The ‘70s brought us everything from bell bottoms to Rubik’s cube, as long hair toking hippies became a symbol of the times with their tied dyed shirts, rose colored glasses, and paisley designs.
The ‘70s saw the breakup of the Beatles, and the death of The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.
The gadgets of today wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the innovative creations from the ‘70s. The first home computer was created (the Altair), Microsoft and Apple were born, as was the first test tube baby. E-mail was created leading the way to “You got mail.”
As music evolved so did dancing, with the advent of disco and hip hop.
Moviegoers had plenty to choose from with award winning movies such as “Patton,” “Airport,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Norma Rae.”
As for the music, there isn’t a decade that can compare with a long list of greats including Bob Marley, The Bee Gees, Bruce Springsteen, Lynryd Skynrd, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Bob Segar and so many more.
The top selling albums of the ‘70s are still popular today, with songs being featured in movies, political campaigns, and commercials, giving rise to a resurgence of songs from yesteryear.
Led Zeppelin owned the ‘70s with three albums in the top 10.
While this is only the top 10 albums of the ’70s, there are other albums that deserve an honorable mention, they are:
Van Halen – “Van Halen”
Billy Joel – “The Stranger”
Stevie Wonder – “Songs in the Key of Life”
Aerosmith – “Toys in the Attic”
Michael Jackson – “Off the Wall”
Peter Frampton – “Frampton Comes Alive”
Foreigner – “Head Games”
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10. Led Zeppelin’s “House of Holy”
Number ten is Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of Holy” with 11 million albums sold. This was the band’s first album composed of all original material. In 2012, the album was ranked number 148 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The album cover: The cover art was inspired by the ending of Arthur C. Clarke’s novel “Childhood’s End.” The ending involves several hundred million naked children, only slightly and physically resembling the human race in basic form.
9. Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell”
Number nine is Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” with 14 million albums sold. It was his second album and was released in late 1977. The album’s concept grew from a musical, “Neverland”, a sci-fi update of Peter Pan. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at number 343 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
8. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”
Number eight is Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” with 15 million albums sold. It was their eighth studio album and was released in early 1973. It built on ideas explored in the band’s earlier recordings and live shows, with themes such as conflict, greed, the passage of time, and mental illness.
With its iconic cover “Dark Side of the Moon” remained on the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. It has twice been re-mastered and re-released. The album remains Pink Floyd’s most popular albums among fans and is ranked as one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
7. Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti”
Number seven is Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” selling 15 million albums. This was their sixth studio album and was released in early 1975 as a double album. During the recording of the album bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones considered leaving the band, delaying the release. The band decided to add previously unreleased tracks from earlier recording sessions making it a double album.
6. The Eagle’s “Hotel California”
Number six is the Eagle’s “Hotel California” with 15 million albums sold. This was their fifth studio album and was released in late 1976. It was the first Eagles album without founding member Bernie Leadon and the first album with Joe Walsh. The album became the band’s highest selling studio album with over 16 million copies sold. The album won the band two Grammy awards for “Hotel California” and “New Kid in Town”. The album was nominated for album of the year but lost to Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours.”
5. The soundtrack from “Saturday Night Fever”
Number five is “Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack” with 15 million albums sold. This is probably the one album everyone relates to the ‘70s. It’s the soundtrack album for the 1977 film “Saturday Night Fever” starring John Travolta and represents all things disco. In the United States, the album was certified Platinum. The album stayed on top of the album charts for 24 straight weeks from January to July 1978, staying on Billboard’s album charts for 120 weeks until March 1980.
4. Boston’s self titled album
Number four is Boston’s “Boston” with 17 million albums sold. This was Boston’s debut album and was released mid-1976. It peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, and has since been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2003.The album is the second best-selling debut album of all time in the United States, after Guns N’ Roses’s “Appetite for Destruction”.
3. Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”
Number three is Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” with 19 million albums sold. It was the eleventh studio album and was recorded in California during 1976 and released in early 1977. The record peaked at the top of both the main United States Billboard chart and the United Kingdom Albums Chart. “Go Your Own Way”, “Don’t Stop”, “Dreams”, and “You Make Loving Fun” were released as singles. Since then the Grammy Award winning album has sold over 40 million.
2. Led Zeppelin’s “Led Zeppelin IV”
Number two is Led Zeppelin’s “Led Zeppelin IV“ with 22 million albums sold. It was the fourth album and was released in late 1971. No title was printed on the album, so it is usually referred to as Led Zeppelin IV. There were a few other names used for the album, but the one that stuck was ZoSo, which was derived from the symbol used by Jimmy Page for the album sleeve. Page often had the ZoSo symbol embroidered on his clothes.
1. Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”
Number one is Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” with 23 million. It was the eleventh studio album and was released as a double album in late 1979, eventually leading to a live performance with elaborate theatrical effects, and it was also adapted into a feature film, “Pink Floyd—The Wall.”