Some classic rock bands include Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. These influential bands rank as some of the most commercially successful of the 1970s, and their music is a staple of classic rock radio.
Irish hard rockers Thin Lizzy took singer Phil Lynott’s heartfelt ballads of working class life and paired them with a twin lead guitar attack that was endlessly imitated. Though they’re best known for hits such as “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back in Town,” Thin Lizzy racked up a succession of popular albums throughout the 1970s before Lynott’s eventual death in 1986.
Led Zeppelin were the preeminent British hard rock band, creating a blueprint that many future rock groups would follow. Lead singer Robert Plant’s swaggering vocals and guitarist Jimmy Page’s thundering, blues-based riffs brought a new level of heaviness to rock and roll, but the band moved from their stomping rock origins on to a more inventive, eclectic sound, incorporating folk, psychedelic, funk, country and world music.
If Led Zeppelin created the template for hard rock, then Black Sabbath did the same for heavy metal. Tony Iommi’s dark, down-tuned guitar riffs meshed perfectly with Ozzy Osbourne’s frenzied vocals and mystical lyrics. While the group won little acclaim from critics during the 1970s, they were fan favorites, becoming elder statesmen of metal as the decades progressed.