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

James Gang Rides Again - James Gang

# 39 – Entrance – Edgar Winter

Entrance – Edgar Winter

# 38 – TrespassGenesis

Trespass - Genesis

# 37 –Tumbleweed ConnectionElton John

Tumbleweed Connection - Elton John

# 36 – Mad Dogs & EnglishmenJoe Cocker

Mad Dogs & Englishmen - Joe Cocker

# 35 – Gasoline AlleyRod Stewart

Gasoline Alley - Rod Stewart

# 34 – In the Wake of Poseidon  – King Crimson

In the Wake of Poseidon  - King Crimson

# 33 – Silk PurseLinda Ronstadt

Silk Purse - Linda Ronstadt

# 32 – Easy Action – Alice Cooper

Easy Action - Alice Cooper

# 31 – American WomanThe Guess Who

American Woman - The Guess Who

# 30 – New MorningBob Dylan

New Morning - Bob Dylan

# 29 – BenefitJethro Tull

Benefit - Jethro Tull

# 28 – John Barleycorn Must DieTraffic

John Barleycorn Must Die - Traffic

# 27 – Emerson Lake & PalmerEmerson Lake & Palmer

Emerson Lake & Palmer debut album

# 26 – Fire and Water – Free

Fire and Water - Free

# 25 – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath debut album

# 24 – Atom Heart Mother – Pink Floyd

Atom Heart Mother - Pink Floyd

# 23 – Pendulum – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Pendulum - Creedence Clearwater Revival

# 22 – Morrison Hotel – The Doors

Morrison Hotel - The Doors

# 21 – Tea for the TillermanCat Stevens

Tea for the Tillerman - Cat Stevens

# 20 – Bridge over Troubled WaterSimon & Garfunkel

Bridge over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel

# 19 – Moondance – Van Morrison

Moondance - Van Morrison

# 18 – Idlewild SouthThe Allman Brothers Band

Idlewild South - The Allman Brothers Band

# 17 – Stage FrightThe Band

Stage Fright - The Band

# 16 – McCartneyPaul McCartney

McCartney - Paul McCartney

# 15 – Live At Leeds – The Who

Live At Leeds - The Who

# 14 – American BeautyThe Grateful Dead

American Beauty - The Grateful Dead

# 13 – Cosmo’s Factory  – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Cosmo's Factory  - Creedence Clearwater Revival

# 12 – Deep Purple in Rock  – Deep Purple

Deep Purple in Rock  - Deep Purple

# 11 – After the Gold RushNeil Young

After the Gold Rush - Neil Young

# 10 – Closer To Home – Grand Funk

Leading off our top 10 albums of 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.

Closer To Home - Grand Funk

#  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 one of the most inspirational rock records ever released.

Funhouse - The Stooges

#  8 – Déjà VuCrosby, 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!

Déjà Vu - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

#  7 – John Lennon/Plastic Ono BandJohn 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.

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon 

 #  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.

Elton John debut album

#  5 – Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek and the Dominos

Words cannot describe how brilliant this record is. We almost got a follow up, but many circumstances prevented that from happening. The only studio 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.

Derek and the Dominos album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs

#  4 – ParanoidBlack 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.

Paranoid - Black Sabbath

#  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.

Led Zeppelin III

#  2 – Let It BeThe Beatles

While Led Zeppelin may 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 is no denying this group’s 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.

Let It Be - The Beatles

#  1 – All Things Must Pass – George Harrison

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

All Things Must Pass - George Harrison

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 LaughsSyd 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

ShazamThe Move

Best Rock Albums – March 1970

Ladies of the Canyon Joni Mitchell

Vintage Violence John Cale


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 CastleBee Gees

Open – Blues Image

Best Rock Albums – May 1970

Come TogetherIke & 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

ChangesThe Monkees

VehicleIdes 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 BurdonEric Burdon and War

False Start – Love

Watt – Ten Years After

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

Updated May 8, 2023

Best Classic Rock Albums From The Year 1970 article published on Classic© 2023 claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites. Protection Status


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