did a cover. - Metal_Treasure

They're one of the hottest rock band and the look to match... Really breath taking!

V 9 Comments
3 Deep Purple Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, more.

Don't even consider smoke on the water... The entire in rock album, machine head and fireball and burn absolutely amazing

Really hard rocking band always smoke on the water

The most talented, creative, innovative, technical and advanced = THE BEST.
R. Blackmore alone is a whole music universe. The best guitar player on this list - the fastest and most technical. Jimmy Page himself admitted Ritchie had always been a step ahead.
The best band live (Made In Japan; other live performances - their improvisations can't be touched).
DP were ahead of their time, esp. their experiments with a new, non-bluesy heavy sound, now known as metal.
DP were "the globe's loudest band" of the 70s, officially listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records. Their loudest show was in Copenhagen, Denmark, and there's an interesting fact - Lars Ulrich of Metallica was in the crowd. He was blown away and this show made him wanna play something that loud and fast one day. He was also mesmerized by Ian Paice double bass on Fireball (saw this for the first time). - Metal_Treasure

4 Rush Rush Rush was a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. Even though the only founding member still in the band is Alex Lifeson (Guitar), the band is most well-known for their current members Neil Peart (Drums) and Geddy Lee (Bass, Vocals). more.

As progressive Rock goes, this band epitomized the art of Mastering your craft. 3 Men sounding like a 5-Piece (even live) were incredible musicians and have kept it going for 40 years intact

I only discoverer Rush some years ago. I wish I could have done it before as they are really great! Favorite albuns: "Rush", "2112" and "Moving Pictures".

Rush took music to a new level! They created a unique combination of prog rock, hard rock, and other influences with is completely unlike any other band.

5 Uriah Heep Uriah Heep Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969 that was one of the top rock bands in the early 1970s. Twelve of the band's albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975). Uriah Heep's distinctive features include a massive keyboard sound, strong vocal more.

They should be in the top three. - HEAVYMETALTHUNDER12345

Uriah Heep, before Queen pioneered the thick harmonies coupled with a heavy guitar attack. Still musically valid and highly under-rated, they are still touring avidly to this day, unlike many of their contemporaries.

They were underrated, because they were mostly way way ahead of their time, hence the average, "mainstream" listener, too. Incredibly musical & experimental plus great lyrics... One could still go on...

One of the best bands ever and still going strong. Mick Box is a incredible guitarist

V 3 Comments
6 AC/DC AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson more.

Best ever, they made what we now know as explosive rock. Genius riffs and incredible vocals from Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, RIP Malcolm and Bon

It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll

These guys were good in the 70's, but it's in the 80's when they exploded

Best rock and roll band of all time for me

V 7 Comments
7 Aerosmith Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band".

'Merica! Steven Tyler and Joe Perry rock! Dream on, mama kin, walk this way, sweet emotion, back in the saddle.

8 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. more.

This Cracks me up. You Look at Best Metal songs of the 70s and Sabbath Dominates. Yet here they are at ten. Good Grief!

Black Sabbath, Led Zep, and Deep Purple should be top three.

What a ridiculous list Sabbath at 1 by a mile.

Sabbath, you can actually listen to them.

V 3 Comments
9 Rainbow Rainbow Rainbow are a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio as the lead singer and lyricist. Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band has sold over 28 million albums more.

My favorite Rock and Roll band. I prefer it Rainbow over deep purple, especially Dio era. The riffs and the vocals of the first 3 albums are just too good.

Dio + Ritchie Blackmore = the most amazing, powerful and creative tandem ever. - Metal_Treasure

10 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters more.

Pink Floyd isn't hard rock and do not belong on this list...

This is, of course, not hard rock and, since the early 70's, what can be best described as musical wallpaper.

Pink Floyd outshine the rest of this top ten by miles as for led zeppelin they were over rated anyway

Rush and Queen before Floyd. That is depressing. They are not even top ten. Wow!

V 2 Comments

The Contenders

11 Kansas Kansas Kansas is an American rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind".

Greatest American prog rock band of the seventies. They still are rocking 40 years later. Still an under rated band to this very day. First 5 albums are a masterpiece.

12 KISS KISS Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the band's original manager, Lew Linet.

Queen please who is doing this list kiss is and always will be the best hard rock band of all time period queen what morons

KISS was the best visually and musically. Every fan had a favorite member an each member was distinct in many ways.

You wanted the best and you've got the best! The hottest band in the land... KISS!

Kiss was the best hard rock band of the 1970's...

13 Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are an Irish rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Their leader Phil Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs, and the first black Irishman to achieve commercial success in the field of rock music. Thin Lizzy's most successful songs, "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak" more.

Not a serious rock group and one that sanitised/popified/generally dumbed down the medium.

One of the best live acts of the seventies,Phil was one of the best song writiers of his day, the band was musically talented, and stayed true to just rocking out. Trulley defined what rock was all about...

14 The Who The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964. The most recognizable lineup was Roger Daltrey (lead vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass guitar), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and more.

In terms of the 'pretentious moi' scale, not quite as atrocious as the Clash - a close run thing though.

If it wasn't for the WHO these bands wouldn't matter

15 Van Halen Van Halen Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.

Once Van Halens debut album came out
Van Halen was one of the greatest debuts of the 70's they should at least be in the Top 3

16 Lynyrd Skynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band best known for popularizing the Southern rock genre during the 1970s They are known for songs like "Free Bird", "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Tuesdays Gone" .
17 Boston Boston Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, that achieved their most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s.

Seriously why is this band, Van Halen, and Kansas always underrated, I mean they are all awesome, they give us a good feeling and let us forget about all the bad things and just feel happy when we are listening to their music, should be higher

Now you are taking the piss totally.

18 Nazareth Nazareth

Shocked to this band at 11. they're very underrated - zxm

Extremely under-rated Scottish band ( Dunfermline ) of which I am particularly proud of, since my heritage is from this ancient capital

overlooked for far too long, influence on this scottish music scene is vast,
yet almost none existent by the current media fraternity, to their eternal shame

"Now you're messin' with a son-of-a-bitch! "

19 Free Free Free were an English rock band formed in London in 1968, best known for their 1970 signature song "All Right Now".
20 Foreigner Foreigner Foreigner is a British-American hard rock band, originally formed in New York City in 1976 by veteran English musician Mick Jones and fellow Briton and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald along with American vocalist Lou Gramm.
21 Montrose

Could not agree more with your list, even Zebra. Problem with Montrose is they did not get enough national airplay. If they had, things would have turned out way different.

A great intro album in 1973 that defined them as a hard rock contender right off the bat. Space Station No. 5, Rock Candy, Bad Motor Scooter, Rock The Nation...are all classics in the hard rock genre. Montrose may be positioned correctly in this poll, but their debut album along with Led Zep 1, Boston, Van Halen 1 and Zebra's first album are among the finest debuts ion hard rock ever!

22 Sweet

The Sweet were are fabulous rock band in the 1970's. Brian, Steve, Mick and Andy were
talented musicians who deserved more success in there time with Classic albums such as Desolation Boulevard and Sweet Fanny Adams.

23 Ted Nugent Ted Nugent Theodore Anthony "Ted" Nugent is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and far right activist. Nugent initially gained fame as the lead guitarist of the Amboy Dukes, a band formed in 1963 that played psychedelic rock and hard rock.
24 Grand Funk Railroad Grand Funk Railroad Grand Funk Railroad, sometimes shortened as Grand Funk, is an American rock band popular during the 1970s, when they toured extensively and played to packed arenas worldwide.

Roanoke VA, fall of 1969.

25 Alice Cooper Alice Cooper Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith.
26 April Wine

? April Wine? - If you are going Canadian the go Mahogany Rush.

27 Heart Heart Heart is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.
28 Mountain

Should at least be in the top 20 on this list.

Mountain are agreat ass kickin band

29 Scorpions Scorpions Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.
30 MC5 MC5 MC5 was an American rock band from Lincoln Park, Michigan, formed in 1964. The original band line-up consisted of vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith, bassist Michael Davis, and drummer Dennis Thompson.
31 Cheap Trick Cheap Trick Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1973. As of 2010, the band currently consists of Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Daxx Nielsen.

The definition of complete guff = Cheap Trick.

Unadulterated crap of the first order.

Great band--did some "hard rock" on first lp but is really more power pop-rock. Not sure the belong on this list, but neither does Queen (also not "hard rock")

32 Starz
33 ZZ Top ZZ Top ZZ Top is an American rock band that formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band is composed of bassist and lead vocalist Dusty Hill, guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, and drummer Frank Beard.
34 New York Dolls
35 Molly Hatchet Molly Hatchet

Sir Lord Baltimore?

36 The Clash The Clash The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk.

Pretentiousness personified. Not hard rock - not really even punk.

37 Moxy
38 Bad Company Bad Company
39 Blue Öyster Cult Blue Öyster Cult Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band from Long Island, New York, whose most successful work includes the hard rock and heavy metal songs "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Godzilla" and "Burnin' for You".

Amazing band.

Should be No.2 after the Sabs.

40 Judas Priest Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band that formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. They are often referred to as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and are even commonly called “The Metal Gods”, after one of the songs on their 1980 album “British Steel”. more.

Not Bad as hard rock goes but short lived.

41 The Stooges The Stooges The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, are an American proto-punk band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003. Although they sold few records in their original incarnation, and often performed for indifferent or hostile audiences, the Stooges are more.
42 Sex Pistols Sex Pistols The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although they initially lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are considered one of the most influential acts in the history more.

Punk rock, not hard rock! - Metal_Treasure

43 Meatloaf

There's some very,very tired stuff on this so called list.

44 Helix Helix Helix is a Canadian hard rock/heavy metal band. They formed in 1974, and are best known for their 1984 single "Rock You".

? Who?!

45 Ramones Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound.

About the best thing to come out of the highly limited medium of punk rock.

Punk rock, not hard rock! - Metal_Treasure

46 Motorhead Motorhead Motörhead were an English heavy metal band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member; guitarist and songwriter Larry Wallis; and drummer Lucas Fox. The band's harsh vocals and fast paced tempos helped inspire speed metal and more.
47 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). more.
48 UFO UFO UFO are an English rock band that was formed in 1969. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal.
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Best Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of the 1970s Top Ten Hard Rock Albums of the 1970s Best Hard Rock Songs from the 70s Top 10 Canadian Hard Rock Albums of the '70s Top Ten Underrated Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Songs of the 70s

List Stats

500 votes
48 listings
8 years, 195 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Deep Purple
2. Queen
3. Rainbow
1. Uriah Heep
2. Deep Purple
3. Rainbow
1. Led Zeppelin
2. Rush
3. Queen

View All 6

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.