The Seventies


The 1970’s came on the heels of one of the most progressive decades in history, so some kind of backlash was to be expected. Dino Valenti’s message of “love one another right now” faded into distant memory as fear, conflict and violence dominated public consciousness. I look at the history of the era and it seems to me that everyone was pissed off about something: inflation, busing, Nixon, Carter, wars, blackouts, psychotic serial killers, terrorists, free agency in baseball, OPEC . . . you name it. Given all the bad vibes, it’s no wonder that 70’s people would find comfort in take-no-prisoners-just-kill-them-all heroes like Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson, and seek serenity in the mindless superficiality of K. C. and the Sunshine Band.

Glad I missed it!

The diversity of music in the 60’s hardened into fragmentation in the 70’s. In the 60’s rock was a very broad and encompassing field. In the 70’s, the nit-pickers and marketing gurus split rock into sub-genres (hard rock, classic rock, progressive, metal, glam, punk, new wave), and the average fan began to identify with a single genre that suited the image he or she wanted to project to the world. Strong identification with any belief tends to generate dogmatism, a tendency best demonstrated by the war between punks and progressives. While sub-genres would eventually become musical cul-de-sacs, in the 70’s they had a clarifying effect that led to a pretty good decade for popular music.

Links to 70’s reviews can be found in the chronological list below. You’ll find reviews of The Stones, Jethro Tull, The Kinks, The Who, David Bowie and The Clash in the menu bar above.

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