No love for 70's guitar bands?


When I was in high school it was the heyday of the pop guitar bands. Journey, Foreigner, Styx, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, etc. These bands were immensely popular during the late 70s and early 80s and continue to tour (with scant remnants of the original bandz) but they don't seem to get any love here at Audiogon. They are almost never mentioned in the "what are you listening to threads" and you never see them mentioned in the "what is your reference CD/LP/file".

I think a lot of them did some decent work early in their careers and I think all of them eventually made big money on sappy sickening ballads that shortened their careers at least in terms of credibility.

I saw most of these bands live in the 80's and have the hearing loss to prove it. I loved them at the time. Rarely think of them now. The reason I thought of this is that I found a copy of Styx Cornerstone on vinyl in my meager collection of LPs. I think my wife won it in a contest. It is the album with "Babe" on it. I'm listening to it now.

It is terrible.

Thoughts on these bands in terms of relevance today? Relevance in their heyday?
n80
I was in my twenties and liked them.  The alternative was disco.  
I saw many of these bands in the late 70s. Boston's first album stands out to me as the most innovative guitar sound and production at that time.

As I got older, these bands seemed so homogenized and overproduced.
Since I started streaming and rediscovering these bands, the  sound of these recordings doesn't seem to be engaging. The wall of sound type of production.


@wlutke : "The alternative was disco."

Good point.
Dont get me wrong, I was totally into these bands. And disco sucked. 
Post removed 
Styx Equinox was on my platter recently. Anyone hearing this as a "wall of sound" needs to quit streaming and find a good turntable hooked up to a real stereo and open their ears. Equinox was mastered by the legendary Doug Sax at what is today known as The Mastering Lab but back then was listed on the jacket as simply Mastering Lab.

Not to mention, Suite Madame Blue. I long for the past and dream of the days with you. Come on!
"The alternative was disco."
Not necessarily. In 1977, The Clash, The Jam, and Talking Heads all released their debut albums.
@hodu : "Not necessarily."

In the medium sized southern city where i lived in 1977 there were no radio stations playing The Clash, Talking Heads or even Zeppelin. For one fairly short period of time we had no rock stations at all. All easy listening, soft rock, disco. Dark days indeed.

Fortunately we still had plenty of record stores, the lights in the darkness.
How is it possible that Foreigner is not in the Rock Hall of Fame!  Look at the list of some of the artists/groups that ARE in the Hall.  Inexplicable!
My ears rang for 12 solid days after the 1982 Foreigner concert. I counted them.

What did you say? ;-)
It depends. I listened to Genesis, ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd, Strawbs, Triumvirat, Passport, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Tubes, Peter Frampton, Gentle Giant, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Jethro Tull, The Who, Peter Gabriel, Automatic Man, Cars, Ultravox, Boston to name a few in the 70s. I had a couple of Kansas records that were ok, but I never really got into Journey or Styx but classmates in college certainly were into them. And then there was the played-out-of-a-dorm-room-window-endlessly Grateful Dead. I didn't need to own their records, they were ubiquitously everywhere 24/7.
@stevecham , all great stuff covering several decades. If I'm following n80's post correctly, there was a wave of guitar oriented rock groups that were popular in the mid to late 70s, early 80s. Some of them new, some of them formed by musicians from other bands creating supergroups, such as Foreigner.

I really do need to play some of the old vinyl rather than streaming. 
 
Ah, I forgot about Kansas.

Yes, there was plenty going on in the late 70s and early 80s and I was more into British bands but it seems like the bands I mentioned seemed to get a lot of the attention but have not survived as well as Floyd, Yes, Elton John, Eagles, Skynrd, Zep and others from a critical standpoint.

The only place I ever hear them is on classic rock stations. And they are most of what you hear.

And maybe it is just me to see them as sort of their own genre.

They weren’t ’southern’ like Skynrd or Molly Hatchett. They weren’t as raunchy as Aerosmith. They weren't Kiss. They weren’t British. They certainly weren’t prog rock although Styx kind of took a shot at that late. They all ended up making radio/chick friendly ballads.

I'm with lowrider and stevecham and was lucky enough to be exposed to lots of great music back in the day.Journey,John Denver,Bread,etc. were pleasant enough but I gravitated towards more interesting(to me) music.Any love for Frank Zappa?
NEWSFLASH: Disco still Sucks

Yes the seventies rock was and still is some of the best of my youth
too bad it wasn’t recorded in higher quality
Be Bob Deluxe.  Bill Nelson made the music magic!  Thanks for the G squared shout out @stevecham ! About as progressive as it gets. I really miss strings ringing like bells in the night.

For example: McLaughlin, Holdsworth, DiMeola. Those were special artists in unique times.  Happy listening indeed!

When I was in high school it was the heyday of the pop guitar bands. Journey, Foreigner, Styx, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, etc.
Listen to them all. Foreigner, Styx, Boston as well as some of the others mentioned in this thread quite often.

Listening to Boston on a pair of Koss CM1030s when I was seventeen is what started me down the audiophile path.
I don't know how "relevant" these bands are today, but they are the stuff of my youth.  I was a little more into AC/DC, Judas Priest, Krokus, UFO, Scorpions, Led Zeppelin and the like, but listened to and saw my share of more pop oriented bands like Styx, Foreigner, Heart, and some of the others mentioned.

The cool thing is that many of them are still around and touring and playing smaller venues with much better sound systems than "back in day".  In the last few years I've seen a lot of great shows, mostly at "affordable" prices - Styx, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Heart, Bad Company,  Joe Walsh, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Brian Wilson, War, Todd Rundgren/Utopia, to name a few.  While many of them don't have all their original members, they usually sound great.  They've had a lot of time to practice and refine their stage shows!
I was in college during the late seventies and still to this day is my favorite era of music and gets plenty of play time on my TT.  I remember disco just hitting the bar scene (I was out and about on nickel beer night often as I was always broke LOL) and hearing the Stones answer at the time "Hot Stuff."

As a Stones fan I loved it but thought un-oh, us rockers could be in trouble.  Probably my 3 fav's I go back to:  Robin Trower, Wishbone Ash, and Ten Years After.
I couldn't stand any of those bands so they had no relevance for me then and have none today.  I respect the musicianship but the music did not hit me where I live.  At that time I listened to a lot of Ry Cooder and David Bromberg, which helped me transition to older American recordings and artists I had not appreciated properly before.  Different strokes.
There's a lot of pop music I can enjoy on the car radio but don't crave to ever listen to at home.Black Sabbath and Billy Joel come to mind.Fun traveling tunes:)
I don't know how "relevant" these bands are today, but they are the stuff of my youth. I was a little more into AC/DC, Judas Priest, Krokus, UFO, Scorpions, Led Zeppelin
Still listening to all of the above.
I will add to my original 70s list, Zep, Sabbath, Jeff Beck, UFO, T. Rex, Roxy Music, Cheap Trick, Clash, Crimson; I bought the just released Sabbath 1 on the cover alone. I was 13 and money for records was very scarce. One of the best purchases I ever made. Changed my life. My mother was horrified :-)
Funny you should post this 70's guitar comment this week. As a guilty pleasure, I bought the Foghat classic album box off of ebay this week- their first five albums. Yesterday while driving with my wife, we listened to "Slow Ride" at obnoxious levels. I felt like I was back in high school. Even though my bride teased me a little bit, she had a big smile on her face. 
@stevecham : I listened to a lot of the same bands. Also BTO. The Sweet. Remember hiding the Black Sabbath albums from my parents.I think in 1980 a single album was $7-8 bucks and was a big purchase for me.

I also remember reading every single liner note and studying album covers until I knew every detail.

That’s another reason I think used CDs are the bargain of the century. I can get all that stuff for $3-5 each.

Of course CDs are not as cool as a Panasonic all-in-one record changer/receiver with round speakers and a stack of LPs piled onto the record changer. (Sadly, that’s why all my remaining old vinyl sounds so awful.
It's interesting how some of the posters list Zeppelin and Black Sabbath together as favourite bands. Where I grew up in the NYC area and played in garage bands, there were two camps; LZ or Sabbath. In their world they were rivals and as fans we acted the same way. It was Zeppelin for me.

Also, the top cover bands all had Zeppelin in their repertoire. Bands such as Zebra, Rat Race Choir, Whiplash used to make big money playing covers of the bands we've mentioned. 


Something I thought about is that in my youth I was more into "hard rock" and had a disdain for "pop" or "mellow" artists.  As I've grown older I still enjoy blasting some AC/DC or Judas Priest, but I've opened up to some things that I wouldn't have even considered listening to or didn't think much of in my youth - ELO, 10CC, Wings, and others come to mind.  One of my favorite pieces of "ear candy" is 10CC's "I'm Not in Love".  The production values of some of those artists during that time were very high.
Up through high school I was also much more into the harder rock. Zep was the least 'hard rock' of them all. Still listened to a lot of heavier stuff in college. Then a lot of Rush, Genesis, Yes and other prog stuff.  Then got into U2 then REM. Then roots rock. Then alt rock in the 90's. Then blues from the Zep influence. 

Now I'm all over the place and like it that way.
Styx and Rush were my goto bands in the mid 70,s.
Along with Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, AC/DC etc etc etc.

Still listen to them along with lots more modern rock too.

Regular mentions in the "what are you streaming tonight " thread.

AC/DC live in 77 with Bon Scott. Standing right in front of left hand speaker stack ( and they sure built LARGE stacks in those days).
Can't say if music was good or bad as it was just NOISE! in that position.

Deaf for 4 days and severe ringing for about 6 weeks.

Love it!

It’s common for people of a certain age (teenagers in the 1970’s) to say the only alternative to "guitar bands" (is that the term for that music now?) was Disco. But as others have already said, there were plenty of other choices. Of course, if you rely on the radio to know of them they have you right where they want you ;-) .

My God, there was John Hiatt, Ry Cooder, Dylan, Richard Thompson, Van Morrison, NRBQ, Tom Waits, Rockpile, Moon Martin, Marshall Crenshaw, Neil Young, The dB’s, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, Dwight Twilley, Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, Mink Deville, Television, The Ramones, The Clash, Captain Beefheart, Cheap Trick, Squeeze, XTC, The Buzzcocks, Roxy Music, Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen, Loudon Wainwright III, ZZ Top, The Who (no Keith Moon, but still...), The Grateful Dead, thousands of others.

I suspect the defense will be that the above are hardly what teenagers listen to. It depends; my teenage friends and I searched out exactly those kinds of artists ten years earlier---we had to, we didn’t want to listen to what was being pushed on us. We discovered The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The James Cotton Blues Band (Robben Ford was with him for awhile), John Mayall (with first Eric Clapton on guitar, then Peter Green), Albert King, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Dan Hicks, Spirit, The Sons Of Champlain, Moby Grape. The Nice (Keith Emerson's pre-ELP band), Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Jesse Winchester, Emitt Rhodes, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Commander Cody, Asleep At The Wheel, Fairport Convention, Mose Allison, John Coltrane, SO many others.

Well, weren’t we hip? Yes, yes we were ;-) . Guitar bands? Corny, man. I thought only girls liked that kinda music.

@bdp24,  very few girls at guitar band gigs in the 70's. The big hair rock bands of the 80s drew the girls in. Really wimpy music.

@bdp24 :  "Of course, if you rely on the radio to know of them they have you right where they want you ;-) ."

The operative word is 'relied'.....past tense. When you are 13 and living in the suburbs or country all there was was the radio. If you wanted to go to the record store you had to get your mom or an older friend with a car to take you.

As mentioned above, at one point where I live there were no radio stations that played the rich variety of music available in the late 70s, which, as mentioned, were really stellar.

I can remember going to my cousins house. He lived near a much larger city that had a couple of good rock stations. We listened to all that good stuff, as well as his records that he knew about because of those stations.

The radio back then was a big deal.