8 Famous 70s Bands You Forgot About That Still Rock

The 1970s were a vibrant time for music, producing some of the most memorable bands and iconic hits.

Yet, in the shuffle of decades, many great bands have faded into the background, overshadowed by enduring legends like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. Have you ever wondered about the bands that ruled the charts and packed concert halls but seem almost forgotten now?

Exploring these forgotten gems will remind you of the rich variety and excitement that defined the ’70s music scene.

You’ll likely find yourself reminiscing about the tunes that once filled your playlists.

Discovering these bands again can reignite your appreciation for a decade that shaped modern music in so many ways.

1) Electric Light Orchestra

Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was a popular band in the 70s and 80s.

You probably remember them for their unique sound, blending rock and classical music.

ELO was formed in 1970 by Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood.

They wanted to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones.

One of their most famous songs is “Mr. Blue Sky,” which still pops up in movies and commercials.

ELO’s songs often featured orchestral instruments like violins and cellos.

This gave their music a lush, rich quality.

Their album “A New World Record” is a highlight of their career.

Tracks like “Livin’ Thing” and “Telephone Line” are fan favorites.

You might also recall “Evil Woman” and “Do Ya,” which showcased the band’s ability to craft catchy, memorable tunes.

ELO’s influence remains strong.

Bands today still draw inspiration from their innovative use of

2) America

You might remember the band America for their hit songs like “A Horse with No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair.” Formed in the early ’70s, the group quickly became known for their folk rock sound.

America consisted of Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek.

They met while attending high school in London.

Their self-titled debut album featured some of their most famous tracks, making a big splash on the music scene.

The album was released in 1971.

After Dan Peek left the band in 1977, America continued to make music as a duo.

They adapted to the changing music scene of the ’80s while still staying true to their roots.

Their songs often featured harmonies and acoustic guitars, creating a signature sound that was both soothing and catchy.

Besides their hits, America released many other songs that captivated fans and ensured they had a lasting impact on the music industry.

You might have come across their records or seen them live if you were around during their peak years.

America’s music still resonates with old fans and new listeners, proving the timeless nature of their work.

3) Three Dog Night

You might remember Three Dog Night from their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s.

They were an American rock band from Los Angeles, California.

Known for their catchy tunes, they achieved twenty-one consecutive Billboard Top 40 Hits during this time.

Songs like “Joy to the World” and “One” dominated the airwaves. “Joy to the World,” with its famous opening line “Jeremiah was a bullfrog,” became a massive hit in 1971.

It stayed on top of the U.S. charts for six weeks and was the number one song of the year.

“One” was another great track from their debut album in 1968.

It became a top 10 hit and showcased their knack for creating memorable music.

Their songs often blended rock, pop, and a bit of soul, making their sound unique and appealing.

Despite their huge success, you might not hear about them as much today.

Three Dog Night continued to tour and record music years later, still capturing some of that original magic.

Their music from the 60s and 70s remains some of the best examples of that era’s rock artistry.

4) The Guess Who

The Guess Who is a legendary Canadian rock band that you might remember.

They started making waves in the 1960s and hit their stride in the 1970s.

Their music was a big part of the classic rock scene during that time.

Their biggest hit, “American Woman,” came out in 1970.

It became a number one hit in the U.S., making them the first Canadian band to achieve this.

You’re probably familiar with other hits like “These Eyes” and “No Time.”

The band’s key members included Burton Cummings, who was the lead singer and keyboardist, and Randy Bachman, the guitarist.

These two were instrumental in shaping the band’s sound.

During their peak years, The Guess Who released eleven studio albums.

These albums did well on the charts in both Canada and the United States.

The band’s music mixed rock with a bit of blues and pop, creating a unique sound that resonated with many fans.

Even though they were most successful between the late ’60s and mid-’70s, The Guess Who’s music remains influential.

Their songs have been covered by various artists and they’ve left a lasting mark on rock music history.

5) Bread

Bread is a band that made waves in the 1970s.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1969, they quickly became known for their soft rock sound.

Led by David Gates, their music was gentle and heartfelt.

“Make It with You” was their first big hit in 1970.

You’ll recognize David Gates’ tender voice.

Their songs were also covered by famous crooners of the time.

Some of their most famous tracks include “Everything I Own” and “If.” These songs often topped the charts and stayed popular throughout the decade.

The band had a series of hits, with 13 songs making it to the Billboard Hot 100 between 1970 and 1977.

You’ll find their sound sentimental and soothing.

The lineup included David Gates, Jimmy Griffin, and Robb Royer.

Each member brought something unique, adding to their lasting appeal.

Despite their success, Bread’s music often flies under the radar today.

But once you give them a listen, you’ll see why they were such a big deal.

6) 10cc

10cc formed in 1972 in Stockport, England, and quickly became known for their catchy tunes and clever lyrics.

You might remember hits like “I’m Not in Love” and “The Things We Do for Love.” Their music blended pop and art rock, making them unique among ’70s bands.

The original lineup included Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme.

These four musicians had already been working together since the late ’60s.

They formed two songwriting teams within the band, with Stewart and Gouldman focusing on pop songs, and Godley and Creme exploring more experimental sounds.

One of their notable albums, “Sheet Music” from 1974, included tracks like “The Wall Street Shuffle” and “Silly Love.” This album showed off their knack for blending humor with social commentary in songs.

Even though they broke up and reformed in various ways over the years, 10cc left a lasting mark on the music scene.

Their experimentation and willingness to push boundaries helped them stand out.

7) Gary Glitter

Gary Glitter was a huge name in the 70s music scene.

Known for his glam rock style, he wore glitter suits, makeup, and platform boots.

His live performances were full of energy.

He was born Paul Francis Gadd on May 8, 1944.

In the early 1970s, his career took off.

Songs like “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” and “I’m the Leader of the Gang” became big hits.

Glitter wasn’t just a performer; he sold over 20 million records.

With 26 hit singles, his songs spent a total of 180 weeks on the charts.

By the 1980s, his fame was starting to fade but he was still recognized for his earlier work.

Despite his later controversies, his impact on 70s music remains significant.

You might remember hearing his songs on various TV shows, movies, or even sports events.

Many of his tracks became anthems during that time.

8) Little River Band

You might remember the Little River Band for their smooth rock sound and catchy tunes.

Formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1975, they quickly became known for their harmonies and hook-filled tracks.

Their early hits like “It’s a Long Way There” and “Help Is on Its Way” showed off their raw talent and ambition.

As the ’70s turned into the ’80s, their music evolved.

Songs like “The Other Guy” and “Take It Easy on Me” had a more polished feel.

This change marked their growth and maturity as musicians.

One of their most famous songs, “Lady,” was released in 1978.

It showcased their romantic style and became a staple of their live shows.

Written by Graeham Goble, it even made it to the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Another big hit for the band was “Reminiscing.” Released in 1978, this song remains one of their most beloved tracks.

Its nostalgic lyrics and smooth melody resonated with fans, earning it a lasting place in the classic rock genre.

Don’t forget “Lonesome Loser” from 1979, which also received significant radio play and chart success.

With these hits, Little River Band left a lasting mark on the music scene of the ’70s and ’80s.

Cultural Impact Of 70s Bands

The bands of the 1970s left a lasting mark on music, fashion, and lifestyle.

They shaped the sounds we listen to today and influenced how people dressed and acted.

Influence On Modern Music

Many of today’s bands and artists draw inspiration from the 1970s. Led Zeppelin‘s hard rock influenced countless rock and metal bands.

Pink Floyd brought complex album themes and experimental sounds, which you hear in modern progressive and alternative rock bands.

Southern rock bands like Wet Willie contributed to the rise of genres like country rock and Americana.

Even funk and disco bands from the 70s, like Wild Cherry, have their sounds echoed in today’s pop and dance music.

Their energetic beats and rhythms are often sampled or mimicked in today’s hit songs.

Fashion And Lifestyle Trends

70s bands also changed how people dressed and lived.

Bands like Sha Na Na made 50s doo-wop popular again and sparked interest in retro styles.

Many fans followed the fashion trends set by their favorite bands. The Nazz and other glam rock bands introduced flashy clothes and makeup, which influenced modern artists like Lady Gaga and David Bowie.

Southern rock bands like Wet Willie brought casual, laid-back styles with denim and leather, which remain popular today.

Psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd also inspired a more relaxed and free-spirited lifestyle, influencing everything from newly-opened head shops to the laid-back attitudes of their listeners.

Revival Of Retro Music

The 70s music scene continues to influence today’s culture through various media and the renewed interest in vinyl records.

Here’s how these factors are giving 70s music a fresh life.

70s Music In Movies And TV

You may have noticed that the soundtracks of popular movies and TV shows often include hits from the 70s.

Films like Guardians of the Galaxy and TV series such as Stranger Things have used 70s tracks, bringing nostalgia and introducing this music to a new audience.

By featuring songs like “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede or David Bowie’s “Heroes,” these shows not only pay homage to the era but also boost streaming and sales of these tracks.

Younger viewers get hooked on the catchy tunes, while older fans relish the trip down memory lane.

Vinyl And Analog Revival

Vinyl records and analog music have made a significant comeback.

Many people find that vinyl offers a warmer, richer sound compared to digital formats.

As a result, records from bands like Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac are being reissued and sold at record stores and online platforms.

Record Store Day, an annual event celebrating independent record shops, has played a big role in this trend.

Special releases and reissues often include 70s albums, sparking renewed interest in this period.

You might even dig out your old turntable to play these classics as they were originally heard.

This interest in analog also extends to cassette tapes and old-school Hi-Fi systems, further keeping the music and culture of the 70s alive.

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