When Led Zeppelin hit the music scene at the end of 1968, the decade of peace, love, and flower power was pretty much already dead. Indeed, Led Zeppelin’s pair of vinyl record albums released in 1969, with their crashing chord changes, licentious leads, and wailing vocals, were, in their own way, the first nails in the coffin of the decade of the hippie. But this heavy metal band was different, grounded as much in the folk music of a mythological Middle Earth England as the blues of Mississippi Delta America.
The band’s eponymous first album was reportedly recorded in just 36 hours. Most of it was just captured live in the studio, with minimal overdubs. From the first chords of “Good Times Bad Times,” listeners knew they were about to hear something completely different, melding the heroic architecture of riff-rock with guitar chops that rivaled Jimi Hendrix's. The album featured not one but two tunes by bluesman Willie Dixon. When Robert Plant’s otherworldly vocals were added to this heady mix, the result was an assault on the rock orthodoxy that, of course, quickly became the new norm.
The cover of “Led Zeppelin” on the Atlantic label featured the image of the Hindenburg airship just as it was catching fire on its last voyage in 1937. While most copies feature the band and label names in orange, some feature each in red while others are in turquoise. Collectors look for such differences as well as the credits on the records themselves (the band’s “Superhype Music” publishing arm gets credit on some copies; others pressed in the U.K. are credited to Warner Bros.).
Even more dear are 45s, which Led Zeppelin’s manager forbade in the U.K. Thus, promo singles are widely sought by Led Zep fans, including ones for “Communication Breakdown” and "Dazed and Confused,” both off the band’s first album. A withdrawn 45 for “Whole Lotta Love” from “Led Zeppelin II” is also highly prized.
“Led Zeppelin II” is actually an interesting album from a record collector’s point of view. Unlike the LP that preceded it, “II” was recorded in numerous studios in the U.K., U.S., and Canada, as the band struggled to capitalize on its sudden fame by touring while recording. It obviously worked because “II” went straight to number-one in three countries.
Albums “III” and “IV” followed, the latter containing such hist as “Black Dog,” “The Battle of Evermore,” and “Stairway to Heaven,” and that was just on side one! “Houses of the Holy” followed in 1973, even though it had been recorded in 1972—it was the last album Led Zeppelin produced for Atlantic. “Physical Graffiti” in 1975 on the band’s Swan Song label, came next, a double-LP consisting of new material and previously unreleased tracks from earlier in the decade.
After the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, the band’s surviving members busied themselves with solo efforts. Page and Plant collaborated on “The Honeydrippers” in 1984 and t...
In 2007, along with John Paul Jones and John Bonham’s son, Jason, Led Zeppelin played a benefit for the late Atlantic Records executive Ahmet Ertegün’s Education Fund. Naturally, they opened with the first song on their first album, whose words begin: “In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man. Now I've reached that age, I've tried to do all those things the best I can.” The band has not played together since.
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ZOSO - THE ULTIMATE LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE to Play Fox Theatre, 4/12Broadway World, January 30th
Z2 Entertainment will present Zoso - The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience with Special Guests at the Fox Theatre on Sunday, April 12th, 2015. Tickets are on sale January 30th for $15 advanced or $18 day of show. Zoso - The Ultimate Led Zeppelin ...Read more
Led Zeppelin's “Houses Of The Holy” Unreleased Rough Mix From 'Physical ...Geeks of Doom, January 28th
As part of the ongoing series of Led Zeppelin reissues with coveted bonus tracks, next month will see the re-release of what is arguably the band's greatest moment in their recorded history, the two-record set Physical Graffiti, which was originally...Read more
Watch The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Other UK Rock Icons ...Music Times, January 28th
Fifty years ago, the hip youth of the UK got a treat when a fresh young band named The Who made its first television appearance on Ready Steady Go. Marking the occasion, check out the first television appearances of some of the UK's other big acts from...Read more
This Collection of the Band's Memories Makes Led Zeppelin Actually LikeablePopMatters, January 26th
The reason, of course, is that they are not. At least not in the ways that can be accurately measured compared to others who made rock music. Only the Beatles have a more pronounced influence and unblemished record of achievement. Interestingly, this...Read more
See Chad Smith Kiss the Ground of Led Zeppelin's Headley GrangeSPIN, January 22nd
In late 1970 or early 1971, John Bonham recorded the drums for "When the Levee Breaks" from Led Zeppelin IV. The session took place in an English mansion called Headley Grange — where the classic rock giants also recorded 1970's Led Zeppelin III and ...Read more
Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience lands in NapaNapa Valley Register, January 21st
Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience merges the powerful music of Led Zeppelin with video footage, giant projection of iconic Zeppelin art, home movies and other vintage video footage shot by Bonham. The show experience is divided between two ...Read more
REVIEW: Kashmir's Led Zeppelin is a whole lotta good way to kick off Sands ...Allentown Morning Call, January 12th
So Sands Bethlehem Event Center made a good choice to kick off its yearlong tribute band series Sunday with the Led Zeppelin tribute band Kashmir. Most of the 24 songs Kashmir played are just so good, that it's hard to miss with them – even played by a ...Read more
Led Zeppelin Mark Physical Graffiti's 40th With ReissueMOJO, January 12th
Plus, read on for MOJO's 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin songs ever. Compiling this ultimate rundown of tracks by the world's greatest rock band was no easy task, but with help from the likes of The Black Keys, Billy Gibbons, Rick Rubin and MOJO reader's...Read more