Led Zeppelin is a British rock band, founded in 1968 in London, and recognized as one of the most successful and influential in modern history. By creating their own sound, accompanied by piercing vocals, the band became one of the leading hard rock bands.
“Led Zeppelin played a key role in the development of heavy metal, enriching the genre with elements of other musical styles. Today the band is considered one of the most successful rock bands in world history. The total circulation of their albums exceeds 300 million copies.
“Led Zeppelin are also number one on VH1’s “100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists” list. According to Rolling Stone, the band is “the heaviest” and “the best band of the ’70s”.
Led Zeppelin’s creation history and lineup
“Led Zeppelin were formed in September 1968 in London. The band’s thought leader was guitarist Jimmy Page. It is worth noting that Page remained the musical “brain” of the project till the very end. Prior to that, the guy had been a member of the “Yardbirds” collective, where he played bass guitar, and later became a virtuoso on other kinds of guitars.
The first Led Zeppelin lineup included Jimmy Page, bassist John Poa Jones, drummer John Bonham, and vocalist Robert Plant. Interestingly enough, the name “Led Zeppelin” is loosely translated as – “Lead Zeppelin”.
Just a few weeks after the foundation of the band, the musicians were offered cooperation by Ahmet Ertegun, the owner of the record studio “Atlantic Records”. Curiously enough, Ahmet signed a contract with the band without ever meeting its members.
The rockers’ debut record, named after the band’s name, “Led Zeppelin”, was recorded in 1969 in just 30 hours. It had a lot of messages on mythical and mystical themes. In addition, there were traditional rock ‘n’ roll and blues influences in the music.
The musicians themselves called the resulting genre “heavy blues”, which instantly gained great recognition. Jimmy Page was constantly experimenting with the sound, as a result of which he was able to become the author of a number of new studio effects.
In particular, Page invented his famous “anticipatory echo,” which made this or that song completely different and unusual. After the release of the first disc, Led Zeppelin went on tour in the US. Subsequently, this record received multi-platinum status and made the musicians millionaires.
In the same year a new album “Led Zeppelin II” was recorded, which became even more popular. It featured such hits as “Whole Lotta Love”, “Heartbreaker”, “Ramble On” and others. Critics unanimously declared that the British songs had a versatile and rich sound.
They were a perfect combination of Page’s virtuosic guitar parts, Plante’s screaming vocals, and the bright accompaniment of Jones on bass and Bonham on drums. Notably, Led Zeppelin deliberately refused to release individual singles.
Instead, the guys emphasized voluminous records, as a result of which they became the founders of such a term as “album rock”. In 1970, “Led Zeppelin III” was announced, a disc influenced by Celtic motifs and acoustic melodies.
When Led Zeppelin IV was released the following year, the Brits were awarded “Best Band of the 70s” status. This disc sold over 37 million copies, making it not only the most commercially successful album in the history of the band, but also one of the best-selling albums in world history.
The track “Stairway to Heaven” also deserves special mention, even today it is the most rotated piece of music of any genre on American radio, and one of the most famous compositions in the history of music.
These discs received the unofficial nickname “The Four Symbols,” as each member created their own emblem for one of the records. By this time the image of Led Zeppelin had already changed significantly: the musicians went on stage in luxurious and embroidered caftans.
Instead of touring vans, the band started using a private jet, and instead of individual hotel rooms, they rented entire sections. “Led Zeppelin toured many countries on different continents. Each of their concerts was accompanied by a full house.