This is the story of 1970 and the twenty-five key Rock albums that helped define it. Paperback.
1970 was a year of change in pop and rock music, with divisions between both becoming ever more blurred. More ambitiously constructed epics, heavy rock numbers and contemporary folk songs competed with the mainstream and easy listening fare on Top of the Pops and in the Top 30 singles, while progressive and jazz-rock took their first bows in the album charts.
There were live albums, notably from The Rolling Stones and The Who, made partly to combat the market in bootleg recordings. Meanwhile, several singer-songwriters like James Taylor found major acceptance and the death of Jimi Hendrix was widely mourned. The likes of Van Morrison, Elton John, Deep Purple, and Lindisfarne achieved their initial successes. Groups such as Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull consolidated early success while developing in new directions.
By the end of the year, many a critic and music fan could look back on a twelve-month period in which their landscape had altered almost beyond recognition.
John Van der Kiste has published over seventy books, mostly historical biography and music, including titles on The Beatles, Jeff Lynne/ELO, Led Zeppelin, Lindisfarne and Steve Winwood. He has also reviewed books and records for the local and national press and fanzines, and co-founded and edited the 70s fanzine Keep on Rockin’. He has performed with groups, run mobile discos, and written booklet notes for CD reissues from EMI and other labels. An occasional musician and songwriter, he also co-wrote one track on Riff Regan's Milestones (2015) and played harmonica on London's The Hell for Leather Mob (2020). He lives in Devon, UK.