If you had looked at some of the greatest rock music ever conceived, chances are it had its shining moment in the '70s. With the Summer of Love firmly in the rearview, the next decade seemed to announce a new outlook on music altogether, moving into everywhere from prog to glam to folk music. Even though we expected rock to grow up eventually, no one really anticipated it going over this well.
As the decade progressed, it seemed like every artist was trying to top those who came before them, with album experiences that felt like colossal events whenever they came out. Outside of the great tunes that you could blast all over the radio, the main draw of these records were the musicians at work, who managed to put their souls on the line for these records and came out on top.
Compared to the usual albums that get bogged down with filler, there are no skippable tracks in sight on any of these records, giving you incentive to just play them from beginning to end one more time by the time they're finished. Whereas rock music may have felt like a passing fad beforehand, it was now here to stay and the world needed to pay attention.
10. A New World Record - Electric Light Orchestra
There's a common misconception that rock really did achieve perfection somewhere in the mid '70s. Although a lot of the albums on this list showcase that claim, there were a bunch of albums that also had a bit more bloat than people were willing to admit. If you want to see how you use that kind of bloat to your advantage though, all you have to do is look to Jeff Lynne.
Behind that glorious '70s perm and shades is one of the most sophisticated rock writers since the '60s, with A New World Record being one of the crowning achievements of his career. Though the bones of Electric Light Orchestra comes from the rest of the musicians around him, Lynne's work shows you how far you can go by just being a master of melody, from the opening string flourishes of Tightrope to the stacked walls of sound on songs like Do Ya.
While it may sound like a generic '70s rock album of the time, the production on this is incredibly tight, along with having some of the most beautiful melodies of the decade like on songs like Telephone Line. Even though you could call this the point where the '70s got a little too self indulgent, when has that ever been that bad of a thing?