1970 Rock Music Timeline
1970 Photo Gallery
1970 Jukebox Hits


1970 in Rock & Roll History

The Beatles break up and release their last album "Let It Be". All four members begin successful solo careers. The Isle of Wight festival is held in the UK and beats Woodstock for attendance, with an audience of over 600,000. Drugs claim the lives of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Simon and Garfunkel break up while their album "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is number one worldwide. Black Sabbath release their debut album, which many claim as the first major heavy metal album.

Top 40 Singles of 1970
Worldwide:

  1   The Beatles - Let it Be
  2   Mungo Jerry - In the Summertime
  3   Shocking Blue - Venus
  4   Simon & Garfunkel
       Bridge Over Troubled Water
  5   Norman Greenbaum
       Spirit in the Sky
  6   Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
  7   The Kinks - Lola
  8   Creedence Clearwater Revival
       Up Around the Bend
  9   John Lennon - Instant Karma
10   Christie - Yellow River
11   Neil Diamond - Cracklin' Rosie
12   B J Thomas
       Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
13   The Carpenters
       (They Long to Be) Close to You
14   The Partridge Family
       I Think I Love You
15   Creedence Clearwater Revival
        Lookin' Out My Back Door
16   Simon & Garfunkel
       El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
17   The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
18   Guess Who - American Woman
19   The Beatles
       The Long & Winding Road
20   Black Sabbath - Paranoid
21   Free - All Right Now
22   The Jackson 5 - I'll Be There
23   Miguel Rios - A Song Of Joy
24   Creedence Clearwater Revival
       Travellin' Band
25   Freda Payne - Band of Gold
26   Edwin Starr - War
27   Frijid Pink - House of the Rising Sun
28   Smokey Robinson - Tears of a Clown
29   Steam
       Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)
30   The Jackson 5 - ABC
31   The Carpenters
       We've Only Just Begun
32    Edison Lighthouse - Love Grows                  (Where My Rosemary Goes)
33   Three Dog Night
       Mama Told Me Not to Come
34   Simon & Garfunkel - Cecilia
35   Creedence Clearwater Revival
        Who'll Stop the Rain
36   James Taylor - Fire & Rain
37   Deep Purple - Black Night
38   Santana - Black Magic Woman
39   Tee Set - Ma belle amie
40   The Moody Blues - Question

Top 50 Albums of 1970
Worldwide:

  1   Simon & Garfunkel
       Bridge Over Troubled Water
  2   The Beatles - Let It Be
  3   Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
       Deja Vu
  4   Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 3
  5   George Harrison
       All Things Must Pass
  6   Santana - Abraxas
  7   Creedence Clearwater Revival                  Cosmo's Factory
  8   Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  9   Neil Young - After The Goldrush
10   Original Soundtrack - Woodstock
11   Deep Purple - Deep Purple In Rock
12   Paul McCartney - McCartney
13   Creedence Clearwater Revival
        Willy & The Poor Boys
14   Van Morrison - Moondance
15   The Rolling Stones
       Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!
16   The Who - Live At Leeds
17   The Doors - Morrison Hotel
18   The Moody Blues
       A Question Of Balance
19   Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsies
20   Santana - Santana
21   Joe Cocker
       Mad Dogs & Englishmen
22   Bob Dylan - New Morning
23   Bob Dylan - Self Portrait
24   Blood Sweat & Tears - 3
25   Jethro Tull - Benefit
26   Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother
27   James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
28   The Beatles - Hey Jude
29   Chicago - Chicago II
30   The Band - Stage Fright
31   Original Soundtrack - Easy Rider
32   Grateful Dead - American Beauty
33   Derek & The Dominos
       Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs
34   Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die
35   Melanie - Candles In The Rain
36   Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills
37   Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
38   The Carpenters - Close To You
39   Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
40   Ten Years After - Cricklewood Green
41   Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead
42   Tom Jones - Tom
43   Johnny Cash - Hello I'm Johnny Cash
44   Engelbert Humperdinck - Debut
45   Grand Funk Railroad
       Closer To Home
46   Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf Live
47   James Last - Non Stop Dancing 10
48   Tom Jones - Live In Las Vegas
49   Free - Fire & Water
50   Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton



All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.
Jan '70
The Guess Who, American Woman
Jan '70
Winnipeg, Manitoba band The Guess Who release the album American Woman which would go to #9 US. The single "American Woman" would hit #1 US, #19 UK in May.
(more)
Chicago, Color My World
Chicago a "brass rock" band from Chicago, IL breakthrough with their second album and generate three US Top Ten singles including "Color My World", "25 or 6 to 4" and "Make Me Smile".
(more)
Syd Barrett solo album
Jan '70
Former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett releases his first solo album The Madcap Laughs which reaches #40 UK.
(more)
Norman Greenbaum, Spirit in the Sky
Jan '70
"Spirit In The Sky" a gospel inspired song by Malden, MA native Norman Greenbaum tops the charts in the UK and reaches #3 in the US..   (more)  
Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water
Jan '70
Simon and Garfunkel release the album Bridge Over Troubled Water which would win the Grammy for album of the year. The single of the same name would also hit #1 in the US and UK. (more)
Shocking Blue, Venus
Feb '70
Netherlands rock band Shocking Blue have a #1 US hit (#8 UK) with the single "Venus".
(more)
Paul McCartney quits the Beatles
Feb '70
Paul McCartney files a petition with the court to dissolve The Beatles partnership. He is disgusted with the group's decision to hire Phil Spector to remix the songs that would become the Let It Be album, among other reasons.
(more)
James Taylor 1970
Feb '70
American James Taylor, the first non-British act signed to Apple Records, leaves the label and  releases the album Sweet Baby James. He has a #3 US, #42 UK single with "Fire and Rain" and receives major publicity as a leader in the wave of new, more mellow, singer/songwriters of the time. (more)
The Doors, Morrison Hotel
Feb '70
The Doors get back to the Blues with the album Morrison Hotel which climbs to #4 US, #12 UK on the album charts.
(more)
Feb '70
Birmingham, UK band Black Sabbath release their debut which goes to #8 UK and #23 US.  (more)
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Mar '70
Crosby, Stills and Nash add Neil Young to their line-up and have a #1 US, #5 UK album with Deja Vu, which includes three US top forty singles including the #11 single "Woodstock" a cover of the Joni Mitchell song. (more)
Hard rock music from Mountain
Mar '70
Long Island, NY Hard rock  band Mountain release their debut album Climbing which reaches US #17 driven by the single "Mississippi Queen".  (more)
Joni Mitchell, Ladies of the Canyon
Mar '70
Canadian singer songwriter Joni Mitchell has a hit album with her third release - Ladies of the Canyon, featuring the hit songs "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Woodstock".
(more)
Elton John, Your Song
Apr '70
UK singer/pianist Elton John's second album produces a top ten hit in the US and UK with "Your Song".
(more)
Paul McCartney solo album
Apr '70
After leaving the Beatles in February, Paul McCartney releases his first solo album, which goes to #1 US #2 UK and contains the single "Maybe I'm Amazed". (more)
Three Dog Night
May '70
California band Three Dog Night have a #1 US, #3 UK hit single with "Mama Told Me Not To Come" written by Randy Newman. (more)
War, Eric Burdon, Spill the Wine
May '70
Former Animals singer Eric Burdon and War release the psychedelic inspired song "Spill the Wine" which goes to #3 in the US. (more)
The Beatles, Let It Be album
May '70
The Beatles release their final album Let It Be, including the US & UK #1 hit "Get Back" and "Let It Be" #2 UK, #1 US.The recording sessions are filmed and released as a documentary.
(more)
The Kinks, Lola
Jun '70
The Kinks song"Lola" about a romantic encounter with a transvestite makes #2 UK and #9 US.
(more)
Deep Purple, Child in Time
Jun '70
Deep Purple In Rock is the fourth album by the band featuring the ten minute song "Child In Time". The album charts at #4 in the UK, #143 US.
(more)
Stooges, Funhouse
Jul '70
Michigan hard rock band The Stooges release their second album on Elektra Records - Funhouse. A review says they are "so exquisitely horrible and down and out that they are the ultimate psychedelic rock band in 1970." (more)
Grand Funk Railroad
Jul '70
Flint, MI blues rock band Grand Funk Railroad release their album Closer To Home, one of three albums to go Gold for them in the US in 1970. (more)
Mungo Jerry hit single In The Summertime
Neil Diamond number one song Cracklin' Rose
Jul '70
UK band Mungo Jerry are #1 in the UK (#3 US) with the single "In The Summertime".
(more)
Brooklyn, NY singer/songwriter Neil Diamond scores his first US #1 single (#3 UK) with "Cracklin' Rosie". (more)
Aug '70
Eric Clapton debut solo album
Aug '70
UK guitarist Eric Clapton releases his first solo album and scores a US Top 20 hit with his cover of JJ Cale's "After Midnight".
(more) 
The Carpenters, album Close To You
Aug '70
California brother and sister act The Carpenters release their second album Close To You scoring two #1 hits. They would go on to be one of the top selling american acts of the 1970's.  (more)
Neil Young album After The Goldrush
Anti war song War from Edwin Starr
Santana album Abraxas
Jimi Hendrix dies
Sep '70
Sep '70
Sep '70
Sep '70
"War" an anti-war protest song by Motown soul singer Edwin Starr tops the US charts (#3 UK). (more)
Canadian singer/songwriter Neil Young has a US and UK Top Ten album with After The Goldrush.
(more)
Santana's second album - Abraxas goes to US #1, UK #7. Their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman" hits US #4.
(more)
27-year-old American musician Jimi Hendrix is found dead Sep. 18th in his girlfriends' London flat. (more)
Diana Ross single Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Freda Payne has a hit single with Band of Gold
Janis Joplin dies
Led Zeppelin 3
Sep '70
Sep '70
Sep '70
Oct '70
Diana Ross releases her first solo album and scores a #1 US hit with her cover of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" originally a hit for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in 1967.
(more)
American jazz and soul singer Freda Payne has a #1 UK, #3 US single with the  Holland, Dozier, Holland song "Band of Gold".
(more)
On Oct. 4 American blues singer Janis Joplin is found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room of an apparent heroin overdose.  (more)
Led Zeppelin III is released and tops the charts in the US and UK. They also score a US Top 20 hit with "Immigrant Song". (more)
George Harrison solo album
Cat Stevens album Tea for the Tillerman
Grateful Dead album American Beauty
Emerson Lake and Palmer album Lucky Man
Eric Clapton album Derek and the Dominos album Layla
Dave Edmunds covers Smiley Lewis song I Hear You Knockin'
The Partridge Family
Rare Earth top five hit single Get Ready
Oct '70
Motown's rock band Rare Earth hit #4 US with their cover of the Temptations hit "Get Ready". The three minute single is edited from the 21 minute album version. (more)
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Badfinger album No Dice
Nov '70
Dec '70
Dec '70
Former Beatle George Harrison's triple solo album goes to #1 US and UK. The album yeilds a #1 US and UK single in "My Sweet Lord".   (more)
TV sitcom The Partridge Family generates a #1 hit with "I Think I Love You" with vocals by newly minted teen idol David Cassidy.
(more)
UK singer/songwriter Cat Stevens breaks through in the US with his fourth album - Tea For The Tillerman. The single "Wild World" goes to #11 US.
(more)
Swansea, Wales band Badfinger's second album of 1970, No Dice, brings them their second US and UK Top Ten hit "No Matter What".
(more)
UK progressive rockers Emerson, Lake and Palmer release their debut album and score a hit with "Lucky Man".  (more)
Former Beatle John Lennon and his Plastic Ono Band release their debut album and go top ten on both sides of the Atlantic. (more)
Welsh guitarist Dave Edmunds goes to #1 in the UK (#4 US) with his cover of the 1950's Smiley Lewis song "I Hear You Knockin". (more) 
On their fifth album, American Beauty, the Grateful Dead continue to move towards country. The album receives lots of FM radio play with "Truckin" and "Ripple" as singles. (more)
Eric Clapton forms Derek and the Dominos and releases an album including guest appearances by Duane Allman. The single "Layla" goes Top Ten in the US and UK. (more)
Soft Rock from Bread
Aug '70
L.A. soft rock band Bread top the US charts with "Make It With You".
(more)
The Plastic Ono Band
Jackson Five single I'll Be There
Smokey Robinson The Tears of A Clown
Dec '70
Originally recorded in 1967, "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles is re-released and hits #1 in both the US and UK. (more)
Dec '70
After three upbeat #1 singles, The Jackson Five top the US charts again with a slow ballad "I'll Be There" #4 UK. (more)
Black Sabbath debut album
Dionne Warwick top ten hit song
Jan '70
East Orange, NJ native Dionne Warwick has her 7th top ten hit with "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" written by the song writing team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  (more)  
Free hard rock hit All Right Now
Jun '70
London, UK blues rock band Free have a #2 UK, #17 US hit with the single "All Right Now" from their third album Fire and Water.
(more)

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