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 A withdrawn 45 for “Whole Lotta Love” from “Led Zeppelin II” is also highly prized.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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Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love voted top guitar riff by radio listenersExpress.co.uk, August 25th
JIMMY PAGE's guitar sequence on LED ZEPPELIN's WHOLE LOTTA LOVE has been voted the Greatest Guitar Riff of all time in a new poll. Published: Tue, August 26, 2014. The song topped a list of 100 riffs put together by a panel of DJs, critics and record ...Read more
PT1M33S http://www.smh.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3ecai ...Sydney Morning Herald, August 25th
The voting is over and it's official: British and Australians actually agree on something. They concur that Led Zeppelin's 1969 Whole Lotta Love contains the greatest guitar riff of all-time. The song was chosen from a list of 100 contenders issued by...Read more
Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love voted greatest riffExpress.co.uk, August 25th
After Whole Lotta Love, the top five is completed by Guns 'N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine, AC/DC's Back In Black, Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water and Derek And The Dominoes' Layla. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said: “I'm knocked out by this...Read more
Poll: Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' greatest guitar riff of all timeThe Week Magazine, August 25th
The rock classic came out top from a list of 100 riffs drawn up by a panel of Radio 2 and 6 Music DJs, critics, and record producers. "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns 'N' Roses was second in the poll, with "Back In Black" (AC/DC) and "Smoke On The Water" ...Read more
Led Zeppelin tops guitar riffs listDaily Mail, August 25th
Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love is the greatest guitar riff of all time, as chosen by BBC Radio 2 listeners. In a list of the top 100, it beat rock legend contenders such as Metallica, Nirvana and The White Stripes to the top spot. The top five guitar...Read more
Today's Music Picks: Symphonic `Led Zeppelin' show set for San JoseSan Jose Mercury News, August 25th
"My concept for 'The Music of Led Zeppelin' was to take the music as close to the originals as we could and then add some colors to enhance what Zep had done," says show creator Brent Havens, who will also be guest conducting the symphony...Read more
Led Zeppelin turned down Woodstock for Asbury ParkAsbury Park Press, August 23rd
Recruited to play at Woodstock, Led Zeppelin turned down the gig. Instead, they headlined a show about 150 miles south of Bethel, at Asbury Park's Convention Hall, as part of promoter Moe Septee's “Summer of Stars” concert series. Zeppelin's manager ...Read more
Robert Plant interview: On his new album... and his Led Zeppelin daysThe Independent, August 22nd
He said, 'That's Led Zeppelin.' I said, 'Ah, okay – and who's that guy?' He said, 'That's Robert Plant.' I said, 'What does he look like now?' The guy shrugged his shoulders, so I lifted my sunglasses and said, 'Look!' It was a lovely moment and we...Read more