For me, it's always been Prism and Trooper. Two 70s/80s bands that were a big part of my life back then.
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Are you kidding about Grand Funk? They had the biggest billboard that ever was in the middle of Times Square and they played the Garden and all the huge venues. I do agree with you to the extent that they never had the legacy of some of their peers, but look at who was around -Creedence, the Band, the Who, Hendrix. GF was a good, solid band, but there was really nothing that memorable, IMO.
Tesla-The combination of musical and songwriting skills were unmatched by any hard rock/metal band from the mid 80's-early 90's. Song and Emotion ranks as one of the best "forgotten" all time great rock songs. Tesla wasn't just limited to a few great songs. The Great Radio Controvesy ranks as one of the best all time rock recordings with awesome songs from start to finish!
MOUNTAIN Leslie West & Felix Pappalardi
West, Bruce & Laing
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT
UFO Michael Schenker era
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Banco del Mutuo Soccorso
Renaissance, 1969 - 79
Barclay James Harvest with Stuart Wolstenholme
The Boobie Brothers with Tom Johnston