70s The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s  

Best of SNL
462 votes 17 voters 107 items

List Rules Vote up the bands and musicians who did the best job as musical guests on SNL from 1975 through 1979.

Even though Saturday Night Live didn't start until halfway through the decade, there were still plenty of '70s SNL musical guests. And, athough Saturday Night Live might not have started out a hit, as the 1970s slipped past, SNL cemented itself into the TV viewing habits of the masses. If you can't remember everybody played on the show, then refresh your memory with this list of the bands who played on SNL from 1975 through 1979, ranked from best SNL '70s musical guests to worst SNL '70s musical guests.

Ranging from Devo to The Rolling Stones, Saturday Night Live musical guests also included The Blues Brothers, a band born from a sketch on SNL itself. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel even reunited for the first time publicly on SNL during the second episode of the show.

Just like the seasons and episodes themselves, the Saturday Night Live musical guests of the 1970s range from great to grueling. Vote up the bands and musicians who did the best job as musical guests on SNL in the '70s.

list ordered by
1
7 0
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, New Wave, Classic rock
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. In 1976, the band's original lineup was Tom Petty as the primary vocalist and guitar player, Mike Campbell as ...more
2
11 1
The Blues Brothers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music
The Blues Brothers, formally, variously The Blues Brothers' Show Band and Revue and The Blues Brothers' Rhythm and Blues Revue, are an American blues and rhythm and blues revivalist band founded ...more
3
6 0
Devo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop
Devo is an American rock band formed in 1972 consisting of members from Kent and Akron, Ohio. The classic line-up of the band included two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs and the Casales, ...more
4
8 1
Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock
Paul Frederic Simon is an American musician, actor and singer-songwriter. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with ...more
5
8 1
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Music hall, Pop music, Rock music
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Dave Davies and Ray Davies with Pete Quaife in 1963. The band, which rose to fame during the mid-1960s and ...more
6
7 1
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock
Catherine "Kate" Bush, CBE is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer known for her eclectic musical style and her idiosyncratic soprano vocal performances. In ...more
7
7 1
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk
Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. Other musicians ...more
8
7 1
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music
Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician and composer, who is sometimes referred to as "The Genius". He pioneered the ...more
9
5 0
Willie Nelson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Outlaw country, Americana, Traditional pop music
Willie Hugh Nelson is an American singer-songwriter, musician, guitarist, author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie, combined with the critical and ...more
10
5 0
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music
William Martin "Billy" Joel is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth ...more
11
6 1
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music
David Bowie is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the ...more
12
6 1
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. ...more
13
5 1
Carly Simon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music
Carly Elisabeth Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician and children's author. She first rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records; her 13 Top 40 U.S. hits include ...more
14
5 1
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the ...more
15
5 1
The Band is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music
The Band was a Canadian-American roots rock group that originally consisted of Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson. The members of the Band first came ...more
16
5 1
Leon Redbone is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Ragtime, Easy listening, Jazz
Leon Redbone is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist specializing in interpretations of early 20th-century music, including jazz and blues standards and Tin Pan Alley classics. Recognized ...more
17
4 0
Linda Ronstadt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
New Wave, Rock music, Latin American music
Linda Maria Ronstadt is an American popular music singer. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, and ...more
18
4 0
The Doobie Brothers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Swamp pop, Heartland rock, Rock music
The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band. The group has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide throughout their career. The band has been active in five decades, with their biggest ...more
19
4 0
Leo Sayer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Disco, Pop music, Pop rock
Leo Sayer is a British-born singer-songwriter musician, and entertainer whose singing career has spanned four decades. Sayer launched his career in the UK in the early 1970s and became a top ...more
20
4 0
Neil Sedaka is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Pop music, Rock music
Neil Sedaka is an American pop/rock singer, pianist, and composer. Since his music career began in 1957, he has sold millions of records as an artist and has written or co-written over 500 songs ...more
21
6 3
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock
Elvis Costello is an English singer-songwriter. He began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early 1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British punk and ...more
22
5 2
Randy Newman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock
Randall Stuart "Randy" Newman is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist who is known for his distinctive voice, mordant pop songs, and for film scores. Since ...more
23
5 2
Patti Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk
Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 ...more
24
5 2
James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, Disco, Pop music
James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Taylor achieved his ...more
25
5 2
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musicians Who Performed on SNL in the '70s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. ...more