Top 10 Best Bands of the 1970s

The Top Ten
1 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English hard rock band formed in London in 1968 as the New Yardbirds. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums) and was very much the child of Jimmy Page who even financed their first tour. He had tasted... read more

Lots of great bands in the 70s, but the best (and one of the all-time best) was Led Zeppelin. They marked the start of arena rock and rock artists earning a lot of money from touring. Led Zep I & II were released in the late '60s. However, III, the untitled fourth album, Houses of the Holy, and Physical Graffiti were all from the '70s. These were amazing records. Presence and In Through the Out Door were very good as well, with songs like Achilles Last Stand that really shine.

They are still played on regular (non-classic) rock stations today. That's how good and influential they were.

Just from a '70s perspective, I would then rank it: Stones, Pink Floyd, Eagles, and Queen.

But Zep were the biggest and best.

2 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, 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... read more

Seriously? Heart and ABBA above Queen? Led Zeppelin I can kind of understand, but seriously? Before you vote for any other band, go look up "Bohemian Rhapsody" on iTunes or YouTube or something. Now, Freddie wrote that in a single night. And you hear that amazing guitar solo? That was Brian May on his first try (also, he built his own guitar from bits and bobs he found around England).

Now go listen to "Another One Bites the Dust." Hear that amazing bass and drumming? Well, the drummer did that while he was drunk. I kid you not, go look it up. Ol' Roger Taylor always had two shots of "the strongest stuff I could get sent to me in 45 minutes" before each studio recording and live performance. And as for John Deacon (the bass guy), well, his awesome playing speaks for itself. Their Live Aid concert was the best in music history. I think enough has been said.

3 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are 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... read more

Pink Floyd released their best work during the 1970s. With "Dark Side of the Moon," they created an album that not only sold millions but also provided the listener with a story and a sense of realism about the modern world. Other bands during this time were writing pop songs that were radio-friendly but lacked lasting meaning, nearly 40 years later. In comparison, Led Zeppelin doesn't even come close to Pink Floyd. I'm a fan of all music, but Floyd sets the standard. Every song they produced has something for everyone and a meaningful message.

4 Rush Rush was a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. The band has had an iconic lineup since 1975, which included Neil Peart (Drums, Percussion), Geddy Lee (Vocals, Bass, Keyboards), and the guitarist, Alex Lifeson. Peart passed away after a 3 year battle with brain cancer in January of... read more

Rush totally shreds. They sent Mercury Records an ultimatum after their first album, saying, "It's our music, and we play it our way." They are very prolific and instrumental in their influence on modern progressive music.

I was 11 years old, and the album was the very first record I bought at Shoppers Drug Mart at the plaza. I rushed home to listen to it on headphones, and the rest is history.

Why is ABBA above Rush? This is how little the general public knows about Rush. Oh well, more for us!

5 ABBA ABBA are a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972 by members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

ABBA is without a doubt the best music group ever, with a sound that is completely unique. I have heard every song that they have played/sung in English, as well as a few in Swedish and Spanish. I have not yet come across a song by them that is not in its own way enjoyable. Their music has a strange quality, due to their Swedish accents and interesting style of choice.

Their melodies are pleasant, extremely catchy and, at first listen, seem simple. However, trying to sing almost any one of their songs will bring to light how complicated they really are. The ranges that the singers have with their voices are incredible, and yet they make it sound so easy. They also manage very well three different voices, usually at the same time, which gives the music a depth and complexity without the use of a lot of instruments.

I was born in 1996, so I never did get to follow their career, or see them in concert, (which is my dream). I learned about them only when the movie Mamma Mia! came out. It is amazing how much better ABBA is than modern popular music.

6 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... read more

Black Sabbath is one of the bands that started metal. I love them! They have such a unique style. They are definitely one of the greatest bands that ever lived!

They are awesome. Ozzy still is really awesome. Go Ozzy! All of his songs, especially Blizzard of Oz.

One great band to see at the age of 12! 3rd row, Kansas City, KS, 1971. They kicked ass.

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

Number 1 by far. No band has ever rocked the '70s and come back with classics such as Permanent Vacation, Pump, and Get a Grip quite like Aerosmith. They've had the greatest comeback of any band in history, which actually outsold their '70s classics. They are still the best performing band of all time. They are actually better live now than in the '70s era. It's easy when you have Steven Tyler, the best frontman of all time, along with the snarling guitar of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford's rhythm guitar. Not to mention the most underrated bassist and head-banging drummer. What a treat to enjoy their music since my first concert in 1974.

8 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... read more

The Who should be #1. The '70s was their best decade. Releasing songs like Baba O'Riley, Bargain, Behind Blue Eyes, Won't Get Fooled Again, The Real Me, The Punk and The Godfather, 5:15, Sea and Sand, Love Reign O'er Me, The Seeker, Long Like Rock, Slip Kid, Dreaming from the Waist, Squeeze Box, Who Are You, Bell Boy, Doctor Jimmy, and the albums Who's Next, and Quadrophenia, makes them the greatest band ever.

My band started playing their songs when they had two albums out in the US. Once I saw them live, it was all over. Each of them was so awesome in their own unique, individual ways. When they rocked so hard together, there was nothing left to ask for.

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

The original Heart lineup produced three and a half albums of mind-blowing quality: 'Dreamboat Annie', 'Little Queen', and 'Dog & Butterfly' are all very impressive works. 'Magazine' would have been too, if they'd completed it, hence the "half". Ann Wilson is a phenomenal singer who blows everyone else away. Heart has had an impressively long career, and some of their recent albums stand up to the quality of their early work: 'Jupiter's Darling', 'Red Velvet Car', and 'Fanatic' are all excellent works.

You are definitely not the only Heart fan left. I just saw them in concert, sold out, standing room only, and they rocked the house. I love Heart, and there are a lot more people who agree. Heart is one of the greatest groups to ever set foot on a stage. Heart rules.

10 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... read more

'70s AC/DC was AC/DC at its finest. There's nothing wrong with the Brian Johnson era of AC/DC. It's just that it was never as good as it was with Bon Scott fronting the band. The vocals ranged from silly and playful to the most hard-rocking, powerful vocals imaginable, and every riff written by Angus and Malcolm Young was an instant classic. "Riff Raff", "Sin City", "Let There Be Rock", "TNT", "The Jack", and EVERYTHING off of "Highway to Hell" have classic guitar riffs. And not to mention "Whole Lotta Rosie", which has the most recognizable guitar riff of all time (yes, I think more recognizable than "Back in Black"). Even if people don't know the name of the song straight away, they have heard these riffs and start rocking out.

The Contenders
11 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)... read more

The Rolling Stones had an awesome decade, one of their strongest in the '70s. After the fantastic "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main Street", they released a trio of REALLY underrated albums: "Goats Head Soup", "It's Only Rock And Roll", and "Black And Blue", before releasing the equally awesome "Some Girls". So why are they this low down? Don't know really. It is the nature of these lists to have some bands that I personally don't favor, like the Jackson 5, in the top 5, while placing a few awesome bands lower down, like the Stones. The Who, Deep Purple, and Fleetwood Mac should not be where they are either.

12 The Allman Brothers Band The Allman Brothers Band was an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman and Gregg Allman, as well as Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson.

I saw the Allman Brothers, Pure Prairie League, the Outlaws (I think) among others at Legend Valley in Ohio back in 1978! It was the first concert at this outdoor venue. Oh man! It was like Woodstock. We even had the rain. I was with two other people. We had a large cooler full of beer and some food, two blankets, sunscreen, a couple of chairs, and some other stuff. We got in really early because we camped out the night before just across the street. It had rained in the night, while everyone had their cars all stuck in the mud and their tents too! We did have some smarts about us. We got to the campgrounds early the day before, so we had our pick of spots. Pitched our tent on a hill.

The next morning, when most people were having lots of trouble trying to get themselves unstuck, my boyfriend had a brand new 4x4, which pulled others out in a jiffy. Then, we were within the first 40-50 people in line for breakfast at the restaurant conveniently located about 20 yards from the entrance to Legend Valley. So we ate and quickly got in line for the concert. Now, it was about 7:00 am. The gate opened around 8:00, I think? But we were within the first 100 people through the gate. And there ended up being (wild guessing it) about 30,000 or more. Since we were so early and pretty much had our pick of spots, we befriended these two guys who had a cooler full of "Harry Buffalo" and some food, and they had a large sheet of heavy plastic. They stopped us and said, "Hey, you guys wanna join us?" We were happy to meet them. They were really cool! I had never been to anything quite like this.

So, I think the concert didn't start until noon or so. When it began to rain, we were happy we had joined these guys with the large sheets of plastic. We also covered ourselves with plastic, so we stayed pretty dry while it rained. But that didn't last long. After the rain stopped, my girlfriend and I were headed up the hill to the port-a-jons, we kept slipping and sliding... more

13 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,... read more

From 1970-1974 nobody could touch Deep Purple's incredible speed, power, and mastery of instruments. Blackmore's whammy bar cranking-ripping Stratocaster and Lord's distorted Hammond Organ exchanges were legendary. Ian Gillan or David Coverdale vocals were stellar. Ian Paice's drumming was incredible. For those 4 years as a teenager, they were my #1 go-to band.

Deep Purple was one of the greatest rock bands in the 1970s. Although they didn't last as long together as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, their music was and always will be memorable. Everyone knows Smoke on the Water's guitar riff, and, my god, Highway Star is one of the best car songs of all time!

14 The Eagles The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner.

The Eagles, along with Fleetwood Mac, are underrated on this list. They both had a very original sound, were incredibly gifted musicians that not only wrote musically gifted songs, but had one top ten hit after another in the 70s. And still, their music is timeless and cherished by many. A quick look on "YouTube" will show you their continuing popularity today. Both bands should be within the top ten.

The Eagles' music just has a way of staying relevant in a way the vast majority of bands can't. The fact that the Eagles made it big in multiple genres is a testament to their incredible talent in both writing and performing. They are a very underappreciated band.

15 Kiss Kiss, often styled as KISS, was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1973. The original members were Paul Stanley (vocals, rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals, bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar, vocals), and Peter Criss (drums, vocals)... read more

Disagree. KISS is number one. People like bands that only release a couple of albums and then call it quits. KISS upset a lot of people because they were louder, more successful, and have outlasted everyone they upset. Every one in the business has had lineup changes, but somehow people act like KISS committed a major offense because they got rid of a drunk and a junkie and replaced them with skilled musicians who appreciate all they have.

KISS is the absolute best at showmanship. They were the first band to:
A. Make the color black an official Rock N Roll color to wear.
B. Perform with fake blood and extreme pyrotechnics.
C. Pioneer Glam Metal.
D. Bring performance in makeup and costumes to the extreme level.
E. Merchandise the hell out of everything.
F. Keep the merchandising rights to themselves when they first signed onto a record label.

16 Jackson 5 The Jackson 5, or Jackson Five, currently known as The Jacksons, are an American family music group. Formed in 1964, the founding members were elder brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine. Younger brothers Marlon and Michael would join after.

The Jacksons were the greatest band to ever grace the stage with the perfection of dance, vocal, style, and fashion. Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, Marlon, and Michael became icons before they became adults. They were the first group to have all four of their releases hit number 1 in their debut year and became a global success.

They should be in the top ten, at least!

17 The Moody Blues The Moody Blues were an English rock band. They first came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music, but their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music and established them as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive... read more

There is not now, nor will there ever be, another band with the Moodies' unique qualities of progressive songwriting and playing. Not to say the other bands listed weren't great, but the Moody Blues and their sound occupy a genre almost all their own. They create music that has a way of providing energy, solace, inspiration, whatever is needed for almost any given life experience.

Not to mention their overall extraordinary musicianship and the fact that, 45 years on, they are still playing, and playing well. Justin Hayward still has that magnificent, irreplaceable, instantly recognizable voice that, I'm sure, has been like a faraway friend accompanying so many of us on our journeys in life.

18 Van Halen Van Halen was 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.

Eddie was one of the best guitar players in the world, when he was only 23 years old.

19 Blue Oyster 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".

Blue Oyster Cult is such a great band. They deserve top 15. Godzilla and Don't Fear the Reaper are phenomenal. The Spectres album is so awesome.

Very underrated. They did Burnin' for You and Don't Fear the Reaper.

20 The Beatles The Beatles were an English pop rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later... read more

They barely existed in the 1970s, but they did give us the brilliant - and underrated - Let It Be album, so they deserve to be on this list. One sub-standard album by them is still better than most other bands could even dream of.

They only existed in the '70s for a few months before breaking up, and of course, most of their work was in the '60s, but they are without a doubt the GOAT - Greatest Of All Time.

Without this band, it's probable that hardly any of the other bands on this list would have achieved what they achieved.

21 The Monkees The Monkees were an American rock and pop band originally active between 1966 and 1971, with reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed.

They are my favorite group of all time!

22 Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band formed in July 1967, in London. The band have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.

One thing that's notable about the band is its lineup changes, both before and after their peak years. The Peter Green/Danny Kirwan/Bob Welch eras are a few examples, symbolizing the band's shift from blues rock to pop rock. I think a few of my favorite albums from those eras are probably "Then Play On", "Future Games", "Bare Trees", and "Mystery To Me" (even though the last one was recorded during a turbulent time in the band's history, before the "Fake Mac" scandal and lawsuit). These albums perfectly encapsulated these changing times. The albums' eerie-sounding folk rock/soft rock tunes are just a joy to listen to. They are almost akin to what bands like Poco and Firefall had to offer, I might say...

23 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.

Alice Cooper was by far a better live and record band than most on this list. ABBA? Foreigner? Wings? Cutting edge WAS Alice Cooper. Babes, you are way out of touch. Just ask musicians. They'll put Cooper toward the top of this weak list. Are you judging 'Pop' or creative, loud, and live performance? Screw popular, judge by greatness. At least top 15. ABBA? Wow.

Alice Cooper should be at least in the top ten, maybe top five. He's an amazing singer and showman, truly a legend. He's also a very influential figure in the music industry. He needs to be way higher up.

24 Journey Journey is an American arena rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch.

Journey is one of the most underrated bands in the history of rock and roll. People ought to stop listening to bad radios and look for what the real '70s were.

The absolute best! Steve Perry is a powerful vocalist and underrated!

They were by far the best group, with a great guitar player, bass player, and of course, the raspy vocals of Steve Perry.

25 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”... read more

The pioneering heavy metal band, simply no one could match their style back then. One of the greatest things to ever come out of Great Britain. Period.

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