What Is ’70s Music?

’70s music is music that was created and released in the 1970s, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. The music of the early 1970s was heavily influenced that of the 1960s, with bands like Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, and Queen, though the psychedelic rock movement was in decline. Many people associate disco with 1970s music and artists such as The Bee Gees and Gloria Gaynor, but there was also a lot of soft rock and stadium rock produced during that time period. This music can also include recordings of soul and rhythm and blues (R&B), as well as southern rock and punk and new wave developments that lasted into the 1980s.

There are a variety of styles and groups associated with Seventies music, just as there are with other periods of music in the twentieth century. In the 1970s, much of the rock & roll music created in the 1960s continued to develop and influence new bands. David Bowie, Queen, and KISS were among the groups and performers who wore elaborate and theatrical costumes and performed live music. This style of music evolved into stadium rock in the 1970s, with artists such as Boston and Styx creating music for large arena audiences.

Disco is perhaps the most well-known musical movement of the 1970s. This genre grew and developed in dance clubs, and it was written as a dance format rather than to convey a strong message. With the release of Saturday Night Fever in 1977, disco quickly gained fame and popularity. Almost as quickly, however, disco became one of the most reviled forms of Seventies music in the United States, and many disco-famous musicians struggled to maintain their success into the 1980s.

Other musical movements flourished in the 1970s, including the continued development of folk music artists like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Artists like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder were big fans of R&B and soul. Some musicians, like George Clinton, combined R&B sensibilities with rock and synthesized styles to create funk music.

In the 1970s, southern rock and country became very popular, with artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alabama, and Willie Nelson breaking into the mainstream of popular music. For bands like Black Sabbath, Motörhead, and The Sex Pistols, the 1970s were a watershed moment in hard rock and punk. Music from the 1970s also paved the way for a lot of the music that became popular in the 1980s, with groups like Talking Heads and Devo kicking off the new wave movement.