10 Perfect Hard Rock Albums Of The 1970s

Dawn of the headbangers.

Van Halen Van Halen
Warner Bros.

When rock stumbled into the '70s, it had been through its fair share of battles.

After fighting parents that were still trying to say that it was evil for the children, we had also been through the Vietnam War and the Flower Generation that was about to die a pretty ugly death. Life was getting a lot uglier, and the new school definitely had something to say about it.

Out of the blue, a bunch of the new artists on the scene started to play music that was a lot more guttural than what we had gotten out of the British Invasion, going for sounds where the guitars were a lot more nasty and the drums were as full on as you could get.

Though most people thought it was just noise, this was rock slowly germinating into its harsher form. The seeds for stuff like metal and hard rock tend to get planted right here, with newer bands becoming the baseline for what constitutes hard rock to this day.

Even some of the old guard managed to come out of the woodwork as well, complete with songs that could rock along with the rest of them. It might have sounded fun back in the '60s, but now that these are more seasoned rockers, things were about to get darker.

10. L.A. Woman - The Doors

By the time that rock and roll reached the start of the '70s, any hope of psychedelic rock thriving seemed to be a pipedream.

After realizing that the revolution of the youth didn't work, a lot of the Flower Children decided to move as far away from the sounds of psychedelia as possible and dipping their toes into hard rock. Change was in the air, and the Doors set their sights on a comeback by getting even more bluesy.

Though Morrison Hotel served as a great litmus test for bringing them back to their roots, LA Woman has a few more tricks up its sleeve. Along with the amazing singles on here like Love Her Madly, you can hear Jim Morrison start to flex his bluesy chops on covers of songs like Crawling King Snake, while also finding time to put in some more poetic lines on songs like The WASP or Hyacinth House.

This is still a Doors record though, and the focus is still on that trademark darkness in their sound, especially when the title track travels on for 7 minutes and culminating in one of the greatest musical climaxes of their career.

When the album finally wraps up with Riders on the Storm, the spirit of Jim Morrison becomes all the more ominous. Dying shortly after this album hit shelves, it felt like we were listening the final remains of his spirit.

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