Led Zeppelin Overview
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in 1968 by Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals lead vocals , harmonica), John Paul Jones John Paul Jones (musician) (bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin), and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal heavy metal music and hard rock music. However, the band's individualistic style drew from many sources and transcends any one genre. Led Zeppelin did not release the po***r songs from their albums as singles in the UK, as they preferred to develop the concept of "album-oriented rock".
Close to 30 years after disbanding following Bonham's death in 1980, the band continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success, and broad influence. The band has sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million certified units in the United States Led Zeppelin are ranked #1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin 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 describes the band being "as influential in that decade (70s) as the Beatles were in the prior one."
In 2007, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with deceased drummer John Bonham's son, Jason Jason Bonham ) for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena The O2 arena (London) in London.
The beginning of Led Zeppelin can be traced back to the English blues-influenced rock blues rock band The Yardbirds. and the following year the band received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In November 2005, it was announced that Led Zeppelin and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev were the winners of the 2006 Polar Music Prize. The King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden presented the prize to Plant, Page, and Jones, along with John Bonham's daughter, in Stockholm in May 2006. In November 2006, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. The television broadcasting of the event consisted of an introduction to the band by various famous admirers, a presentation of an award to Jimmy Page and then a short speech by the guitarist. After this, rock group Wolfmother played a tribute to Led Zeppelin, performing the song "Communication Breakdown". Despite having gained a reputation with the band for "raising hell" in the 1970s, Robert Plant was awarded a CBE by Prince Charles for "Services to Music" in July 2009, which followed Jimmy Page's OBE Order of the British Empire four years previously.
On 27 July 2007, Atlantic Atlantic Records /Rhino Rhino Entertainment , & Warner Home Video announced three new Led Zeppelin titles to be released in November, 2007. Released first was Mothership Mothership (album) on 13 November, a 24-track best-of spanning the band's career, followed by a reissue of the soundtrack The Song Remains the Same (album) to The Song Remains the Same The Song Remains the Same (film) on 20 November which includes previously unreleased material, and a new DVD. On 15 October 2007, it was reported that Led Zeppelin were expected to announce a new series of agreements that make the band's songs available as legal digital downloads, first as ringtones through Verizon Wireless then as digital downloads of the band's eight studio albums and other recordings on 13 November. The offerings will be available through both Verizon Wireless and iTunes iTunes Store . On 3 November 2007, a UK newspaper the Daily Mirror announced that it had world exclusive rights to stream six previously unreleased tracks via its . On 8 November 2007, XM Satellite Radio launched XM LED, the network's first artist-exclusive channel dedicated to Led Zeppelin. On 13 November 2007, Led Zeppelin's complete works were published on iTunes.
at The O2 in London in 2007
On 10 December 2007 the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited for a one-off benefit concert held in memory of music executive Ahmet Ertegün, with Jason Bonham taking up his late father's place on drums. It was announced on 12 September 2007 by promoter Harvey Goldsmith in a press conference. 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." Page suggested the band may start work on new material, and stated that a world tour may be in the works. Meanwhile, Plant made his reluctance regarding a reunion tour known to The Sunday Times, stating: "having to live up to something is terribly serious." However, he also made it known that he could be in favour of more one-off shows in the near future: "It wouldn't be such a bad idea to play together from time to time."
Reunion tour reports (2008-2010)
Following the reunion concert and the press coverage it generated, speculation on the future of the band and the possibility of a tour with Jason Bonham on drums increased to a level not seen in several years. In an interview promoting the release of the Mothership compilation in Tokyo early in 2008, Jimmy Page revealed that he was prepared to embark upon a world tour with Led Zeppelin, but due to Robert Plant's tour commitments with Alison Krauss, such plans will not be announced until at least September. Showing enthusiasm for continued performing, in late spring Page and Jones joined Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins onstage at Wembley Stadium to perform Led Zeppelin tracks "Rock and Roll Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin song) " (Hawkins on vocals and Grohl on drums), followed by "Ramble On" (Grohl on vocals and Hawkins on drums).
Plant however continued to remain focused on his recent work and tour with Krauss. Their duet album Raising Sand became certified platinum in March, and their recordings received awards including a Grammy for the song "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)" and Album of the Year from the Americana Music Association. Along with concentrating on the duo's American tour, Plant remained evasive on the subject of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour, and expressed displeasure at the process leading up to the 2007 reunion show during an interview with GQ Magazine GQ , saying "The endless paperwork was like nothing I've experienced before. I've kept every one of the emails that were exchanged before the concert and I'm thinking of compiling them for a book, which I feel sure would be hailed as a sort of literary version of Spinal Tap Spinal Tap (band) ."
After the BBC reported in late August that Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham had been recording material which could become a new Led Zeppelin project, the rumours of a reunion began to accumulate through the remaining summer. 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."
Following Plant's statement, authoritative but divergent views of the possibility of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour the next year were offered by John Paul Jones and promoter Harvey Goldsmith. In late October, Jones confirmed to BBC Radio Devon in Exeter that he, Page, and Bonham were seeking a replacement for Plant. The bassist remarked: "We are trying out a couple of singers. We want to do it. It's sounding great and we want to get on and get out there." The next day, Goldsmith commented on the prospect of a Led Zeppelin reunion, casting doubt on the possibility or wisdom of such a venture. In an interview with BBC News, Goldsmith stated "I think that there is an opportunity for them to go out and present themselves. I don't think a long rambling tour is the answer as Led Zeppelin." The Ertegün Concert promoter felt the result of the ongoing plans of Jones, Page, and Bonham would not be "called Led Zeppelin". A spokesman for guitarist Jimmy Page later confirmed this, telling RollingStone.com that a new band featuring Page, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer Jason Bonham would not go by the name Led Zeppelin due to the absence of singer Robert Plant.
On 7 January 2009, MusicRadar reported that Jimmy Page's manager Robert Mensch said 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." In a radio interview, Plant cited a fear of disappointment as a major factor for not continuing a reunited Zeppelin. "The disappointment that could be there once you commit to that and the comparisons to something that was basically fired by youth and a different kind of exuberance to now, it's very hard to go back and meet that head on and do it justice."
On 28 October 2009 it was reported by NME that Robert Plant had revealed that he is in talks with Michael Eavis to perform at the 2010 Glastonbury Festival in England. Plant said he did not know who he would perform with, thus sparking rumours that Led Zeppelin may perform.
On 23 March 2010, Led Zeppelin turned down an offer to headline Download Festival taking place at Donington Park, England in June. While talking to Xfm, promoter Andy Copping stated: "If I could get Led Zeppelin to play at Download, it would be phenomenal. If that's not going to happen, I'm more than happy with what we've got. Every single festival in the world approaches Led Zeppelin or their management to get them to pay at their festival. Loads of money gets thrown out. It's not what they want to do at the moment and that's fine. They probably never will, but everyone has a stab at it."
Awards and accolades
Led Zeppelin have been nominated for and won several awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, the Q Merit Award in 1992, the Polar Music Prize in 2006, a MOJO Award in 2008 2008 MOJO Awards voted by readers for the "best live act", and inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (12 January 1995) and UK Music Hall of Fame (16 November 2004). In 2005, the four members of Led Zeppelin were voted the United Kingdom's ideal supergroup Supergroup (music) in a Planet Rock Radio Planet Rock (radio station) poll.
The band has sold over 200 million albums worldwide, and, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, is one of the three acts in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums - the other two being The Beatles and Garth Brooks. Hilary Rosen, then-president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said in 1999 that "Led Zeppelin is one of the most po***r and influential rock bands of all time. Thirty years after their debut, the band’s appeal is as strong as ever. It’s fitting that these rock icons are multiple Diamond winners." Similarly, Times Online media correspondent Adam Sherwin has described Led Zeppelin as "the world’s greatest heavy rock band".
Several notable public figures and media personalities have also expressed tributes to the band. Condoleezza Rice, the 66th United States Secretary of State List of Secretaries of State of the United States , being a former concert pianist, acknowledged Led Zeppelin is her favourite band of all time. In July 2007, Led Zeppelin II topped a poll conducted to find the favourite album of British politicians commemorating the London opening of a British library display. Damian Green, the Member of Parliament Member_of_Parliament#United_Kingdom from the Conservative Party Conservative Party UK , said "It's the ultimate album for teenage boys - metal as art. No one ever topped it. The opening riff is straightforward perfection." On the same occasion, Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrats (UK) and the Member of Parliament Lembit Öpik said "Whole Lotta Love is the greatest rock song ever."
Oscar-winning Academy Award for Best Director British filmmaker and producer Danny Boyle has cited Led Zeppelin as his most favourite music group and inspiration:
I wish I was a rock star! Well that was sort of my dream really, was to be in Led Zeppelin. I remember reading about Led Zeppelin touring America and just going round and round America and never stopping touring, It was the only way you could break America. And I always think of them when I come to do these publicity tour rounds. I think I've got to do this, Led Zeppelin did it, I've got to do it!"
Influence on other musicians
When asked in 2006 what his biggest accomplishment was with Led Zeppelin, Page made reference to the band's legacy, particularly the way the band influenced and has been recognised by their musical peers:
It's been a great legacy. That's what I'm proud of is the legacy of it. The fact that it's turned so many people on to want to play. That's what pulled me into playing, is hearing musicians who really really sent shivers down my spine. So that's it. That's the legacy and that's what I'm really proud of.
The band's influence has been continuous for over three decades and is felt in several genres of po***r music. As Rolling Stone music critic Steven Pond noted in 1988: "Nearly a decade after the band's demise, Led Zeppelin's musical influence lives on and on. Yeah, its been a long time since Led Zeppelin rock & rolled, but when it comes to modern mainstream rock music, Zep still has the touch of the gods." Paul Ress, editor of Q Magazine, has remarked that "I don't think they were ever appreciated for the scale of band they were. Maybe it's a sort of 'absence makes the heart grow fonder,' but it's taken people time to realize the massive influence they had on an awful lot of music."
Many notable musicians and bands from diverse genres have acknowledged the influence of Led Zeppelin's music on their own. These include Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Queen Queen (band) , KISS Kiss (band) , Cheap Trick, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Venom Venom (band) , Metallica, Megadeth, Smashing Pumpkins, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, The White Stripes, Def Leppard, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Boston Boston (band) , Dinosaur Jr., Nickelback, Rainbow Rainbow (band) , The Cult, Heart Heart (band) , Tori Amos, The Black Crowes, Queens of the Stone Age, Rush Rush (band) , Whitesnake, Van Halen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Audioslave, Madonna Madonna (entertainer) , Shakira, Ben Harper, Velvet Revolver, Dio Dio (band) , Alice Cooper, Beastie Boys, Katie Melua, B'z and Junoon Junoon (band) .
Brian May of Queen has praised the band's creative effort and musicianship: "I'm the world's biggest Led Zeppelin fan. The music, the way they conducted themselves, their whole management structure - they were the blueprint. Queen always used to play The Immigrant Song in sound-checks just for the glory of the sound." Ann Wilson of Heart Heart (band) has said "Led Zeppelin, you can't find a better band to pay homage to." Ozzy Osbourne commented in 1990 that "Led Zeppelin. I still get goosebumps. That middle section [of Whole Lotta Love] - *** unbelievable! Those early Zeppelin albums were incredible productions. Nobody seems to do it anymore. I'd never heard anything like it before. There's so many people trying to imitate Zeppelin now."
The band has also spawned dozens of Led Zeppelin covers and tributes tribute acts and cover bands, notable amongst them being Lez Zeppelin (an all-female All female band tribute act), Dread Zeppelin (which performs Led Zeppelin songs in a reggae style) and Fred Zeppelin (a cover band based in the West Midlands West Midlands (region) of England).
.|alt= Led Zeppelin T-Shirts and Merchandise.
The band also have had a big influence on fashion, lifestyle, jewellery and apparel. Many famous celebrities such as Marissa Miller, Ashlee Simpson, Jessica Simpson, Shakira, Josie Maran, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Chloe Hayward have long been a fan of Led Zeppelin t-shirts, flared jeans and other apparel. Speaking to The Independent, Simeon Lipman, head of pop culture at Christie's, has commented "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. There's no question that this T-shirt had been worn, but that's what makes them desirable. The blood, sweat and tears of the concert are embedded in the fabric."While members of Led Zeppelin have seldom allowed their works to be licensed for films or commercials, in recent years, their position has softened. The songs of Led Zeppelin can now be heard in a number of movies, such as Shrek the Third, One Day in September, School of Rock ("Immigrant Song" in all three), Dogtown and Z-Boys ("Achilles Last Stand", "Nobody's Fault but Mine", and "Hots On for Nowhere"), Almost Famous ("That's the Way That's the Way (Led Zeppelin song) ", "The Rain Song", "Misty Mountain Hop", "Bron-Yr-Aur", and "Tangerine Tangerine (Led Zeppelin song) "), "Stairway to Heaven" was in a part of the movie, but later on it was taken out, due to the length. It Might Get Loud ("The Rain Song", "Ramble On", "How Many More Times", "When The Levee Breaks", "Battle of Evermore", "Over the Hills and Far Away", "Whole Lotta Love", "White Summer", "Stairway to Heaven", "In My Time of Dying", and "Ten Years Gone".) Fast Times at Ridgemont High ("Kashmir Kashmir (song) "), and Small Soldiers ("Communication Breakdown"). The television series One Tree Hill One Tree Hill (TV series) featured the song "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". The band has denied frequent requests by developers of po***r music video games to use their songs. As with other forms of media, the band seeks to protect the integrity of their work. Specifically, "the band isn't comfortable with the prospect of granting outsiders access to its master tapes, a necessary step in creating the games video game ."
Also noteworthy is Cadillac's use of "Rock and Roll" in their US TV advertising campaign. In 2007, Led Zeppelin agreed to allow Apple Apple Inc. to sell their music in Apple's iTunes Store, with the greatest hits collection Mothership Mothership (album) as the marquee offering.
In April 2007, Hard Rock Park (now Freestyle Music Park) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, announced it had secured an agreement with the band to create "Led Zeppelin - The Ride", a roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard, synchronised to the music of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". The coaster stands tall, features six inversions, and spirals over a lagoon. The ride officially opened with the park on 9 May 2008. The ride is currently "Standing but not operating" (SBNO) due to Hard Rock Park filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In January 2009, the park filed for Chapter 7 Chapter 7, Title 11, United States Code . In February 2009, the park was sold to new owners FPI MB Entertainment, who planned to reopen by Memorial Day 2009. On 4 May 2009, the ride was renamed "The Time Machine," with hit songs from five decades replacing Led Zeppelin.The credits for a number of Led Zeppelin's songs have been the subject of debate concerning their copyright. "Dazed and Confused Dazed and Confused (song) " and "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" from Led Zeppelin were originally written by Jake Holmes and Anne Bredon, respectively, however neither artist was credited on the album's original release. On Led Zeppelin II the prelude to "Bring It On Home Bring It On Home (Sonny Boy Williamson II song) " was a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson Sonny Boy Williamson II 's 1963 recording of "Bring It On Home", written by Willie Dixon. Similarly, "The Lemon Song" included an adaptation of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor Killing Floor (Howlin' Wolf song) ". In 1972, Arc Music, the publishing arm of Chess Records, brought a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over "Bring It On Home" and "The Lemon Song"; the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Dixon himself did not benefit from the settlement until he sued Arc Music to recover his royalties and copyrights. In addition, "Whole Lotta Love" contained lyrics that were derivative of Dixon's 1962 song "You Need Love", though the riff from the song was an original Jimmy Page composition. In 1985, Dixon filed a copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin over "Whole Lotta Love" and an out-of-court settlement was reached. Later pressings of Led Zeppelin II credit Dixon. The band also paid a settlement to the publisher of Ritchie Valens' song "Ooh! My Head" over the song "Boogie with Stu" (from Physical Graffiti) which borrowed heavily from Valens' song.
Dave Headlam, in an article entitled "Does the song remain the same? Questions of authenticity and identification in the music of Led Zeppelin", suggests that "...in the course of studies on the music of Led Zeppelin, it has become apparent that many songs are compilations of pre-existent material from multiple sources, both acknowledged and unacknowledged." He contends that "...songs like 'Whole Lotta Love' and 'Dazed and Confused' are on the one hand not "authored" by Led Zeppelin, but on the other hand are virtual signatures identifying the band's musical essence."
In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, Page commented on the band's use of classic blues songs:
[A]s far as my end of it goes, I always tried to bring something fresh to anything that I used. I always made sure to come up with some variation. In fact, I think in most cases, you would never know what the original source could be. Maybe not in every case -- but in most cases. So most of the comparisons rest on the lyrics. And Robert was supposed to change the lyrics, and he didn't always do that -- which is what brought on most of the grief. They couldn't get us on the guitar parts of the music, but they nailed us on the lyrics. We did, however, take some liberties, I must say [laughs]. But never mind; we did try to do the right thing.
In another interview, Page responded to the suggestion that Led Zeppelin used a lot of traditional and blues lyrics and tunes and called them their own:
The thing is they were traditional lyrics and they went back far before a lot of people that one related them to. The riffs we did were totally different, also, from the ones that had come before, apart from something like "You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You," which were attributed to Willie Dixon. The thing with "Bring It On Home," Christ, there's only a tiny bit taken from Sonny Boy Williamson's version and we threw that in as a tribute to him. People say, "Oh, 'Bring It On Home' is stolen." Well, there's only a little bit in the song that relates to anything that had gone before it, just the end.*Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin (album) (1969)
*Led Zeppelin II (1969)
*Led Zeppelin III (1970)
*Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
*Houses of the Holy (1973)
*Physical Graffiti (1975)
*Presence Presence (album) (1976)
*In Through the Out Door (1979)
*Coda Coda (album) (1982)
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