Here's hoping I can stir up some controversy!! I always love doing that.
After posting the poll about the most influential band of the 60's (a special thanks to the one person that responded), I began thinking about the 70's. This decade was an interesting one, being that the early roots of experimental Rock music really began to blossom. Out of this decade, Heavy Metal, New Wave, Punk, Post Punk, Disco and Hip-Hop seemed to rise. Progressive Rock, which really began in the late 60's, seemed to really take shape, and even Pop music really began to dominate the charts.
I have listed a few bands and artists that seemed to really dominate the charts in the 70's, but seem to still have relevance today. I know I have left off many artists that people hold near and dear to their hearts. If you have one you'd like to add, please feel free to just comment.
As for me, I first fell in love with music through a little old band called, CHEAP TRICK. It was the opening song of "IN COLOR" (which I purchased for $2.88 -on cassette- in the Musicland bargain bin) which blew me away. "Hello There" was a catchy, albeit simple song, that really touched my inner chords. I never really contemplated the relevance of Cheap Trick, until ten years ago, when I began reading several articles about people who were influenced by them. Kurt Cobain, Billy Corgan (of Smashing Pumpkins), Slash, members of Everclear, among others. For fans of 90's music, this is some pretty heavy evidence.
Of course, the world of Progressive Rock would not be the same, if it weren't for bands like King Crimson and Yes. Their quirky time signatures are still prevalent in today's Progressive Rock.
Bands like Bread, who were chart toppers through most of the early 70's, really paved the way for the Soft Rock that dominated the Pop charts for the next decade.
Bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and even The Beatles are still influential, after decades. The Who and The Rolling Stones were not only chart toppers back in the 70's, but they still draw sell out crowds, to this day.
Steven Wilson, of my favorite band Porcupine Tree, cites ABBA as one of his influences, among several Prog Rock and Metal bands. Their sense of catchy Pop hooks raked up millions of album sales, and still influence music (and apparently musical theater) to this day.
If there is one thing that makes me smile about the youth of today, is how their video game/texting/cell phone world influences them. After the introduction of Guitar Hero (in it's several forms), kids are now turning more and more to the music of the 70's and 80's. I was at a camp for kids with bleeding disorders, this past week, and I was tickled to hear the sounds of Journey blasting out of the girls bath house. During the camp, I was wearing my new Cheap Trick tour shirt, and one of the kids started singing "Surrender". I was shocked that one of the younger kids would know this song, but after being told that it was on Guitar Hero 2, it made perfect sense to me.
Regardless, there is a font of fantastic music that came from that glamorous decade, and it continues to make it's mark on the culture of today. As a matter of fact, it is in my humble opinion that the Punk/Emo movement of this past decade, is on it's way out, and it will be replaced by a wave of nostalgic music. Wouldn't THAT be nice?