Popular Rock Bands of the 70s – Complete List

The 70s marked a pivotal era in the evolution of pop and rock music, characterized by a profound redefinition of musical genres and the exploration of fresh styles. Musicians from diverse corners of the globe embarked on audacious experiments with sounds, leaving an enduring legacy that continues to inspire contemporary artists.

To pay homage to this extraordinary musical heritage, let us delve into the captivating world of some of the most renowned rock bands from the 70s. These legendary groups not only shaped the musical landscape of the decade but also etched their names in the annals of music history.

Best 70s Rock Bands

Although numerous bands could be worthy of inclusion on this list, we believe that the following groups had an exceptional influence on the rock music scene of the 70s. Their contributions left an indelible mark on the era, solidifying their significance in the annals of rock history.

  1. Pink Floyd
  2. The Police
  3. Judas Priest
  4. Queen (band)
  5. Led Zeppelin
  6. Fleetwood Mac
  7. The Rolling Stones
  8. Eagles (band)
  9. Black Sabbath
  10. AC/DC

70s Classic Rock Bands

Distinguished by its dynamic guitar riffs and infectious hooks, classic rock reached its zenith of popularity in the mid-70s. While subsequent genres may have garnered more attention, classic rock continues to command a substantial and dedicated following to this day.

Among the plethora of iconic classic rock bands from the 70s, notable names include Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles, along with the following acts mentioned below. While some of these bands still engage in touring, others have retired from the live performance circuit.

Irrespective of their current status, all of these bands played a pivotal role in shaping the rock music landscape of the 70s and deserve commendation for their enduring contributions to society.

  1. Aerosmith
  2. Deep Purple
  3. Foreigner (band)
  4. Ramones
  5. The Doors
  6. The Beatles
  7. AC/DC
  8. Pink Floyd
  9. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
  10. Styx (band)
  11. Blue Öyster Cult

70s Hard Rock Bands

The 70s witnessed the emergence of hard rock bands that are widely acknowledged as pioneers of the genre. Evolving from the roots of blues-rock and psychedelic rock, these iconic bands, including Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath, played a pivotal role in establishing the foundational elements that continue to shape and guide contemporary hard rock bands.

Although the genre has undoubtedly undergone evolution throughout the years, the hard rock bands of the 70s still maintain their status as highly popular and influential figures within the global music scene. Their enduring impact endows them with an esteemed place in rock history.

  1. Motörhead
  2. Scorpions (band)
  3. Rush (band)
  4. Iron Maiden
  5. ZZ Top
  6. Kiss (band)
  7. Uriah Heep
  8. King Crimson
  9. Budgie (band)
  10. Montrose (band)

70s Soft Rock Bands

The 70s witnessed the rise of soft rock as a distinctive subgenre within the realm of rock music. Known for its mellower beats and gentler sounds, soft rock diverged from the intensity commonly associated with other rock forms.

Despite its laid-back nature, soft rock has made an enduring impact on the music industry, even giving rise to dedicated radio stations catering to its unique style.

If you are in search of exceptional music to enjoy, this curated list of the finest soft rock bands from the 70s is an excellent starting point, ensuring a delightful musical journey.

  1. Bee Gees
  2. The Carpenters
  3. Air Supply
  4. Seals and Crofts
  5. Eagles (band)
  6. The Doobie Brothers
  7. Fleetwood Mac
  8. Chicago (band)
  9. Hall and Oates
  10. England Dan and John Ford Coley
  11. Toto (band)

70s British Rock Bands

Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Pink Floyd stand as iconic pillars of British rock from the 70s. With their thunderous guitar riffs and mind-bending psychedelic sounds, these bands reigned supreme over the airwaves and concert stages throughout the entire decade.

Yet, the 70s witnessed the emergence of numerous other exceptional British rock bands. These groups played a pivotal role in the British Invasion movement, establishing themselves as leaders and trailblazers, while their influence continues to resonate with subsequent generations of musicians.

Presented below is a selection of ten profoundly influential and outstanding British rock bands from the 70s. Their music has withstood the test of time, enduring over four decades, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for their invaluable contributions to the annals of music history.

  1. The Kinks
  2. Joy Division
  3. T. Rex (band)
  4. Jethro Tull
  5. The Yardbirds
  6. Brinsley Schwarz
  7. The Damned (band)
  8. The Clash
  9. Roxy Music
  10. Genesis (band)
  11. The Jam

Swedish Rock Bands of the 70s

Have you heard of The Hives, Europe, or ABBA? While they may not be immediately recognizable names to everyone, they certainly should be. These bands all hail from Sweden and skyrocketed to fame during the 70s.

The 70s marked a significant turning point for Sweden’s music scene, as numerous remarkable artists emerged from the country. Notably, ABBA’s members would go on to achieve unparalleled success, solidifying their place as one of the most accomplished bands in music history.

This list pays tribute to the lesser-known yet equally gifted Swedish rock bands that emerged from the 70s. Though their fame may have been eclipsed by others, their talent and contributions deserve recognition and celebration.

  1. Ebba Grön
  2. Tages (band)
  3. The Spotnicks
  4. Wilmer X
  5. Snowstorm (band)
  6. Samla Mammas Manna

70s Female Rock Bands

When the topic of rock music arises, it is often the male figures who immediately spring to mind. This association is primarily due to the fact that many of the most renowned rock bands in history have been predominantly led by men, such as Queen, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, and Van Halen.

However, this was not always the case. By the beginning of the 1970s, female rock bands were steadily gaining prominence. These women proudly carried the torch during an era dominated by male artists, leaving an indelible mark on the genre.

Presented below is a compilation of ten exceptional female rock bands from the 1970s. These trailblazers not only paved the way for numerous subsequent acts but also shattered musical barriers with their undeniable talent and raw energy. They stand as pioneers in their own right, reshaping the landscape of rock music.

  1. The Runaways
  2. The Pleasure Seekers
  3. Lydia Lunch
  4. The Ace of Cups
  5. The Heart Beats
  6. The Shaggs
  7. the Welders
  8. Fanny (band)

70s Blues Rock Bands

During the late 1960s, blues rock experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, captivating audiences worldwide. This phenomenon owed much to the achievements of influential bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, and Led Zeppelin.

The 1970s carried forth this musical trend, heralding the arrival of numerous exceptional blues rock bands. These groups skillfully merged traditional blues elements with the power of rock, giving birth to timeless tracks that continue to resonate with listeners today.

Presented below is a compilation of the ten finest blues rock bands from the 1970s. These musical powerhouses not only shaped the genre but also bequeathed a lasting legacy to the music industry. We hope you relish the opportunity to immerse yourself in their remarkable music.

  1. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
  2. Savoy Brown
  3. The Animals
  4. Foghat
  5. Canned Heat
  6. The Yardbirds
  7. Ten Years After
  8. Humble Pie
  9. Little Feat
  10. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  11. Big Brother and the Holding Company

70s Glam Rock Bands

Glam rock, a distinctive genre of rock music, blossomed in the early 1970s in the United Kingdom. Notable for its flamboyant attire, eccentric makeup, extravagant hairstyles, and provocative lyrics and performances, it left an indelible mark on the music scene.

The United Kingdom birthed numerous beloved glam rock bands in the 1970s, including luminaries like T. Rex, Roxy Music, and David Bowie.

Listed below are the crème de la crème of glam rock bands, exemplifying the genre’s essence during the 1970s with their idiosyncratic style and signature sound. While some of these bands may no longer grace the stage, their music shall eternally endure.

  • The Sweet
  • Roxy Music
  • T. Rex (band)
  • Slade
  • Mud (band)
  • Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
  • The Glitter Band
  • New York Dolls
  • Mott The Hoople
  • Wizzard
  • Sparks (band)
  • Bay City Rollers
  • Silverhead

70s Prog Rock Bands

While it may not have enjoyed the same level of mainstream popularity as other genres, progressive rock exerted a profound influence on the music landscape throughout the 1970s.

This movement afforded numerous bands the opportunity to embark on sonic explorations, crafting lengthier compositions that embraced intricate arrangements, dynamic tempo changes, and thought-provoking lyrical themes.

Outlined below are some of the finest prog-rock bands of the 70s, instrumental in popularizing the genre. These groups fearlessly delved into experimental sounds and fearlessly tackled taboo subjects through their lyrics, setting them apart from their contemporaries and propelling them to extraordinary heights of success.

  • Gentle Giant
  • Van der Graaf Generator
  • Soft Machine
  • Premiata Forneria Marconi
  • Ange
  • Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes
  • Curved Air
  • Marillion
  • The Nice
  • Hawkwind
  • Electric Light Orchestra
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  • Gentle Giant

70s Pop Rock Bands

The 1970s marked a transformative period for pop-rock, as the genre evolved from being considered a subgenre of rock music to establishing its own distinctive and independent sound.

As the decade unfolded, pop rock bands ventured into uncharted territory, exploring new styles and sounds that gave rise to subgenres like power pop and art rock.

Despite its growing appeal, pop rock largely remained underground during the 1970s. However, this landscape would shift in the early 1980s when several pop-rock bands achieved mainstream success.

During the early 70s, bands such as The Carpenters, The Jackson 5, and Simon & Garfunkel dominated the music charts. However, as the decade progressed, a fresh wave of pop-rock bands emerged, playing a pivotal role in bringing the genre to the forefront and making it one of the most popular genres in the music industry.

Here, we present a compilation of five paramount and influential pop-rock bands from the 1970s, whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the genre’s history.

  • Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
  • Grand Funk Railroad
  • The Hollies
  • The Jackson 5
  • Supertramp
  • The Velvet Underground
  • Badfinger
  • Kansas (band)
  • Three Dog Night

70s Country Rock Bands

In the United States, country music had already gained considerable popularity during the 1960s. However, it truly came into its own during the 1970s, propelled by remarkable performers who left an indelible mark on the genre.

While bands like The Byrds played a significant role in introducing country rock to wider audiences in the 1960s, they were often overshadowed by more prominent rock groups of the era. However, the 1970s witnessed a shift as country-rock bands rose to prominence.

These bands skillfully blended authentic country elements with mainstream rock sounds, captivating audiences and giving birth to various subgenres, including progressive country rock, outlaw country, and Southern rock.

Presented below is a compilation of five indispensable and influential country-rock bands from the 1970s who played a vital role in popularizing the genre and shaping its trajectory.

  • Poco
  • Buffalo Springfield
  • Pure Prairie League
  • 38 Special (band)
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • Little Feat
  • The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
  • New Riders of the Purple Sage
  • The Kentucky Headhunters
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

Canadian Rock Bands 70s

Canada’s rock scene stood on par with the rest of the world, producing a multitude of exceptional rock bands throughout the 1970s. Selecting only ten from the plethora of remarkable options was undoubtedly challenging, but I have endeavored to compile a list of the most influential and significant groups of that era.

These ten bands not only played an integral role in shaping Canadian rock music during the 1970s, but their impact also resonated on the international stage. Thanks to their talent and contributions, Canada gained recognition as a thriving hub for extraordinary rock music.

  1. Rush (band)
  2. April Wine
  3. Trooper (band)
  4. Triumph (band)
  5. Loverboy
  6. Steppenwolf (band)
  7. The Stampeders
  8. Max Webster
  9. Five-Man Electrical Band
  10. The Guess Who
  11. Bachman–Turner Overdrive
  12. Doug and the Slugs

70s American Rock Bands

The initial perception of rock music as an exclusively British phenomenon underwent a seismic shift with the emergence of psychedelic rock and blues rock in the late 1960s. Bands such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience played a pivotal role in finally granting American groups the recognition they deserved.

Consequently, a surge of incredible talent flooded the music scene throughout the 70s, as numerous bands rose to prominence. The decade proved to be a golden era for American rock, encompassing a diverse array of styles and genres.

Outlined below is a compilation of ten essential and influential American rock bands from the 1970s. It is worth noting that many of them hailed from the state of California, and this concentration was no coincidence, as the region went on to become a prominent hub within the realm of rock music.

  1. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  2. Jefferson Airplane
  3. Sly and the Family Stone
  4. The Temptations
  5. The Byrds
  6. Steely Dan
  7. The B-52’s
  8. Boston (band)
  9. Buffalo Springfield
  10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  11. Heart (band)

Southern Rock Bands of The 70s

While there may be subtle nuances, modern listeners have come to regard southern rock as a broad category encompassing bands from the southern region. Although distinctions can be made, southern rock has become a catch-all term for these groups.

The emergence of southern rock can be traced back to the late 1960s when the Allman Brothers Band released their self-titled debut album. Little did the world know that the southern region would evolve into one of rock’s most prominent breeding grounds, spawning numerous iconic acts.

By the mid-1970s, southern rock had entered its golden age. Bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Marshall Tucker Band were poised to make an indelible mark on the music industry, while other exceptionally talented acts like ZZ Top and the Outlaws awaited their moment in the spotlight.

Presented below is a compilation of some of the most significant Southern rock bands from the 1970s, celebrating their contributions to the genre’s rich legacy.

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • The Allman Brothers Band
  • The Marshall Tucker Band
  • ZZ Top
  • Molly Hatchet
  • 38 Special (band)
  • Blackfoot (band)
  • Wet Willie
  • Outlaws (band)
  • Black Oak Arkansas
  • Charlie Daniels

70s Punk Rock Bands

The 1970s marked a significant period of transformation for punk rock. What was once perceived as a subculture gradually gained mainstream recognition, forging its own distinct sound?

As the decade unfolded, punk rock bands fearlessly delved into new styles and sounds, giving rise to various subgenres such as hardcore punk, anarcho-punk, and goth punk.

Despite its burgeoning popularity, punk rock predominantly thrived within the underground scene throughout the 1970s. However, the landscape shifted in the early 1980s, as several punk bands achieved notable success in the mainstream.

Outlined below is a selection of five pivotal and influential punk rock bands from the 1970s. While not all of them achieved widespread commercial triumph, each made significant contributions to the evolution and development of punk rock as a genre.

  • Ramones
  • The Clash
  • The Stooges
  • New York Dolls
  • Black Flag (band)
  • Blondie (band)
  • Dead Kennedys
  • The Damned (band)
  • Buzzcocks
  • The Dead Boys
  • Devo

Heavy Metal 70s Rock Bands

The 1970s witnessed the surge of heavy metal’s popularity, propelled by the success of bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. This newfound acclaim provided opportunities for numerous other groups to pursue their dreams and carve out careers as rock stars.

The following compilation showcases ten immensely influential and successful heavy metal bands from the 1970s, revered as pioneers within the genre.

In the early 1970s, heavy metal was still in its formative stages. However, by the decade’s end, it had established itself as one of the most widely embraced musical genres. This remarkable achievement can be largely attributed to the efforts of the bands on this list, who played a pivotal role in catapulting metal into the mainstream, elevating its status to that of a household name.

  • Judas Priest
  • Iron Maiden
  • Scorpions (band)
  • Kiss (band)
  • Def Leppard
  • Rainbow
  • Iron Butterfly
  • Blue Cheer
  • Sir Lord Baltimore

Famous 70s Rock Bands

In this section, we will delve into the realm of the most renowned rock bands of the 1970s. These illustrious groups achieved unparalleled success, captivating audiences both in the United States and abroad, leaving an indelible imprint on the music landscape that persists to this day.

A striking commonality among these bands is the profound impact they exerted on the music scene, their influence transcending time to inspire contemporary artists.

Without further ado, we present a compilation of ten of the most famous rock bands from the 1970s, whose legendary status continues to resonate throughout the realms of music and beyond.

  • Led Zeppelin
  • Pink Floyd
  • Queen (band)
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Black Sabbath
  • AC/DC
  • ZZ Top
  • Deep Purple
  • The Doors
  • Kiss (band)

Rock and Roll Bands of the 70s

The rock and roll bands of the 1970s stood in stark contrast to what we typically witness today. They embodied a captivating blend of rawness, soulfulness, and an array of other remarkable qualities.

With their iconic album covers and chart-topping hits, these bands provided solace and inspiration during challenging times, for which we remain eternally grateful. While numerous deserving bands could have earned a spot on this list, we have curated a selection of ten that we believe encapsulate the essence of the era.

  1. AC/DC
  2. ZZ Top
  3. Jethro Tull
  4. Styx (band)
  5. Blondie (band)
  6. Steely Dan
  7. Yes (band)
  8. Cheap Trick
  9. The Beach Boys
  10. Talking Heads
  11. Bad Company

Frequently Asked Questions

Who were some of the most popular rock bands of the 70s?

Some of the most popular rock bands of the 70s include Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Queen, AC/DC, The Eagles, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, and Deep Purple.

What made the rock bands of the 70s influential?

The rock bands of the 70s were influential due to their groundbreaking music, innovative styles, and significant impact on the development of rock music as a whole. They pushed the boundaries of musical experimentation, crafted timeless hits, and set new standards for live performances.

How did the rock bands of the 70s shape the music industry?

The rock bands of the 70s played a crucial role in shaping the music industry by introducing new sounds, genres, and approaches to songwriting. They brought rock music into the mainstream and expanded its fanbase, establishing a foundation for future rock acts and influencing generations of musicians.

How has the influence of 70s rock bands carried over to modern-day music?

The influence of 70s rock bands can be felt in modern-day music through the continued popularity of their songs, the adoption of their musical styles by contemporary artists, and their lasting impact on the rock genre. Many modern bands and musicians draw inspiration from the creativity, talent, and innovation demonstrated by the rock bands of the 70s.


The rock bands of the 1970s left an indelible mark on the music industry and continue to be celebrated and revered to this day. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Queen, and many others emerged as titans of the era, reshaping the rock genre and influencing generations of musicians.

These bands pushed the boundaries of musical experimentation, introducing new sounds, genres, and approaches to songwriting. They crafted timeless hits that have become anthems, resonating with listeners across generations. The rock bands of the 70s not only dominated the charts but also set new standards for live performances, captivating audiences with their electrifying stage presence.

Their influence on the music industry cannot be overstated. They brought rock music into the mainstream, expanding its fanbase and solidifying its position as a powerful force in popular culture. The rock bands of the 70s paved the way for future rock acts and shaped the trajectory of the genre for years to come.

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