Five 1970s bands who sadly broke up too soon

These bands gave up too soon.
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DELANEY & BONNIE – 1969-1972 (6 albums)

Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett are legends. Delaney was a first-rate guitar player and songwriter. His wife Bonnie sang. By God, did she sing? In an era that featured Janis Joplin and Cass Elliot, Bonnie Bramlett was as good as any of them. Delaney could belt it out pretty well too, and together their songs were thunderbolts of old-fashioned rock & roll tinged with everything from gospel to blues, from country to soul.

How good were they? Here’s just a sampling of the musicians they recruited to play with them during their brief run of albums: Duane Allman on guitar, Little Richard on piano, King Curtis on sax. Don’t like that backing band? How about Eric Clapton on guitar, Leon Russell on piano, or maybe Billy Preston if Leon’s fingers get tired? Need some backup singers? Call up Rita Coolidge and Eddie Kendricks. Or just bring in Tina Turner.

Yep. They all wanted to play with Delaney & Bonnie. When you’d hear them singing iconic powerhouse numbers like the rocker “Only You Know and I Know,” or the spiritual standard “Wade in the River of Jordan,” it was easy to see why.

Unfortunately, after a few years, Delaney and Bonnie didn’t want to play together. They split up after their sixth and final album in 1972. Along with Richard and Linda Thompson’s Shoot Out the Lights, D & B Together, is the greatest break-up album in rock history. Both would release solo work and would lend their voices to many other artists’ recordings. Bonnie would play a recurring role on the sitcom Roseanne – the friend who could sing. They expanded traditional vocal rock & roll in all directions, but we wouldn’t hear them sing together after 1972.