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 A withdrawn 45 for “Whole Lotta Love” from “Led Zeppelin II” is also highly prized.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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas pays homage to international female opera singers of the LP era. Chronicling more than 800 singers, the… [read review or visit site]

317X

317X

Despite its mysterious title, 317X is plain and simple—an online gallery of vintage LPs, with a 1950s vintage fee… [read review or visit site]

Mybeatles.net

Mybeatles.net

Jesse Barron's collection of Beatles 45s, picture sleeves, magazines, books, and memorabilia. Browse singles and al… [read review or visit site]

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

This great site, from the Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors, offers detailed background information an… [read review or visit site]

The Remington Site

The Remington Site

Since 1999, the Remington Site has offered classical music collectors a glimpse into Remington Records, an independ… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Led Zeppelin 1 Lp Uk Atlantic 1969 Stereo Early Pressing A1 / B1 Plum LabelLed Zeppelin Iv (four 4 Symbols), True First Plum, Peter Grant, A3/b3, Ex/ex!!!Led Zeppelin Rock And Roll 45 Atlantic Japan 70s Vg+ P/sLed Zeppelin Iii Lp Uk Atlantic 1970 Stereo Early Pressing Plum LabelLed Zeppelin Ii Rob Ludwig Hot Mix 1st Press Ex+ "ss Rl" Etched In The Run-outsLed Zeppelin Iv A3/b4 Uk Atlantic (inverted Feather) Red/plum Mega Rare Vg+/exRare Led Zeppelin Multi Colored Vinyl Limited Lp You Shook Me 9/29/71 #66/100Led Zeppelin 3 Iii Ultra Rare Ex+ Press Plum Top Audio Exec Pro Rare Matrix~~~Led Zeppelin Ii: Withdrawn 'wreck' Miscredit Uk Plum Atlantic Vinyl, Green SpineLed Zeppelin I A1/b1 Uk Atlantic Red/plum Vinyl Lp Ex Cover Vg+/ex- AudioLed Zeppelin Ii Rl Audiophile Pressing Beautiful Copy Robert Ludwig Rare Vg+Minty 1841 Broadway '69 Led Zeppelin 1 ~ Hard Heavy Blues Psych Page Yardbirds30 Lp Lot Rock Doors Rascals Led Zeppelin James Gang Ccr Crosby Stills Nash #36Rare Led Zeppelin 2 Lp Colored Set Listen To This Eddie La 6/21/77 Vg++ 385 /50020 Classic Rock Lots Albums Lp Led Zeppelin Beatles Rolling Stones Pink FloydLed Zeppelin Iii A5/b5 1st Press Uk Red/plum 'peter Grant' Credit Vg+/ex Lot Of 5 60s Lp Vinyl: Beatles White Album, Pink Floyd Dark Side, Led Zeppelin++Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die - 1st Uk Press Island 1970 Led Zeppelin Ex++Led Zeppelin Ii A2/b2 Uk Atlantic 'lemon Song' Credit Lp Red/plum Ex+ Audio!Rare Led Zeppelin Limited 2 Lp Colored Vinyl Set Msg N.y. 2/12/75 Vinyl Vg Led Zeppelin, Houses Of The Holy, In Shrink, Near Mint Vinyl, Original GatefoldLed Zeppelin-tokyo 72-toasted Records Red Marble-not Takrl TmoqLed Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy - Vinyl LpRare Led Zeppelin Limited Lp Never Healed #189 / 250 Near Mint SealedRare Led Zeppelin Limited Lp My Rider #247 / 250 Near Mint 20 Classic Rock Lots Albums Lp Led Zeppelin The Beatles The Doors Rolling StonesRare Led Zeppelin Lp Bonzo's Last Gig 1 Lp Berlin July 1980 Mint SealedLot Of 4 Led Zeppelin Vintage Vinyl Lp Records Ii,iv, In Through Out Door, CodaLed Zeppelin I First Press Atlantic Sd 8216 Vg++ Incredible Sound!Led Zeppelin Song Remains The Same Swan Song P-5544,5n Japan Obi Vinyl 2lp Led Zeppelin 4 Symbols Vinyl Lp K 50008 - Misty Top Spell Error Rare KinneyLed Zeppelin Ii ~ 1969 (uk) 1st Press ~ 588198 ~ Killing Floor ~ Plum Red Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti 1st Uk Press, Mint Audio & Vinyl, Superb CompleteLed Zeppelin Iv (4) Uk Red/plum Atlantic 1st *inverted Feather Grant Stunning*Classic Rock Vinyl Record Lot. Vg And Up. Zeppelin,hendrix,bowie,dylanLed Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy [super Deluxe Edition Cd&vinyl] - New + SealedLot Of 15 Rock Lp's Zeppelin Beatles Nazareth Zz Top Eagles Alice CooperRare Led Zeppelin Red Colored Vinyl Lp Reunion In N.y.c. Lp Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti Japan 2lpClassic Rock Vinyl Lot Elton John Led Zeppelin Van Halen Poco The Byrds PoguesLed Zeppelin Lp 12 Vinyl Album Lot Set I Ii Iii Iv Full Catalog Plant Page CleanLed Zeppelin Ii (2) Uk Red/plum Atlantic Lp 1st *livin Lovin Wreck* *lemon Song*Led Zeppelin Self Titled Sealed LpLed Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti 2lp 1980s Reissue Swan Song Ssk 89400-0 GermanLed Zeppelin / Herb Alpert All My Love 45" Split Ps South America Mega Rare Vintage British Copy! (clean) ~ Led Zeppelin Iii ~ 1970 Hard Psych Jimmy Page ~Led Zeppelin "iv" Aust Lp Led Zeppelin - Ii 180 Gram Sealed-lp/vinyl/recordLed Zeppelin Destroyer Mint Sealed Lp Album Box Set Fan Club 1982 DrgmLed Zeppelin In Through The Out Door P10726n Obi Lp Ge1034Ex Led Zeppelin 4 VinylLed Zeppelin - Knebworth 79 - Vinyl LpLed Zeppelin - 10 Lp Lot Full Discography In Nice ConditionLed Zeppelin – Platinum – Import Double Hard Rock-blues Rock Vinyl Lp – BootlegLed Zeppelin Ii Vinyl Lp 1969 Atlantic 588198 Red-plum LabelLed Zeppelin Physical Graffiti Ss2200 2lp Ge0284Led Zeppelin "poster" Led Zeppelin Iii P10106 Obi Lp Fz3080Led Zeppelin Iv "zoso" Lp Vinyl 1971 33rpm Atlantic Sd 7208 Gatefold Lyric Nice!Led Zeppelin 4 Symbols Atlantic P-10125a Japan Vinyl LpLed Zeppelin Ii Promo Usa Ultra Rare White Vinyl Gatefold Lp Re Issue