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

  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

  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
Canadian band The Guess Who release the album American Woman which would go top ten. The single "American Woman" would hit #1 in May.
Chicago, Color My World
Chicago breaks through with their second album generating three top ten singles,,,"Color My World", "25 or 6 to 4" and "Make Me Smile".
Syd Barrett solo album
Jan '70
Former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett releases his first solo album The Madcap Laughs.
Norman Greenbaum, Spirit in the Sky
Jan '70
"Spirit In The Sky" by Norman Greenbaum tops the charts in the UK (#3 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. (more)
Shocking Blue, Venus
Feb '70
Shocking Blue, a band from the Netherlands, has a #1 hit with "Venus".
Paul McCartney quits the Beatles
Feb '70
Paul McCartney files 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.
James Taylor 1970
Feb '70
James Taylor leaves Apple Records and releases the album Sweet Baby James on Warner Brothers. He has a #3 single with "Fire and Rain" and receives major publicity as a leader in the wave of new, more mellow, singer songwriters of the time.
The Doors, Morrison Hotel
Feb '70
The Doors get back to the Blues with the album Morrison Hotel which climbs to #4 on the album chart.
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 album with Deja Vu, which includes three top forty singles. (more)
Hard rock music from Mountain
Mar '70
Hard rock Long Island, NY band Mountain release their debut Climbing with the single "Mississippi Queen".  (more)
Joni Mitchell, Ladies of the Canyon
Mar '70
Canadian singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell has a hit album with Ladies of the Canyon featuring the hit song "Woodstock".
Elton John, Your Song
Apr '70
Elton John's debut album produces a top ten hit "Your Song".
Paul McCartney solo album
Apr '70
Paul McCartney's first solo album goes to #1 US #2 UK and contains the  single "Maybe I'm Amazed".  (more)
Three Dog Night
May '70
Three Dog Night have a #1 hit with "Mama Told Me Not To Come" written by Randy Newman.
War, Eric Burdon, Spill the Wine
May '70
Eric Burdon and War go to #2 with the psychedelic inspired song "Spill the Wine".
The Beatles, Let It Be album
May '70
The Beatles release the Phil Spector produced album  - Let It Be. It  generates three #1 hits "Get Back", "Let It Be" and their final #1, "The Long and Winding Road".
The Kinks, Lola
Jun '70
The Kinks song"Lola" about a romantic encounter with a transvestite makes #2 UK and #9 US.
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.
Stooges, Funhouse
Jul '70
The Stooges release their second album on Elektra Records - Funhouse.
Grand Funk Railroad
Jul '70
Grand Funk Railroad release their album Closer To Home, one of three albums to go Gold for them 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".
Neil Diamond scores his first #1 with "Cracklin' Rosie".
Aug '70
Eric Clapton debut solo album
Aug '70
Eric Clapton releases his first solo album and scores a Top 20 hit with his cover of JJ Cale's "After Midnight".
The Carpenters, album Close To You
Aug '70
Brother and sister act The Carpenters release their second album Close To You scoring two #1 hits. They would go on to be the top selling american act of the seventies.  (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 Edwin Starr tops the charts.
Neil Young has a top ten album with After The Goldrush.
Santana's second album yields a top ten hit with their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman".
Jimi Hendrix is found dead Sep. 18th in his girlfriends London flat.
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 hit with her cover of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".
Freda Payne has a #1 single with the Holland, Dozier, Holland, song "Band of Gold".
On Oct. 4 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 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 Rare Earth hit the top five with "Get Ready".
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Nov '70
Badfinger album No Dice
Nov '70
Dec '70
Dec '70
George Harrison's triple solo album goes to #1 US and UK. The album yeilds a #1 single in "My Sweet Lord" as well as the  #10 single "What Is Life"   (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.
Cat Stevens breaks through in the US with his second album. The single "Wild World" goes to #11 US.
Badfinger's second album of 1970, No Dice, brings them their second top ten hit "No Matter What".
Emerson, Lake and Palmer release their debut album and score a hit with "Lucky Man"  (more)
John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band debut released and goes top ten on both sides of the Atlantic.
Welsh guitarist Dave Edmunds goes to #1 in the UK (#4 US) with his cover of Smiley Lewis' "I Hear You Knockin".
On their fifth album, American Beauty, the Grateful Dead continue to move towards country. The album received considerable FM radio play with "Truckin" and "Ripple" as singles.
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 charts with "Make It With You".
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 on both sides of the Atlantic.
Dec '70
After three upbeat #1 singles, The Jackson Five top the charts again with a slow ballad "I'll Be There".
Black Sabbath debut album
Dionne Warwick top ten hit song
Jan '70
Dionne Warwick has her 7th top ten hit with "I'll Never Fall In Love Again".   (more)  
Free hard rock hit All Right Now
Jun '70
UK band Free have a top five hit on both sides of the Atlantic with "All Right Now".

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