The Beatles break up in 1970, but all four members continue to impact the decade with successful solo careers. The early seventies are marked by the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison who all die at the age of 27. Pyschedelic music declines,but morphs into hard rock, progressive rock and heavy metal. Touring bands move from playing clubs and theaters, to playing sports arenas. Big time bands, many of them formed in the '60's, such as the Rolling Stones, Pink
Floyd, The Who, Grand Funk and Led Zeppelin travel in private jets and play to thousands in arenas and outdoor stadiums.
A clear distinction emerges between Top 40 radio and FM album oriented rock radio stations. Car stereos become common, first with FM stereo radio, then 8-Track tapes, followed by cassette tapes.
This diversity of music distribution channels, along with an expanding market allows for a wide variety of new rock styles to emerge. The early seventies are dominated by singer songwriters and soft rock. Glam or Glitter Rock shines briefly in the first half of the seventies. Live albums are popular, with huge hits for Rare Earth, Peter Frampton, and Kiss. Reggae moves out of Jamaica to become a world wide genre. Disco dominates the radio and dance floors in the late seventies. Punk rock, a throwback to sixties garage rock, emerges in the late seventies as a reaction to arena rock, progressive rock and disco. Punk becomes New Wave as bands move beyond guitars and drums, and begin incorporating synthesizers.
Elvis Presley dies in 1977 at age 42. Huge crowds begin flocking to his Memphis home, Graceland.