Monday, February 19, 2007

Hard rock and heavy metal in the 1970's

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The roots of hard rock/metal probably started really taking shape around the mid to late 1960's. Such as acts as Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Blue Cheer started forming the foundation of this style of music. So actually the 1970's would be the first decade in which this style existed during the entire decade. It was not just interesting, but also a very exciting time heavy music. So much was being created and worked out and much of it was fairly new and original. This is my favorite decade for hard rock and heavy metal. The 1980's had a lot of bands and more genres, but there is just something fresher and at times a bit more pure about a lot of heavy music from the 1970's. You had bands that used gimmicks, but I think the record labels didn't have as tight of a leash on bands back then. Most bands that fizzled then did so because they wore themselves out rather solely being pushed out by changing fads. Although I think hard rock was in some danger towards the end of the decade, but bands like Van Halen, AC/DC and Judas Priest pulled it out and then the 1980's took over.
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I decided to make a list of 25 hard rock/metal albums from the 1970's that I think give a good overview of the decade. My only rules for myself were no live albums and I could only use and artist once.

3-Alice Cooper-Love it to death
4-Black Sabbath-Volume 4
5-Blue Oyster Cult-Agents of fortune
7-Budgie-Never turn your back on a friend
8-Deep Purple-Machine Head
9-Judas Priest-Sad wings of destiny
10-KISS-Dressed to kill
11-Led Zeppelin-Houses of the holy
14-Nazareth-Hair of the dog
15-New York Dolls-s/t
16-Queen-A night at the opera
20-Sweet-Desolation Boulevard
21-Ted Nugent-Cat scratch fever
22-Thin Lizzy-Bad Reputation
23-UFO-Strangers in the night
24-Uriah Heep-Demons and wizards
25-Van Halen-s/t

Hope this helps to kick off 1970's week.
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Blogger etain_lavena said...

I love these bands....all mentioned in your 25 list...I dance to KISS, and AC/DC antics have been mentioned on my blog....WHOOHOOOO....FUN!!!

4:50 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Wow...........using only an artist once would have made the list a lot harder for me to come up with. I think you did well though.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Good list but from an English viewpoint you'd need to put Status Quo & Slade in there somewhere, somehow. Quo's first four albums for Vertigo are essential for any 70s rock fan I reckon! Quo would definately rank above Nazareth, Sweet and Budgie for me.

I just reviewed Powerage on my blog ( and to be honest I rate Let There Be Rock as more essential. Wasn't Highway To Hell also 70s? Another album I rate above Powerage - not that's its a bad album of course.

Great site by the way - really enjoy reading it and its inspired me to launch my own blog.



7:17 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

What a great list--peopel would be well off to start a CD collection with these 25!

It's hard to just pick one for a few of these bands: AC/DC, Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Sabbath, Rush, and so on. (With that limit, though, you did great ... but I'd have to pick Queen's first or second album instead of "A Night at the Opera" because they largely moved away from their early, more metal sound.)

Although not purely metal, the following albums were hard enough, and influential enough, that I'd try to sneak them onto this list:

The Who, Who's Next
Foreigner, s/t
King Crimson, Red
Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
Jethro Tull, Aqualung

-- david

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

Nice to see someone who appreciates Uriah Heep. It's too bad they were never hugely successful here in the colonies.

7:35 AM  
Blogger George Vader said...

AC/DC-Highway To Hell, the album I feel that threw metal into the 'mainstream'.

8:16 AM  
Blogger DPTH International said...

Good list, but like evrything, it is up to the individual taste's and requirements. The '70's were a very influential time and these bands were forging a whole new genre. Ooooh the freedom they must have had.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Aunt Jackie said...

Most of these bands are my favs... The 70s cranked out some great rock and metal bands! Great!! I'm loving 70s week. :)

4:16 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I was just listening to Jailbreak '74 as part of my CD Shelf Clean-Up project in progress at my blog, so I was in a right fun mood for this post. I used to sell the seventies short at one time, sort of like being loyal to your time and place as we were in the eighties, but when metal died the first time, I really went exploring into other genres and decades and what you're saying is accurate. I mean, Rainbow alone is one of the most exciting sounds of the decade and so much of the 80s power metal would reflect Rainbow, and it's even more obvious in today's Euro metal scene because I get a ton of promos who sound like crosses of Rainbow, Maiden and Helloween. Good analysis, Mark.

4:29 PM  
Blogger captain corky said...

The 70's has to be the most important and defining decade for rock. The 80's and 90's cant compare, and whatever we're calling this decade doesn't even deserved to be mentioned. Good read!

5:38 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Great list, and a lot of choices coincide with my own faves (Vol. 4, Houses Of The Holy, for instance). Personally I'd go for Scorps' 'VIrgin Kiler', though. And Sir Lord Baltimore should be there! They just had one album and an EP, but I think Diamond Dave for one was listening closely! Great proto-hard rock/HM stuff, very cock rockish in its swagger and topics and those vocals are so over the top, who can resist?

7:13 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

etain-I like all of these bands a bit as well.


Bill-I have never heard a whole album by Slade or Status Quo. It probably is more an English thing. Just like Boston and Ted Nugent might very well be more an American thing. I will stop by your blog soon to check it out.

David-I considered those bands and about ten others, but had to stop somewhere. To be honest my list was originally just going to be twenty bands, but I had trouble keeping it at that number.

Bruce-I like Uriah Heep, but sometimes they come off as a little too serious.

George-I thought KISS did that.

dpth-There certainly was a lot going on during that decade.

Aunt Jackie-The 80's and 90's had more bands, but maybe not more good ones and that's what counts.

Ray-I think the record industry gave bands a little freedom then and thinks were fresher in general.

Captain Corky-Isn't it a shame that this decade is nearing the end and I don't know how the music will be defined. It's seems to be a rehash of other decades and styles that die after like two years.

jp-I reviewed both Lord Baltimore albums here like a year ago. They're good, but I think Sabbath, Purple and Uriah Heep better define that early 1970's metal style. I considered them briefly for this list. Yet for 70's metal bands I would have taken Bang or Captain Beyond before Lord Baltimore.

8:31 PM  
Blogger JP said...

>> They're good, but I think Sabbath, Purple and Uriah Heep better define that early 1970's metal style.

Yeah, totally.

>>Bang or Captain Beyond

Huh. Time for some more exploration, thanks!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

My favorites you mentioned (of the albums I actually know ) :


Bon Scott fitted AC/DC's image so well (maybe too well).

3-Alice Cooper-Love it to death

I mention this one because I love the older Alice music especially his albums like From the Inside and Lace and Whiskey. I actually wish he would make those type of albums again, they were in a class of their own.

4-Black Sabbath-Volume 4
First time I heard this was in a house my dad rented for a vacation when I was about 14 years old. It was the only metal album in their collection.

5-Blue Oyster Cult-Agents of fortune

I am a big BOC fan and pretty much like most of their stuff.

These guess are an anomally, why they never made more albums doesn't make sense.

8-Deep Purple-Machine Head
Say no More

9-Judas Priest-Sad wings of destiny
We are not worthy. One of the best albums made.

11-Led Zeppelin-Houses of the holy
First Zep album I actually bought. Classic.

14-Nazareth-Hair of the dog
I keep getting Nazareth albums from my sister-in-laws as that is what they define as metal.

16-Queen-A night at the opera
Best Queen album ever... excellent

Awesome album this and it still stands strong today. 'The lady's startstruck...' Gotta love Dio.

Excellent album the cover also did good for my teenage hormones :)

22-Thin Lizzy-Bad Reputation
Let's bow down again... we are not worthy...

24-Uriah Heep-Demons and wizards
Only recently started hearing them after my brother bought a best of album. Love the old bluesy metal sound.

11:33 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

I find it strange that you listed no live albums. It seems the '70's were the age of the live album. Without KISS's, Kiss Alive they might never have gained the popularity that they enjoyed. The same might be said of Ted Nugents, Great Gonzo's and Frampton Alive or even Cheap Tricks, Live at Budokan.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

andre-Glad someone agrees with me on some of these.

Fuzz-I put above the list that I wasn't going to choose any live albums for this list. There are some great live albums from the 1970's for sure. I just don't like putting studio albums and live albums on the same list. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

7:01 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

You should have made an exception to the one album rule for Zeppelin.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

or AC/DC.

9:58 AM  
Blogger mikem1234 said...

I liked your list but I think it should've had Deep Purple In Rock instead of Machine Head and I think it should've been Let There Be Rock instead of Powerage.

5:53 PM  

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