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 A withdrawn 45 for “Whole Lotta Love” from “Led Zeppelin II” is also highly prized.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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Former Led Zeppelin man Robert Plant to play Cork's Live at the Marquee next ...Entertainment.ie, December 10th
Former Led Zeppelin frontman Plant is one of the most influential rock and roll performers in history, contributing an enormous body of work in the just over ten years he spent alongside Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham in the legendary band...Read more
Jay Z, Daft Punk, Macklemore, and Led Zeppelin all got Grammy nominationsA.V. Club, December 9th
Nominations for the 56th annual Grammy Awards are out. Jay Z leads this year's pack with nine nods, though he was shut out of all the major categories like Album and Record of the Year. Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Justin Timberlake, and ...Read more
Grammy Nominations: Led Zeppelin, The National, Jeff Tweedy, Snarky Puppy ...jambands.com, December 7th
A number of Jambands.com favorites picked up nominations for this year's Grammy Awards. A wide variety of artists were nominated, from classic rockers like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones to more contemporary srtists like The...Read more
Grammys 2014 Rock Noms: Black Sabbath Rules; Zep, Bowie, Stones, QOTSA ...Billboard, December 7th
The single "God is Dead?," meanwhile, is up for Best Rock Song and Best Metal Performance. Sabbath has won just one Grammy before, for Best Metal Performance in 1999. Led Zeppelin may also walk home with its first Grammy performance award -- or two ...Read more
War Vs. Led Zeppelin – Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame, Round OneUltimate Classic Rock, December 2nd
Each month, our readers will determine which of eight legendary artists or bands is immortalized forever for their contributions to classic-rock history. Led Zeppelin, arguably the most popular and influential hard-rock band of all time, have reached...Read more
Led Zeppelin's 'Good Times Bad Times' Powers 'American Hustle' Film TrailerUltimate Classic Rock, November 26th
In the trailer for the new David O. Russell film 'American Hustle,' the powerhouse Led Zeppelin track 'Good Times Bad Times' is used to great effect. The song's famous stop-start opening — which kicked off the group's first album and therefore served...Read more
Led Zeppelin Vs. the Faces - Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame FinalsUltimate Classic Rock, November 25th
The scary part is that Stewart took down Led Zeppelin — one of rock's most celebrated and popular groups — all by himself last time out, becoming the seventh entrant in our 100 percent fan-voted Hall of Fame. So what chance does Led Zep stand against...Read more
JIMMY PAGE Confirms LED ZEPPELIN Reissues Will Contain Previously ...BLABBERMOUTH.NET, November 14th
Jimmy Page has confirmed that the upcoming LED ZEPPELIN album reissues include previously unreleased material. "Each of the albums has been remastered but it also has a companion disc with it," the guitarist told TeamRock Radio's Nicky Horne earlier ...Read more