The 1970s marked the culmination of the revolutionary experience that began in the 1960s. As is well known, music has had a significant cultural impact in this decade, even in the musical genres not directly affected by these socio-cultural changes. This is the era of the great rock bands, divided into various sub-genres, of which progressive rock is the emblem. These years have seen the birth of songwriters, singers and soloists who have expressed with their songs a cultural protest that has changed the mentality of the West (and not only). If you want to deepen the subject, in this guide article we point out all the musical genres that most marked the ’70s.
The 70’s marked the triumph of rock music, destined in this same decade to discover harder sounds, and then partly decline in more melodic forms towards the beginning of the eighties. The derivatives of rock that have seen the birth in recent years are: hard rock, pop rock and soft rock.
Hard rock is certainly the most gritty derivative. In the seventies it developed in different forms, starting with progressive, which sees in Deer Purple and Led Zeppelin the major exponents. Progressive inspired glam rock, of which David Bowie was the real representative. With psychedelic rock, however, came more alternative sounds.
Pop rock, as the name suggests, is a type of rock with influences dictated by pop music. Unlike hard rock (which saw the birth in the sixties), pop rock was born in the seventies. It has always presented itself as a very catchy genre, compared to the music we mentioned so far. Among the most important representatives are, of course, Freddie Mercury and his Queen, the various Beatles with their solo careers and Sir Elton John.
Soft rock was also born in the seventies, precisely in two English-speaking countries, we are talking about Great Britain and the United States. Compared to classical rock, the sounds are lighter and slower. In the list of the main representatives we find Chicago and Carpenters.
The decade of the seventies saw the birth of heavy metal. Compared to hard rock, it has stronger and more aggressive rhythms. The most used musical instruments in heavy metal are the guitar, the drums and the bass, rarely a piano or a keyboard is played. Internationally, the most successful Italian heavy metal band in the world is definitely Lacuna Coil.
As we already mentioned in the introduction, the second half of the seventies also saw the birth of disco music. Involving the marginalized, particularly African-Americans, this genre influenced not only music, but also fashion and culture, with a cultural wave similar to the one that had swept through the world of the 60’s, through beatles-mania. Among the major exponents, we remember ABBA, Barry White, Bee Gees and Donna Summer.
These years have also seen the growth of R & B. More than anything else, the seventies, for this genre of music, were a sort of transition period, and then let it blossom completely in the eighties. For this reason we can’t forget to mention two great artists. The first is Stevie Wonder, who lived the most prosperous period of his career in the first half of the seventies, while at the end of that decade began the career of Michael Jackson, who debuted in 1979 with his first hit “Rock with you”.
The King of Rock: Elvis Presley
A separate passage should be dedicated to an artist who in recent years has experienced the peak of his career, we are talking about Elvis Presley. In those years she even aired her concert in world vision. It was broadcast from Hawaii, specifically from Honolulu, on January 14, 1973. A live album of that event was also released.
Singers and songwriters have always been present, but – as in every decade – the themes and the sounds used change. Generally, there is a tendency towards folk appeal, sometimes with instrumental techniques reduced to a minimum, since the important thing is condensed in the message of the text. Italy, in this case, is not a succubitant of overseas fashions, and sees in action great authors such as Fabrizio De André and Giorgio Gaber.
By combining mainly jazz, rock and funk, fusion is able to produce a musical synthesis capable of meeting the most sophisticated tastes and at the same time not entirely close to jazz. In a nutshell, this genre can be considered as the pop part of jazz, with melodies that are often easy to listen to and sounds that are as soft as they are captivating. Among the most interesting artists who have experienced, not only, fusion, we find Frank Zappa, Miles Davis and Billy Cobham.
Intended and born as a subgenre of rock music, it can be said that in its evolution punk has turned into something different and more varied. Bands like Ramones, Sex Pistols and Clash started a strong rebellion, in its own way unprecedented, destined to influence the fashion and society of that period. The message could have been political, but most of the time it aimed to express the disillusionment and discontent that followed the great (often unfulfilled) expectations of the previous decade. The use of essential instrumentation, short tracks and provocation are elements of this kind that should be understood in this perspective.