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100 Greatest Hard Rock Bands and Heavy Metal Bands of the 60s and 70s

Updated on February 24, 2018

The 60s is remembered as the decade that paved way for different forms of rock music. The strong folk rock movement in many ways inspired musicians to take new musical directions. Experimentation and collaborations among musicians from diverse musical backgrounds led to heavy sounds emerging in the realms of rock. The hard rock sound and heavy metal sound came forth in a parallel manner stemming from acid rock, psychedelic rock and blues rock influences. The heavy sound established into a prominent musical entity by the mid- 60s. A significant number of experimental rock acts started using tight knit musical elements bringing a high degree of compositional sophistication and structure in their songs.


Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in the 60s and 70s

Compositional structure in hard rock and heavy metal songs in the 60s and 70s had a raw textural feel that opened pathways for different subgenres associated with rock. A large number of hard rock and heavy metal bands in the 60s and 70s emerged with musical ideas stemming from mixed genres. Both American bands and British bands emerged with their signature sound in the realms of hard rock and heavy metal. The rock scene helped establish a newfound musical freedom among hard rock bands and heavy metal bands. The 70s witnessed a new wave of European hard rock and heavy metal bands with diverse musical influences. The European rock sound distinguished itself with slick progressive elements in songs.


The 60s and 70s also showcased a number of acts associated with hard rock and heavy metal at music festivals. Some of the most memorable rock festivals to this day have taken place in the 60s and 70s. A number of upcoming band and new bands in heavy metal got an opportunity to showcase their talent at rock festivals across the globe. While only major acts in hard rock and heavy metal found lucrative record deals and were marketed and promoted in a grand way, a number of artists and bands released their music independently and started selling their music at gigs and concerts. Word of mouth publicity among rock fans and the underground music scene helped many upcoming rock bands get noticed by record companies and in the process sign record deals.


The NWOBHM Musical Movement

The hard rock and heavy metal scene became widespread in the 70s bringing in new musical soundscapes to the realms of rock music. Few psychedelic rock bands and progressive rock bands included diverse forms of hard rock in their songs taking compositional structure to a whole new level. The epic ‘metal’ sound started being associated with hard rock bands and heavy metal bands in the 70s. Some of the best lyrical masterpieces associated with rock music came forth in the 70s.

The NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) musical movement came into its own in the 70s and made a powerful impact among rock fans globally. Heavy metal bands in the late 70s had a heavy sound and complemented with anthem like choruses. Themes such as mythology, escapism, fantasia, life and social issues were popular with hard rock and heavy metal bands in the late 70s. The NWOBHM movement paved musical pathways for new musical ideas through the 80s and 90s, most notably associated with prototype punk, thrash metal, speed metal, hair metal, power metal and glam metal.


A large number of present-day rock bands cite hard rock bands and heavy metal bands of the 60s and 70s as their musical influences. A noteworthy feature with rock bands from the hippie-happy days was their ability to come up with albums that had a fresh concepts and ideas. Established American bands, British bands and European bands toured extensively through the 60s and 70s taking their music to far corners of the globe. Various forms of rock music in flower power decades paved the way for the future of metal. Rock purists the world over unanimously agree hard rock and heavy metal in the 60s and 70s was its purest form of heavy unadulterated music. While the 60s and 70s are long gone, the musical legacy left behind will influence generations to come.

The line below showcase a diverse list of hard rock bands and heavy metal bands of the 60s and 70s


100 Greatest Hard Rock Bands and Heavy Metal Bands of the 60s and 70s

  1. Black Sabbath
  2. Led Zeppelin
  3. Deep Purple
  4. Blue Cheer
  5. Nazareth
  6. Sweet
  7. Vanilla Fudge
  8. Mountain
  9. James Gang
  10. Budgie
  11. Free
  12. The Who
  13. Steppenwolf
  14. Les Variations
  15. The Jeff Beck Group
  16. High Tide
  17. Ten Years After
  18. Cactus
  19. Hawkwind
  20. Sir Lord Baltimore
  21. Cream
  22. Flower Travellin’ Band
  23. Leaf Hound
  24. Grand Funk Railroad
  25. Slade
  26. AC/DC
  27. Thin Lizzy
  28. UFO
  29. Iron Butterfly
  30. The Allman Brothers Band
  31. New York Dolls
  32. Uriah Heep
  33. Status Quo
  34. Buffalo
  35. Atomic Rooster
  36. ZZ Top
  37. Lynyrd Skynyrd
  38. Josefus
  39. Beck, Bogert & Appice
  40. Road
  41. Humble Pie
  42. Taste
  43. Kiss
  44. Mott The Hoople
  45. Lucifer’s Friend
  46. The Amboy Dukes
  47. Blue Oyster Cult
  48. Yes
  49. Captain Beyond
  50. Thunder and Roses
  51. Jethro Tull
  52. The Stooges
  53. Frijid Pink
  54. Journey
  55. The Guess Who
  56. Incredible Hog
  57. Kansas
  58. Jamul
  59. Scorpions
  60. Procol Harum
  61. Focus
  62. Rush
  63. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  64. Toad
  65. Bedlam
  66. Montrose
  67. West, Bruce and Laing
  68. Bad Company
  69. Aerosmith
  70. Family
  71. Bang
  72. Triumph
  73. Motorhead
  74. Los Dug Dug’s
  75. Cirith Ungol
  76. Bloodrock
  77. The Flying Hat Band
  78. Mariani
  79. Patto
  80. Cheap Trick
  81. Mahogany Rush
  82. Warhorse
  83. Pentagram
  84. The Handsome Beasts
  85. Yesterday’s Children
  86. Rainbow
  87. Y&T
  88. Warpig
  89. Urchin
  90. Trapeze
  91. Armageddon
  92. Accept
  93. Dust
  94. Night Sun
  95. The Runaways
  96. Andromeda
  97. Foreigner
  98. Oda
  99. Fanny
  100. Angel

Other Notable Hard Rock Bands and Heavy Metal Bands of the 60s & 70s

  • Boomerang
  • Head Over Heels
  • Euclid
  • Blues Creation
  • Stone Bunny
  • Gift
  • Tin House
  • Suck
  • Haystacks Balboa
  • Eloy
  • Bakerloo
  • The Godz
  • Dias De Blues
  • Bow Wow
  • Third Power
  • Legs Diamond
  • Iron Claw
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Blind Petition
  • May Blitz
  • Poobah
  • Highway Robbery
  • Too Much
  • Blues Addicts
  • Jerusalem
  • Stormtrooper
  • Zior
  • Blackwater Park
  • Socrates Drank the Conium
  • Three Man Army
  • Clear Blue Sky
  • The Churchills
  • Groundshaker
  • Flied Egg
  • Toe Fat
  • The Helpful Soul
  • Ram Jam
  • Miguel Abuelo & Nada
  • Pugsley Munion
  • Tempest
  • Hairy Chapter
  • Coldwater Army
  • Sainte Anthony's Fyre
  • Tyburn Tall
  • Luv Machine
  • Speed Glue & Shinki
  • Maypole
  • CWT
  • Stone Axe
  • Jeronimo
  • The Groundhogs
  • Bulbous Creation
  • Pax
  • Culpeper's Orchard
  • Ashkan

Which is the Best Hard Rock Band or Heavy Metal Band of the 60s and 70s?

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