Five 1970s bands who sadly broke up too soon

These bands gave up too soon.
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GRIN – 1971-1973 (4 albums)

Before he turned 20, Nils Lofgren had already played and sung on one of the seminal albums of 1970 – Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush. Young saw immediately that the kid could play guitar and sing, and he soon realized that the kid could write as well. So Neil helped Nils land a deal and Lofgren’s band Grin recorded their self-titled debut. It had lilting soft rock and harder blues numbers, all composed by Nils. The follow-up, 1+1, expanded the sound with the acoustic hit “White Lies,” while still rocking out with songs like “Moon Tears.”

For the third album, Neil’s brother Tom joined up on guitar, and there was plenty more creative power pop like “Ain’t Love Nice,” as well as bluesier grooves like “She Ain’t Right.” It ended with one final album in 1973 that featured Nils’ tribute to Neil Young’s guitar player Danny Whitten, whose heroin-induced death in 1972 also inspired Young’s song “The Needle and the Damage Done.”

Lofgren would continue working with Neil Young and would replace Stevie Van Zandt in the E Street Band in the mid-‘80s. Pretty good career, but still, I kind of wish the 23-year-old Lofgren could have maintained control of his own band. There’s no telling what he might have come up with.