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The forgotten decade: rethinking the popular music of the 1970s

Issue: Vol 2 No. 1 (2007) April 2007

Journal: Popular Music History

Subject Areas: Popular Music

DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v2i1.5


This article revisits the popular music of the 1970s, reassessing its importance as a body of work and for the development of popular music in subsequent decades. The article begins by considering why much of the popular music of the 1970s has been virtually ignored by popular music theorists. Attention then focuses on several distinctive music genres of the 1970s—glam, hard rock and the emergent electronic music scene—and the connections between them and with punk (a music genre whose 1970s origins have been much more fully documented in academic work). Finally, it is argued that even rock, a staple of popular music scholarship during the 1970s and since, has been largely misrepresented—‘rock’ in the 1970s actually being an umbrella term for a highly experimental and eclectic musical field.

Author: Andy Bennett

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