Led Zeppelin

Biography

Led Zeppelin (formed 1968)

Led Zeppelin is an English rock band that rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with their heavy blues rock sound. They are considered by many to be one of the first ever heavy metal bands.

Led Zeppelin: Formation

Led Zeppelin's genesis goes back The Yardbirds. Jimmy Page joined The Yardbirds on bass guitar in 1966 but soon switched to play lead guitar alongside Jeff Beck.

As the dregs of a largely disbanded Yardbirds fulfilled gig obligations in Scandinavia, singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham were drafted in to fill the gaps. John Paul Jones enquired about the vacant bass player role and completed the picture. They toured Scandinavia as The New Yardbirds, eventually changing it to Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin's debut gig was at the University of Surrey, in Guilford, in October 1968. Their debut album, Led Zeppelin was released in January 1969, whilst the band was touring the States.

Led Zeppelin: Key Albums & Notable Moments

Led Zeppelin, the band's debut album, was released in 1969. It is reported that the album cost £1,750 to make and by 1975, had grossed $7,000,000.

The album's follow-up, Led Zeppelin II (1969) was recorded largely on the road, whilst the band toured the first album. The album reached number one in both the US and the UK.

Led Zeppelin III (1970) was recorded in Wales, in a cottage named Bron-Yr-Aur. A misspelled version of the name gave title to one of the tracks on the album, 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp'. The band resisted the release of singles from the album. However, many tracks, such as 'Immigrant Song', were released against the band's wishes.

Throughout the 1970s, Led Zeppelin's offstage antics became as legendary as their music. In one incident, drummer John Bonham rode a motorcycle through the Continental Hyatt House hotel in Los Angeles.

Led Zeppelin's fourth album was not attributed with any obvious title, nor did it show the band's name on the cover. Instead, the cover depicted four symbols, representing each member of the band. It is most commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV.

In 1973, the band released Houses of the Holy. The song of the same name did not appear on the album but turned up on 1975's Physical Graffiti. The record was banned in some religious areas of the USA and in Spain, for the cover's depiction of naked children running up the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Led Zeppelin took a break from touring in 1974 and launched their own record label, Swan Song. Through the label, they released music by the likes of Bad Company, Sad Café and Pretty Things.

Physical Graffiti (1975) was the band's first double album and was released on the Swan Song label. The success of the album was so great, that after its release, all of the band's previous albums re-entered the Top 200 album chart simultaneously.

In August 1975, Robert Plant and his wife Maureen were involved in a car crash whilst holidaying in Rhodes. Maureen was badly injured and the band was forced to take a hiatus from touring. They spent their time in California, writing material for the next album, Presence (1976). Presence became a platinum-selling album, though its critical response was lukewarm.

The Song Remains the Same became the band's first official live recording and was released both as a film and accompanying soundtrack.

In Through the Out Door was recorded in the final months of 1978 and released the next year and reached number one in the UK and the US.

On 25th September 1980, John Bonham was found dead by John Paul Jones and the band's tour manager, Benji LeFevre. 'Asphyxiation from vomit' was given as the cause of his death. No drug other than alcohol was found in his body. In December 1980, the band announced that they would not be continuing without Bonham. Until then, various replacements had been rumoured, including Cozy Powell and Bev Bevan of ELO.

In 1982, the three surviving members of the band released Coda, a collection of outtakes from a number of different recording sessions

Led Zeppelin: Reunions

Page, Plant and Jones were reunited in July 1985, for the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia. They were joined by Phil Collins and Tony Thompson on drums, and Paul Martinez on bass.

The three Led Zeppelin members were again reunited, with John Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, on drums, for the Atlantic Records 40th Birthday party.

In 1995, Led Zeppelin was inducted into the rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by Aerosmith's Steve Tyler and Joe Perry. Bonham was represented by his son Jason and daughter Zoe.

Led Zeppelin was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, presented to the band by the King of Sweden.

In December 2007, Led Zeppelin was once again reunited for a huge one-off concert in London in memory of Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records. Jason Bonham filled in on drums. The promoter Harvey Goldsmith arranged the concert to raise money for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund.

Read More

Is Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' Really The Best Guitar Riff Ever?

26th August 2014 -

 News

Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' has been named the Greatest Guitar Riff of all time in a BBC Radio 2 poll. The blues riff played by Jimmy Page beat the likes of The White Stripes,...

Wait, Did Led Zeppelin Really Steal the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Riff?

21st May 2014 -

 News

A legal dispute has erupted over the provenance of that riff on Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, widely regarded as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The copyright infringement is being taken...

Wait, Was Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven' Ripped Off From Another Band?

20th May 2014 -

 News

Led Zeppelin may be facing court as legal papers are in the process of being filed by a US lawyer who claims the opening was directly influenced by the band Spirit’s track ‘Taurus’.Led Zeppelin frontman...

Jimmy Page Receives Honorary Doctorate At Berklee Music College

11th May 2014 -

 News

Led Zepplin guitarist, Jimmy Page, was honoured at a commencement ceremony at the Berklee College of Music on Saturday morning (10th May). Page received an honorary doctorate from the Boston college, the ceremony for which...

Led Zeppelin Release Unheard Music, Say Reunion Chances are "Zero"

23rd April 2014 -

 News

Led Zeppelin have unveiled two previously unheard recordings, including an early version of their most famous song, Whole Lotta Love. The tracks come ahead of the reissue of the band's first three albums in June....

Folk-Rocker Roy Harper Charges With Child Sex Offences

15th November 2013 -

 News

Roy Harper, a former singer for Pink Floyd and an influential force for Led Zeppelin, has been charged with child sex offences on nine counts between 1975 and 1977. The 72 year-old musician is due...

Want To Blab About Justin Bieber's Parties? It'll Cost You $5 Million

22nd May 2013 -

 News

Justin Bieber is happy to have you round to his house in Calabasas for a party, but you'll have to sign a $5 million waiver. Yep, that's right, TMZ.com have obtained a copy of a...

Bill Clinton Snubbed By Led Zeppelin For Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert

7th May 2013 -

 News

Neither charity nor former President Bill Clinton could persuade Led Zeppelin to reform for last year’s Hurricane Sandy benefit concert, it’s been revealed by the Robin Hood Foundation’s executive director David Saltzman.As you’ll all probably...

Celebration Day! Robert Plant Hints At Led Zeppelin Reunion for 2014

19th February 2013 -

 News

Coy as ever, Robert Plant has dropped the latest hint that legendary rock band Led Zeppelin could reunite for a tour in 2014. The frontman said the decision would ultimately be up to guitarist Jimmy...

In Light Of Courtney Love Covering Jay Z's '99 Problems': Five Most Unlikely Cover Versions

29th January 2013 -

 News

Courtney Love doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to cover versions. With her band Hole, she would often play a version of Guns N Roses’ ‘Paradise City’ that she would abandon...

A Week In News Feat: Prince William, Kate Middleton, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Led Zeppelin, Lady Gaga, Katie Holmes and More!

5th December 2012 -

 News

A Royal Family: Regal congratulations are in order this week with news that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is pregnant with her and Prince William's first child. With new succession laws set to be...

Led Zeppelin Fly In To Speak To David Letterman

4th December 2012 -

 News

Jimmy Page arrives for The Letterman ShowStill no more live shows announced but then perhaps it's enough just to see that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones are happy to be in each...

Barack Obama Amongst the quick-witted to address the Kennedy Center Honourees

4th December 2012 -

 News

As entertainers from stage and screen were recognized for their contributions to the arts and American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors, it seemed as though a competition was forming: who could grab the most...

Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin Honoured Kennedy Center

3rd December 2012 -

 News

Made a significant contribution to American culture recently? Well unless you're in that headline, you've not done well enough. Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin have, and they've been recognized...

Led Zeppelin Honored By President Barack Obama At Kennedy Center Honors

3rd December 2012 -

 News

Led Zeppelin have been honored at the annual Kennedy Centre Honours event, with President Barack Obama on hand to give the legendary British rock group a touching tribute. Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, chat show host...

AC/DC Give In To The Digital Age And Sell Music On iTunes

19th November 2012 -

 News

AC/DC - one of the biggest bands to resist the transition into the digital age of music - have allowed their entire back catalogue of rock music to be sold by e-distribution giants Apple, via...

Does Anybody Really Care If Led Zeppelin Play More Shows?

10th October 2012 -

 News

Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day' press conference was a feisty affair from start to finish at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday (October 10, 2012). After an Associated Press journalist asked if the new movie...

Reunion Questions Lead To Uncomfortable Led Zeppelin Conference

10th October 2012 -

 News

With the Led Zeppelin reunion rumours flying around, it was only natural that journalists would push the issue at the press conference for their upcoming gig movie Celebration Day yesterday (October 9, 2012), Rolling Stone...

Led Zeppelin Reunion Not On The Cards: Jimmy Page Dispels Rumors

10th October 2012 -

 News

The mooted Led Zeppelin reunion has been all but dismissed by Jimmy Page. The guitarist set the record straight at the film premier of Celebration Day, reports The Independent.In the slightly awkward press-conference surrounding the...

Why Did Led Zeppelin Dodge Reunion Shows Question?

22nd September 2012 -

 News

Speculation that Led Zeppelin may well be returning to the stage has intensified after the group dodged questions about possible reunion shows during a press conference in London. The group played a gig at London’s...

Are Led Zeppelin Set To Return To The Stage?

21st September 2012 -

 News

Led Zeppelin would not be drawn into answering reunion questions at a press conference on Monday, reports The Guardian. Asked whether a comeback was on the cards, Jimmy Page gave a frank answer: "Let me...

Led Zeppelin Kashmir (Live Video)

20th October 2008 -

 Video

Led Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Love live video

13th December 2007 -

 Video

Led ZeppelinDVDWhole Lotta Love video, live at Royal Albert Hall 1970VideoFeaturing performances from the Royal Albert Hall in January 1970, just one year after the release of their debut album, their triumphant five-night run at...

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Comments

Roger Heiret's picture

Roger Heiret

Thank You for all the Cool stuff ! I am looking for a Black and White of the Band to Have put on My 68 Sedan de Ville. MickeyHarrisArt.com is in town this week ! I am filling my Cadillac with artists one a year, to leave to bridge School. Getting my lessons from Jimmy on classical now, 30 years late ! Make sure you play Comcast Arena Everett WA. for us Commoners the Fans. Roger in Wa. state...

5 years 2 months ago
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