10 Rarely Seen 1970s Live Music Videos – featuring Blondie, Sweet, The Cars, Cheap Trick, The Clash, Rush and others.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
At least that’s how the musically schizophrenic 1970s felt to me. The era that gave us timeless music from bands like Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd and Queen, gave way in popularity in the mid 70s to the monotonous 4/4 beat of disco. As The Who sang in Long Live Rock “rock is dead.”
But towards the end of the decade, new rock bands emerged with aplomb; The Ramones, Elvis Costello, The Clash and Blondie being among them. The foundations for the emerging New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) would be laid by 1970s hard rock bands like Sweet, UFO and Rainbow.
You’ve got to love Youtube. Without it, how would you discover video that you never knew existed?
Youtube is a strange world, where there have been over two billion views for Psy and Gangam Style, while Sweet’s 1974 live version of No You Don’t has about 21,000 views. Crazy isn’t it? With millions of music videos to sort through, it can be difficult to find the great ones, kind of like plucking gems from a vault.
For most of the videos we selected, some have viewership not in the millions, but incredibly just in the thousands.
We’ve selected ten live, rarely seen rock videos from Youtube from between 1974 – 1979 that hopefully don’t get pulled down from the site.
Five videos are from the late, great Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. There are over 100 complete concerts that have been released in the past year from that storied rock venue.
Rock n’ roll may be dead, at least to the 2016 generation, but in the 1970s it was relevant, alive and kicking.
First off, Cheap Trick plays Auf Wiedersehen in 1978 with a Nirvana-like energy
Next, Blondie from 1978 with a terrific version of Hangin’ on the Telephone
The Clash I Fought The Law Live in London at The Lyceum Theatre 1979
Sweet from 1974 perform No You Don’t on Musikladen in Germany. Pat Benitar’s cover version is more well known than Sweet’s hard rock original.
The Cars playing Bye Bye Love on Musikladen in Germany in 1979.
Rainbow with Graham Bonnet on lead vocals in 1979 Man On The Silver Mountain at the Capitol Theatre, in Passaic, NJ.
Rush plays a blistering version of Anthem 1976 at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ.
Foreigner perform their megahit Hot Blooded in 1978
An extremely youthful and unpretentious Def Leppard performs Wasted in 1979
For the finale, UFO plays Doctor Doctor 1978 at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic NJ