As far as the music from the 70s was concerned, it was a decade of contrasts. Music from the 70s offered sounds for every music lover. Because it was a major part of the mainstream America, Soft Rock got plenty of radio airplay. The emergence of the super group, “The Eagles” began in the 70’s. The Eagles soft rock songs with a touch of country like “Take It Easy”, “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” were very popular with radio DJ‘s. The Carpenters, a brother/sister duo, won many fans with hits like “We've Only Just Begun“, “For All We Know“, “Goodbye to Love” and “Yesterday Once More“. Sadly, the rich vocal quality of Karen Carpenter’s singing would end with her untimely death on February 4, 1983 due to heart failure which was caused by the 32 year old singers anorexia disease.
The music from the 70s was a time for piano men and singer-songwriters Billy Joel and Elton John to gain mass appeal across the globe. Along with his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, Elton John wrote many beautiful piano based songs, with their most successful album being the popular “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road“, which went platinum very quickly. The always flamboyant Elton John was known for wearing outlandish glasses, platform shoes and costumes during his performances. 5 time Grammy Award winner Billy Joel not only produced hit after hit after hit in the U.S. but he also sold over 150 million albums worldwide. Albums like “Piano Man”, “52nd Street” and “The Stranger” are still being sold in music stores right now! As a matter of fact, along with the music from the 60s, the music from the 70s is the most popular decade of music playing on the radio today. It seems as if every other radio station is a classic rock station.
The Music from the 70s saw the beginning of the worlds biggest pop phenomena known as “The Jackson 5”. Tito, Marlon, Jackie, Jermaine and Michael had hits with “I’ll Be There”, “Never Can Say Goodbye”, “ABC”, “Maybe Tomorrow”, “I Want You Back” and “Sugar Daddy” during this period. The music of the 70s also gave us ABBA, the Swedish pop group who caught the world's attention through the Eurovision Song Contest. ABBA would become one of the worlds most popular bands ever, but popularity would take a toll on the band as the marriages between band members Benny & Frida and Bjorn & Agnetha would come to a sad end. The very successful musical, “Mamma Mia” is a compilation of ABBA’s songs.
The music of the 70s saw the cultural and social impact of the disco craze. Mirror balls, platform shoes and over-packed dance floors was the norm and singer-songwriter Donna Summer (Love To Love You Baby & I Feel Love) would be dubbed the Queen of Disco. Of course, you cannot talk about Disco music from the 70s without bringing up the movie, Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta. All of the most memorable songs for Saturday Night Fever were written by the Bee Gees.
That brings us to the back half of the 1970’s the arrival of Punk Rock. The scene from Great Britian produced the Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Buzzcocks whilst The Ramones, Blondie and Patti Smith burst onto the New York scene. The Punk music from the 70s had an influence on the fashion world with fans mimicking their music idols by wearing torn clothing and safety pins. Debbie Harry and her group Blondie would become the most commercial of the Punk Rock bands and had a lot of top 100 success with songs such as “One Way or Another”, “Heart of Glass”, “Atomic” as well as “The Tide Is High”.
The super talented band, Pink Floyd, would bring us the #1 selling album of the decade called Dark Side of the Moon. Dark Side of the Moon is easily recognized by its prism on a dark background cover. Remarkably, Dark Side of the Moon was on Billboard’s 200 for an amazing 741 weeks. The 70s was one of the bands most productive periods, ending with the debut of their concept album, The Wall in 1979.
Surprisingly, during all of the different changes to the music from the 70s, even during the disco drenched 70s, rock n’ roll somehow managed to survive and even thrive with many awesome bands playing sell out concerts. Bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and AC/DC are hard rock bands associated with music from the 70s and even now are enjoying resurgence. To me, they never left!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Neil Gerstein is an expert author who writes about multiple topics. You can read some of his articles here:
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