Monday, August 18, 2014

3 More 70's Bands You May Not Know About

As I said during the previous post of this nature, the 70's had a great deal of amazing rock bands; many of which have unfortunately gone unnoticed by the general public. Today however I have dug up three more of them for you.

1. Trapeze

Before singer/bassist Glenn Hughes became famous in the rock world as a member of Deep Purple he was a member of a three piece funk/boogie rock band called Trapeze where he was the front man.  The band began in 1969 as a five piece, but keyboardist Terry Rowley and vocalist John Jones quit after the first album. From there, the line up of Hughes on bass and vocals, Mel Galley on guitar, and Dave Holland on drums would become the one the band was most known by its fans for. In the line up's initial run of 1970-1973 they put out two astounding albums: Medusa and You Are the Music, We're Just the Band. When Hughes left to join Deep Purple in 1973 the band dissolved, but did get back together with different line-ups except for a few reunions in the late 70's and early 90's. Unfortunately Galley passed away in 2008 leaving any future reunions impossible.

The sound was primarily upbeat blues and funk rock. Every member was very proficient in what they did. It's incredible how Hughes was able to play some of his complex bass lines while also giving vocal performances that you would NOT believe. The man's range was (and still is to this day) incredible. He could get incredibly high but at the same time sing very softly and melodically. They have something for everybody musically. Some upbeat funky dance music, some softer ballad type songs, and some songs that were just straight up rock. Definitely worth checking out.

2. Uriah Heep

Uriah Heep is another band that got its start in the 1960's, but it wasn't until the early 70's when they became noticed and their classic line-up came together. They along with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin are considered the "Big Four" of early hard rock. Their most played song that you can still hear on classic rock radio from time to time is Easy Livin'. The band is still together to this day, but guitarist Mick Box is the only original member currently left in the band. The others who are still living have gone on to do other things.

Like many other bands of that time period, they had progressive leanings but were mainly focused on making guitar and keyboard blended hard rock. Keyboardist/organist Ken Hensley wrote most if not all of the band's classic material. Their songs pack quite a bit of a punch while still being quite artistic for the time. To top it all off, classic vocalist David Byron had a great vocal range which could also get really high, but really it was the timbre of it that made him special. Unfortunately he passed in the mid-80's. This is a band worth checking out if you are into 70's hard rock and prog rock.

3. New York Dolls

If you're a punk or glam rocker at all you may already know of these guys. However, you don't hear about them too much on the radio or any general media these days so I figure they are still worth mentioning. Anyway, The New York Dolls formed in 1971 and quickly attracted the attention of a manager and people from the music industry. What got them a big break however was an opening spot for Rod Stewart in London. The band would put out two albums with its classic line up, but would dissolve by 1975 due to loss of interest from their record label and their own problems with drugs and alcohol.

The New York Dolls were one of the key influences for the punk movement of the 1970's. Both their loud straight rock sound and outrageous appearance in feminine attire and make up would garner the attention of many up and coming rockers like Motley Crue, Kiss, The Ramones, etc. Lead guitarist Johnny Thunders was a huge influence with his attitude, playing, and appearance. The New York Dolls were one of the first bands to where their appearance was almost as important if not more important than the music itself. However, that doesn't make the tunes any less good.

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