The 1970s was a decade that saw the rise of many big pop music bands. From disco to punk rock and everything in between, this was the decade that put groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys out of favor. In their place were new artists who were eager to make their voices heard. This list details the biggest pop music bands from the ‘70s and their most popular songs. In general, the ‘70s were a bit more experimental than the previous decades.
The Rolling Stones are one of the most iconic rock bands in history. They’ve been making music for more than 50 years and are still going strong. Begun as a blues-based group, the Stones drew inspiration from American artists like Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters as well as British rock & roll artists like The Beatles, The Who, and The Kinks. Their first album, The Rolling Stones (commonly referred to as The Rolling Stones, England’s Newest Singing Group, their original title), was released in 1963 and featured the title track, “I Wanna Be Your Man”, and “Come On”. The Stones’ first hit single was “I Want To Be Your Man”, which peaked at number 21 in the UK and number 41 in the US. The band’s first number one single in the UK was “Get Off My Cloud”, which was also their first top ten hit in the US. They’ve released 26 studio albums, including their most recent album Blue and Lonesome.
Elton John is one of the most successful pop musicians of all time. With his ever-growing discography, he’s also one of the most prolific. He’s released 33 studio albums, 3 live albums, 6 compilation albums, and several soundtrack and collaborative albums. John’s first album, Empty Sky, was a folk-inspired album released under his birth name, Reginald Kenneth Dwight. It wasn’t until his second album, Clicking, that he adopted the Elton John name. His third album, titled Empty Sky, was a re-recording of his first album. John’s most successful albums are his early records, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is his best-selling record with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide, and his second album, Honky Chateau, which has sold more than 20 million copies.
As one of the biggest pop music bands of the ‘70s, it was only a matter of time before we got to Led Zeppelin. Founded by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin was one of the most popular and influential rock bands of all time. They formed in London in 1968 and disbanded in 1980. In their short lifespan, Led Zeppelin released 10 studio albums, 4 live albums, and hundreds of singles and B-sides. Their discography has been reissued several times, remastered, and repackaged, and is still in print. While their first few albums were moderately successful, it wasn’t until their untitled fourth album (commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV) was released in 1971 that they reached widespread popularity. Led Zeppelin IV is the band’s most commercially successful album. It’s been certified 23-times platinum in the US.
Next on the list are Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd’s sound is often described as “space rock” and “psychedelic rock”, and their name is taken from the verb “to ponder”. The band was formed in 1965 and was led by Syd Barrett until his mental breakdown in 1968. They’ve released 14 studio albums between 1967 and 2014, and several of their albums are regarded as some of the best in music history. Several of their albums have made the top 10 best-selling albums ever including The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. Dark Side of the Moon is the only album in history to be certified diamond. It’s been certified 33-times platinum in the US and is one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Queen is one of the biggest pop music bands of all time. They were formed in 1970 and have released 18 studio albums, 5 compilation albums, and 9 live albums between 1973 and 2016. Their discography has been reissued, remastered, and repackaged so many times that it’s impossible to have missed their music. While the band has many hit songs, their signature song is “Bohemian Rhapsody” which has been covered countless times. The song is also featured in the mockumentary film, Wayne’s World, for which the band provided an accompanying soundtrack. Other popular Queen songs include “We Will Rock You”, “Another One Bites the Dust”, and “Don’t Stop Me Now”.
The Bee Gees
Finally, we have The Bee Gees. They were formed in 1958 and disbanded in 2003. The band is most famous for their disco sound of the 1970s and early 1980s. They released several albums including their most successful album, Spirits Fly, which has sold more than 40 million copies. They also have several top 40 hits including “Jive Talkin’”, “You Should Be Dancing”, “Love You Inside Out”, and “How Deep Is Your Love”. The Bee Gees have won several awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Brits Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.