Albums From the ‘70s That Shaped Modern Music


The ‘70s was when the art space saw an explosion of ideas and talent like never before. The music went from something a select few people do based on precise rules to an art form that almost everyone can engage in and enjoy with as much freedom as possible. This was primarily caused by the cultural and paradigm shift in the industry that saw the birth of new genres and the development of fringe genres into mainstream behemoths. This moment has had ripple effects over the decades, and we are here to look at some impactful ‘70s bands that shaped the music scene.

Joni Mitchell With the Blue in 1971

Before her critically acclaimed and commercially successful album, Joni Mitchell had already tasted the limelight with a string of hits in the ‘70s. Nevertheless, the new album was the tipping point for her career because she pulled no stops. The album was a body of work that shared several facets of her being and is a reason why most female singer-songwriters have a seat at the table. In Blue, Joni showed that women were to be taken seriously in the game, and they had more to offer than just sultry voices and striking looks. Joni even stated that she felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes when writing this album. We are inclined to agree with this analogy because that album is something else.

Marvin Gaye Asking the Right Questions in 1971

Mr. Gaye is an undeniable master of his craft. His contributions to the musical landscape cannot be overlooked one bit. His work is timeless, and no one listens to his work and feels like it’s past due. A perfect example is his body of work titled: What’s Going On, released in 1971. The album is 35 minutes of pure glory and bliss; the only downside being it’s too short for comfort. Nevertheless, it’s an experience that leaves you wanting more, and every track is an ode to your soul and the American dream. 

Fleetwood Mac Was the Talk of the Town in 1977

When we mention Fleetwood Mac, we don’t need to say which album is in the conversation. The band had so many hits, but one album always stands out: Rumors. The recording process was as eccentric as you can imagine, and the product was even better. There was a method to the madness, and we are glad the band explored it. Sadly, this epic moment would never be recreated again due to the circumstances in which most of the band members were involved, but we are glad this magic was put out. It would be a shame if it ended up just being a rumor.

Stevie Wonder Had the Secret Key in 1976

Stevie Wonder made a massive earthquake with his 1976 project: Songs in the Key of Life. The maestro was ahead of his time and smoked the competition by a mile with this project. Every track was purposefully written and performed to address societal and personal issues. This premise sounds drab, but it’s only Stevie who can talk about adulthood struggles but still make you want to vibe with it. His iconic vocals and incredible production have significantly influenced Prince’s and Whitney Houston’s careers. This is a perfect background track if you want something to help you with the blues.

David Bowie Knew Some Martians in 1972

Of course, David Bowie had to make this list. His 1972 masterpiece can never be forgotten. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is an album that deserves all the accolades and recognition. It was one of the first examples of an artist’s alter-ego, and we must admit Ziggy Stardust was cool peeps. The album portrayed Ziggy as a fellow beyond the corporeal realm, and listening to the album makes you want to join him in his adventures. It’s more like a journal of an alien’s time on earth but for some strange reason, it hits closer to home than many modern albums. Who knew an alien could make you feel all sorts of emotions, from love to homesickness? So maybe we all need to head out to Mars and hang out with Ziggy Stardust to experience this glorious melancholy.

In conclusion, the joy of music relates to the artist’s message and having a fantastic time while at it. These albums show the power of music and how influential the ‘70s were to modern music. Listening to all five projects will give you a scope of the artistic landscape now and then. Few people have managed to copy this magic, and fewer still have any hopes of even thinking about trying to. Nevertheless, this is not a definitive list as we know there are so many artists that broke out in the ‘70s that have not been listed here. If you don’t see your favorite act or album listed, fret not, as this is just one list of many as we continue to dig into the rabbit hole that was the ‘70s. If you’re feeling generous, comment with your favorite band that might do some good, and tells us what you love.