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Classic Rock Music

Classic rock guitar

The 70s brought with it a variety of genres of rock music including progressive rock, soft rock, country rock, and more.

Classic Rock Music, however, is one of the most memorable genres of the decade.

Best described as the music that was played on the album-oriented rock stations that were so popular from the late 60s and into the early 80s.

Today, so-called classic rock stations generally offer the music of this era. Which appeals to a wide variety of people, even young adults who tend to listen to the popular music of the present era.

Classic rock artists of the 1970s are all musicians whose music now seems timeless.

Their tunes are as pertinent to the world of rock and roll music today as they were to the 70s generation.

Many of these greats have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland because of their sizeable contributions to the genre, producing hit after hit that made their way to the top of the Billboard charts.

In addition, many of these classic rock legends of the 1970s are still going strong and still pumping out hits, more years after their careers began.

Here are just a few:

The Beatles – Though a lot of their hits came in the 1960s, we would be remiss not to mention the Fab Four from Liverpool. Classic rock stations play lots of Beatles stuff, regardless of the decade in which it was recorded.

Bruce Springsteen – “The Boss” has been a major player on the rock and roll scene since the late 60s. Historians consider the years 1975 to about 1983 to be his most prolific, however. Along with his E Street Band, Springsteen produced one hit album after another and still plays to sell-out crowds around the world.

AC/DC – This Australian rock band was formed in 1973 and though their music is generally classified as hard rock, they are regularly heard on classic rock stations. They were a formative influence for other similar bands that would follow and their fans still number in the millions.

The Rolling Stones – Though Mick Jagger and the Stones got their start in the 1960s, the 70s were a great era for them and one that would produce hit albums and singles that have long been favorites. These include Angie, Miss You, and countless others.

The Who – Another English rock band, The Who was formed in 1964, but during the 1970s the band released an album about every 18 months. With legendary musicians like Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, The Who was the first rock group to ever play at the Metropolitan Opera House. In addition to countless singles, they wrote two rock operas, Tommy and Quadrophenia.

Led Zeppelin – Formed in 1968, Led Zeppelin reached the peak of its success in the early years of the 1970s though they’ve enjoyed popularity for decades. Stairway to Heaven, released in 1971, is one of the most requested classic rock songs of all times.

The Doors – Popular in the late 1960s as well, The Doors also left their mark on the 70s. Jim Morrison, who died in 1971, was their most well-known member and one of the most iconic in rock and roll history. The band stayed together until 1973.

Pink Floyd – This British progressive classic rock group went through a lot of changes in personnel but remains one of the most revered rock bands in history. Their discography is more than impressive. Their most well-known U.S. single? Another Brick in the Wall, released in 1979.

Eric Clapton – Another Englishman, Clapton played with a number of bands during the 1960s and then launched his solo career in the 70s. Songs like Wonderful Tonight were indicative of his excellent contributions to 70s classic rock.

Numerous other rock artists often make it to the list as well, including

  • The Eagles
  • Grateful Dead
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Boston
  • Def Leppard
  • Aerosmith
  • Santana
  • Van Halen
  • Genesis
  • Journey
  • Foreigner
  • Queen
  • Yes
  • Kiss
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Black Sabbath
  • The Police

and many solo singers as well.