Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

Overview
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, OBE is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, after which he founded the English rock band Led Zeppelin.Jimmy Page...

, singer Robert Plant
Robert Plant
Robert Anthony Plant, CBE is an English singer and songwriter best known as the vocalist and lyricist of the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin. He has also had a successful solo career...

, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones (musician)
John Paul Jones is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. Best known as the bassist, mandolinist, and keyboardist for English rock band Led Zeppelin, Jones has since developed a solo career and has gained even more respect as both a musician and a...

, and drummer John Bonham
John Bonham
John Henry Bonham was an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer of Led Zeppelin. Bonham was esteemed for his speed, power, fast right foot, distinctive sound, and "feel" for the groove...

. With their heavy, guitar-driven blues rock sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 and hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 even though the band's individualistic style drew from many sources and transcends any single music genre
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Led Zeppelin'
Start a new discussion about 'Led Zeppelin'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Quotations

I know what it means to be alone, I sure do wish I was at home.I don't care what the neighbors say, I'm gonna love you each and every day.

Good Times, Bad Times|Good Times, Bad Times

Been Dazed and Confused for so long it's not true.Wanted a woman, never bargained for you.Lots of people talk and few of them know,soul of a woman was created below.

Dazed and Confused|Dazed and Confused

You need coolin', baby, I'm not foolin',I'm gonna send you back to schoolin',Way down inside honey, you need it,I'm gonna give you my love,I'm gonna give you my love.

Whole Lotta Love|Whole Lotta Love

Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, way up high in the sky.But the wind won't blow, you really shouldn't go, it only goes to showThat you will be mine, by takin' our time.

What Is and What Should Never Be

And if you say to me tomorrow, oh what fun it all would be.Then what's to stop us, pretty baby. But What Is And What Should Never Be.

What Is and What Should Never Be

If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.When mountains crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me.

Thank You (Led Zeppelin song)|Thank You
Encyclopedia
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, OBE is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer. He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and was subsequently a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, after which he founded the English rock band Led Zeppelin.Jimmy Page...

, singer Robert Plant
Robert Plant
Robert Anthony Plant, CBE is an English singer and songwriter best known as the vocalist and lyricist of the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin. He has also had a successful solo career...

, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones (musician)
John Paul Jones is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. Best known as the bassist, mandolinist, and keyboardist for English rock band Led Zeppelin, Jones has since developed a solo career and has gained even more respect as both a musician and a...

, and drummer John Bonham
John Bonham
John Henry Bonham was an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer of Led Zeppelin. Bonham was esteemed for his speed, power, fast right foot, distinctive sound, and "feel" for the groove...

. With their heavy, guitar-driven blues rock sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 and hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

 even though the band's individualistic style drew from many sources and transcends any single music genre
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

. Led Zeppelin did not release songs from their albums as singles in the United Kingdom, as they preferred to establish the concept of album orientated rock.

Led Zeppelin disbanded following Bonham's death in 1980, but continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success, and broad influence. The band are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential bands in the history of music. According to some sources, Led Zeppelin have sold over 200 million albums worldwide. Other sources state sales of more than 300 million records, including 111.5 million certified units in the United States. This makes Led Zeppelin one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the second-best-selling band of all time in the US. Each of their nine studio albums reached the top 10 of the Billboard
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

album chart in the US, with six reaching the number one spot. Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

magazine described them as "the heaviest band of all time", "the biggest band of the '70s" and "unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history". Similarly, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

 stated that, in the 1970s the band were "as influential in that decade as The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 were in the prior one".

In 2007, some 27 years after the band disbanded, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with John Bonham's son, Jason
Jason Bonham
Jason John Bonham is an English drummer. Jason's parents are Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and his wife Pat Phillips. After his father's death in 1980, he has played with Led Zeppelin on different occasions, including the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena in London in...

) for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert
Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert
The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert was a benefit concert held in memory of music executive Ahmet Ertegün at The O2 in London on December 10, 2007. The headline act was the English rock band, Led Zeppelin, who performed their first full-length concert since the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980,...

 at The O2 Arena
The O2 arena (London)
The O2 Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in the centre of The O2, a large entertainment complex on the Greenwich peninsula in London, England.With a capacity of up to 20,000 depending on the event, it is second largest...

 in London. The band were honoured with the "Best Live Act" prize for their one-off reunion at MOJO Awards 2008
2008 MOJO Awards
The 2008 MOJO Honours List Winners were announced at a ceremony at The Brewery in London, England on June 16, 2008.-Nominees:Complete list of nominees :*Song of the Year**LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends"...

, where they were described as the "greatest rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 band of all time".

Formation



In 1966, Jimmy Page joined the blues-influenced rock band, The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds
- Current :* Chris Dreja - rhythm guitar, backing vocals * Jim McCarty - drums, backing vocals * Ben King - lead guitar * David Smale - bass, backing vocals...

, to replace bassist Paul Samwell-Smith
Paul Samwell-Smith
Paul Samwell-Smith is best known as a founding member and bassist of the 1960s English band, The Yardbirds, a group that spawned such noteworthy musicians as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page...

. Page soon switched from bass to lead guitar, creating a dual lead-guitar line-up with Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds...

. Following the departure of Beck in October 1966, The Yardbirds — tired from constant touring and recording — began to wind down. Page wanted to form a supergroup
Supergroup (music)
In the late 1960s, the term supergroup was coined to describe "a rock music group whose performers are already famous from having performed individually or in other groups"....

 with himself and Beck on guitars, and The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...

's rhythm section—drummer Keith Moon
Keith Moon
Keith John Moon was an English musician, best known for being the drummer of the English rock group The Who. He gained acclaim for his exuberant and innovative drumming style, and notoriety for his eccentric and often self-destructive behaviour, earning him the nickname "Moon the Loon". Moon...

 and bassist John Entwistle
John Entwistle
John Alec Entwistle was an English bass guitarist, songwriter, singer, horn player, and film and record producer who was best known as the bass player for the rock band The Who. His aggressive lead sound influenced many rock bass players...

. Vocalists Steve Winwood
Steve Winwood
Stephen Lawrence "Steve" Winwood is an English international recording artist whose career spans nearly 50 years. He is a songwriter and a musician whose genres include soul music , R&B, rock, blues-rock, pop-rock, and jazz...

 and Steve Marriott
Steve Marriott
Stephen Peter Marriott , popularly known as Steve Marriott, was an English musician, songwriter, and frontman of several notable rock and roll bands, spanning over two decades...

 were also considered for the project. The group never formed, although Page, Beck and Moon did record a song together in 1966, "Beck's Bolero
Beck's Bolero
"Beck's Bolero" is a short, rock-based instrumental piece heavily influenced by Maurice Ravel's Boléro, recorded in May 1966 by Jeff Beck with Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Keith Moon on drums...

", in a session that also included bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones. The track was released on Beck's 1968 album Truth.

The Yardbirds played their final gig
Gig (musical performance)
Gig is slang for a musical engagement in which musicians are hired. Originally coined in the 1920s by jazz musicians, the term, short for the word "engagement", now refers to any aspect of performing such as assisting with performance and attending musical performance...

 in July 1968 at Luton College of Technology in Bedfordshire, England. They were still committed to performing several concerts in Scandinavia, so drummer Jim McCarty
Jim McCarty
Jim McCarty is an English musician, best known as the drummer for The Yardbirds and Renaissance.-Early life:...

 and vocalist Keith Relf
Keith Relf
Keith William Relf , was a musician best known as the lead singer and harmonica player of The Yardbirds. After the Yardbirds broke up Relf formed the acoustic duo Together, with fellow Yardbird Jim McCarty, followed by Renaissance, which also featured his sister, singer Jane Relf, then hard rock...

 authorised Page and bassist Chris Dreja
Chris Dreja
Chris Dreja was the rhythm guitarist, and later bassist, in the 1960s British band, The Yardbirds.-Early life:...

 to use "The Yardbirds" name to fulfil the band's obligations. Page and Dreja began putting a new line-up together. Page's first choice for the lead singer was Terry Reid
Terry Reid
Terry Reid is an English rock vocalist and guitarist. He has performed with high profile musicians, as a supporting act, a session musician, and sideman.- History :...

, but Reid declined the offer and suggested Robert Plant, a Stourbridge
Stourbridge
Stourbridge is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands of England. Historically part of Worcestershire, Stourbridge was a centre of glass making, and today includes the suburbs of Amblecote, Lye, Norton, Oldswinford, Pedmore, Wollaston, Wollescote and Wordsley The...

 singer for The Band of Joy and Hobbstweedle. Plant eventually accepted the position, recommending former Band of Joy drummer John Bonham. When Dreja dropped out of the project to become a photographer (he would later take the photograph that appeared on the back of Led Zeppelin's debut album), John Paul Jones, at the suggestion of his wife, contacted Page about the vacant position. Having known Jones from his session days, Page agreed to let him join as the final member.


The four played together for the first time in a room below a record store on Gerrard Street in London. Page suggested that they attempt "Train Kept A-Rollin'
Train Kept A-Rollin'
"Train Kept A-Rollin" is a song written by Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, and Lois Mann. Bradshaw first recorded the song as a jump blues in 1951—his best known recording. After a rock and roll version of the song was recorded and released by Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio in 1956, numerous...

", originally a jump blues
Jump blues
Jump blues is an up-tempo blues usually played by small groups and featuring horns. It was very popular in the 1940s, and the movement was a precursor to the arrival of rhythm and blues and rock and roll...

 song popularised in a rockabilly
Rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

 version by Johnny Burnette
Johnny Burnette
John Joseph "Johnny" Burnette was an American rockabilly musician. Along with his older brother Dorsey Burnette, and also a friend named Paul Burlison, Burnette was a founding member of The Rock and Roll Trio. He was the father of 1980s rockabilly singer Rocky Burnette.-Early life:Johnny Burnette...

, which had been covered by The Yardbirds. "As soon as I heard John Bonham play", recalled Jones, "I knew this was going to be great... We locked together as a team immediately". Before leaving for Scandinavia the group took part in a recording session for the P.J. Proby album, Three Week Hero
Three Week Hero
Three Week Hero is an album released by rock singer P.J. Proby on April 8, 1969 by Liberty Records. The album contains a mixture of dramatic pop, blues, rock, and country style songs. While it did not succeed commercially, it is best remembered today as the first time all four members of Led...

. The album's track "Jim's Blues", with Plant on harmonica, was the first studio track to feature all four members of the future Led Zeppelin.

The band completed the Scandinavian tour
Led Zeppelin Scandinavian Tour 1968
Led Zeppelin's 1968 tour of Scandinavia was a concert tour of Denmark and Sweden by the English rock band. The tour commenced on September 7 and concluded on September 17, 1968. It was Led Zeppelin's first concert tour...

 as The New Yardbirds, playing together for the first time in front of a live audience at Gladsaxe Teen Clubs in Gladsaxe, Denmark, on 7 September 1968. Later that month, the group began recording their first album, which was based upon their live set. The album was recorded and mixed in nine days, and Page himself covered the costs. After the album's completion, the band were forced to change their name after Chris Dreja issued a cease and desist
Cease and desist
A cease and desist is an order or request to halt an activity and not to take it up again later or else face legal action. The recipient of the cease-and-desist may be an individual or an organization....

 letter, stating that Page was only allowed to use the New Yardbirds name for the Scandinavian dates. One account of how the new band's name was chosen held that Keith Moon
Keith Moon
Keith John Moon was an English musician, best known for being the drummer of the English rock group The Who. He gained acclaim for his exuberant and innovative drumming style, and notoriety for his eccentric and often self-destructive behaviour, earning him the nickname "Moon the Loon". Moon...

 and John Entwistle
John Entwistle
John Alec Entwistle was an English bass guitarist, songwriter, singer, horn player, and film and record producer who was best known as the bass player for the rock band The Who. His aggressive lead sound influenced many rock bass players...

 suggested that a supergroup containing themselves, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck would go down like a "lead balloon", a British idiom
Idiom
Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...

 for disastrous results. The group dropped the 'a' in lead at the suggestion of their manager, Peter Grant, so that those unfamiliar with the phrase would not pronounce it "leed". The word "balloon" was transformed into "zeppelin
Zeppelin
A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States on 14 March 1899...

", perhaps an exaggeration of the humour, and to Page the name conjured the perfect combination of heavy and light, combustibility and grace.

Grant secured for the new band an advance deal of $200,000 from Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and jazz...

 in November 1968, which was then one of biggest deals of its kind for a new band. Atlantic were a label with a catalogue of mainly blues, soul and jazz artists, but in the late 1960s it began to take an interest in progressive British rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 acts. It signed Led Zeppelin without having ever seen them, largely on the recommendation of singer Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'BrienSources use both Isabel and Isobel as the spelling of her second name. OBE , known professionally as Dusty Springfield and dubbed The White Queen of Soul, was a British pop singer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s...

. Under the terms of their contract, the band had autonomy in deciding when they would release albums and tour and had final say over the contents and design of each album. They also would decide how to promote each release and which tracks to release as singles. They formed their own company, Superhype, to handle all publishing rights.

Early years (1968–70)



On 14 October 1968, the band announced the new name and played their first show at the University of Surrey
University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is a university located within the county town of Guildford, Surrey in the South East of England. It received its charter on 9 September 1966, and was previously situated near Battersea Park in south-west London. The institution was known as Battersea College of Technology...

 in Guildford
Guildford
Guildford is the county town of Surrey. England, as well as the seat for the borough of Guildford and the administrative headquarters of the South East England region...

 on 25 October; this was followed by a short British tour. Richard Cole
Richard Cole
Richard Cole was heavily involved in the rock music business from the mid-1960s to 2003, and is most famous for being the tour manager of English rock band Led Zeppelin from 1968 to 1980.-Early career:...

 organised their first North American tour at the end of the year, and would become a major figure in the touring life of the group. The first show was in Denver on 26 December 1968, followed by other East Coast dates before they moved to California to play Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 and San Francisco. The eponymous debut, Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin (album)
Led Zeppelin is the debut album of the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London and released on Atlantic Records on 12 January 1969 in the United States and 31 March 1969 in the United Kingdom. The album featured integral contributions from each...

, was released in the US during the tour on 12 January 1969. The UK release date was 31 March 1969. According to Steve Erlewine, its memorable guitar riffs, lumbering rhythms, psychedelic blues, groovy, bluesy shuffles and hints of English folk, made it "a significant turning point in the evolution of hard rock and heavy metal". Plant received no credit for his songwriting contributions, said to be because of his being under contract to CBS Records
CBS Records
CBS Records is a record label founded by CBS Corporation in 2006 to take advantage of music from its entertainment properties owned by CBS Television Studios. The initial label roster consisted of only three artists; rock band Señor Happy and singer/songwriters Will Dailey and P.J...

. The album eventually peaked at number 10 on the Billboard chart and number 6 in the UK.

In their first year, Led Zeppelin completed four US and four UK concert tours, and also released their second album, entitled Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin II
The finished tracks reflect the raw, evolving sound of the band and their ability as live performers. The album has been noted for featuring a further development of the lyrical themes established by Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin's debut album, creating a work which would become more widely...

. Recorded almost entirely on the road at various North American studios, it was an even greater commercial success than their first album and reached the number one chart position in the US and the UK. The album further developed ideas established on their debut album, creating a work with a direct sound that was "heavy and hard, brutal and direct" and which would be highly influential and frequently imitated. It has been suggested that Led Zeppelin II was "the musical starting point for heavy metal".
The band saw their albums as indivisible, whole listening experiences, and Grant maintained an aggressive pro-album stance. Without the band's consent or under their protest, however, some songs were released as singles
Single (music)
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...

, particularly in the US. In 1969 an edited version of "Whole Lotta Love
Whole Lotta Love
"Whole Lotta Love" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It is featured as the opening track on the band's second album, Led Zeppelin II, and was released in the United States and Japan as a single. The US release became their first hit single, it was certified Gold on 13 April 1970, when it...

" from their second album was released as a single in the US. It reached number four in the Billboard chart in January 1970, selling over one million copies and helping to cement the band's popularity. The group also increasingly shunned television appearances, enforcing their preference that their fans hear and see them in live concerts.

Following the second album's release, Led Zeppelin completed several more US tours. They played initially in clubs and ballroom
Ballroom
A ballroom is a large room inside a building, the designated purpose of which is holding formal dances called balls. Traditionally, most balls were held in private residences; many mansions contain one or more ballrooms...

s, then in larger auditorium
Auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

s as their popularity grew. Some early Led Zeppelin concerts
Led Zeppelin concerts
From September 1968 through the summer of 1980, English rock group Led Zeppelin were one of the world's most popular live music attractions, performing hundreds of sold-out concerts around the world.-History:...

 lasted more than four hours, with expanded and improvised live versions of their song repertoire. Many of these shows have been preserved as Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings
Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings
The Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings are a collection of audio and video recordings of musical performances by English rock band Led Zeppelin which were never officially released by the band, or under other legal authority. The recordings consist of both live concert performances and outtakes from...

. It was during this period of intensive concert touring that the band developed a reputation for off-stage excess. One alleged example of such extravagance was the shark episode
Shark episode
The Shark episode or Mudshark incident was an alleged event which took place at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle, Washington, on 28 July 1969, involving Richard Cole, a road manager for the English rock band Led Zeppelin, and members of the American psychedelic rock band Vanilla Fudge...

, or red snapper incident, which is said to have taken place at the Edgewater Inn
The Edgewater
The Edgewater is a four-story, 223-room hotel in Seattle, Washington. It is located on the Central Waterfront on a pier over Elliott Bay and is the only over-water, and water-front hotel in the Seattle area...

 in Seattle, Washington, on 28 July 1969.

For the third album, Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin III is the third studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded between January and July 1970 and released on 5 October 1970 by Atlantic Records. Composed largely at a remote cottage in Wales known as Bron-Yr-Aur, this work represented a maturing of the band's...

, Page and Plant retired to Bron-Yr-Aur
Bron-Yr-Aur
Bron-Yr-Aur , sometimes misspelled as Bron-Y-Aur, is an 18th century cottage in South Snowdonia, Wales, best known for its association with the English rock band Led Zeppelin....

, a remote cottage in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, in 1970. The result was a more acoustic sound that was strongly influenced by folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 and Celtic music
Celtic music
Celtic music is a term utilised by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic people of Western Europe...

, and showcased the band's versatility. The album's rich acoustic sound initially received mixed reactions, with many critics and fans surprised at the turn from the primarily electric arrangement
Arrangement
The American Federation of Musicians defines arranging as "the art of preparing and adapting an already written composition for presentation in other than its original form. An arrangement may include reharmonization, paraphrasing, and/or development of a composition, so that it fully represents...

s of the first two albums, fuelling further hostility to the musical press. It reached number one in the UK and US charts, but its stay would be the shortest of their first five albums. The album's opening track, "Immigrant Song
Immigrant Song
"Immigrant Song" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released as a single from their third album, Led Zeppelin III, in 1970.-Overview:...

", was released in November 1970 as a single against the band's wishes, reaching the top twenty on the Billboard chart.

"The Biggest Band in the World" (1971–75)



In the 1970s Led Zeppelin reached new heights of commercial and critical success that made them one of the most influential groups of the era, dwarfing their earlier achievements. The band's image also changed as members began to wear elaborate, flamboyant clothing. Led Zeppelin began travelling in a private jet airliner (nicknamed The Starship
The Starship
The Starship was a former United Airlines Boeing 720 passenger jet, bought by Bobby Sherman and his manager, Ward Sylvester, and leased to touring musical artists in the mid-1970s.-History:...

), rented out entire sections of hotels (including the Continental Hyatt House in Los Angeles, known colloquially as the "Riot House"), and became the subject of many of rock's most repeated stories of debauchery. One involved John Bonham riding a motorcycle through a rented floor of the Riot House, while another involved the destruction of a room in the Tokyo Hilton
Hilton Hotels
Hilton Hotels & Resorts is an international chain of full-service hotels and resorts founded by Conrad Hilton and now owned by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton hotels are either owned by, managed by, or franchised to independent operators by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton Hotels became the first coast-to-coast...

, leading to the band being banned from that establishment for life. Although Led Zeppelin developed a reputation for trashing their hotel suites and throwing television sets out of the windows, some suggest that these tales have been exaggerated. Music journalist Chris Welch
Chris Welch
Chris Welch is a music journalist, reviewer and critic with Melody Maker, famous during the 1960s and 1970s for reporting on the rise of such bands as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Traffic, If, Cream and Jeff Beck. During that time he also reported on the UK jazz scene.- Career...

 argues that "[Led Zeppelin's] travels spawned many stories, but it was a myth that [they] were constantly engaged in acts of wanton destruction and lewd behaviour".

Led Zeppelin's fourth album
Led Zeppelin IV
The fourth album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin was released on 8 November 1971. No title is printed on the album, so it is generally referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, following the naming standard used by the band's first three studio albums...

 was released on 8 November 1971. There was no title or conventional band name on the original cover, as the group wished to be anonymous and to avoid easy pigeonholing by the press. The album remained officially untitled and is most commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, though it is variously referred to as Untitled, IV, or after the four symbols appearing on the record label, as Four Symbols, Zoso or Runes. Led Zeppelin IV is one of the best-selling albums in history and its massive popularity cemented Led Zeppelin's status as superstars in the 1970s. By 2006 it had sold 23 million copies in the United States alone. The track "Stairway to Heaven
Stairway to Heaven
"Stairway to Heaven" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band's untitled fourth studio album . The song, running eight minutes and two seconds, is composed of several sections, which...

", although never released as a single, is sometimes quoted as being the most requested, and the most played album-oriented rock
Album-oriented rock
Album-oriented rock is an American FM radio format focusing on album tracks by rock artists.-Music played:Most radio formats are based on a select, tight rotation of hit singles...

 FM radio
FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

 song.
Led Zeppelin's next album, Houses of the Holy
Houses of the Holy
Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on 28 March 1973. The album title is a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "Houses of the Holy". It was the second Led Zeppelin album to not...

, was released in 1973. It featured further experimentation, with expanded use of synthesizers and mellotron
Mellotron
The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s. It superseded the Chamberlin Music Master, which was the world's first sample-playback keyboard intended for music...

 orchestration. The song "Houses of the Holy
Houses of the Holy (song)
"Houses of the Holy" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1975 album, Physical Graffiti. The track is a mid-tempo rock song, heavy on bass and featuring a distinctive Jimmy Page guitar riff. In order to create the layered guitar introduction and fade-out, Page used a Delta T...

" does not appear on its namesake album, even though it was recorded at the same time; it was eventually released on the 1975 album Physical Graffiti
Physical Graffiti
Physical Graffiti is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released on 24 February 1975 as a double album. Recording sessions for the album were initially disrupted when bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones considered leaving the band...

. The predominately orange album cover of Houses of the Holy depicts images of nude children climbing the Giant's Causeway
Giant's Causeway
The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles northeast of the town of Bushmills...

 in Northern Ireland. Although the children are not shown from the front, the cover was controversial at the time of the album's release.

The album topped the charts, and Led Zeppelin's subsequent concert tour of North America in 1973
Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1973
Led Zeppelin's 1973 North American Tour was the ninth concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour was divided into two legs, with performances commencing on May 4 and concluding on July 29, 1973...

 broke records for attendance, as they consistently filled large auditoriums and stadiums. At Tampa Stadium, Florida, they played to 56,800 fans (breaking the record set by The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965), and grossed $309,000. Three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

 in New York were filmed for a motion picture, but the theatrical release of this project (The Song Remains the Same
The Song Remains the Same (film)
The Song Remains the Same is a concert film by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The recording of the film took place during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City, during the band's 1973 concert tour of the United States. The film premiered on 20 October 1976, at...

) was delayed until 1976. Before the final night's performance, $180,000 of the band's money from gate receipts was stolen from a safe deposit box at the Drake Hotel.

In 1974, Led Zeppelin took a break from touring and launched their own record label, Swan Song
Swan Song Records
Swan Song Records was a record label launched by the English rock band Led Zeppelin on 10 May 1974. It was overseen by Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant and was a vehicle for the band to promote its own products as well as sign artists who found it difficult to win contracts with other major labels...

, named after an unreleased song. The record label's logo, based on a drawing called Evening: Fall of Day (1869) by William Rimmer
William Rimmer
William Rimmer was an American artist born in Liverpool, England. He was the son of a French refugee, who emigrated to Nova Scotia, where he was joined by his wife and child in 1818, and who in 1826 moved to Boston, where he earned a living as a shoemaker...

, features a picture of Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

. The logo can be found on many Led Zeppelin memorabilia, especially t-shirts. In addition to using Swan Song as a vehicle to promote their own albums, the band expanded the label's roster, signing artists such as Bad Company
Bad Company
Bad Company were an English rock supergroup founded in 1973, consisting of two former Free band members — singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke — as well as Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell. Peter Grant, who, in years prior, was a key component of...

, The Pretty Things
The Pretty Things
The Pretty Things are an English rock and roll band from London, who originally formed in 1963. They took their name from Bo Diddley's 1955 song "Pretty Thing" and, in their early days, were dubbed by the British press the "uglier cousins of the Rolling Stones". Their most commercially successful...

 and Maggie Bell
Maggie Bell
Maggie Bell is a Scottish rock and blues-rock singer, regarded by some as Britain's answer to Janis Joplin.-Career:...

. The label was successful while Led Zeppelin existed, but folded less than three years after they disbanded.
In 1975, Led Zeppelin's double album Physical Graffiti, was their first release on the Swan Song label. It consisted of fifteen songs, of which eight had been recorded at Headley Grange
Headley Grange
Headley Grange is a former poorhouse in Headley, East Hampshire, England, UK. It is best known as a recording and rehearsal venue in the 1960s and 1970s for bands such as Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Peter Frampton, the Pretty Things, Ian Dury and Clover.-Early history:Built...

 in 1974 and seven had been recorded earlier. A review in Rolling Stone magazine referred to Physical Graffiti as Led Zeppelin's "bid for artistic respectability", adding that the only bands Led Zeppelin had to compete with for the title "The World's Best Rock Band" were The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

 and The Who. The album was a massive fiscal and critical success. Shortly after the release of Physical Graffiti, all previous Led Zeppelin albums simultaneously re-entered the top-200 album chart, and the band embarked on another North American tour
Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1975
Led Zeppelin's 1975 North American Tour was the tenth concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour was divided into two legs, with performances commencing on January 18 and concluding on March 27, 1975...

., now employing sophisticated sound and lighting systems. In May 1975, Led Zeppelin played five sold-out nights at the Earls Court Arena
Earls Court Exhibition Centre
The Earls Court Exhibition Centre is an exhibition centre, conference and event venue located in west London, United Kingdom in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea . It is the largest exhibition venue in central London. It is served by two underground stations, Earl's Court and West...

 in London, at the time the largest arena in Britain.

Hiatus from touring and return (1975–77)


Following their triumphant Earls Court appearances
Earls Court 1975
Earls Court 1975 were five concerts performed by the English rock band Led Zeppelin at Earls Court Arena in London in May 1975.-Overview:The concerts were initially booked for three nights on May 23, 24 and 25, but due to unprecedented public demand , two further dates were added for May 17 and 18,...

, Led Zeppelin took a holiday and planned an autumn tour in America, scheduled to open with two outdoor dates in San Francisco. In August 1975, however, Robert Plant and his wife, Maureen, were involved in a serious car crash while on holiday in Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

, Greece. Plant suffered a broken ankle and Maureen was badly injured; a blood transfusion
Blood transfusion
Blood transfusion is the process of receiving blood products into one's circulation intravenously. Transfusions are used in a variety of medical conditions to replace lost components of the blood...

 saved her life. Unable to tour, he headed to the Channel Island
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

 of Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

 to spend August and September recuperating, with Bonham and Page in tow. The band then reconvened in Malibu, California. During this forced hiatus much of the material for their next album, Presence, was written.

By this time, Led Zeppelin were the world's number one rock attraction, having outsold most bands of the time, including The Rolling Stones. Presence, released in March 1976, marked a change in the Led Zeppelin sound towards more straightforward, guitar-based jams
Jam session
Jam sessions are often used by musicians to develop new material, find suitable arrangements, or simply as a social gathering and communal practice session. Jam sessions may be based upon existing songs or forms, may be loosely based on an agreed chord progression or chart suggested by one...

, departing from the acoustic ballads and intricate arrangements featured on their previous albums. Though it was a platinum
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 seller, reception of Presence was mixed among critics and fans, with some critics suggesting that the band's excesses may have caught up with them. Page had begun using heroin during the recording of Presence, which may have affected later live shows and studio recordings of the band, although this has been denied by Page.


Because of Plant's injuries Led Zeppelin did not tour in 1976. Instead, the band completed the concert film The Song Remains the Same
The Song Remains the Same (film)
The Song Remains the Same is a concert film by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The recording of the film took place during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City, during the band's 1973 concert tour of the United States. The film premiered on 20 October 1976, at...

, and the accompanying soundtrack album
The Song Remains the Same (album)
Upon its initial release in 1976, the album received some poor reviews, with some critics considering it to be over-produced and lumbering. Indeed, the band's members themselves have since expressed a lack of fondness for the recording...

. The recording had taken place during three concert nights at Madison Square Garden in July 1973, during the band's concert tour of North America
Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1973
Led Zeppelin's 1973 North American Tour was the ninth concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour was divided into two legs, with performances commencing on May 4 and concluding on July 29, 1973...

. The film premiered in New York on 20 October 1976, but was given a lukewarm reception by critics and fans. The film was particularly unsuccessful in the UK, where, unwilling to tour since 1975 because of tax exile
Tax exile
A tax exile is one who chooses to leave a country with a high tax burden and instead to reside in a foreign nation or jurisdiction which takes a lower portion of earnings. Going into tax exile is a means of tax mitigation or avoidance.-Legal status:...

, Led Zeppelin faced an uphill battle to recapture the public's affection.

In 1977, Led Zeppelin embarked on another major concert tour of North America
Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1977
Led Zeppelin's 1977 North American Tour was the eleventh and final concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour was divided into three legs, with performances commencing on 1 April and concluding on 24 July 1977...

. The band set another attendance record, with an audience of 76,229 at their Pontiac Silverdome
Silverdome
The Silverdome is an indoor sporting and entertainment venue located in Launceston, Tasmania built in 1984. The Silverdome was built at an estimated cost of A$4 million, as the Tasmanian Government "proposed a world class facility" to replace the run down velodrome in the Launceston suburb of St...

 concert on 30 April. It was, according to the Guinness Book of Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

, the largest attendance to date for a single act show. Although the tour was financially profitable it was beset by off-stage problems. On 19 April, over 70 people were arrested as about 1,000 fans tried to gatecrash Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum for two sold-out concerts, while others tried to gain entry by throwing rocks and bottles through glass doors. On 3 June, a concert at Tampa Stadium was cut short because of a severe thunderstorm
Thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

, despite tickets indicating "Rain or Shine". A riot broke out, resulting in arrests and injuries.

After the 23 July show at the Days on the Green
Days on the Green
Day On The Green was the name of a concert series in Oakland, California, presented by promoter Bill Graham and his company Bill Graham Presents. Held at the Oakland Coliseum Stadium, these events began in 1973 and continued into the early 1990s. The last Day On The Green overseen by Graham took...

 festival at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

, John Bonham and members of the band's support staff were arrested after a member of promoter Bill Graham
Bill Graham (promoter)
Bill Graham was an American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death.-Early life:...

's staff had been badly beaten during the band's performance. The following day's second Oakland concert was the band's final live appearance in the United States. Two days later, as the band checked in at a French Quarter
French Quarter
The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. When New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carré as it was known then...

 hotel for their 30 July performance at the Louisiana Superdome
Louisiana Superdome
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, previously known as the Louisiana Superdome and colloquially known as the Superdome, is a sports and exhibition arena located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA...

, Plant received news that his five-year-old son, Karac, had died from a stomach virus. The rest of the tour was immediately cancelled, prompting widespread speculation about the band's future.

Bonham's death and break-up (1978–80)



In November 1978 the group recorded at Polar Studios
Polar Studios
Polar Studios is one of the most famous recording studios in Scandinavia. Originally located in a former movie theater from 1934 at Sankt Eriksgatan 58-60 on Kungsholmen in Stockholm, Sweden, Polar Studios was founded by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA in 1977 and had its grand opening on...

 in Stockholm, Sweden. The resulting album, In Through the Out Door
In Through the Out Door
In Through the Out Door is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded over a three week period in November and December 1978 at ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, and released by Swan Song Records on 15 August 1979...

, exhibited sonic experimentation that again drew mixed reactions from critics. Nevertheless, the album easily reached number one in the UK and the US in just its second week on the Billboard album chart. With this album's release, Led Zeppelin's entire catalogue returned to the Billboard Top 200 in the weeks of 27 October and 3 November 1979.

In August 1979, after two warm-up shows in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Led Zeppelin headlined two concerts
Knebworth Festival 1979
The Knebworth Festival 1979 consisted of two concerts performed by the English rock band Led Zeppelin and other artists at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, England, in August 1979.-History:...

 at the Knebworth Music Festival
Concerts at Knebworth House
The grounds of Knebworth House near the village of Knebworth in Hertfordshire, England has become a major venue for open air rock and pop concerts since 1974 when The Allman Brothers Band attracted 60,000 at the first large concert held at the venue....

, playing to crowds of nearly 120,000. Plant was not eager to tour full-time again, and even considered leaving Led Zeppelin. Grant persuaded him to stay. A brief, low-key European tour
Tour Over Europe 1980
Tour Over Europe 1980 was the last concert tour by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The tour commenced on June 17 and concluded on July 7, 1980...

 was undertaken in June and July 1980, featuring a stripped-down set without the usual lengthy jams and solos. On 27 June, at a show in Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

, Germany, the concert came to an abrupt halt in the middle of the third song when Bonham collapsed on stage and was rushed to hospital. Speculation in the press suggested that his collapse had been the result of excessive alcohol and drug use, but the band claimed that he had simply overeaten.

A North American tour, the band's first since 1977, was scheduled to commence on 17 October. On 24 September 1980, Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals at Bray Studios
Bray Studios (UK)
Bray Studios is a film and television facility at Bray, near Windsor, Berkshire, England. The films Alien and The Rocky Horror Picture Show were shot there...

. During the journey Bonham asked to stop for breakfast, where he downed four quadruple vodkas (450 ml/15 oz.), with a ham roll. After taking a bite of the ham roll he said to his assistant, "breakfast". He continued to drink heavily when he arrived at the studio. The rehearsals were halted late that evening and the band retired to Page's house—The Old Mill House in Clewer
Clewer
Clewer is an ecclesiastical parish and region of Windsor making up three wards of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in the English county of Berkshire.-History:...

, Windsor
Windsor, Berkshire
Windsor is an affluent suburban town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family....

. After midnight, Bonham, who had fallen asleep, was taken to bed and placed on his side. At 1:45 pm the next day Benji LeFevre (Led Zeppelin's new tour manager) and John Paul Jones found Bonham dead. The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit, and a verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest
Inquest
Inquests in England and Wales are held into sudden and unexplained deaths and also into the circumstances of discovery of a certain class of valuable artefacts known as "treasure trove"...

 held on 27 October. An autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 found no other drugs in Bonham's body. Bonham was cremated on 10 October 1980, and his ashes buried at Rushock parish church in Droitwich
Droitwich Spa
Droitwich Spa is a town in northern Worcestershire, England, on the River Salwarpe.The town is situated on massive deposits of salt, and salt has been extracted there since ancient times. The natural Droitwich brine contains 2½ lbs...

, Worcestershire.

The planned North American tour was cancelled, and despite rumours that Cozy Powell
Cozy Powell
Colin Flooks , better known as Cozy Powell, was an English rock drummer who made his name with many major rock bands.-Early history:...

, Carmine Appice
Carmine Appice
Carmine Appice is an American rock drummer of Italian background and is the older brother of drummer Vinny Appice by 12 years. He received a classical music training and was influenced by the jazz drumming of Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa early on...

, Barriemore Barlow
Barriemore Barlow
Barrie "Barriemore" Barlow is an English musician, best known as the drummer and percussionist for the rock band Jethro Tull, from May 1971 to June 1980....

, Simon Kirke
Simon Kirke
Simon Kirke is an English rock drummer best known as a member of Free and Bad Company.-Biography:...

 or Bev Bevan
Bev Bevan
Bev Bevan is an English rock musician, who was the drummer and one of the original members of The Move and Electric Light Orchestra...

 would join the group as his replacement, the remaining members decided to disband. A 4 December 1980 press statement stated that, "We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were", and was simply signed "Led Zeppelin".

1980s



The first significant post-Led Zeppelin project was The Honeydrippers
The Honeydrippers
The Honeydrippers was a rock band of the 1980s. Former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant formed the group in 1981 to satisfy his long-time goal in having a rock band with a heavy R&B basis. Formed originally in Worcestershire, the band went on to record an EP in the US...

, a band formed in 1981 by Robert Plant and featuring Jimmy Page on lead guitar, along with an array of studio musicians and friends of Plant and Page, including Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds...

, Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer
Paul Allen Wood Shaffer, CM is a Canadian musician, actor, voice actor, author, comedian, and composer who has been David Letterman's sidekick since 1982.-Early years:...

, and Nile Rodgers
Nile Rodgers
Nile Gregory Rodgers is an American musician, producer, composer, arranger, and guitarist.-Biography:...

. Plant intentionally chose to focus the band in a very different direction from Led Zeppelin, playing standards
Standard (music)
In music, a standard is a tune or song of established popularity.-See also:* Blues standard* Jazz standard* Pop standard* Great American Songbook-Further reading:* Greatest Rock Standards, published by Hal Leonard ISBN 0793588391...

 and in a more R&B style, highlighted by their cover of "Sea of Love
Sea of Love (song)
"Sea of Love" is a song written by John Phillip Baptiste and George Khoury. Phillips' 1959 recording of the song peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, Marty Wilde covered the song, and Phillips' version failed to chart there...

", which peaked at number three on the Billboard charts
Billboard charts
The Billboard charts tabulate the relative weekly popularity of songs or albums in the United States. The results are published in Billboard magazine...

 in early 1985.

In 1982, the surviving members of the group released a collection of out-takes from various sessions during Led Zeppelin's career, entitled Coda
Coda (album)
-Sales chart performance:AlbumSinglesNo commercial or promotional singles were issued, although three tracks received independent radio airplay...

. It included two tracks taken from the band's performance at the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 in 1970, one each from the Led Zeppelin III and Houses of the Holy sessions, and three from the In Through the Out Door sessions. It also featured a 1976 John Bonham drum instrumental with electronic effects added by Jimmy Page, called "Bonzo's Montreux
Bonzo's Montreux
"Bonzo's Montreux" is a song by English rock group Led Zeppelin. The song is a solo by drummer John Bonham, recorded in September 1976 at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland...

".

On 13 July 1985, Page, Plant and Jones reunited for the Live Aid
Live Aid
Live Aid was a dual-venue concert that was held on 13 July 1985. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom ...

 concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia
John F. Kennedy Stadium
John F. Kennedy Stadium was an open-air stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that stood from 1925 to 1992. The South Philadelphia stadium was situated on the east side of the far southern end of Broad Street at a location that is now part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex...

, playing a short set featuring drummers Tony Thompson
Tony Thompson
Anthony T. "Tony" Thompson was a session drummer best known as a member of Chic. He was raised in the middle-class community of Springfield Gardens, in Queens, NY.-Chic:...

 and Phil Collins
Phil Collins
Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins, LVO is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for British progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist....

 and bassist Paul Martinez
Paul Martinez
Paul Martinez is a session bassist and songwriter, best known for his work for Robert Plant, Jackie Edwards, Dave Edmunds, George Harrison, Maggie Bell, Peter Gabriel, among others...

. Collins had contributed to Plant's first two solo albums while Martinez was a member of Plant's group Band of Joy. The performance was marred by the lack of rehearsal with the two drummers, Page's struggles with an out-of-tune guitar, poorly functioning monitors, and by Plant's hoarse voice. Page himself has described the performance as "pretty shambolic", while Plant was even harsher, characterising it as an "atrocity".

The three members reunited again on 14 May 1988, for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary
Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary
On 14 May 1988 the Atlantic Records label held its 40th Anniversary Celebration by staging a non-stop concert lasting almost 13 hours at Madison Square Garden, New York. The event was dubbed "It's Only Rock And Roll"....

 concert, with Bonham's son, Jason Bonham
Jason Bonham
Jason John Bonham is an English drummer. Jason's parents are Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and his wife Pat Phillips. After his father's death in 1980, he has played with Led Zeppelin on different occasions, including the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena in London in...

, on drums. The reunion was again compromised by a disjointed performance, particularly by Plant and Page (the two having argued immediately prior to coming on stage about whether to play "Stairway to Heaven"), and by the complete loss of Jones' keyboards on the live television feed. Page later described the performance as "one big disappointment", and Plant said unambiguously that "the gig was foul".

1990s



The first Led Zeppelin box set, featuring tracks remastered under Page's supervision, was released in 1990 and bolstered the band's reputation, leading to abortive discussions among members about a reunion. This set included four previously unreleased tracks, including a version of Robert Johnson's "Travelling Riverside Blues". The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. 1992 saw the release of the "Immigrant Song
Immigrant Song
"Immigrant Song" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released as a single from their third album, Led Zeppelin III, in 1970.-Overview:...

"/"Hey Hey What Can I Do
Hey Hey What Can I Do
"Hey Hey What Can I Do" is a song by the English rock group Led Zeppelin released in 1970 as the B-side of "Immigrant Song" outside the United Kingdom. It is Led Zeppelin's only non-album track released during the band's existence. It did however appear on the Atlantic Records UK various artists...

" (the original B-side
A-side and B-side
A-side and B-side originally referred to the two sides of gramophone records on which singles were released beginning in the 1950s. The terms have come to refer to the types of song conventionally placed on each side of the record, with the A-side being the featured song , while the B-side, or...

) as a CD single in the US. Led Zeppelin Boxed Set 2 was released in 1993; the two box sets together containing all known studio recordings, as well as some rare live tracks.

In 1994, Page and Plant
Page and Plant
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both formerly of English hard rock band Led Zeppelin, recorded and toured in the mid-1990s under the title Page and Plant. The pair re-united in 1994 and, after recording a highly successful first album, they embarked on a world tour. They then recorded a second album,...

 reunited for a 90 minute "UnLedded" MTV
MTV
MTV, formerly an initialism of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs....

 project. They later released an album called No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded
No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded
No Quarter is a live album by Page and Plant, both formerly of English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released by Atlantic Records on 14 October 1994. The long awaited reunion between Page and Plant occurred on a 90 minute "UnLedded" MTV project, recorded in Morocco, Wales, and London, which rated...

, which featured some reworked Led Zeppelin songs, and embarked on a world tour the following year. This is said to be the beginning of the inner rift between the band members, as Jones was not even told of the reunion. When asked where Jones was, Plant had replied that he was out "parking the car".

In 1995, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the United States Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

 by Aerosmith
Aerosmith
Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many...

's vocalist, Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the frontman and lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano and percussion. He is known as the "Demon of Screamin'", due to his high screams...

 and guitarist Joe Perry
Joe Perry (musician)
Anthony Joseph "Joe" Perry is the lead guitarist, backing and occasional lead vocalist, and contributing songwriter for the rock band Aerosmith. He is influenced by many rock artists especially The Rolling Stones and The Beatles...

. Jason and Zoe Bonham also attended, representing their late father. At the induction ceremony, the band's inner rift became apparent when Jones joked upon accepting his award, "Thank you, my friends, for finally remembering my phone number", causing consternation and awkward looks from Page and Plant. Afterwards, they played one brief set with Tyler and Perry, with Jason Bonham on drums, and then a second with Neil Young
Neil Young
Neil Percival Young, OC, OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter who is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation...

 with Michael Lee
Michael Lee (musician)
Michael Lee was an English drummer who toured and recorded with former Led Zeppelin musicians Robert Plant and Jimmy Page....

 on drums.

In 1997, Atlantic released a single edit of "Whole Lotta Love" in the US and the UK, making it the only Led Zeppelin UK CD single. Additional tracks on this CD-single included "Baby Come On Home
Baby Come On Home
"Baby Come On Home" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded during sessions for the band's debut album but remained unreleased until 1993, when it was included on the compilation Boxed Set 2....

" and "Travelling Riverside Blues". It peaked at number 21. November 1997 saw the release of Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions
BBC Sessions (Led Zeppelin album)
BBC Sessions is a compilation album featuring studio sessions and a live concert recorded by English rock group Led Zeppelin for the BBC. It was released on 11 November 1997, by Atlantic Records. This was the first release of new Led Zeppelin material in 15 years. Disc 1 consists of material from...

. The two-disc set largely consisted of sessions from 1969 and 1971 for the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

. Page and Plant released another album called Walking into Clarksdale
Walking into Clarksdale
Walking into Clarksdale is a studio album by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both formerly of English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released by Atlantic Records on 21 April 1998. The follow-up album to No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, Walking into Clarksdale took 35 days to record....

in 1998, featuring all new material, but it was not as successful as No Quarter
No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded
No Quarter is a live album by Page and Plant, both formerly of English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released by Atlantic Records on 14 October 1994. The long awaited reunion between Page and Plant occurred on a 90 minute "UnLedded" MTV project, recorded in Morocco, Wales, and London, which rated...

and the band dissolved before a planned Australian tour.

2000s


2003 saw the release of the double live album How the West Was Won, and Led Zeppelin DVD
Led Zeppelin (DVD)
Led Zeppelin is a double DVD set by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in the United Kingdom on May 26, 2003 and the United States on May 27, 2003. It contains live concert footage of the band spanning the years 1969 to 1979...

, a six-hour chronological set of live footage that became the best-selling music DVD in history. That same year the band received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded by the Recording Academy to "performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording."...

. In November 2005 it was announced that Led Zeppelin, and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev
Valery Gergiev
Valery Abisalovich Gergiev is a Russian conductor and opera company director. He is general director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and artistic director of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg.- Early life :Gergiev,...

, were the winners of the 2006 Polar Music Prize
Polar Music Prize
The Polar Music Prize is a Swedish international music award founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, possibly best known to be the manager of the Swedish pop group ABBA, with a donation to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music....

. The King of Sweden
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Carl XVI Gustaf is the reigning King of Sweden since 15 September 1973, succeeding his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf because his father had predeceased him...

 presented the prize to Plant, Page, and Jones, along with John Bonham's daughter, in Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 in May 2006. In November 2006 Led Zeppelin were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame
UK Music Hall of Fame
The UK Music Hall of Fame was an awards ceremony to honour musicians, of any nationality, for their lifetime contributions to music in the United Kingdom. The Hall of Fame started in 2004 with the induction of five founder members and five more members selected by a public televote, two from each...

.

On 27 July 2007 Atlantic/Rhino
Rhino Entertainment
Rhino Entertainment Company is an American specialty record label and production company. It is owned by Warner Music Group.-History:Rhino was originally a novelty song and reissue company during the 1970s and 1980s, releasing compilation albums of pop, rock & roll, and rhythm & blues successes...

 and Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video is the home video unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., itself part of Time Warner. It was founded in 1978 as WCI Home Video . The company launched in the United States with twenty films on VHS and Betamax videocassettes in late 1979...

 announced three new Led Zeppelin titles to be released in November 2007. First was Mothership
Mothership (album)
Mothership is a compilation album by English rock group Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records and Rhino Entertainment on 12 November 2007 in the United Kingdom, and 13 November 2007 in the United States. It was released on the same day that Led Zeppelin's entire catalog became available in...

, a 24-track best-of spanning the band's career, followed by a reissue of the soundtrack
The Song Remains the Same (album)
Upon its initial release in 1976, the album received some poor reviews, with some critics considering it to be over-produced and lumbering. Indeed, the band's members themselves have since expressed a lack of fondness for the recording...

 to The Song Remains the Same
The Song Remains the Same (film)
The Song Remains the Same is a concert film by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The recording of the film took place during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City, during the band's 1973 concert tour of the United States. The film premiered on 20 October 1976, at...

, which included previously unreleased material, and a new DVD. In November 2007 Led Zeppelin made the band's songs available as legal digital downloads, one of the last major rock bands to do so.


On 10 December 2007 Led Zeppelin reunited for the one-off Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert
Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert
The Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert was a benefit concert held in memory of music executive Ahmet Ertegün at The O2 in London on December 10, 2007. The headline act was the English rock band, Led Zeppelin, who performed their first full-length concert since the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980,...

 at The O2 Arena
The O2 arena (London)
The O2 Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in the centre of The O2, a large entertainment complex on the Greenwich peninsula in London, England.With a capacity of up to 20,000 depending on the event, it is second largest...

 in London, with Jason Bonham taking his late father's place on drums. According to Guinness World Records 2009, Led Zeppelin hold the world record for the "Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert" as 20 million requests for the reunion show were rendered online. The concert was to help raise money for the Ahmet Ertegün Education Fund, which pays for university scholarships in the UK, US and Turkey. Music critics praised the band's performance. Hamish MacBain of NME proclaimed, "What they have done here tonight is proof they can still perform to the level that originally earned them their legendary reputation... We can only hope this isn't the last we see of them".

In the aftermath of the 2007 performance there was widespread speculation about a Led Zeppelin reunion. In early 2008 Jimmy Page stated that he was prepared to embark upon a world tour with Led Zeppelin but, due to Robert Plant's tour commitments with Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss
Alison Maria Krauss is an American bluegrass-country singer, songwriter and fiddler. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in...

, plans would not be announced until at least September. The BBC reported in late August that Page, Jones and Bonham were recording material which could become a new Led Zeppelin project. On 29 September Plant released a statement in which he called reports of a Led Zeppelin reunion "frustrating and ridiculous". He said he would not be recording or touring with the band, before adding, "I wish Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham nothing but success with any future projects". In late October Jones confirmed that he, Page, and Bonham were seeking a replacement for Plant. A spokesman for Page later told Rolling Stone that the name Led Zeppelin would not be used due to the absence of Plant. Singers who auditioned for the project included Steven Tyler and Myles Kennedy
Myles Kennedy
Myles Richard Kennedy is an American musician and singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Alter Bridge, and as the lead vocalist in Slash's current solo project...

 of Alter Bridge
Alter Bridge
Alter Bridge is an American rock band that was formed in 2004 in Orlando, Florida by lead guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall, and drummer Scott Phillips, who are all also members of Creed. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Myles Kennedy, formerly of The Mayfield Four and the frontman...

. In January 2009 Page's manager Robert Mensch stated that the band had "tried out a few singers, but no one worked out, that was it. The whole thing is completely over now. There are absolutely no plans for them to continue".

Musical style


The band's music was rooted in the blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

. The influence of abrupt, non-fluid American blues of Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters
McKinley Morganfield , known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician, generally considered the "father of modern Chicago blues"...

 and Skip James
Skip James
Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James was an American Delta blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter, born in Bentonia, Mississippi, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

 was particularly apparent, especially on Led Zeppelin I and Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin II
The finished tracks reflect the raw, evolving sound of the band and their ability as live performers. The album has been noted for featuring a further development of the lyrical themes established by Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin's debut album, creating a work which would become more widely...

. Tracks were structured around the twelve-bar blues on every studio album except one, and the blues directly and indirectly influenced many other songs both musically and lyrically. The band were also strongly influenced by the music of the British
British folk revival
The British folk revival incorporates a number of movements for the collection, preservation and performance of traditional music in the United Kingdom and related territories and countries, which had origins as early as the 18th century...

, Celtic and American folk revivals. English folk guitarist Bert Jansch
Bert Jansch
Herbert "Bert" Jansch was a Scottish folk musician and founding member of the band Pentangle. He was born in Glasgow and came to prominence in London in the 1960s, as an acoustic guitarist, as well as a singer-songwriter...

 helped inspire Jimmy Page, and from him he adapted open tunings and aggressive strokes into his playing. The band also drew on a wide variety of genres, including world music
World music
World music is a term with widely varying definitions, often encompassing music which is primarily identified as another genre. This is evidenced by world music definitions such as "all of the music in the world" or "somebody else's local music"...

, and elements of early rock 'n' roll, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

, funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

, soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

 and reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

, particularly on Houses of the Holy and the albums that followed.
The material on the first two albums was largely constructed out of extended jams of blues standards and folk songs. This method led to the mixing of musical and lyrical elements of different songs and versions, as well as improvised passages, to create new material. Usually the music was developed first, sometimes with improvised lyrics which might then be rewritten for the final version of the song. From the visit to Bron-Yur-Aur in 1970, the song-writing partnership between Page and Plant became predominant; with Page supplying the music, largely via his acoustic guitar, and Plant emerging as the band's chief lyricist. Jones and Bonham then added to the material, in rehearsal or in the studio, as a song was developed. In the later stages of the band's career, Page took something of a back seat in composition and Jones became increasingly important in producing music, often composed on the keyboard. Plant would then add lyrics before Page and Bonham developed their parts.

Early lyrics drew on the band's blues and folk roots, often mixing lyrical fragments from different songs. Many of the band's songs dealt with themes of romance, unrequited love and sexual conquest, which were common in rock, pop and blues music. Some of their lyrics, especially those derived from the blues, have been interpreted as misogynistic. Particularly from Led Zeppelin III, they incorporated elements of mythology
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

 and mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 into their music, which largely grew out of Plant's interest in legends and history. Although these elements were often taken to reflect Page's interest in the occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

, Susan Fast argues that as Plant emerged as the band's main lyricist, the songs more obviously reflected his alignment with the West Coast counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 of the 1960s. In the later part of the band's career Plant's lyrics became more autobiographical, and less optimistic, drawing on his own experiences and circumstances.

According to Robert Walser
Robert Walser (musicologist)
Robert Walser is an American musicologist associated with the "new musicology". He is author of the book Running With the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, concerning heavy metal music...

, "Led Zeppelin's sound was marked by speed and power, unusual rhythmic patterns, contrasting terraced dynamics, singer Robert Plant's wailing vocals, and guitarist Jimmy Page's heavily distorted crunch". These elements mean that they are often cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

and heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

and they have been described as the "definitive heavy metal band", although they have often eschewed the label. Part of this reputation depends on the bands use of distorted guitar riffs on songs like "Whole Lotta Love" and "The Wanton Song
The Wanton Song
"The Wanton Song" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1975 album Physical Graffiti. The song came about as the result of a jam session at rehearsals and features a sharp, aggressive riff from guitarist Jimmy Page, which like "Immigrant Song" found Page switching back and forth...

". Often riffs were not doubled by guitar, bass and drums exactly, but instead there were often melodic or rhythmic variations; as in "Black Dog
Black Dog (song)
"Black Dog" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, the lead off track of their fourth album, released in 1971. It was also released as a single in the United States and Australia with "Misty Mountain Hop" on the B-side, and reached #15 on Billboard and #11 in Australia.In 2010, the song was...

", where three different time signature
Time signature
The time signature is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and which note value constitutes one beat....

s are used. Page's guitar playing incorporated elements of the blues scale
Blues scale
The term blues scale is used to describe a few scales with differing numbers of pitches and related characteristics. See: blues.The hexatonic, or six note, blues scale consists of the minor pentatonic scale plus the 4th or 5th degree...

 with those of eastern music. Plant's use of high-pitched shrieks has been compared to Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin
Janis Lyn Joplin was an American singer, songwriter, painter, dancer and music arranger. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company and later as a solo artist with her backing groups, The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band...

's vocal technique. Bonham's drumming was noted for its power, his rapid rolls and his fast beats on a single bass drum. Jones' basslines have been described as melodic and his keyboard playing added a classical touch.

Page stated that he wanted Led Zeppelin to produce music that had "light and shade". This began to be more clearly realised from Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin III is the third studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded between January and July 1970 and released on 5 October 1970 by Atlantic Records. Composed largely at a remote cottage in Wales known as Bron-Yr-Aur, this work represented a maturing of the band's...

, which made greater use of acoustic instruments. This approach has been seen as exemplified in the fourth album, particularly on "Stairway to Heaven", which begins with acoustic guitar and recorder and ends with drums and heavy electric sounds. Towards the end of their recording career they moved to a more mellow and progressive
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 sound, dominated by Jones' keyboard motifs. They also increasingly made use of various layering and production techniques, including wide usage of multi-tracking and overdubbed guitar parts. Their emphasis on the sense of dynamics and ensemble arrangement has been seen as producing an individualistic style that transcends any one music genre
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

. Ian Peddie argues that they were "... loud, powerful and often heavy, but their music was also humorous, self-reflective and extremely subtle".

Legacy


Led Zeppelin are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential bands in the history of music. Rock critic Mikal Gilmore
Mikal Gilmore
Mikal Gilmore is an American writer. He was born "Michael Gilmore," but later changed the spelling of his name.-Life & career:Gilmore was born on February 9, 1951 in Portland, Oregon to Frank and Bessie Gilmore....

 said, "Led Zeppelin—talented, complex, grasping, beautiful and dangerous—made one of the most enduring bodies of composition and performance in twentieth-century music, despite everything they had to overpower, including themselves".
Led Zeppelin have influenced hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band, formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1969 by Ozzy Osbourne , Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler , and Bill Ward . The band has since experienced multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years. A total of 22...

, Rush
Rush (band)
Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart...

, Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

, Megadeth
Megadeth
Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California which was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, bassist Dave Ellefson and guitarist Greg Handevidt, following Mustaine's expulsion from Metallica. The band has since released 13 studio albums, three live albums, two...

, Velvet Revolver
Velvet Revolver
Velvet Revolver is an American hard rock supergroup consisting of former Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum, alongside Dave Kushner formerly of punk band Wasted Youth. Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland was Velvet Revolver's lead singer from their formation until...

, Tool
Tool (band)
Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up has included drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Since 1995, Justin Chancellor has been the band's bassist, replacing their original bassist Paul D'Amour...

and Dream Theater
Dream Theater
Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to further concentrate on the band that would...

. They also influenced some early punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 and post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 bands, among them the Ramones
Ramones
The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first punk rock group...

and The Cult
The Cult
The Cult are a British rock band that was formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love...

. They were also an important influence on the development of alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

, as bands adapted elements from the "Zeppelin sound" of the mid-1970s, including The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band that formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988. Formed by Billy Corgan frontman and James Iha , the band has included Jimmy Chamberlin , D'arcy Wretzky , and currently includes Jeff Schroeder Mike Byrne , and Nicole Fiorentino The Smashing...

, Nirvana
Nirvana (band)
Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987...

, Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has included Eddie Vedder , Jeff Ament , Stone Gossard , and Mike McCready...

and Soundgarden
Soundgarden
Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by singer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto...

. Bands and artists from diverse genres have also acknowledged the influence of Led Zeppelin, such as Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

, Shakira
Shakira
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll , known professionally as Shakira , is a Colombian singer who emerged in the music scene of Colombia and Latin America in the early 1990s...

, Lady Gaga
Lady GaGa
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta , better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to...

, and Katie Melua
Katie Melua
Ketevan "Katie" Melua is a British-Georgian singer, songwriter and musician. She moved to Northern Ireland at the age of eight and then to England at fourteen. Melua is signed to the small Dramatico record label, under the management of composer Mike Batt, and made her musical debut in 2003...

.

Led Zeppelin have been credited with a major impact on the nature of the music business, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock. In 1988 John Kalodner
John Kalodner
John David Kalodner is a retired American A&R executive. His achievements included signing Foreigner, AC/DC, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins to Atlantic Records in the seventies....

, then-A&R executive of Geffen Records
Geffen Records
Geffen Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operated as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group.-Beginnings:...

, remarked that "In my opinion, next to the Beatles they're the most influential band in history. They influence the way music is on records, AOR radio, concerts. They set the standards for the AOR-radio format with 'Stairway to Heaven,' having AOR hits without necessarily having Top 40 hits. They're the ones who did the first real big arena concert shows, consistently selling out and playing stadiums without support. People can do as well as them, but nobody surpasses them". Andrew Loog Oldham
Andrew Loog Oldham
Andrew Loog Oldham is an English producer, talent manager, impresario and author. He was manager and producer of The Rolling Stones from 1963, and was noted for his flamboyant style.-Biography:...

, the former producer and manager of The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

, commented on how Led Zeppelin had a major influence on the record business, and the way rock concerts were managed and presented to huge audiences. The band have sold over 200 million albums worldwide according to some sources, while other sources state that they have sold in excess of 300 million records, including 111.5 million certified units in the United States. According to the Recording Industry Association of America
Recording Industry Association of America
The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

, Led Zeppelin are the fourth highest selling music act in the US and one of only three acts to earn four or more Diamond albums. Led Zeppelin remain one of the most bootlegged artists in the history of rock music.

Led Zeppelin also had a significant cultural impact. Jim Miller, editor of Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, argues that "On one level, Led Zeppelin represents the final flowering of the sixties' psychedelic ethic, which casts rock as passive sensory involvement". Led Zeppelin have also been described as "the quintessential purveyors" of masculine and aggressive "cock rock", although this assertion has been challenged. The band's fashion-sense has also been seminal; Simeon Lipman, head of pop culture at Christie's
Christie's
Christie's is an art business and a fine arts auction house.- History :The official company literature states that founder James Christie conducted the first sale in London, England, on 5 December 1766, and the earliest auction catalogue the company retains is from December 1766...

 auction house, has commented that "Led Zeppelin have had a big influence on fashion because the whole aura surrounding them is so cool, and people want a piece of that". Led Zeppelin laid the foundation for the big hair of 1980s glam metal
Glam metal
Glam metal is a subgenre of hard rock and heavy metal that arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the United States, particularly on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip music scene...

 bands such as Mötley Crüe
Mötley Crüe
Mötley Crüe is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1981. The group was founded by bass guitarist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, who were later joined by lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil...

 and Skid Row. Other musicians have also adapted elements from Led Zeppelin's attitude to apparel, jewellery and hair, such as the hipster flares and tight band t-shirts of Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon is an American rock band that originated in Albion, Oklahoma but formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999. The band is composed of brothers Anthony Caleb Followill , Ivan Nathan Followill and Michael Jared Followill Kings of Leon is an American rock band that originated in Albion,...

, shaggy hair, clingy t-shirts and bluesman hair of Jack White
Jack White (musician)
Jack White , often credited as Jack White III, is an American musician, songwriter, record producer and occasional actor...

 of The White Stripes, and Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno
Sergio Pizzorno
Sergio Lorenzo "Serge" Pizzorno is a British guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work with the indie rock band Kasabian. He became Kasabian's lead song-writer after the departure of Christopher Karloff....

's silk scarves, trilbies
Trilby
A trilby hat is a type of fedora. The trilby is viewed as the rich man's favored hat; it is commonly called the "brown trilby" in England and is much seen at the horse races. It is described as a "crumpled" fedora...

 and side-laced tight jeans.

Awards and accolades


Led Zeppelin were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

 in 1995, and the UK Music Hall of Fame
UK Music Hall of Fame
The UK Music Hall of Fame was an awards ceremony to honour musicians, of any nationality, for their lifetime contributions to music in the United Kingdom. The Hall of Fame started in 2004 with the induction of five founder members and five more members selected by a public televote, two from each...

 in 2004. Among the band 's many awards are a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded by the Recording Academy to "performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording."...

 in 2005, and the Polar Music Prize
Polar Music Prize
The Polar Music Prize is a Swedish international music award founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, possibly best known to be the manager of the Swedish pop group ABBA, with a donation to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music....

 in 2006. The band are ranked number one on VH1
VH1
VH1 or Vh1 is an American cable television network based in New York City. Launched on January 1, 1985 in the old space of Turner Broadcasting's short-lived Cable Music Channel, the original purpose of the channel was to build on the success of MTV by playing music videos, but targeting a slightly...

's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and Classic Rock's
Classic Rock (magazine)
Classic Rock is a British magazine dedicated to the radio format of classic rock, published by Future Publishing, who are also responsible for its "sister" publication Metal Hammer. Although firmly focusing on key bands from the 1960s through early 1990s, it also includes articles and reviews of...

"50 Best Live Acts of All Time". The band were honoured with the "Best Live Act" prize for their one-off reunion at MOJO Awards 2008
2008 MOJO Awards
The 2008 MOJO Honours List Winners were announced at a ceremony at The Brewery in London, England on June 16, 2008.-Nominees:Complete list of nominees :*Song of the Year**LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends"...

, where they were described as the "greatest rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 band of all time".

Discography


Studio albums
  • Led Zeppelin
    Led Zeppelin (album)
    Led Zeppelin is the debut album of the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London and released on Atlantic Records on 12 January 1969 in the United States and 31 March 1969 in the United Kingdom. The album featured integral contributions from each...

    (1969)
  • Led Zeppelin II
    Led Zeppelin II
    The finished tracks reflect the raw, evolving sound of the band and their ability as live performers. The album has been noted for featuring a further development of the lyrical themes established by Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin's debut album, creating a work which would become more widely...

    (1969)
  • Led Zeppelin III
    Led Zeppelin III
    Led Zeppelin III is the third studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded between January and July 1970 and released on 5 October 1970 by Atlantic Records. Composed largely at a remote cottage in Wales known as Bron-Yr-Aur, this work represented a maturing of the band's...

    (1970)
  • Led Zeppelin IV
    Led Zeppelin IV
    The fourth album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin was released on 8 November 1971. No title is printed on the album, so it is generally referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, following the naming standard used by the band's first three studio albums...

    (1971)
  • Houses of the Holy
    Houses of the Holy
    Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on 28 March 1973. The album title is a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "Houses of the Holy". It was the second Led Zeppelin album to not...

    (1973)
  • Physical Graffiti
    Physical Graffiti
    Physical Graffiti is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released on 24 February 1975 as a double album. Recording sessions for the album were initially disrupted when bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones considered leaving the band...

    (1975)
  • Presence (1976)
  • In Through the Out Door
    In Through the Out Door
    In Through the Out Door is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded over a three week period in November and December 1978 at ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, and released by Swan Song Records on 15 August 1979...

    (1979)
  • Coda
    Coda (album)
    -Sales chart performance:AlbumSinglesNo commercial or promotional singles were issued, although three tracks received independent radio airplay...

    (1982)

External links


  • Led Zeppelin at MySpace
  • Led Zeppelin at Atlantic Records
    Atlantic Records
    Atlantic Records is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and jazz...

    (Official)