70s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal: The Best Music Ever?

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


1970s hard rock and heavy metal were some of the best music ever created. If you’re a fan of this era of music, then check out this blog post. You’ll learn about the best bands, albums, and songs of the era.


Rock music fans of a certain age often claim that the best music ever made was created during the hard rock and heavy metal heyday of the 1970s. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple defined the genre with their signature sounds, and countless other groups followed in their wake, crafting their own takes on hard rock and heavy metal.

So what is it about this music that continues to resonate with fans decades later? Is it the raw energy of the music? The technical proficiency of the musicians? The larger-than-life personalities of the bands?

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that 70s hard rock and heavy metal still has a devoted following today. In this article, we’ll take a look at what makes this music so special and explore some of the best examples of it.

The Best of the Best

There are a lot of great musicians that came out of the 70s hard rock and heavy metal scene. Some of the best music ever was created during this time. Artists like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple were all innovators in their respective genres. They created sounds that had never been heard before and laid the foundation for the metal that would come in the following decades. If you’re a fan of metal, then you owe a lot to the artists of this era.


AC/DC is an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal; however, the band themselves have always classified their music as “rock and roll”. AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975; Malcolm and Angus were the only original members left in the band by this time. Membership subsequently stabilised until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. Within months of recording the album Highway to Hell (1979), lead vocalist and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980 after a night of heavy drinking. The group briefly considered resigning themselves to disbanding, but soon decided to continue on with ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson as Scott’s replacement. Later that year, the band released Back in Black, which they considered a “re tribute” to Scott. The album launched them to new heights of success and became their all-time best-seller.[6] The band’s next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981), was their first album to reach number one in the United States.[7]

AC/DC has sold more than 200 million records worldwide,[8] including 71.5 million albums in the United States,[9] making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.[10][11] Back in Black has sold an estimated 50 million units worldwide,[12][13][14] making it the second-highest-selling album by any artist – and the highest-selling album by any band.[15][16] The group ranked fourth on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and were named by Classic Rock magazine as “The Greatest Rock Band Of All Time”.[17][18] In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked AC/DC number 72 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists – All Time”.[19] In 2004, AC/DC received fourteen nominations for Grammy Awards and won three: Best Long Form Music Video for Nirvana: Live at Reading and Best Hard Rock Performance for their cover version of Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)”, both released as part of AC/DC Live,[20] while bass guitarist Cliff Williams was awarded Best Rock Instrumental Performance for his work on “Napalm Sunset”, also from that album. In 2010, AC/DC were ranked number 23 in Rolling Stone magazine’s revised list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.[21]

The band has earned numerous nicknames including “Ace Hard”,[22][23] “The Dogz”,[24][25 3rd Powerage”,[26 4ll OuttaHell”,[27 Evil Blue Eyes”[28and Big Balls”.[29angus Young described their music as simply: “rock and roll”.

Led Zeppelin

By the time Led Zeppelin released their untitled fourth album in 1971, they had become one of the most popular music groups in the world. The album, which featured the band’s signature song “Stairway to Heaven,” would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time. Though they would release several more albums over the next decade, Led Zeppelin is often considered one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time.

Black Sabbath

Formed in 1968 by Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward, Black Sabbath are often credited with creating heavy metal. The band’s dark, distorted and often demonic lyrics, as well as their slow, heavy riffing style, had a huge impact on the development of metal. Although they only had moderate success in the UK during the early 1970s, they became superstars in the US with the release of 1973’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and 1975’s “Sabotage”. Black Sabbath were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Deep Purple

There are those who would argue that Deep Purple is not only the best hard rock band of the 1970s, but the best hard rock band period. Formed in 1968, the English group was at the forefront of the heavy metal movement, thanks in part to their groundbreaking album “In Rock.” With a sound that was both heavier and more musically complex than anything that had come before, Deep Purple set the standard for hard rock bands that would follow.

While other bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath may be more widely known, it is Deep Purple who truly deserves the title of greatest hard rock band of the 1970s.


Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for their stage performances, which included the use of pyrotechnics, make-up, blood spitting, and smoking guitars, they became a staple of 1970s rock and roll culture. Kiss has been awarded 28 Gold albums to date, the most of any American band. The band has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

The Legacy

It is safe to say that the 70s was a pretty wild time. Music was no exception to this rule. Hard rock and heavy metal were two genres that were on the rise during this decade. These genres are still around today and continue to influence the music that is being made.

The Influence of 70s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

Hard rock and heavy metal music of the 1970s had a profound and lasting impact on popular culture. The hard-driving, guitar-heavy sound of bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple was the soundtrack to a generation of rebellion and self-indulgence. The clothes, the hair, the attitude— it was all about excess, and fans loved it.

The influence of 70s hard rock can still be felt today in the music of modern bands like Metallica, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age. Even pop musicians like Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake have been known to incorporate elements of metal into their own unique styles.

So there you have it: the best music ever? Maybe not, but there’s no denying that 70s hard rock and heavy metal continue to resonates with listeners decades after its initial heyday.

The Enduring Popularity of 70s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

The 1970s was a decade that saw the birth of hard rock and heavy metal. These genres would go on to have a lasting impact on music, influencing everything from punk rock to alternative rock. Hard rock and heavy metal bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple were some of the most popular bands of the decade, and their influence can still be felt today.

Despite the popularity of hard rock and heavy metal in the 1970s, there was a lot of criticism levelled at the genre. Some people claimed that it was nothing more than noise, and that it was a negative influence on young people. However, despite the criticism, hard rock and heavy metal continued to be popular throughout the decade.

In the 1980s, hard rock and heavy metal bands like Metallica and Guns N’ Roses would become even more popular, helping to solidify these genres as some of the most enduring in music history. Today, there are still many fans of 70s hard rock and heavy metal, and the genre continues to influence new generations of musicians.


So, was the 70s hard rock and heavy metal scene the best music ever? It’s hard to say for sure. There are so many great musical genres out there, and it’s impossible to definitively say that one is better than the others. However, there’s no denying that the 70s hard rock and heavy metal scene was incredibly influential, and produced some of the most iconic musicians of all time. If you’re a fan of hard rock or heavy metal, then the 70s is definitely a great time to explore.

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