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 A withdrawn 45 for “Whole Lotta Love” from “Led Zeppelin II” is also highly prized.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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Eight Totally Bizarre Guitar Solos ...
Music Times, April 17th

The most renowned guitar solos in rock history are soaring and highly melodic, like David Gilmour's ethereal passages in "Comfortably Numb," or the epic guitar duel between Don Felder and Joe Walsh at the end of "Hotel California". These eight solos...Read more

Hear an exclusive track from Led Zeppelin's upcoming reissues
Toronto Sun, April 17th

"The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin,” says Page in a statement. “It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions, and new material recorded at...Read more

Audio | Dumpstaphunk Led Zeppelin Set At Wanee
JamBase, April 16th

On Friday night Dumpstaphunk held down the late night slot at the Wanee Festival with a Led Zeppelin tribute set. As we reported the band was joined by special guests John Popper on harmonica and guitarist Warren Haynes at various points of the ...Read more

'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Joins the Ranks of the Best Uses of Led Zeppelin ...
Hollywood.com, April 16th

With the band's reputation for selectivity in mind, it's a special treat whenever we get to hear a Led Zeppelin tune in the backdrop of a film, television show, or — perhaps even most effectively — movie trailer. The genius of any Zep symphony...Read more

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant performs secret Cotswold church gig
Daily Mail, April 15th

Villagers were left stunned after Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant performed a charity concert in a small church. The singer Plant swapped massive stadiums full of thousands of screaming fans for around 400 people over the weekend at the Church of St ...Read more

Hear an Exclusive Live Track From Led Zeppelin's Deluxe Reissues
RollingStone.com, April 14th

Led Zeppelin are gearing up for a massive re-release campaign of their entire catalog, kicking off with their first three albums on June 3rd. The discs will have remastered sound and tons of previously unreleased bonus material on companion discs...Read more

Led Zeppelin: hear an unreleased version of Good Times Bad Times ...
The Guardian (blog), April 13th

I've got a confession to make. I was never much of a Zeppelin fan until I was summoned to interview Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones in September 2012. I'd always thought them a bit stodgy, and my longstanding conviction that the "heavy ...Read more

Led Zeppelin Preview Unreleased Live Tracks
RollingStone.com, April 10th

Two years after Jimmy Page teased Led Zeppelin fans with promises of bonus material on the forthcoming deluxe editions of the band's catalog, the band has just shared a first glimpse of what it has in store. A one-minute video includes snippets of...Read more