The '70s were known as one of the most glorious times for rock and roll. With each passing year, another act would come roaring to life sporting some of the best riffs known to man. Even though rock was having its day in the sun, the pretentiousness of prog and hard rock's grandiosity left many fans itching to get back to the heart of rock and roll.
Emerging from the underground, bands started coming to the forefront in the late '70s with fast tunes, loud guitars, simple arrangements, and a full-on attitude that culminated in the arrival of punk rock. Many rock fans were a bit perplexed when punk first came out, but this bold reinvention of the rock ethos was just what the genre needed. At a time when kids were getting sick of listening to lengthy album cuts from their favourite bands, it was easier to get into these tunes, which often offered a musical bludgeoning in a few short minutes.
Sure, you may have felt winded and exhausted by the end, but that relentless energy always made you want to come back for more. Here is just a small helping of the bands that brought rock back to basics in the best way possible.
10. The Velvet Underground
When people typically think of the punk explosion, most lines point to New York City. Whether it was the straight-ahead punk movement with bands like the Ramones or the more art-rock direction of bands like Talking Heads, you could find any kind of off-the-wall artist bubbling up from clubs like CBGB's. For as much as people heap praise on those glory years past 1977, The Velvet Underground were pioneering the punk ethos as far back as the mid-'60s.
Starting as a typical rock and roll band, singer and lead songwriter Lou Reed formed the Velvets as a way to push the sonic limitations of mainstream music. From that came feedback, spoken word passages, and some of the harshest guitar sounds this side of Jimi Hendrix. Once the band paired with visionary artist Andy Warhol, they started to craft some of the most underrated gems of the era, with songs like "Waiting for the Man" influencing not only the punk movement but also glam rock artists like David Bowie.
The Velvets might not be the first candidate for a punk band, but when talking about everything that a punk band should be at its core, these guys pretty much check every box.