The 70s in Music

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In the 1970s, new generations were experimenting with music and inventing new genres. The widespread of televisions and new social values required new ideas to be explored. Therefore, the 70s saw an “explosion” of different genres of rock and roll, such as hard rock, rock opera, and soft rock. Other genres of music, such as disco, were also popular.

The beginning of the decade saw the rise of pop/soft rock. This type of music combines the style of rock and roll with softer, mellow sounds, which make for pleasant listening. Soft rock was new and unique in the 70s, therefore it became popular fast. This type of rock produced many artists we still admire today, such as Elton John, Paul McCartney, the Doobie Brothers, and many more.

Later on in the decade, in the mid 70s, a new type of music was born: Disco. Like the name suggests, disco was often associated with the nightlife scene of many United States cities, such as New York. It was played frequently in nightclubs and discotheques. Disco music was produced mainly as a counterattack to the heavily dominant Rock music. Disco was very popular among the Black community in New York City, although it was predominantly white. Disco music was at the top of the charts from the mid-70s and onwards, with famous bands like the Bee Gees, ABBA, etc. With Disco music becoming increasingly popular, the rock crowd decided to become more hard-core and more intense. Some of the most popular rock bands of the time were Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Who, etc.

The 70s also gave way to another form of rock music, called punk rock. Punk rock developed in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom between the years of 1974 and 1976. Punk music originates from “garage rock”. This is the term given to amateur rock stars that began playing their music in their garages. Eventually, “garage rock” turned into punk rock, which rose to fame in the mid to late 1970s. Once punk rock was established, well-known bands such as the Ramones, he Clash, and the Sex Pistols started to emerge and take over the punk rock scene. Later on in the decade, the success of punk rock took an international scale, spreading for a short time to the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe. The main idea behind punk rock was the disassociation with the norm. The punk rock crowd wanted nothing involving mainstream music. They wanted to be different than everybody else. This was the main appeal of this style of music, which attracted fans from all over the world.

Another experimental genre that became popular as the 70s progressed was hard rock. Hard rock was typically much heavier music than other types of rock during that time. It is characterized by electric guitars, bass guitars, pianos and keyboards. This type of rock included bands like AC/DC, Kiss, Aerosmith, etc. While the latter two bands were famous in the United States throughout the later part of the decade, Australian band AC/DC originated early in the decade, but only found its way to great fame with their 1979 hit, Highway to Hell.

A lesser known experimental genre of music during the 70s was launched by British band Queen: rock opera. Queen became successful quickly, as they were different than the competition. People in the 70s had not seen rock opera before, but they embraced it as soon as they heard it. Another band associated with rock opera was Pink Floyd. In 1979, Pink Floyd released a rock opera titled, The Wall.

The 1970s were great years for music. Many of the artist we admire and idolize now rose to fame during that decade.


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