Kiss and Rush were just two of the bands who released their first albums in 1974, starting the long road towards careers that would become legendary in time.

In general, it was a great year for music fans. Bob Dylan teamed up with the Band for the first time in eight years on his Planet Waves album, a union which would also bring him back to the road for his first proper tour since 1966.

Fans of the singer-songwriter genre had plenty to enjoy beyond Dylan's offerings, as Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell all released new LPs. Lovers of progressive rock found that they had a new band to add to their list as Kansas released their self-titled debut, while Yes and Genesis also revealed expansive new works. The latter's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, a sprawling double record, offered a particularly engaging story for curious musical travelers to unpack.

Members of Mott the Hoople and Free came together to create one of 1974's most exciting new bands, Bad Company, who became the inaugural signing to Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label. Led by the blues-soaked vocals of Paul Rodgers, their eponymous album birthed numerous songs which remain classic rock radio staples to this day.

READ MORE: Top 10 Bad Company Songs

John Lennon and George Harrison continued to add to their post-Beatles solo catalogs with each releasing new albums. Queen proved they were hardly a flash in the pan following their 1973 debut and had a busy year putting out two more records. November's Sheer Heart Attack showed off their more melodic side with tracks like "Killer Queen" and "Now I'm Here."

Hard Rock Had a Good Year

Deep Purple ushered in a new era, debuting their Mark III lineup featuring new recruits Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale. The revitalized hard rockers pumped out two essential catalog entries in 1974, with Burn arriving first in mid-February and the equally strong Stormbringer that November. The year also brought the debut album from one of the genre's future cornerstone acts with the arrival of Judas Priest's Rocka Rolla.

That's just scratching the surface as you'll see, looking at the below list of 50 albums from 1974, presented in chronological order. Each record tells a different story -- while some bands and artists were making their debuts, others found themselves in a crossroad period. But in time, they would all become milestones for their collective careers.

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1974's offerings included the debut albums from Kiss and Rush, plus new music from David Bowie, Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more.

Gallery Credit: Matt Wardlaw

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