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1970s Music - My Top 10 Albums

Updated on September 28, 2019
GayleO profile image

As a teen loving popular music and growing up in the 1970s I have many favorite albums. The following are my top ten for the decade!

On the Dark Side

Source

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd’s eighth album remained on the American album chart for 300 weeks and has continued to be a good seller to this day. With 15 million copies sold I have a special fondness for Dark Side of the Moon as this was one of my earliest live concerts. It was a top 10 live show for me, and I have seen hundreds of bands through the years.

The single Money reached Number 13 of the US Hot 100. The second single Us and Them, failed to make it to the top 100 in either the USA or the UK. This stellar album won the Grammy for Best Engineered Album.

In the Studio - Making Dark Side Of the Moon

Pink Floyd - The Wall

Pink Floyd does it again, taking the number two spot on my top ten list. The Wall holds the top spot of all 1970s albums based on the number of platinum and multi-platinum sales as certified by the Recording Industry Association of America and the British Phonographic Industry.

The album was followed in 1982 by a feature film starring Bob Geldof and directed by Alan Parker.

With more than 23 million copies sold the album didn’t receive a Grammy.

Pink Floyd - The Wall

Original Movie Soundtrack - Saturday Night Fever

This is the album that defines the disco sound in America and the UK. With more than 15 million copies sold you won’t need to purchase any other disco album because this one is the compilation of the best!

Saturday Night Fever held the Number One spot in the USA for 24 weeks and also reached the top spot in the UK charts. Grammy Awards included Album of the Year; Best Pop Vocal Performance; Best Arrangement for Voices (Stayin’ Alive); Producer of the Year.

Stayin' Alive!

Michael Jackson - Off the Wall

Released at the end of the disco era this 1979 album remains to be one of the top popular dance albums of the decade and beyond. It certainly led Michael Jackson to become one of the best-known musicians of his time. The album was produced by Quincy Jones who had a big influence on the funk sound.

The album ranked Number Three on the US charts and Number Five in the UK, selling more than seven million copies and had within a number of #1 hit singles as well. No Grammy award.

Don't Stop!

Carole King - Tapestry

This is the album that set the new watermark for female singers. With more than ten million sale the album stayed 300 weeks on the American charts, including 15 weeks as number one.

The Grammies loved Tapestry awarding Record of the Year; Album of the Year; Best Pop Vocal Performance (female); Song of the Year for You’ve Got A Friend.

Carole King Live

The Cars - The Cars

It was a brand new wave of music on the horizon when The Cars put out their debut album. It only took twelve days to record and three titles, Good Times Roll, Best Friend’s Girl, and Just What I Needed remain staples 1970s music on radio to this day.

The album was released in May, 1978, taking 10 months to reach it's top spot of Number 18 in the US. The album was on the charts for 139 weeks.

Rolling Stone named the The Cars as new band of the year. Six million sales and no Grammy.

The Cars - Just What I Needed

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo’s Factory

Okay. This one is a nostalgic choice, Cosmo’s Factory was my first Junior High LP. I can remember being told to bring an album in for my music class and grabbing the first album I found in the department store. Run Through the Jungle remains one of my favorite songs so it was a wise selection back in 1970.

The album hit Number One in the US and UK, achieving multi-platinum status. Four million sales and no Grammy Award.

CCR _ Cosmo's Factory Live

Queen - A Night At the Opera

This is the album that won over the American’s and cemented Queen’s reputation as a Number One rock act in the UK.

While the band was already much-loved in their native UK, this fourth album won the support of American music lovers s well landing a Number Nine spot on the charts. The single track from the album, Bohemian Rhapsody enjoyed nine weeks as an American Number One while it only climbed to Number Nine in the UK.

No Grammy for the album with more than three million copies sold.

Queen - You're My Best Friend

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album topped the charts both in the UK and US with the title track Brown Sugar being a number one hit in the US and number two in the UK. My favorite track Wild Horses reached number 28 in the US.

This was the first of the Stone's albums to be released on their own label. The original album cover was designed by Andy Warhol. It featured a working zipper and was banned in Spain! Three million albums sold and no Grammy.

The Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar

Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell

Bat Out Of Hell remains to be one of the most successful debut albums - ever. The project took four years from start to release. It was a challenge to find financing as the album was rejected over and over again.

Musician Todd Rundgren produced the record. Once released it took another six months just to break into the American Top 40, the highest reach at the 14th place where it remained on the top list for 82 weeks. In the UK it set an all-time run of 471 weeks!

Meatloaf - Paradise By The Dashboard Light

What Do You Think?

Which of my favorite albums of the 1970s do you enjoy most?

See results

100 Best-Selling Albums Of The 70s

100 Best-selling Albums of the 70s
100 Best-selling Albums of the 70s

This handy book contains plenty of illustrations and interesting facts about the top 100 albums of the decade! I have owned this book for years and continue enjoying browsing through and learning about music of the 1970s.

 

Resources Consulted

100 Best-Selling Albums of the 70s

Amber Books, London, UK

2004

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