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The 1970s were marked by rock genres such as hard rock, progressive rock, jazz rock, art rock, glam rock, folk rock and symphonic rock. In that period, some of the greatest Yugoslav stadium attractions emerged: YU grupa, Time (with singer/guitarist Dado Topić), September, Smak, Atomsko Sklonište, and Leb i sol from Skopje with their trademark sound which was a blend of Macedonian folkore, jazz fusion and rock. In 1974 one of the most popular Yugoslavian bands came to prominence, the Sarajevo based Bijelo Dugme with its first charismatic frontman Željko Bebek and songwriter Goran Bregovic. To mark their wide popularity in the region this example; on 22 august 1997 Bijelo Dugme gave a concert in Hajdučka česma in Košutnjak Park in Belgrade for 80.000 people which was the biggest Yugoslav rock event for years. Last to mention is former Grupa 220 singer Drago Mlinarec who started his solo career in the seventies and delivers some high standard singer/songwriter albums.

1975 also saw the emergence two rather excentric acts mixing Zappa-esque rock 'n vaudeville with local music; Buldožer from Slovenia and Teška industrija from Bosnia/Herzogovina. Because of their unique experimental, alternative and avantguarde style which was a reaction pointed against the rock scene of the time, many consider them as a former Yugoslav Proto-New Wave band. The folk scene that evolved from Arsen Dedic and Ivica Percl got company from singer Oliver Dragojevic. Not a songwriter himself most of his Dalmatian folk and jazzy songs were composed by Zdenko Runjić. From a female vocal point fifties-jazz/chanson singer Gabi Novak became the muze for Arsen Dedic performing songs by him during this decade. More introvert acoustic singer/songwriters like Tomaž Domicelj and Tomaž Pengov took a more lofi approach and were highly influenced by artists like Dylan and Cohen. Slovenia had it's own local folk figure with Tomaž Pengov.

Another popular seventies act was called Leva patika (Left sport-shoe). When President Tito had his left leg amputated in Ljubljana hospital due to health complications before his death, the word left had to be removed from the band's name. Thus they are also known as Patika. Their huge dance hit was the song Nepravda.
The Disco craze spread around the world in the 1970s as well as in Yugoslavia. Similarly to the disco movie Saturday Night Fever, Zdravko Čolić became a sort of Yugoslav John Travolta dancing on the stadiums across the country, dressed in a tight white suit and the then-fashionable bell-bottoms. He later released the songs 'Jedina' and 'Zagrli me' for the Western German market and also an English-language single 'I’m not a Robot Man' / 'Light me'. His song about a relationship with a posh girl 'Pusti, Pusti modu' (can be translated as: 'Forget about fashion!') became a nationwide disco megahit.

The Yugoslav punk rock scene emerged in the late 1970s. Some of the first ones were Paraf and Pankrti. The early Yugoslavian punk scene was documented in the compilation albums 'Novi Punk Val' and 'Artistička Radna Akcija'. Certain bands which later rose to mainstream popularity such as Prljavo Kazalište and Električni Orgazam were also punk rock in their early beginnings.