Top 10 Best Rock Bands of the '70s

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

Yes, I was definitely expecting this. If someone put Led Zeppelin below number one, then I would simply say this man has no respect for one of the greatest bands ever in music history. Each member was one of the most influential musicians in their own fields, and so many bands idolized them.

There are just so many bands that loved Led Zeppelin's songs while they grew up, so many bands that admitted having been influenced by their unique music, and so many musicians that wanted to see the reunion of Zep. Their music has depth which some bands may lack. They rarely give out the answers to their music but go on to talk about so many things in our lives. It's not just the music I'm talking about - the creativity, the reflection of life, and the uniqueness are what I'm trying to mention.

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

Not only was Freddie Mercury able to hit all the notes, but they were also able to create a harmony like no other. Each of their songs gave you a different feeling. I actually found myself mouthing the lyrics to their songs, something I never do. The talent in each and every band member was unparalleled. Freddie Mercury could sing all types of songs, and the amount of talent they had was incredible.

A lot of people like bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones, but in my opinion, Queen was the best. Freddie Mercury had a voice like no other, and it is such a shame HIV led to his untimely death. Long live Freddie.

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 were so much better than Queen. Let's break it down to prove it. In terms of vocal ability, I'm giving it to Freddie Mercury. So, Pink Floyd 0-1 Queen.

Drumming, I'm giving it to Nick Mason. Pink Floyd 1-1 Queen. Guitar playing, David Gilmour by far! Pink Floyd 2-1 Queen. Bass, Roger Waters. Pink Floyd 3-1 Queen.

Songwriting, which includes lyrics and music, goes to Roger Waters/David Gilmour. While Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the greatest songs of all time, more Pink Floyd songs have more meaning, better lyrics, and better music than Queen songs. Pink Floyd 4-1 Queen.

Album writing, Pink Floyd hands down. The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are among the best albums of all time. Pink Floyd 5-1 Queen. Piano/Keyboard playing, Richard Wright. Pink Floyd 6-1 Queen.

In terms of sales, Pink Floyd sold 250 million units, while Queen sold 200 million. Pink Floyd 7-1 Queen. All Queen did was write radio-friendly songs. Just because you hear their songs on the radio doesn't mean they're that good. You hear a lot of Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne on the radio, but that doesn't mean they're good. It's the same thing with Queen. All they did was write mainstream music.

Really, nothing that special besides Bohemian Rhapsody, The Show Must Go On, and Under Pressure, which are excellent songs. But all their other songs are just commercial music. I Want to Break Free sounds like commercial '80s pop music. Somebody to Love is terrible. They're just easy songs to listen to. Pink Floyd is way, way better.

4 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

I can't believe The Who are ranked lower than 2. Maybe I'll concede Led Zeppelin at number one. Maybe. But the seventies were The Who's prime. They released Who's Next in 1971, featuring Baba O'Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again, and seven other knockout songs. Two years later, in 1973, they released Quadrophenia. This is their best album, including tracks like The Real Me, 5:15, and Love Reign O'er Me, along with 14 other songs that rock and kick ass.

And the lyrics! Pete is truly a lyrical genius! And of course, The Who wouldn't be The Who without one of the best vocalists and rhythm sections ever known to rock music. Keith and John were incredible by themselves, and together, they filled in all the gaps during one of Pete's guitar solos. Sometimes, during a guitar solo, you feel like something is missing when the singer is not singing, but not with The Who.

And of course, Roger. Roger Daltrey has one of the best voices ever. I don't know how you can sing that intensely in a studio. He really got into it. The Who deserve the number one spot.

5 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

AC/DC was THE hard rock band of the '70s, just below Led Zeppelin. AC/DC was all about sex, drugs, and good music. When AC/DC played, audiences roared. Truly a magnificent rock 'n' roll band. They are hardcore and know the real meaning of rock.

The best live band ever, each concert is 150 minutes of pure joy! Also, listen to 42 Decibel!

I think on the 'Dirty Deeds' album, that's where they found their sound.

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

Steven Tyler is my man! Still going strong, touring, and raising hell. He filled many of my memories of college, and hearing an oldie excites me like it did back then! I love every album!

Awesome band, deserves to be higher. They were brilliant in the '70s and arguably achieved their best work. Very good band.

Aerosmith is a true hard rock band! Aerosmith was influenced by artists such as the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.

7 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

The best of the big '70s beasts and the most original. Where Zeppelin were ripping off every old blues player and their dogs, the Stones were vanishing into a heroin fugue, Deep Purple were stuck in the '60s with subpar writing and production, and The Who were mired in the follies of Pete Townshend, Black Sabbath laid down the blueprint for every metal band to come with six of the most original albums ever recorded and the grand master of heavy guitar, Tony Iommi.

When Sabbath crashed after Sabotage, they left nothing on the table for anyone. They have never been matched by any other band ever, period, and all those who try are merely following along in their still churning wake.

8 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

The most talented, creative, innovative, technical, and advanced equals the best. A band of masters. Ritchie Blackmore alone is a whole music universe.


- The riff that rules all other riffs - Smoke on the Water;
- The solo that rules all other solos - Highway Star;
- The screams that rule all other screams - Child in Time;
- The best band live - Live in Japan;
- The most technical pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal;
- The globe's loudest band of the 70s, officially listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records.

Anything else for number 1?

9 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

If anyone says that Rush is not one of the top ten rock bands of the '70s, they obviously have not listened to any of their songs from that decade. Both their self-titled debut album and both of their live albums are examples of rock in its purest form. These, along with their rock epics 2112 and Cygnus X-1, place them top 10 on any rock list.

Is there a 3-piece band that can produce the music of a 5-piece band with the precision Geddy, Neil, and Alex consistently achieved? Additionally, the musical quality, content, and volume of music would push Rush higher on this list.

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

They are the best. Tell me a group which can give us a country classic like Desperado, a superb disco-blues in One of These Nights, and the mighty rock song Hotel California. Nobody in music history was, is, and will have the range like The Eagles. The Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and The Rolling Stones just do not have the range of this music nor do they have the harmonies that The Eagles give us. For me, they are No. 1, then the others follow.

I am 15 now. When I was younger, I hated the Eagles and could not stand them. Then, one day when I was 12, I was listening to After the Thrill is Gone and I realized that that song was great. Then I started really listening to them and found out how talented the band was. Now, the Eagles are my favourite band.

I love how, on so many of their songs, Don Henley and Glen Frey switch off on who sings lead. I just love that. To me, the Eagles are NUMBER 1, and I agree they should definitely be higher on this list.

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

Their songs really get stuck in your head. It's mainly because the songs are repetitive. They definitely deserve a number ten spot, if only for the mark they left in music history. However, I feel like they were talented musicians that wasted some of their talent by writing songs that lacked a lot of meaning and were also repetitive.

I like all the bands on this list, but I honestly think that The Stones deserve the number 2 spot. I mean, The Stones are probably as influential as The Beatles. They made many great songs. It's pretty hard not to like The Stones. I like every song they ever made and released. Thanks!

12 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.

Ah, the Mac. Seriously talented and unique bunch, but yes, very repetitive after Rumours, trying to duplicate its success. Fortunately, there was enough variety to continue to entertain. Tusk was brilliant. The Dance was great. Miserable tightwads of late, doing a world tour but no album releases or live recordings known of, due to piracy concerns. How innovative. What a concept.

If everyone did the same, there would be no more recorded music. Great job, guys. Anyhow, they should be in the top 5.

Yes, I like their stuff with Stevie Nicks, but I also like their pre-Stevie albums as well. I always considered their album Penguin a classic from them, even though it is kind of a black sheep among their best albums. I find Bob Welch's voice to be good as well.

I think their best album with Stevie Nicks would be Tusk. So many classic songs on that album, and it ended their classic '70s years with a bang. Let's just say I like both eras of the band.

13 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" .

Lynyrd Skynyrd is synonymous with the '70s. You couldn't go anywhere without hearing Free Bird or Sweet Home Alabama on the radio. Additionally, around 1973 or '74, they toured with The Who. Critics stated that they outperformed The Who on stage. Then, in 1976, at the Knebworth Festival in England, the home country of The Rolling Stones, they were said to have surpassed the Stones in performance. Their live performances were unparalleled, mainly due to the incredible power of Ronnie Van Zant's voice as he delivered his songs.

Behind him was a perfect blend of a triple-threat rocking guitars, a uniquely played piano, solid drums, bass, and backup vocals. When you go back and listen to some of their songs, you'll notice three distinct-sounding guitars blended perfectly, creating an exceptionally good sound. Lastly, the lyrics are worth paying attention to. Ronnie Van Zant was incredibly creative with his lyrics and never wrote them down. He conceived entire songs while sitting on a couch, listening to band members play riffs. This approach to songwriting was unique to him. He was simply a genius.

14 Yes Yes is an English progressive rock band formed in 1968 by bassist Chris Squire and singer Jon Anderson. They first achieved success in the 1970s with a progressive, art and symphonic style of rock music. Their best known song is their 1971 hit "Roundabout" off of their album Fragile.

The average rock listener might not catch the magic that was '70s YES music, which is why they often don't make generic top 10 lists and aren't considered mainstream by most. However, the construction of YES music is far superior to that of other bands due to their very complex arrangements and inspirational thematic elements. To truly appreciate this, you have to listen closely to tracks on albums such as "The Yes Album," "Fragile," and "Close to the Edge." Listen closely to hear what each individual musician is contributing and how their parts are interwoven - the average listener may not have the patience for this.

While analyzing what they are doing, it is beneficial to consider how difficult it would be to reproduce these efforts. YES members have always been among the most proficient musicians. Another outstanding aspect of this band is that their messages were largely positive, not just pandering to teens who clamor for music that reflects an attitude of "Let's party" and "Drugs, sex, and rock and roll." This is why their music has stood the test of time and stands out from the rest.

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

Nothing against any of the bands ranked ahead, as they were very influential in their own ways, but KISS was the face of '70s rock music. The makeup, pyrotechnics, and merchandise made them stand out, and that's all some people give them credit for. KISS was much more than that. They were four guys who could all write songs, sing, and play instruments very well. They also dabbled in several types of music genres.

KISS, to me, is one of the most underrated musicians of all time. Sit and actually listen to any album they put out in this decade, and I believe you will have a different perspective.

16 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... read more

I definitely think a guitarist like Ritchie Blackmore deserves to be mentioned here for more than one occasion. And long live Zeppelin on their throne!

The best musicianship offered by the '70s in every respect: guitars, vocals, drumming, songwriting. A very creative and innovative band as they invented several metal subgenres currently very popular and respected. Rest in peace, Dio!

People don't understand many things. If they want to know, Led Zeppelin is known for music plagiarism. This band is underrated, but the songs have great melodies, much better than Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd is nothing but effects. It's a great band. My favorite. It's not only Rising as an album. It has great albums, much better than Rising.

17 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.

Even when they released their first album close to the '80s, in 1978 to be exact, it became one of the most successful album debuts in all rock history and marks the beginning of one of the greatest rock bands ever.

18 The 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.

Simple, fast, and good. 15-minute songs? No way! Average 2-minute songs made some difference back then.

The Ramones should not be at 75. They deserve to be at number one!

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 Öyster Cult should be in the top ten of any hard rock/metal list as they did both and more. Very experimental with great lyrics, way ahead of their time, and has one of the best guitar players that ever came into the rock world, Buck Dharma. Go see them if you don't believe it. They put on excellent live shows.

The harmony of their melodies is unique. No other band has as many great songs as Blue Oyster Cult have! Certainly, they are the most underestimated band of all time... or actually, maybe not that much since we humans hardly appreciate great things!

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

The only band that matters and, in my opinion, the greatest band who ever lived. Sure, they aren't the best singers, but they more than made up for it with great songs, extremely ambitious albums, the widest variety of music sound-wise of any band ever, and just straight-up attitude. Their songs may have gotten a little too political at times, but most of their songs are either still relevant or easy to understand in the context of what the world was going through at the time. They only had one bad album, and that was because Mick Jones was fired. This band is awesome and deserves more credit. Honorable Mentions: The Who and The Ramones.

21 The Police The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For the majority of their history, the band consisted of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. They are most known for their songs "Message In A Bottle", "Don't Stand So Close To Me", "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", "Roxanne",... read more

The Police are very underrated in my opinion. They made a song about a guy stalking a woman that made number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart, and it was there for 8 weeks. I don't think many bands can do that. And if you need one more piece of evidence, they're in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nice.

22 The Cars The Cars were an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer... read more

I have to agree with the other statement that they are overlooked. Every top rock band list I have ever seen has them ranked low. Their first album was basically a greatest hits compilation, and they had many more hits after that. They should easily be top 10.

I can't believe I actually had to add this band! The Cars were great. Let's Go, Just What I Needed, Moving in Stereo, My Best Friend's Girl - they were a really phenomenal band.

Definitely a top 10 band. Great unique sound that doesn't age.

23 Creedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater Revival, often shortened to Creedence and abbreviated as CCR, was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

What could they have done if they survived? Listen to them loud and in high quality. Inspiring. John Fogerty basically divorced his band and went on to sing in a band using his own name. Some feel he was even better after that, but I can't see it. Maybe I need to listen to more.

Get everything CCR you can, even live. If your sound quality is lacking, go and buy yourself a good CD compilation remastered. Worth it. And get good speakers or headphones.

They created one of the most unique sounds of the era in such a limited time span - they were together for 5 years! The volume and quality of music produced by them in such a small amount of time is virtually unparalleled.

24 Foreigner Foreigner is a British-American arena 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.

Come on now... Some of the best ballads and hottest rock songs ever! Feels Like the First Time, Cold as Ice, Hot Blooded, Double Vision, Juke Box Hero, Urgent, Waiting for a Girl Like You! The list goes on and on!

The problem with this rating system is the age of the voter. Come on now is absolutely right. They are one of the best bands of all time. All songs listed below were huge hits!

One of my favorite bands of the '70s. We went to one of their shows in 2015 in Oak Ridge, TN. I was very disappointed. They only played four of their classic hits.

25 Boston Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, that achieved their most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s.

A lot of people just listen to More Than a Feeling and then call it a one-hit wonder. But if you have ever listened to Peace of Mind or Foreplay/Long Time, you would probably have rated this band higher. I dare all of you to listen to those two other songs and then vote.

This band is awesome. It doesn't deserve to be this low. Boston has one of the best guitarists and the best singer.

Also, the rest of the band is good, but when they play together, they create a whole different sound.

Most of the bands beating Boston are bands that formed very late in the decade and did not get popular until the 1980s! It really makes no sense to me.

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