The Greatest Rock Bands of the 70s, Ranked by Their Facial Hair

Everything was bigger in the 1970s: the songs, the solos, the pants, the appetites for an often lethal dose of drugs. And then there was the facial hair.

Not since Neanderthal times have there been so many people – well, let’s face it, men – who have rocked so many sauce strainers, chin mats and jowl tassels with so much abandon of free form than the rock musicians of the 70s. From the titans of prog to the backwoods army of southern rock, the beard was queen and the mustache was queen. Well topiary or not, facial foliage signified freedom, especially from the concept of regular personal grooming.

So we’ve ranked the greatest bands of rock’s golden decade, not by the brilliance of their music but by the lushness of their fuzz.

There are rules, of course. In each case, the profile of at least 60% of the formation must be partially obscured by any facial pullover. And they must have retained their foliage for several years – none of your proto-hipster “Ooh, I want to grow mustaches for five minutes” (Yeah, we’re looking at you, Mick Jagger). Just as we demand commitment from our heroes for their musical abilities, we demand commitment from their mustaches.

So there it is – the biggest fur snouts in rock. Nasal hair trimmers at your fingertips…

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9. High ZZ

You thought they’d be number one, huh? No. Houston’s favorite fuzz producers spent the better part of a decade wearing the kind of cropped chin straps you’d see on any ’70s urban cowboy. It wasn’t until they returned from a long break with the years 1979 Deguello Billy Gibbons and the late Dusty Hill had sprouted the majestic skins that would help them become unlikely MTV stars. If we were talking about the 80s, they’d be the kings of the hill, but we’re not, so suck it, shinyface.


8. Aphrodite’s Child

Prog rock beards are a class of their own – everyone from Genesis to cult folk proggers Gryphon sported growth of varying length, while Rick Wakeman was prog’s very own Gandalf. But when it comes to primitive sexuality, the hairballs of Athens that Aphrodite’s Child swept before them – a trio of shaggy Hercules who proved that Greece was not just the cradle of democracy, it was the nursery of the under nostril carpet.


7. Daredevils of the Ozark Mountains

OK, they weren’t Lynyrd Skynyrd or Allman Brothers, but when it came to lip warmers, country rockers The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were way ahead of the competition. Not for them the unruly mutton chops of a Duane Allman or the beanie and beard combo of a Leon Wilkson: these mustachioed Missouri farmers wore their ground squirrels with a grace and elegance rare in the rock world of the 1960s. 70. Impossible to name a single one of their tracks, but hey, that’s another story.

Daredevils of the Ozark Mountains

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives)

6. Cult of the Blue Oyster

Five men, three fuzz sets – rock’s most esoteric band wins by percentage. Buck Dharma and Albert Bouchard show quality in the mouths of the 70s, but it is the magnificent facefro of leader Eric Bloom who wins here. Think Bob Ross: The Metal Years…then cry that you’ll never come close to matching it in a century of trying.

Blue Oyster Cult behind the scenes of 1972

(Image credit: Jorgen Angel/Getty Images)

5. The Beach Boys

We’re making an exception to the “maintaining the foliage” rule here, only because the Beach Boys’ journey from “toothy, clean-shaven surfer kids” to “dead-eyed would-be cult leaders” is unmatched in the story of oscillate. Their time in the sun, beard-wise, was relatively brief, but when they got going, they went all-in — not only posting top-notch sex action in the mid-70s, but winning a full house in the process.

The Beach Boys in 1976

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

4.Boston

Boston mastermind Tom Scholz may have been AOR’s Amadeus, but his phizzog was as hairless as an eel arsecrack. Luckily, the rest of his band made up for it — the vintage 1976 line-up featured more ticklish wizards than a bunch of Groucho Marx impersonators. Above all, however, was the late drummer Sib Hashian, a man whose face was even hairier upside down.

Boston in the studio in 1977

(Image credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

3. Fog

Many Americans considered the British Foghat chooglers one of their own, but the mustaches were a dead giveaway: they looked like renegade RAF wing commanders who would let their snot go. It’s the classic early ’70s line-up that takes the honors here, with guitarist Rod ‘The Bottle’ Price and drummer Roger Earl in a two-way fight for supremacy. Go crank Slow ride and feel the sweat from the lips.

Foghat

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

2. Black Sabbath

An evidence. In facial hair as in music, Black Sabbath was the brightest band of the time. The twin mustaches of Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler stood out over the decade as furry colossi, majestic in their malevolence, while Bill Ward’s ever-changing approach to beards proved he was the pioneer of the 70s manscaping rock. Hell, even Ozzy got involved in the action at times, though he never fully committed like his Gillette-escaping bandmates.


1. The Doobie Brothers

Has any other group been so dedicated to the cause of pogonotrophy? The Doobs were both a rock band and a Yeti convention. They made even the hairiest of their contemporaries look like little baby pink pandas, but it wasn’t just the amount of fur on display. No, they killed it in quality and breadth, too: mustaches, coke dusters, lumberjack scarves and, in the case of Michael MacDonald, a hard hat of hair – they had it all .

But all of that would have been for nothing if they hadn’t had the songs. can you imagine long running train Where what a fool believes made by a bunch of whelk-cut mims? It was music made by people with facial hair for people with facial hair, and the beard wraps prove it.

The Doobie Brothers

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Virginia F. Goins