12 '70s Hard Rock Albums All Fans Should Own

The meatiest records from the genre's finest decade.


No decade has truly rocked before or since like the 1970s did. It was a decade of incredible innovation and experimentation, with glam, punk, disco, and nascent electronic and hip hop music rising and falling, but through it all were the bands who wanted nothing more than to grow out their hair, don the leather, and rock out.

If that sounds like there were scores of groups all doing the same thing, well, to an extent, there were. These booming days led a lot of chancers to form a band, and some of them even managed to get out a reasonably successful song or two before disappearing forever.

There were also the bands who innovated, experimented, and pushed the genre forward. This was a decade of albums, ambitious albums, and this dozen records encapsulates what the decade of hard rock was really all about.

Some were state of the union addresses, brimming with social commentary and stark warnings; others had little more in mind than making a set of great set of songs. Grouped together, they stand as a definitive statement from a time when hard rock was king.

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Joshua H. Mills likes Milhouse Van Houten, Tom Waits, and A Confederacy Of Dunces. You can find his content at, and enjoy his 15 tweets @jharrymills