70s Folk Music: The Best of the Genre

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some great 70s folk music to add to your collection? Check out our list of the best of the genre, featuring both well-known and lesser-known artists.

70s folk music: what made it so special?

The 70s were a turbulent time, and that tumultuousness was reflected in the music of the decade. Folk music in particular saw a revival in the 70s, as artists started to experiment with the genre and create something new. But what made 70s folk music so special?

For one, it was more personal and introspective than previous folk music. artists like Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young created songs that were deeply personal and emotive, which resonated with listeners. Secondly, it sounded different than anything else that was out at the time. The use of electric guitars and other sound effects set it apart from other genres.

And finally, it had a message. With the political and social upheaval of the 60s still fresh in people’s minds, many artists used their music to comment on the state of the world. Songs like Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and CSNY’s “Ohio” captured the zeitgeist of the decade and helped to define an entire generation.

The best 70s folk albums to own

The best 70s folk albums are a great way to introduce yourself to the genre, and there are plenty to choose from. If you’re looking for the perfect album to get started with, or if you’re simply curious about what the genre has to offer, look no further than this list of essential records.

First up is Bob Dylan’sBlood on the Tracks, which is often cited as one of the best albums of all time, let alone the best 70s folk album. Dylan’s songwriting is in top form on this record, with classics like “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Hurricane” that are sure to stand the test of time. This is an essential album for any music fan, and it’s a great place to start if you’re new to Dylan or folk music in general.

Next up is Neil Young’s Harvest, another stone-cold classic that should be in every music fan’s collection. Young’s songwriting is at its best on this album, with beautiful tunes like “Heart of Gold” and “The Needle and the Damage Done.” If you’re looking for an introduction to Neil Young’s music, this is the perfect place to start.

Last but not least is Joni Mitchell’s Blue, another timeless classic that belongs in every music fan’s collection. Mitchell is in top form on this album, with gorgeous songs like “California” and “A Case of You.” This is an essential album for any fan of Joni Mitchell or folk music in general.

The best 70s folk songs to listen to

There are so many great 70s folk songs out there that it’s hard to know where to start. Here’s a list of some of the best, most iconic songs from the genre.

-“The Times They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan
– “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver
– “The Weight” by The Band
– “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
– “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
– “Killing Me Softly with His Song” by Roberta Flack
– “American Pie” by Don McLean

The rise of 70s folk music

The 1970s were a decade of profound social change, with music reflecting the times. One of the most influential genres to emerge was 70s folk music.

The roots of 70s folk music can be traced back to the 50s and 60s, with artists such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Joan Baez leading the way. The genre reached its height of popularity in the 70s with the release of seminal albums such as Joni Mitchell’s Blue and Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.

70s folk music was defined by its confessional lyrics, simple melodies, and stripped-down instrumentation. The genre was a direct response to the overblown productions and self-indulgent lyrics of popular music at the time. Folk artists sought to return to a more pure form of expression, creating songs that were deeply personal and often political in nature.

The popularity of 70s folk music coincided with the rise of the counterculture movement. With its message of peace and love, folk music served as the perfect soundtrack for a generation that was rejecting the status quo.

Though it has since been eclipsed by other genres, 70s folk music remains an important part of our musical history. Its impact can still be heard in the work of contemporary artists such as Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, who continue to carry on the tradition of making confessional, deeply personal music.

The decline of 70s folk music

The decade of the 1970s was not a good one for folk music. The genre had been declining in popularity for some time, and by the end of the decade, it was all but forgotten. There were a few bright spots, but for the most part, the music of the 1970s was not kind to folk artists.

The legacy of 70s folk music

The 1970s were a golden age for folk music, with many artists finding commercial and critical success. The genre was able to cross over into the mainstream, thanks in part to the popularity of singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Folk music also had a huge influence on other genres, particularly rock. Bob Dylan, for example, was a hugely influential figure in both the folk and rock worlds.

The 1970s were a time of great social change, and this is reflected in the lyrics of many folk songs from this period. Artists adapted traditional folk songs to deal with contemporary issues like Vietnam, civil rights, and feminism. These songs often had a message of peace and love, which resonated with many people during a time of political turmoil.

Although the popularity of folk music declined in the 1980s, the genre has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years. There are now many younger artists keeping the legacy of 70s folk music alive.

The influence of 70s folk music on today’s music

70s folk music was a hugely influential genre, not just on Music as a whole but on popular culture too. Many of the biggest names in music today reference 70s folk in their work, and the genre continues to be popular.

70s folk music: a retrospective

The 1970s were an interesting time for folk music. The genre had been declining in popularity for a few years, but the 70s saw a revival. This was in part due to the popularity of singer-songwriters like Carole King and James Taylor. Additionally, the folk rock sound of bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Eagles also helped to boost the popularity of folk music.

During this decade, many artists experiment with different sounds and song structures. This led to some interesting and innovative music being created. Some of the best examples of this can be found in the works ofSimon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. These artists pushed the boundaries of what folk music could be, and created some truly timeless classics in the process.

The future of 70s folk music

As the popularity of folk music continued to grow in the 1970s, more and more artists began to experiment with the genre, pushing its boundaries and expanding its sound. This led to the development of subgenres like progressive folk and psychedelic folk, which incorporated elements of rock and roll, jazz, and classical music.

Despite its popularity,folk music was not without its critics. Some music pundits argued that the genre was too simplistic and lacked the complexity of other genres like rock and roll. Others claimed that folk music was nothing more than glorified back porch pickin’.

Despite its critics, folk music continued to evolve in the 1970s, with artists like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell leading the way. Dylan’s album Blood on the Tracks is widely considered to be one of the greatest albums of all time, while Mitchell’s album Blue is often lauded as one of the most influential records ever made.

The future of 70s folk music is still being written; there are still many talented artists carrying on the legacy of this exciting and ever-changing genre.

Why 70s folk music is still relevant today

The 70s was a decade of great change, both politically and socially. It was also a time when folk music saw a resurgence in popularity. Many of the issues that were important to the people of the time were reflected in the lyrics of folk songs.

Folk music is still relevant today because many of the issues that were important to people in the 70s are still important today. Songs about war, peace, love, and loss are just as relevant now as they were then. The best of the genre is still able to speak to us on a personal level and offer us comfort and hope.

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