A Decade Full of Contrasts

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The 1970s were a decade full of musical contrasts and started with a shock. In April, Paul McCartney announced what everyone had suspected anyway. The Beatles are going to choose the separate ways in future. To everyone’s great surprise it was Ringo Starr who landed a number 1 hit first. George Harrison was the first to release a solo album. With a song All Things Must Pass he had a huge hit that dominated the charts for months. But all of this was just the beginning of a decade with numerous new influencers of pop music.

Some Were in Top Form

Many great pop stars of the 1970s shaped the music scene for many years to come, for example, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rod Stewart, or Neil Diamond. They all started their careers at that time. But let’s look at the decade in turn. When the Beatles released their last record in April of 1970, it only reached the second place in England. Future superstars blocked the top position. The US pop duo Simon & Garfunkel led the charts and laid the foundation for a sensational career. Their gentle folk sound was a bright contrast to what was yet to come. While some of the greatest stars of the 1970s, such as Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix died, others were in top form. The records that the Rolling Stones released at the beginning of the decade are still their best music. Not only Sticky Fingers has become a classic rock music until today.

Bowie, Springsteen, Pink Floyd, and Abba

Progressive Rock was the order of the day. That reflects the great success of Pink Floyd, Emmerson, Lake and Palmer. Glam and glitter rock came up with the British superstar David Bowie, one of the greatest and most influential pop stars of all time. Long hair and slanted costumes shaped the picture. While the world was still indulging in glam rock, David Bowie had left for other musical challenges. The pop chameleon was to continue to shape the music scene for decades to come. As musical counterparts, Neil Young and Bob Dylan experienced a heyday. Although they adapt their sound a little, Young’s acoustic album Harvest is still considered one of the masterpieces of the decade. The young Bruce Springsteen followed their course. With Born to Run he made his big breakthrough and was called the future of Rock ‘n’ roll by journalists. The great four Swedes of ABBA hit a completely different musical notch. They won the Eurovision Song Contest and started a career that was second to none. Disco was on the rise and brought another mega-band to the top of the charts together with The Bee Gees.

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The Innovation Started

Numerous innovations emerged in the 1970s. Bob Marley started the reggae revolution. The German band Kraftwerk laid the basis for the 1980s sound with their electronic music. In England, everyone was talking about punk. The Cash and The Sex Pistols conquered the scene and gave it powerful impulses. That time led to New Wave with the new representatives such as Talking Heads, Blondie, and Pattie Smith who were going to shape the 1980s. That ended an exciting musical decade.