Top Ten Albums of the Seventies
What are your top ten favorite albums from the 70s?
We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 80s and 90s
By: Mark Henwood
- 10. Don't Shoot me I'm only the Piano Player by Elton John
I think this was the second record I ever bought and established Elton as one of my all time favourite artists. I haven't got this on CD yet because the original record still has a certain 'quality' about it when it goes on the turntable. Best tracks 'Teacher I need you' & 'Blues for my Baby and me'. And of course I still sing 'Crocodile Rock' at Karaoke parties (Well try to!)
- 9. Wild Cherry by Wild Cherry
Yeah I know...strange choice but I really like these guys! White men doing funky music and they cut it. The whole record is full of funky tunes..great stuff. By the way I have the other Wild Cherry album as well (Can't remember the name)
- 8. Saturday Night Fever by Soundtrack
The Bee Gees became even bigger legends, John Travolta was born and disco was certainly alive! So many great disco toe-tapping favourites on this you could never go putting it on at your next party
- 7. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
This record holds a special place for me. I was attending my high school farewell in the evening and it was playing in the background as I learnt about the effects of too much acholol for the first time. Never-the-less a great album!
- 6. Hotel California by Eagles
These guys were at their brilliant best with this one. From Joe Walsh's solo on the title track to the softer 'New Kid in Town' there's nothing to detract from this album. A must for anyones collection.
- 5. Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf
Another classic album with roaring guitars, great lyrics and the big man with the big voice. There's not many songs on the album but the're all superb. I actually cried when I heard 'For crying out Loud'
- 4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John
Elton was the first artist I really liked. I have a lot of his albums but this one is the best. It's got so much variety like Candle In The Wind to Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting. The opening tracks Funeral for a Friend/Love lies Bleeding...Just awesome
- 3. Living In The '70s by Skyhooks
Probably Australia's greatest band. They changed the face of Australian music with their outrageous camp outfits, piles of makup and saucy lyrics which got them banned from being played on Australian radio. This is a must have album in any serious Australian record collection.
- 2. Boston by Boston
One of my favourite bands. Tom Scholz is a genius in every area. It's a pity Boston are only known for one song ('More than a Feeling' off this album). I've got all their albums and their all great listening. Put the headphones on, crank the volume up loud and forget about the world.
- 1. Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd
Probably the album of the century for most. Timely tracks and great lyrics make this album an enduring one which I never get tired of.
- 10. Torn between two lovers by Mary MacGregor
Okay....so she was a one hit wonder. But the entire album is full of soft, romantic, sing along type songs. I misplaced the 8 track and had been looking for this album for at least 10 years. A good friend found it for me.
- 9. A night at the opera by Queen
I was talked into this one for Bohemian Rhapsody. The other songs had to grow on me. After all, at that young age I wasn't made of money. So nothing went to waste.
- 8. Their greatest hits by Eagles
This is the band of the first concert I ever went to. I don't know anyone who doesn't like the eagles.
- 7. BTOII by Bachman Turner Overdrive
I should have listed this sooner. This was the ultimate party song. Everyone was moving when this album played.
- 6. I got a name by Jim Croce
They just don't make entertainers like him anymore. Some songs are kind of corny, but most just made me feel dreamy.
- 5. Close to you by Carpentars
Containing a few of their hits, my girlfriend and I liked to sing along with them (her). Definitely a chick album....but so what??
- 4. Goodbye yellow brick road by Elton John
The best album he made. Alot of his hit songs...good instrumentals.
- 3. Rumors by Fleetwood Mac
One of my favorite groups, it just makes you feel good to listen to it.
- 2. Dreamboat Annie by Heart
It's a good blend of soft and hard rock. I really like "How deep it goes".
- 1. Tapestry by Carole King
It was my first album. I still play it today.
I think that the music from the 70's was the best. It made you feel good and did not confuse you like today's music. Maybe the lyrics were more simple, but at least I could understand what they were saying.
- 10. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John
I had a hard time narrowing it down to one of Elton's albums. But, "Funeral for a Friend" is my favorite song of his, so I picked this one. A great album all around.
- 9. Van Halen by Van Halen
Their first and best record. This just rocks.
- 8. Some Girls by The Rolling Stones
This is the Stones at their best. And it was so much fun to play with the album cover!
- 7. Boston by Boston
This is the first album I can remember hearing and loving every single song on it.
- 6. Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin
You can never get enough Led Zeppelin...gotta love the double album. And it contains my all-time favorite song of theirs, "Night Flight".
- 5. Bad Company by Bad Company
This is practically a greatest hits album....everything on here is so good. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Nobody can sing like Paul Rodgers.
- 4. Grease Soundtrack by Grease Movie Cast
The best movie ever, with an unforgettable soundtrack. You can't just sing along, you have to act out the scene that goes with each song. I know I'm not the only wacko that does that!
- 3. Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin
I had trouble deciding between this and Led Zeppelin II. Ultimately, this won out because I couldn't get the beat to "Four Sticks" out of my head....and it's generally considered their best album by everyone.
- 2. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
If this doesn't make everyone's top 10 I'll be very surprised. I don't know anyone who doesn't have this record. Stevie Nicks is the ultimate rock goddess.
- 1. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
In my opinion, the best album of any decade. The most beautiful and real lyrics I've ever heard.
- 10. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols by Sex Pistols
Well, why not?
- 9. Zuma by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
People don't mention this one much, but it's his most representative album. Ragged and driving and catchy, and perfect for flying down the interstate at one in the morning. If I could hold on to just one thought for long enough to know/why my mind is moving so fast, and the conversation is slow...
- 8. Moondance by Van Morrison
Van is at the top of his game, which is saying a lot.
- 7. Velvet Underground by Loaded
Lou Reed does sweet, mellow, perfect pop.
- 6. Sunflower by Beach Boys
The boys' best since Pet Sounds (not counting all those Smile fragments floating around). Features not only Brian's transcendent "This Whole World" and the Smile-era "Cool Cool Water" but also some very surprising stuff from Dennis. More obscure than anything Big Star ever put out. Capitol's re-releasing it this June as a twofer with "Surf's Up," which is not nearly as strong but contains two masterpieces in the title track and Brian's last great song, "'Til I Die." Well worth checking out.
- 5. Armed Forces by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Scathing and anguished and brimming with hooks.Beats out "My Aim Is True" because of the added presence of the very fine Attractions. Beats out "This Years Model" because...I like it better. Yes.
- 4. Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy by the Who
OK, so technically this *is* a compilation album, and technically only one of the songs on it was recorded after '69, but it was issued in '71, and it just happens to be the strongest collection of singles ever released in the history of time. "The Kids Are Alright," "A Legal Matter," and "I'm a Boy" are perfect or nearly-perfect power pop sides, and they never show up on '90s best-of albums. You can still find this one as an import, though.
- 3. Talking Book by Stevie Wonder
Maybe Innervisions was stronger as a whole, but I'm a sucker for "Big Brother" and "Tuesday Heartbreak."
- 2. Marquee Moon by Television
All jagged edges and stark beauty. It's a guitar lover's album, but it's as far removed from Hendrix or Page--or Robert Johnson or Scotty Moore, for that matter--as you can get.
- 1. Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan
Bob's last great gasp, Time Out of Mind and "Hurricane" notwithstanding. Maybe his best album; certainly his saddest.
By: Phil Leiter
- 10. Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton
Who thought a "Live Album" would sell over 10 million albums? this one proved them all wrong.
- 9. Boston by Boston
Guitar Rock ruled the arena circuit with the help of this multi platinum selling work of Rock N Roll art.
- 8. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd's most under rated album. What was done in this album pushed what was once thought possible in the studio and with art rock.
- 7. Van Halen by Van Halen
Our introduction to the new face of Heavy Metal. With great pop melodies and ingeniused guitar techniquing, this set the standard for LA bands for about the next decade.
- 6. Destroyer by Kiss
Pinnacle of Glam/Shock rock in the 70s. At one point in 1977, Kiss was the most popular band in the world. The over the top theatrics that characterized rock throughout the decade to follow owes itself to the popularity of this album.
- 5. Physical Grafitti by Led Zeppelin
Double Albums, ambitious productions, and self indulgent "art rock" are not known for being too good. There's only two that have stood the test of time, ever. The "White Album" by the Beatles, and this masterpiece by led Zeppelin.
- 4. Paranoid by Black Sabbath
Heavy Metal turned pitch black with this album. It hasn't changed ever since.
- 3. Hotel California by The Eagles
Laid Back, Southern California Pseudo-Country invaded th rock kingdom with this army of an album. The title track is simply unforgettable.
- 2. Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
This album was on the Billboard charts longer than any other album ever. Concept albums were now comercially acceptable thanks to the work of such bands as Pink Floyd through such albums as "Dark Side of the Moon".
- 1. Led Zeppelin (IV) by Led Zeppelin
This is the album the most defined the 70s. Now, a cathy single wasn't enough and the birth of AOR and FM radio was upon us. Hard Rock ruled the charts, and Opus style masterpieces were the norm. Plus, come on. It has "Stairway to Heaven". What more do you want?!
By: Southern Belle
- 10. Tapestry by Carole King
- 9. Madman Across the Water by Elton John
- 8. Marvin Gaye Anthology by Marvin Gaye
- 7. A Night at the Opera by Queen
- 6. Live in Concert - Rare Earth by Rare Earth
- 5. Woodstock by Various Artists
- 4. Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens
- 3. I'm Eighteen by Alice Cooper
- 2. Abraxis by Santana
- 1. The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East by The Allman Brothers Band
By: Rob Hofmann
- 10. Brothers and Sisters by the Allman Brothers Band
Polydor, 1973. Not as popular as "Eat a Peach" or as seminal as "Live at Fillmore East," but there's something about "Brothers and Sisters that I find irresistable. "Ramblin' Man" is the groups signature song, and "Jessica" is possibly the best track they've ever put down.
- 9. Frampton Comes Alive! by Peter Frampton
A&M, 1976. No live album has been better before or since. Frampton's studio efforts, although accomplished, always felt slightly uncomfortable. One listen to this double-album, and it's immediately apparent that the stage is where he belongs. Standout tracks include "Show Me the Way" and the unparalleled "Do You Feel Like We Do."
- 8. Blue by Joni Mitchell
Reprise, 1971. The All-Music Guide calls Blue "sad, spare, and beautiful." Each song Mitchell sings is like an exposed nerve. "Songs are like tatoos," she sings on the title track, perfectly summing up this unforgettable music.
- 7. What's Going On by Marvin Gaye
Motown, 1971. When Marvin originally recorded this album, Motown honcho Berry Gordy was reluctant to release it. It was unlike anything the Motown label had ever produced before, and he was sure that it would be a critical and commercial failure. He eventually relented, and the album spawned three Top Ten hits and changed the face of R&B forever.
- 6. Who's Next by The Who
MCA, 1971. Most of the tracks on this release were culled from the aborted "Lifehouse" sessions, Pete Townshend's rock opera follow-up to "Tommy". "Baba O'Riley" is fragile and heartbreaking in its scope, and "Won't Get Fooled Again" was the anthem for album-oriented radio of the era.
- 5. So Far by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Atlantic, 1974. Now, I'm not one for greatest hits collections usually, but this one works. Compiled by the band, it draws from their first two albums as well as including three songs previously not available on LP. It's lean at 11 tracks, and every one of them is perfect.
- 4. London Calling by The Clash
Epic, 1979. The Sex Pistols were the first British punk band, but the Clash were the best. It's arguable whether or not "London Calling" is their best album, but it's certainly their definitive artistic statement. Plus in my opinion, it's got the best album cover ever. :)
- 3. Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin
Swan Song, 1975. The first disc of Physical Graffiti is the best set Zeppelin ever put together: it boogies, it crawls, it growls with intesity, it wails, and it grooves. At times it rocks harder than anything else they ever recorded, and at others it defines just how epic rock and roll can be.
- 2. Meddle by Pink Floyd
Capitol, 1971. At seperate points in my life, I have declared that "Meddle," "Dark Side of the Moon," and "Wish You Were Here" were my very favorite Pink Floyd albums. And originally, I was going to include all three of them on this list, but I decided that that would be selling some other artists short. I picked "Meddle" to represent all three because I think it is the most under-appreciated Pink Floyd album. It has all the ingedients they've used to make their other albums successful: a driving, bass-driven rocker ("One of These Days I'm Going to Cut You Into Little Pieces"), a moody, atmospheric epic ("Echoes"), and plenty of airy, melodic shorter numbers ("A Pillow of Winds" and "Fearless"). It also has Pink Floyd's best novelty song: "Seamus," which features backing vocals from Roger Waters' dog.
- 1. My Aim is True by Elvis Costello
Rykodisc, 1977. Every song is an instant classic, each their own three-minute opuses. The stripped-down sound and razor-sharp honesty of Costello's lyrics make this album an unforgettable debut. Rolling Stone says in their review that Elvis Costello is "a singular voice... born fully formed." I just say that it's my favorite album of all time.
It was tough to narrow this list down to 10! The 70s was the great age of album rock, when light pop and disco began to dominate the singles charts, and rock 'n' roll focused its energy on entire albums. Thus, it's not really surprising that a lot of the great albums came from this decade. I had to mull over my choices for quite a bit, ultimately leaving off some of my favorites, such as Curtis Mayfield's "Super Fly", Boston, the Sex Pistols, and Parliament. Overall, though, I'm pretty satisfied with what I chose.
By: Sam Lachterman
- 10. Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
- 9. Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin
- 8. Paranoid by Black Sabbath
- 7. Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones
- 6. American Beauty by The Grateful Dead
- 5. Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull
- 4. Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin
- 3. Who's Next by The Who
- 2. Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones
- 1. Led Zeppelin IV (untitled) by Led Zeppelin
Miles Davis's Bitches Brew and The Beatles' Abbey Road were both released in 1969, or they would've been included. Honorable mention to Led Zeppelin III, Satana's Abraxas, Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, and many more.
- 10. Van Halen 2 by Van halen
best album with david lee roth!
- 9. Led Zeppelin 4 by led zeppelin
This is one of the best albums ive ever heard its zeppelin at it's best
- 8. Toys In The Attic by Aerosmith
This album shows what aerosmith is really about!
- 7. ted nugent by ted nugent
This album is just excellent!
- 6. Alive by Kiss
One of the best live albums ever!
- 5. Hotel california by the eagles
this is the eagles at their best the album has a lot of great songs and is worth buying
- 4. Just a Game by Triumph
Triumph's best album ever!
- 3. Lamb Lies down on brodway by genesis
best album with peter gabriel and unfortunatly their last.
- 2. The Wall by Pink floyd
one word UNBELIEVABLE!
- 1. Who's next by The who
their master piece and the best album of the 70's(my opinion)
By: Becky, Princess of Clubs
- 10. Any K-Tel or Ronco compilation from 1973 on by Many!
As a kid in the '70s, I didn't buy many albums as I didn't want to spend money on songs I didn't know. Thus, K-Tel and Ronco. You had them, too. You listened to them, too. You loved them, too.
- 9. Europe '72 by The Grateful Dead
A good place for new Deadheads to really get a sense of what this band was all about live. The best live "Sugar Magnolia/Sunshine Daydream" anywhere!
- 8. Disco Party - The Best of the TK Collection by KC and the Sunshine Band, George McCrae, etc.
Before you go and wail on me for being such a disco fan, listen to this. If you're still sitting afterwards, then go ahead. Miami's TK studios was known for great dance (not disco, really) music with a Latin/Caribbean tinge; this is a great sampling of the studio's best work. Especially notable is the segue between "Love Chant" and "Get Down Tonight."
- 7. Some Girls by The Rolling Stones
Really, my favorite Stones album is Tattoo You, but that came out in the early '80s. This one will do for this list.
- 6. Hotel California by The Eagles
In which the Eagles leave the banjos and steel guitars of their earlier albums behind and let us know how horrible it is to be big-time rock stars living life in the fast lane. I love the title track and "New Kid in Town."
- 5. Elton John's Greatest Hits by Elton John
I tried to keep greatest-hits packages out of this list, but this one is just too strong to ignore. I played this once a day in 1975. The song list speaks for itself. Elton and Bernie were never better than in the old days and it shows here.
- 4. American Beauty by The Grateful Dead
From start to finish, this is the Dead's best studio album, and I prefer it to Workingman's Dead.
- 3. Part 3 by KC and the Sunshine Band
It's very hard for me to be objective about KC and the Sunshine Band; I love their music so much! From the horns to the percussion :) to Harry Casey's heartfelt singing, they virtually defined dance music in the mid-70s. You know the big hits like "Shake your Booty" and "I'm your Boogie Man", but the album tracks like "Let's Go Party" work just as well. Trivia - did you know this band was multi-cultural before multi-cultural was in fashion? The lead singer was white, the guitarist and drummer were African-American, and the percussionist was Cuban.
- 2. Boston by Boston
There is not a single bad song on this album. Everything works, as is to be expected from a band fronted by a graduate of MIT.
- 1. Chicago V by Chicago
The one with the carved-wood cover and "Saturday in the Park." Here's Chicago's best album ever; it features socially-conscious lyrics and GREAT horn playing and writing without the filler sometimes found in the first four albums.
Most of these were albums I actually listened to as a kid in the '70s as opposed to '70s albums I have since discovered. Such a list would have to include music by the Doors, ELO, Pink Floyd, Al Green, James Taylor, Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Bo Horne and George McCrae.
We also have pages on this topic devoted to the 80s and 90s
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