Comprehensive musicology encompassing all genres and styles

The Biggest Selling Records From the 70s

The 1970s was a decade of change. It was the end of the hippie movement and the beginning of punk music, as well as disco and electronic music. Everything about the 70s was different: people’s attitudes towards fashion and music, their hairstyles, and even the instruments they played to make new sounds. That’s why so much great music was made during this decade. From psychedelic rock to glam rock to punk rock, there were many subcultures that influenced musicians around the world. And because record sales were at an all-time high in this era, we get to hear all these great songs that might have been lost in obscurity otherwise. There are many popular records from The 70s that stand out from other albums from that time period.

Most Popular Song Each Month in the 70s

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

This album went straight to number one on the Billboard 200 chart when it was released in 1971 and it stayed there for five weeks. Led Zeppelin II was the follow-up to the successful debut album that they released in 1969. It was recorded in just two weeks at Headley Grange in East Hampshire, where the band first wrote their songs. There are many classics on this album, including “Whole Lotta Love,” “Ramble On”, and “Bring It on Home”. These three songs were released as singles and they all reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Led Zeppelin II was able to earn over $19 million in sales, which means it is one of the best-selling records from The 70s.

The Who – Who’s Next

This album was released in 1971, but it had an interesting start. It was supposed to be called Lifehouse, and it was supposed to be a big multimedia project for the Who, and one that would help sell the world on the importance of clean water. But Lifehouse turned out to be a huge failure, and it was scrapped. The band members went back to the studio to make a new album, which became Who’s Next. It did extremely well, and was one of the biggest-selling albums from the decade. It reached #1 on the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard chart, and it stayed on the Billboard chart for over a year.

Queen – Greatest Hits

Queen was a band that released an album every year from 1975 to 1982, so they were always releasing new music. However, they also released a greatest hits album in 1981, and it earned them one of the biggest record sales of all time. It has sold over 22 million copies, which means it is one of the best-selling albums from The 70s. The Queen’s Greatest Hits album was released as a double-album and it featured 16 of their previous hits, as well as two new songs. The album reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard chart. The two new songs are “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites the Dust”.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

This album from 1970 is one of the best-selling records from The 70s. It was Pink Floyd’s fifth studio album and it became their best-selling record. It was Pink Floyd’s first #1 album in the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States. The album is considered a progressive rock staple and it was listed as one of the 100 best albums of all time by Rolling Stone. "The Dark Side of the Moon" features 11 tracks, including “Money”, “Time”, “Us and Them”, and “Any Colour You Like”. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and it has a diamond certification from RIAA.

Elton John – Good Morning To the Night

This album was released by Elton John in 1973, and it’s one of the most popular records from The 70s. It was his fourth studio album and it was his first album that he released after splitting with his long-term songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin. The album was released on the heels of Elton John’s first collaboration with lyricist Phil Mc Cartney, who contributed two songs to the album. They were “Great Balls of Fire” and “My Old Piano”. The album has a variety of musical genres, from pop to rock and reggae, and it is considered one of Elton John’s best albums. It reached #1 on the UK Albums Chart for two weeks and was certified gold in the United States.

Billy Joel - Piano Man

This album from 1974 is a classic from The 70s and Billy Joel’s breakthrough record. It was his second studio album, following the release of Cold Spring Harbor in 1972. The album reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard chart, making it Joel’s most successful album at the time. It remained on the chart for 50 weeks, setting a record for longest continuous stay by a solo artist at the time. It was certified gold in 1976, platinum in 1989, double platinum in 2001 and triple platinum in 2016. It has sold over 11 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling records from The 70s. Piano Man was released as a single and it was Joel’s first Top 40 hit.