1970: The Year in Rock Music

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The 1960s began with crooners like Paul Anka, Connie Francis and Frankie Avalon populating the top 10 of the Billboard singles chart, and ended with the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Never before had popular music undergone such a complete transformation over a 10-year stretch.

As 1970 was ushered in, few could have imagined where we were headed next. There weren’t many signs at the start of the decade. The Beatles would break up that year, as would Simon and Garfunkel and the Supremes. But many of the artists that dominated rock music in 1970—and would continue to for some time—were the same ones we’d been listening to as the ’60s closed out. If a major shift was on the way, it would’ve been difficult to imagine, at the time, just what form it would take.

Now, of course, we know. Names that were still new relatively to us—Elton John, David Bowie, the Jackson Five, Black Sabbath, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor—were offering suggested paths, but only a soothsayer could have guessed just how substantial their impact would eventually be. The singer-songwriter movement, heavy metal, funk and other new genres would quickly gain adherents, but in 1970 they were still largely outliers.

Music never stays still—whether we like where it goes or not, it doesn’t wait for us. That was true in 1970, and by the end of that decade, the landscape would, once again, look completely different (hello disco, punk and hip-hop). In any case, it’s always fun to look back with the benefit of hindsight and remember what our ears were taking in.

That’s exactly what we’ve done here: We’ve turned back the clock 50 years and compiled a timeline of the year’s top events (including album releases) in rock music. Then we’ve listed the bands that formed during that year, and those that called it quits.

Finally, we’ve compiled a list of the year’s top singles. Looking at it all now, we have to admit that we were all very lucky to have this music in our lives—and we still are!

1970 Music Timeline

Syd Barrett (Photo from the Barrett Facebook page)

Jan. 1—Jimi Hendrix and his new trio, Band of Gypsys (bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles), perform two shows at NYC’s Fillmore East, as they did on the previous evening.

Jan. 3—Former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett releases his debut album, The Madcap Laughs

Jan. 9—Badfinger releases Magic Christian Music

Jan. 14—Diana Ross and the Supremes perform their final concert, at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas

Jan. 15—The MC5 releases Back in the USA, Dusty Springfield releases A Brand New Me

Jan. 19—John Sebastian releases John B. Sebastian

Jan. 25—John Phillips releases John Phillips (John, the Wolf King of L.A.)

Jan. 26—Simon and Garfunkel release Bridge Over Troubled Water, their final album together; Chicago releases their self-titled sophomore album (aka Chicago II)

Jan. 27—Van Morrison releases Moondance

Jan. 28—Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys calls it quits after just a few weeks together

Related: Our review of 2019’s Band of Gypsys boxed set

Jan. ?—The Guess Who releases American Woman, Johnny Cash releases Hello, I’m Johnny Cash, Argent releases their self-titled debut

Feb. 1—James Taylor releases Sweet Baby James

Watch James Taylor perform the title track from his 1970 breakthrough album

Feb. 9—The Doors release Morrison Hotel, the Mothers of Invention release Burnt Weeny Sandwich, the soundtrack to Zabriskie Point (featuring Pink Floyd, Jerry Garcia and others) is released

Feb. 11—The film The Magic Christian, co-starring Ringo Starr, premieres in New York City

Feb. 13—Black Sabbath releases their self-titled debut album in the U.K.

Watch Black Sabbath perform “War Pigs” in 1970

This hyperbolic ad appeared in the July 4, 1970 issue of Record World

Feb. 14—The Who record Live at Leeds

Feb. 24—Funkadelic releases their self-titled debut album

Feb. 26—The Beatles release their Hey Jude compilation album

Feb. ?—Atomic Rooster releases their self-titled debut, Screaming Lord Sutch releases Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends, Harry Nilsson releases Nilsson Sings Newman

March 7—The Temptations release their Psychedelic Shack album

Leslie West (r.) with Felix Pappalardi in Mountain

March 7—Mountain releases their debut album, Climbing!

March 11—Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young release Déjà Vu

Related: Our Album Rewind of CSNY’s Déjà Vu

March 23—Leon Russell releases his self-titled debut solo album

March 25—Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys album is released (after they’d already split—see Jan. 28), John Cale releases Vintage Violence

March 27—Ringo Starr releases Sentimental Journey

March 30—Ginger Baker’s Air Force releases their self-titled album, Miles Davis releases Bitches Brew 

March 31—Three Dog Night releases It Ain’t Easy

March ?—Alice Cooper releases Easy Action, Joni Mitchell releases Ladies of the Canyon, Delaney and Bonnie release On Tour with Eric Clapton, Faces release First Step, the Amboy Dukes release Marriage on the Rocks/Rock Bottom, Linda Ronstadt releases Silk Purse, Bloodrock releases their self-titled album, Tom Rush releases his self-titled album

April 9—Dr. John releases Remedies

Related: Dr. John died June 6, 2019

April 10—Paul McCartney announces that the Beatles have broken up, Elton John releases his self-titled second album

April 13—Diana Ross and the Supremes release Farewell

April 14—Michael Nesmith announces that he has left the Monkees

April 17— Paul McCartney releases his debut, self-titled solo album, Ten Years After releases Cricklewood Green, Brinsley Schwarz releases their self-titled debut album

April 20—Jethro Tull releases Benefit

Watch Jethro Tull at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970

April 22—Iron Butterfly Live is released

April 24—Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick and her escort, political radical Abbie Hoffman, are turned away from a White House tea party hosted by the president’s daughter, Tricia Nixon, after Secret Service officers realize the invitees could cause trouble (indeed, Slick had hoped to dose Nixon with LSD); Cat Stevens’ Mona Bone Jakon is released

April 26—Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ What Love Has…Joined Together is released

April ?—Randy Newman’s 12 Songs is released, Cream’s Live Cream is released, the Flying Burrito Brothers’ Burrito Deluxe is released; other April releases include Blues Image’s Open, Melanie’s Candles in the Rain, the Bee Gees’ Cucumber Castle, Steppenwolf’s Live, Booker T. and the MG’s’ McLemore Avenue, Colosseum’s The Grass is Greener, the 5th Dimension’s Portrait, Gordon Lightfoot’s Sit Down Young Stranger, James Brown’s Soul on Top, Incredible String Band’s I Looked Up, Eric Burdon and War’s Eric Burdon Declares “War”, Blodywn Pig’s Getting to This and Al Stewart’s Zero She Flies

May 1—Poco releases their self-titled album

May 8—The Beatles’ Let It Be album is released, the Jackson Five’s ABC is released

May 11—Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More is released

May 15—King Crimson’s In the Wake of Poseidon is released

May 16—Randy Bachman leaves the Guess Who; the Who’s Live at Leeds is released

May 20—The Beatles’ Let it Be film premieres in London and Liverpool, with none of the former members in attendance

May ?— Hot Tuna’s self-titled debut is released, Country Joe and the Fish’s CJ Fish is released, Carole King’s Writer is released, Tom Jones’ Tom is released

June 3—Deep Purple In Rock is released

June 5—Procol Harum’s Home and Barclay James Harvest’s self-titled debut are released

June 6—Soft Machine’s Third is released

June 7—The Who perform their rock opera Tommy at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House

June 8—Bob Dylan releases Self Portrait

June 13—The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road” becomes their final U.S. #1 single, Uriah Heep releases … Very ‘Eavy … Very ‘Umble

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

June 14—The Grateful Dead releases Workingman’s Dead

June 15—Grand Funk Railroad releases Closer to Home

June 19—Diana Ross releases her self-titled, debut solo album

June 24—The Transcontinental Festival Express, a.k.a. Festival Express, begins in Montreal. The festival featured artists such as the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band and Buddy Guy, all of whom traveled by train across Canada. Only four shows ultimately took place. A documentary film was issued in 2003.

June 26—Free releases Fire and Water

Blue Thumb Records released Dave Mason’s debut LP on colored vinyl

June ?—The following albums are released: Rod Stewart’s Gasoline Alley, Dave Mason’s Alone Together, the Meters’ Struttin’, Elvis Presley’s On Stage, the Monkees’ Changes, Blood, Sweat and Tears’ 3, Fotheringay’s self-titled debut, Rare Earth’s Ecology, Steeleye Span’s Hark! The Village Wait, Tangerine Dream’s Electronic Meditation, the Ides of March’s Vehicle, Pretty Things’ Parachute and Todd Rundgren’s Runt

July 1—Cactus releases their self-titled debut

July 7—The Stooges release Fun House

July 14—Supertramp’s self-titled debut is released

July 20—The Doors’ Absolutely Live is released

July 24—Yes releases Time and a Word

July 25—Creedence Clearwater Revival releases Cosmo’s Factory

July ?—Funkadelic releases Free Your Mind…And Your Ass Will Follow, Humble Pie releases their self-titled debut, Traffic releases John Barleycorn Must Die, The James Gang Rides Again is released; other July releases include Bread’s On the Waters, Fairport Convention’s Full House and Spooky Tooth’s The Last Puff

Aug. 3—Janis Joplin makes her final TV appearance, on The Dick Cavett Show; Canned Heat releases Future Blues

Watch Janis on The Dick Cavett Show two months before her death

Aug. 7—The Moody Blues release A Question of Balance, Stevie Wonder releases Signed, Sealed & Delivered

Aug. 10—The Mothers of Invention release Weasels Ripped My Flesh

Aug. 13—Iron Butterfly releases Metamorphosis

Aug. 14—Hawkwind releases their self-titled debut

Aug. 16—Eric Clapton’s self-titled, debut solo album is released

Aug. 17—The Band releases Stage Fright

Watch rare footage of The Band live from 1970

Aug. 19—The Carpenters’ Close to You is released

Aug. 24—Aretha Franklin releases Spirit in the Dark

Aug. 26-30—The Isle of Wight Festival takes place in England, starring Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, the Moody Blues, Chicago, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis and others

Watch the Doors perform “Light My Fire” at the Isle of Wight

Aug. 30—The Rolling Stones open a European tour in Sweden

Aug. 31—The Beach Boys release Sunflower

August ?—Other August album releases include Al Kooper’s Easy Does It, Status Quo’s Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon, Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Just for Love

Sept. 4—The live Rolling Stones album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out is released

Sept. 8—Jackson Five’s Third Album is released

Sept. 14—The Byrds release Untitled

Watch the Byrds perform “Eight Miles High” at Fillmore East in 1970

Sept. 18—Jimi Hendrix dies in London of a suspected drug overdose; Fleetwood Mac’s Kiln House and Black Sabbath’s Paranoid are released

Sept. 19—Neil Young releases After the Gold Rush

Sept. 22—Santana’s Abraxas is released

Sept. 23—The Allman Brothers Band’s Idlewild South is released

Watch the Allmans perform “Whipping Post” in 1970 at Fillmore East

Sept. 25—Ringo Starr’s Beaucoups of Blues is released

Sept. ?— Other September releases include Seals and Crofts’ Down Home, Mott the Hoople’s Mad Shadows, Johnny Winter And, Jesus Christ Superstar, James Brown’s Sex Machine and Curtis Mayfield’s Curtis

Oct. 2—Pink Floyd releases Atom Heart Mother

Oct. 4—Janis Joplin dies in Hollywood of a suspected heroin overdose

Oct. 5—Led Zeppelin III is released

Oct. 19—Bob Dylan’s New Morning is released

Oct. 22—Miles Davis at Fillmore is released

Oct. 23—Frank Zappa releases Chunga’s Revenge, Genesis releases Trespass

Oct. 30—The Doors’ Jim Morrison is found guilty of indecent exposure, stemming from an incident in Miami; Elton John releases Tumbleweed Connection

Oct. ?—The Guess Who releases Share the Land, Savoy Brown releases Looking In, Joan Baez releases The First Ten Years. Other October releases include B.B. King’s Indianola Mississippi Seeds, UFO’s UFO 1, Arlo Guthrie’s Washington County, Johnny Cash’s The Johnny Cash Show, Bloodrock 2, Kevin Ayers’ Shooting at the Moon, Don McLean’s Tapestry and Jimmy Webb’s Words and Music

Nov. 1—The Grateful Dead releases American Beauty, Nick Drake releases Bryter Layter

Nov. 4—David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World is released

Nov. 9—Badfinger releases No Dice, Derek and the Dominos release Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs

Nov. 11—Elvis Presley releases That’s the Way It Is

Nov. 14—Syd Barrett releases Barrett

Nov. 15—Van Morrison releases His Band and the Street Choir, the Velvet Underground releases Loaded

Nov. 16—The J. Geils Band releases their self-titled debut, Grand Funk Railroad releases Live Album

Nov. 18—Three Dog Night releases Naturally

Nov. 20—Brinsley Schwarz releases Despite It All, Emerson, Lake and Palmer release their self-titled debut

Nov. 21—Sly and the Family Stone’s Greatest Hits is released

Nov. 23—Stephen Stills releases his self-titled solo debut, Cat Stevens releases Tea for the Tillerman

Nov. 25—Laura Nyro’s Christmas and the Beads of Sweat is released

Nov. 27—George Harrison releases All Things Must Pass, Gentle Giant releases their self-titled debut, the Kinks release Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, and Spirit releases Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus

Nov. 28—Slade releases Play it Loud

Nov. ?— Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship releases Blows Against the Empire, Kraftwerk releases their self-titled debut, Tim Buckley releases Starsailor, the Steve Miller Band releases Number 5, the Hollies release Confessions of the Mind, Family releases Anyway. Other November releases include Pentangle’s Cruel Sister, Curved Air’s Air Conditioning, Steppenwolf’s 7, The Isaac Hayes Movement, and the Bee Gees’ 2 Years On

Dec. 1—Wishbone Ash releases their self-titled debut

Dec. 7—Creedence Clearwater Revival releases Pendulum

Dec. 10—Ginger Baker’s Air Force 2 is released

Related: Our obituary of Ginger Baker, who died in 2019

Dec. 11—John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band are released; King Crimson’s Lizard is also released

Dec. 12—The Doors perform their final concert with Jim Morrison, in New Orleans

Dec. 18—The self-titled debut of T. Rex (since changing their name from Tyrannosaurus Rex) is released

Dec. ?—Other December releases include Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s Lick My Decals Off, Baby, Free’s Highway, Ten Years After’s Watt, Quicksilver Messenger Service’s What About Me, Ry Cooder’s self-titled solo debut, Sir Lord Baltimore’s Kingdom Come, Love’s False Start, Peter Green’s The End of the Game, Eric Burdon and War’s The Black-Man’s Burdon, Nico’s Desertshore, The Move’s Looking On, Colosseum’s Daughter of Time and the Wailers’ Soul Rebel

More 1970 albums, release dates unknown (alphabetically by artist):

Chuck Berry—Back Home
Jimmy Buffett—Down to Earth
Chicken Shack—Accept
Neil Diamond—Tap Root Manuscript
The Dillards—Copperfields
Donovan—Open Road
Focus—Plays Focus
Roy Harper—Flat Baroque and Berserk
Richie Havens—Stonehenge
Lee Hazlewood—Cowboy in Sweden
Tommy James and the Shondells—Travelin’
Kris Kristofferson—Kristofferson
John Mayall—USA Union
Lee Michaels—Barrel
Ricky Nelson—In Concert at the Troubadour, 1969
Roy Orbison—The Big O
The Partridge Family—The Partridge Family Album
Emitt Rhodes—Emitt Rhodes
Gil Scott-Heron—Small Talk at 125th and Lenox
Loudon Wainwright III—Loudon Wainwright III
Tony Joe White—Tony Joe
Edgar Winter—Entrance
The Youngbloods—Rock Festival

Listen to “Sunday Morning Coming Down” from Kris Kristofferson’s debut album

Bands that formed in 1970 (listed alphabetically)
Aerosmith, America, Asleep at the Wheel, Cactus, Chilliwack, Climax, Copperhead, Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose, Crowbar, Derek and the Dominos, Detroit, Dixie Dregs, the Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Electric Light Orchestra, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Fotheringay, Gentle Giant, Glass Harp, Horslips, King Harvest, Lindisfarne, Mark-Almond, McGuinness Flint, the Modern Lovers, Mudcrutch, Ocean, Oregon, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Pure Prairie League, Queen, the Raspberries, the Rubinoos, Shanti, Stoneground, Sugarloaf, Suicide, Uriah Heep, Weather Report, Wet Willie, Wicked Lester

Bands that broke up in 1970 (alphabetically)
Attila, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, The Beatles, Blues Image, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, the Chocolate Watch Band, the Dave Clark Five, the Electric Prunes, Fat Mattress, the Foundations, the Frost, Full Tilt Boogie Band, Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Hondells, Illinois Speed Press, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Lothar and the Hand People, Love Sculpture, Mad River, Mandala, the Marvelettes, Nazz, the Nice, Peter, Paul & Mary, Quill, the Rationals, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Simon and Garfunkel, Taste, Thunderclap Newman, the Turtles, Unit 4 + 2, Vanilla Fudge, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band

Farewell to Simon and Garfunkel, who went their separate ways in 1970. Here they are, performing in Paris, during that final year.

And finally, a selection of the year’s hit singles and popular songs (alphabetically by artist)… 

Alive N Kickin’—“Tighter, Tighter”
Badfinger—“Come and Get It,” “No Matter What”
The Band—“Up on Cripple Creek”
The Beatles—“Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road”
The Bee Gees—“Lonely Days”

Brook Benton—“Rainy Night in Georgia”
Black Sabbath—“Paranoid”
Blood, Sweat and Tears—“Hi-De-Ho,” “Lucretia MacEvil”
Blues Image—“Ride Captain Ride”
Bread—“It Don’t Matter to Me,” “Make It With You”
The Brotherhood of Man—“United We Stand”
James Brown—“Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine,” “Let a Man Come In and Do the Popcorn (Part 2)”
Eric Burdon and War—“Spill the Wine”

The Byrds—“Chestnut Mare”
Canned Heat—“Let’s Work Together”
The Carpenters—“(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun”
Clarence Carter—“Patches”
Chairmen of the Board—“Give Me Just a Little More Time”
Gene Chandler—“Groovy Situation”
Chicago—“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?,” “I’m a Man,” “Make Me Smile,” “25 or 6 to 4”

Related: A killer live version of “25 or 6 to 4” from 1970

Eric Clapton—“After Midnight”
Joe Cocker—“The Letter,” “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”
Creedence Clearwater Revival—“Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” “Travelin’ Band,” “Up Around the Bend,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain?”
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young—“Ohio,” “Our House,” “Teach Your Children,” “Woodstock”
The Cuff Links—“Tracy”
Tyrone Davis—“Turn Back the Hands of Time”
Neil Diamond—“Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Holly Holy,” “Shilo”
Edison Lighthouse—“Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)”
Dave Edmunds—“I Hear You Knocking”
Fifth Dimension—“One Less Bell to Answer,” “Puppet Man,” “Save the Country”
The Five Stairsteps—“Ooh Child”
Fleetwood Mac—“The Green Manalishi”

Watch a live performance of “The Green Manalishi” from 1970

Free—“All Right Now”
Frijid Pink—House of the Rising Sun”
Grand Funk Railroad—“I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)”
The Grass Roots—“Temptation Eyes”
Norman Greenbaum—“Spirit in the Sky”
R.B. Greaves—“Take a Letter Maria”
Guess Who—“American Woman,” “No Sugar Tonight,” “No Time,” “Share the Land”

Related: Our Album Rewind of the Guess Who’s American Woman 

George Harrison—“My Sweet Lord”
The Hollies—“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”

Related: Our interview with the Hollies’ Allan Clarke

Eddie Holman—“Hey There, Lonely Girl”
The Ides of March—“Vehicle”
Jackson Five—“ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There,” “The Love You Save”
The Jaggerz—“The Rapper”
Tom Jones—“Daughter of Darkness,” “I (Who Have Nothing),” “Without Love”
B.B. King—“The Thrill Is Gone”
The Kinks—“Lola”
Led Zeppelin—“Immigrant Song”
John Lennon—“Instant Karma”
Gordon Lightfoot—“If You Could Read My Mind”

Mark Lindsay—“Arizona”
Marmalade—“Reflections of My Life”

Related: Marmalade singer Dean Ford died in 2018

Melanie—“Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” “Ruby Tuesday”
Joni Mitchell—“Big Yellow Taxi”
The Moments—“Love on a Two-Way Street”
The Moody Blues—“Question”
Van Morrison—“Come Running,” “Domino”
Mountain—“Mississippi Queen”
Mungo Jerry—“In the Summertime”

Anne Murray—“Snowbird”
Michael Nesmith and the First National Band—“Joanne”
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band—“Mr. Bojangles”
Tony Orlando and Dawn—“Candida,” “Knock Three Times”
Partridge Family—“I Think I Love You”
Freda Payne—“Band of Gold”

Peter, Paul and Mary—“Leaving on a Jet Plane”
Wilson Pickett—“Sugar, Sugar”
The Pipkins—“Gimme Dat Ding”
The Poppy Family—“Which Way You Goin’ Billy”
Elvis Presley—“The Wonder of You,” “Kentucky Rain,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”
Rare Earth—“Get Ready”
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles—“The Tears of a Clown”

Tommy Roe—“Jam Up and Jelly Tight”
Diana Ross—“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”
Diana Ross and the Supremes—“Some Day We’ll Be Together”
Santana—“Black Magic Woman,” “Evil Ways”

Related: Our interview with Gregg Rolie of Santana, who sang both of their 1970 smashes

Bobby Sherman—“Julie, Do Ya Love Me”
Shocking Blue—“Venus”
Simon and Garfunkel—“The Boxer,” “Cecilia”
Sly and the Family Stone—“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”
Edwin Starr—“War”
Steam—“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”
Ray Stevens—“Everything is Beautiful”
Stephen Stills—“Love the One You’re With”
Cat Stevens—“Wild World”
Ray Stevens—”Everything Is Beautiful”
Barbra Streisand—“Stoney End”
Sugarloaf—“Green-Eyed Lady”

Related: The story of Sugarloaf

The Supremes—“Up the Ladder to the Roof”
James Taylor—“Fire and Rain”
R. Dean Taylor—“Indiana Wants Me”
Tee-Set—“Ma Belle Amie”
The Temptations—“Ball of Confusion,” “Psychedelic Shack”
B.J. Thomas—“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”
Rufus Thomas—“Do the Funky Chicken”
Three Dog Night—“Celebrate,” “Eli’s Coming,” “Mama Told Me Not to Come”

Watch Three Dog Night perform Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come” in 1970

Vanity Fare—“Hitchin’ a Ride”
Dionne Warwick—“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”
White Plains—“My Baby Loves Lovin’”
The Who—“See Me, Feel Me,” “Summertime Blues”
Stevie Wonder—“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”
Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band—“Express Yourself”
Neil Young—“Only Love Can Break Your Heart”

Related: The top radio hits of 1970

Best Classic Bands Staff

11 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Rob J
    #1 Rob J 1 January, 2020, 02:03

    Wow. What an article. Utterly fantastic. You just journeyed through my life. Man, this is a keeper. Thank You.

    Reply this comment
  2. Wilson
    #2 Wilson 2 January, 2020, 01:35

    Dig this site!

    Reply this comment
  3. The Mad Scotsman
    #3 The Mad Scotsman 4 January, 2020, 17:05

    As an old bugger (19 in 1970), you’ve captured a lot of what I cared about then. I like that you included some of the more obscure British bands (since I’m British).

    Thank you.

    Reply this comment
  4. Lars
    #4 Lars 6 January, 2020, 18:13

    Good site, thanks!

    Reply this comment
  5. bobbyb5
    #5 bobbyb5 27 October, 2020, 05:59

    This reminded me that 1970 was just about as great as 1971. Or 1969.

    Reply this comment
  6. Hawkwind Kid
    #6 Hawkwind Kid 27 October, 2020, 08:56

    You need to do a story about the greatest band ever and they just released a new LP after 50 years the one the only HAWKWIND

    Reply this comment
  7. freddy
    #7 freddy 18 April, 2021, 15:06

    The greatest year for modern music, period.

    Reply this comment
  8. soi cau xsmb
    #8 soi cau xsmb 31 May, 2022, 00:54

    Great 1970 summary! Adding more songs to my playlist right now

    Reply this comment
  9. Game bài đổi thưởng 68
    #9 Game bài đổi thưởng 68 18 March, 2023, 03:55

    Great, excellent, wonderfull. I have to add it right now to my playlist

    Reply this comment
  10. Bob D
    #10 Bob D 24 July, 2023, 22:23

    All those great essential records came our way in 1970 , and the one that stands above the others , in my life , is that album Poco by Poco . Even today I play that album with the oranges on the cover more than any of the amazing music you listed . What a year !

    Reply this comment
  11. Da Mick
    #11 Da Mick 25 July, 2023, 16:59

    For those of us who were there at the time, we did indeed have no idea then how good we had it. With the great music that we’d already gotten in the previous few years, we just thought this was the way it was now, and that this freight train of new thrillingly innovative sounds and songs would just go on forever, now that these folks had seemingly found something that just kept on delighting us, record after record. How could it not? Rock and Soul music were the best it had ever been, so why would anything change? That’s a topic in and of itself that perhaps we should explore some other time. For now, let’s just look back and celebrate some of the unabashedly great records came out in 1970 — many that sound just as good today, and some being the greatest records some of these musical artists would ever make. For all the physical dinks and dents involved in growing older, there IS a great deal to be said for being of a certain age and having actually been there and experienced it firsthand when the excitement of this music and cultural explosion took place.

    Reply this comment

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