Best Classic Rock Albums From The Year 1970

Best Classic Rock Albums From The Year 1970For some, the classic rock era is defined by the decade of the 1970s. FM radio’s classic rock format has pushed the concept that classic rock is all about bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd so on. If you have been a reader here at classic rock you’ll understand that we don’t particularly feel that classic rock history is defined by just one decade. It’s too narrow of a view to define classic rock as just the decade of the 1970s. Nonetheless, the decade of 1970s delivered some of the greatest classic rock albums of all time.

When one starts to look back year by year and run through the release dates of all these incredible albums month by month, week by week, it’s astonishing how many fantastic albums were released every single year. Our next set of articles will look at each year in the 1970s and list what we believe were the best classic rock albums of each particular year.

1970 was a tough year for music fans because of the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The United States was still involved heavily in Vietnam under President Nixon. The New York Knicks won their first NBA Championship, The Beatles broke up and Elvis Presley had the number one record of the year with the song “The Wonder of You.”

# 40 – James Gang Rides AgainJames Gang

# 39 – Entrance – Edgar Winter

# 38 – TrespassGenesis

# 37 –Tumbleweed ConnectionElton John

# 36 – Mad Dogs & EnglishmenJoe Cocker

# 35 – Gasoline AlleyRod Stewart

# 34 – In the Wake of Poseidon  – King Crimson

# 33 – Silk PurseLinda Ronstadt

# 32 – Easy Action – Alice Cooper

# 31 – American WomanThe Guess Who

# 30 – New MorningBob Dylan

# 29 – BenefitJethro Tull

# 28 – John Barleycorn Must DieTraffic

# 27 – Emerson Lake & PalmerEmerson Lake & Palmer

# 26 – Fire and Water – Free

# 25 – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

# 24 – Atom Heart Mother – Pink Floyd

# 23 – Pendulum – Creedence Clearwater Revival

# 22 – Morrison Hotel – The Doors

# 21 – Tea for the TillermanCat Stevens

# 20 – Bridge over Troubled WaterSimon & Garfunkel

# 19 – Moondance – Van Morrison

# 18 – Idlewild SouthThe Allman Brothers Band

# 17 – Stage FrightThe Band

# 16 – McCartneyPaul McCartney

# 15 – Live At Leeds – The Who

# 14 – American BeautyThe Grateful Dead

# 13 – Cosmo’s Factory  – Creedence Clearwater Revival

# 12 – Deep Purple in Rock  – Deep Purple

# 11 – After the Gold RushNeil Young

# 10 – Closer To Home – Grand Funk

Leading off our top 10 albums the year 1970 is Grand Funk’s masterpiece Closer To Home. The album was released on June 15th 1970. It was Grand Funk’s third album release. The album hit number six on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart.

#  9 – Funhouse – The Stooges

This list is not just about the best albums but also about the ones with the most impact on Classic Rock. The Stooges’ Funhouse was on of the most inspirational rock records ever released.

#  8 – Déjà Vu – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

One of the most outstanding albums of all time. Four incredible talents coming together to release a masterpiece. Every song on the records became a classic rock staple. “Our House, Helpless, Almost Cut My Hair, Woodstock, Teach Your Children, Carry On, Country Girl.” Legendary!

#  7 – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – John Lennon

John Lennon’s first solo album. The dawn of the decade of solo albums from the Beatles. This was an amazing start to that time period.


 #  6 – Elton John – Elton John

Elton John’s brilliant self titled album remains on of his all time best. The album featured the track “Your Song,” which helped launch Elton John’s career. Every songs on every album placed on this top 10 list of albums from the year 1970 has to be great. Every song on this album is amazing.

#  5 – Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs

Words cannot describe how brilliant this record is. We almost got a follow up, but many circumstances prevented that from happening. The only  Derek and the Dominos album ever released. So many legendary songs and performances on this record from Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Tom Dowd served as producer.

#  4 – Paranoid – Black Sabbath

This great record served as the second Black Sabbath album. With songs such as “Paranoid,” “Iron Man,” and “War Pigs,” the album became instrumental in the development of the sound of heavy metal.

#  3 – Led Zeppelin III – Led Zeppelin

Almost Led Zeppelin albums released in the 1970s will always make our top 10 lists. The greatest rock and roll band of all time.

#  2 – Let It Be – The Beatles

While Led Zeppelin my be the greatest rock and roll band of all time, The Beatles were the greatest musical group. There is a difference! All Beatles albums will always make our top 10s. There no denying this groups impact on not just music but life itself. Let It Be was the last original Beatles studio album ever released,  although it was recorded before Abbey Road which was released first.

#  1 – All Things Must Pass – George Harrison

When you listen to this album, you cant help but ask yourself why The Beatles did not record more George Harrison originals during the Beatles years? Possible the greatest solo Beatles album ever released. A dazzling three record set that blew us all away when it was first released.

Rest Of The Best Classic Rock Albums Released in 1970

These are listed in chronological order in which they came out throughout the year,

There were thousands of rock albums released in 1970. These are some of the best!

Best Rock Albums – January 1970

Magic Christian Music –Badfinger

Back in the USA – MC5

A Brand New MeDusty Springfield

Chicago II – Chicago


That’s the Way Love Is – Marvin Gaye

This Girl’s in Love with YouAretha Franklin

The Madcap Laughs -Syd Barrett

Best Rock Albums – February 1970

Sweet Baby James – James Taylor

Atomic Rooster  – Atomic Rooster

Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Burnt Weeny SandwichThe Mothers Of Invention

Nilsson Sings NewmanHarry Nilsson

Shazam – The Move

Best Rock Albums – March 1970

Ladies of the Canyon Joni Mitchell

Vintage Violence – John Cale

Climbing! – Mountain

Time and a WordYes

Leon Russell  – Leon Russell

Band of GypsysJimi Hendrix


Travelin’Tommy James and the Shondells

Best Rock Albums – April 1970

Live CreamCream

Eric Burdon Declares “War” – Eric Burdon & War

Candles in the RainMelanie

12 SongsRandy Newman

Cucumber Castle – Bee Gees

Open – Blues Image

Best Rock Albums – May 1970

Come Together – Ike & Tina Turner

Poco – Poco

Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More

Hot Tuna  – Hot Tuna

Writer – Carole King

Best Rock Albums – June 1970

Third – Soft Machine

Self PortraitBob Dylan

… Very ‘Eavy … Very ‘UmbleUriah Heep

Workingman’s DeadThe Grateful Dead

Alone Together – Dave Mason

Blood, Sweat & Tears 3Blood, Sweat & Tears

RuntTodd Rundgren

Changes – The Monkees

Vehicle – Ides of March

Hark! The Village WaitSteeleye Span

Best Rock Albums – July 1970

Full House – Fairport Convention

Humble PieHumble Pie

Supertramp – Supertramp

Best Rock Albums – August 1970

A Question of BalanceThe Moody Blues


Eric ClaptonEric Clapton

SunflowerThe Beach Boys

Easy Does It – Al Kooper

Barrel – Lee Michaels

Mongrel – The Bob Seger System

Best Rock Albums – September 1970

UntitledThe Byrds


Beaucoups of BluesRingo Starr

Death Walks Behind You Atomic Rooster

Johnny Winter AndJohnny Winter

Mad ShadowsMott the Hoople

Kiln HouseFleetwood Mac

Best Rock Albums – October 1970

Chunga’s RevengeFrank Zappa

Looking InSavoy Brown

Share the LandThe Guess Who


Best Rock Albums – November 1970

The Man Who Sold The WorldDavid Bowie

No Dice Badfinger

His Band and the Street ChoirVan Morrison

The J. Geils BandThe J. Geils Band

Live Album – Grand Funk Railroad

Naturally –  Three Dog Night

Loaded – The Velvet Underground

Stephen StillsStephen Stills

Christmas and the Beads of SweatLaura Nyro

Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part OneThe Kinks

Confessions of the MindThe Hollies

I Walk The LineJohnny Cash

Best Rock Albums – December 1970

Wishbone Ash – Wishbone Ash

Lizard – King Crimson

Ginger Baker’s Air Force 2Ginger Baker’s Air Force

T. Rex – T. Rex

The Black-Man’s Burdon – Eric Burdon and War

False Start – Love

Watt – Ten Years After

Lick My Decals Off, Baby – Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band

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