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1970’s Best Rock Albums

1970 may have marked a new decade, at least on the calendar, but as you’ll see in the above list of 1970’s Best Rock Albums, it was still pretty much the ’60s musically.

A few new names surface here and there, but for the most part, the year was dominated by many of the previous decade’s biggest artists, including the Doors, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Even the Beatles had one more thing to say before calling it quits. (Three-fourths of the group are represented by solo albums on our list, too.)

But changes were on the way. Signs of the ’70s – from singer-songwriter introspection to down-and-dirty funk – begin to surface here. And some artists so identifiable with the ’60s, like the Beach Boys, reinvented themselves for the new decade. It’s both growth and transition, but more so than that, it was an extension of an era that helped shape rock music forever.

If the LPs on our list of 1970’s Best Rock Albums seem like an end, rather than a beginning, that’s because it was. The ’70s would need another few years to kick into gear. Some of music’s biggest bands even chose to sit out the first year of the new decade (both the Rolling Stones and the Who released live albums instead of new studio projects), choosing to recover rather than start anew.

So yeah, the calendar may have turned to “1970,” but 1970’s Best Rock Albums were still stuck in the ’60s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Rock ‘n’ roll would just have to wait a year or two for the next step in its evolution.

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