We’re going through the decades in a series of Loud Lists to celebrate the evolution of heavy metal. Our first list starts when it all began… the 1970s. With Loudwire’s staff all weighing in with their opinions, we settled on the best song of each year from 1970-1979.

In the early ‘70s, heavy metal was just emerging out of the primordial ooze. Only a few bands really embodied the metal style, with Black Sabbath at the forefront. Choosing Black Sabbath to represent various years wasn’t a tough decision at all, but selecting a single song was brutal. After all, the Black Sabbath and Paranoid albums were both released in 1970… so which precious jewel do you keep if you can only have one?

You’ll find classics from the almighty Judas Priest throughout this list, starting with “Victim of Changes.” As Priest continued to develop into the ultimate heavy metal band, their songs became rip-roaring masterworks clad in leather and studs, so we had to select yet another track to honor their contributions.

You’ll find two entries from Ritchie Blackmore in this list with two different bands. From Deep Purple to Rainbow, Blackmore’s guitar work and songwriting was revolutionary in metal’s early years. Arguably no guitarist in history has gotten to work with more incredible singers than Blackmore.

Check out our picks for the 10 Greatest Metal Songs of the 1970s (Year by Year) in the Loud List above.

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