Dominant Factors in 1970s Music

1970s music factors

A few key factors contributed to what now seems like the 1970s band boom: technological advancement, cultural and social movements, the rise of the 1970s new music genres, music globalization, and even the economic factors that had a role in the music boom. There wasn’t a single cause but an entire mix of things that contributed to this. So, let’s look at the factors that defined music in the 1970s and stimulated the creation of the 70s bands.

Technological Advancements in Recording Technologies in the 1970s

Multitrack recording allowed creative experimentation in studios and a new way for musical expression. Equally important, home recording equipment became available. Musicians could set up smaller recording studios at home, and portable recording devices allowed bands in the 1970s to record anywhere, anytime, not only in the studios. Also, synthesizers became available this decade, creating new sounds for a new musical genre, so disco was born!

The Globalization of Music in the 70s

The globalization of music had already started and continued throughout this decade. Amazing bands from different countries gained international fame, creating a diverse scene. Fans were hungry for new experiences, ready to sing and dance with their favorite bands, so the “rise of arena-rock” and music festivals began. Classic rock artists like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin could have had more theatrical concerts with great lights and stage effects. Woodstock took place in 1969 but kept its influence deep into the 70s, and the festival was a new way to experience a variety of artists and celebrate music. In a way, this era laid the groundwork for the commercialization and globalization of music.

Cultural and Social Movements in the 1970s

The world started to change during this period, and music changed with it. Musicians addressed and influenced essential issues of the period, such as gender equality, anti-war sentiments, and civil rights questions. The musicians’ voices and lyrics became powerful vessels for inspiring change. Many artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen used their voices to address pressing issues of the time. Edwin Starr’s “War” became a mighty cry for peace, and to this day, it remains so. John Lenon’s “Imagine” is a utopian vision of a new, better society pointing to the need for change. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival was a critique of the inequality of the Vietnam War draft.

Economic Factors Impacted Music in the 70s

Economic factors also contributed. During economic stagnation and inflation, people spent money on entertainment, including music. But “the system” also influenced the music. Many songs were influenced by capitalism and “the rush” of modern society. Songs like “Working Man” by Rush tell the story of a system that produces not life but work, and entire lives morph into work. Pink Floyd, with their album Animals, went a step further. The album is based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm (affiliate link), and similarly to the book, it compares different classes in society to animals. The album critiques society and capitalism with a twist: “At the end, sheep do rise to power.”

But in all the talk about 1970s bands and the factors of their definition, we have missed the most important “ingredient” – the fans. Fans were more united in love for the music and bands in the 1970s than ever. American rock bands of the 70s were among the leaders of social and political changes and drew fans’ support. Together, they made the 1970s a genuinely transformative decade for rock music.

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