Many would passionately say that the 1970s represented a high point for rock music. With the wealth of big bands that have emerged from this decade, it would be very hard to disagree. In fact, there’s been such an explosion of hard rock creativity throughout those years, that looking back, it seems amazing.
That said, for every now-legendary group that succeeded, there were many more that, for many reasons, fell too quickly into relative obscurity. Music fans are all too aware that talent doesn’t always equate to success. Several acts that are now justly revered enjoyed little commercial success during their active years, and many more languished unappreciated for decades before enjoying a re-release.
Therefore, we present to you, via the list below, a hearty serving of heavy rock delights that you may not have sampled before. From the favorite sounds of Jim Morrison and virtuoso Southern boogie to proto-punk pulses, deep funk wonders and stoner rock godfathers, you’re sure to find something below to make you fall in love with the music all over again.
Hailing from the splendid name of Mingo Junction, Ohio, Wild Cherry all too easily falls into the wonderland category. It is certainly an injustice.
Look beyond the band’s massive seller, Play That Funky Music (1976, Epic Records) and you’ll find a band with a lot more to say. Founded by vocalist and guitarist Rob Parissi (who wrote the aforementioned hit), the band underwent a few line-up shake-ups, with Parissi a constant, and released four albums before their demise in 1979. Be sure to check out their self-titled debut, in particular, to prove that this is an outfit worthy of your attention.
Play That Funky Music remains a stone cold classic. It’s a rare example of disco-funk that has stood the test of time. Beyond the wah-wah guitars and dance-friendly rhythm, there are plenty of subtle touches to warm up to, including a fantastic guitar solo, honking horns, and a wonderful rolling bassline. Elsewhere in Wild Cherry’s discography, you’ll find plenty of deep soul-funk that, while not as radio-friendly as PTFM, offers more lasting rewards.