Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

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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.

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.

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

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.

Biography by Contactmusic.com

Jack Black Challenges Chris Hemsworth To A Battle Of The Jams After Led Zeppelin 'Theft'

Jack Black Led Zeppelin Chris Hemsworth

Jack Black is annoyed at actor Chris Hemsworth after watching 'Thor: Ragnarok' and discovering that they used the same Led Zeppelin song that was used in 'School of Rock'. They are now embroiled in a social media feud known as the 'Battle of the Jams'.

Jack Black at Ping Pong 4 Purpose eventJack Black at Ping Pong 4 Purpose event

Of course, there's nothing serious about this beef. But Led Zeppelin are a band of whom it is notoriously difficult to get permission to use their music, and Jack had to practically beg them to let him sing 'Immigrant Song' in his 2003 movie 'School of Rock'. 

Continue reading: Jack Black Challenges Chris Hemsworth To A Battle Of The Jams After Led Zeppelin 'Theft'

Robert Plant Triggers Led Zeppelin Reunion Rumours With Cryptic Message

Led Zeppelin Robert Plant

Former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant has sparked frenzied rumours of a rare reunion for the group, after he posted a brief, cryptic message on his official website this week.

It’s been a decade since Led Zeppelin last performed live, which was for a one-off benefit concert in memory of the late music executive Ahmet Ertegun, one of the band’s earliest supporters, at London’s O2 Arena in December 2007.

Now, speculation is rife of a possible reunion in either 2017 or 2018, after frontman Plant posted a very short message, reading ‘Any Time Now…’, on his official website on Wednesday (May 3rd).

Continue reading: Robert Plant Triggers Led Zeppelin Reunion Rumours With Cryptic Message

Six Band Reunions We'd Love To See In 2017

White Stripes Hole Led Zeppelin Oasis The Verve The Kinks

The trend of big bands and artists from yesteryear making a comeback and touring old albums showed no sign of slowing down in 2016. Even small-to-medium sized acts have opted to coin it in and perform classic albums to their devotees. Mortgages have to be paid somehow.

And yet, there are a surprising number of huge bands who have thusfar resisted the temptation to get back together. Here are six bands we’d love to announce a reunion in 2017.

The White StripesThe White Stripes performing in Leeds in 2007

Continue reading: Six Band Reunions We'd Love To See In 2017

Foo Fighters Joined By Queen And Led Zeppelin Members During Rearranged British Dates

Foo Fighters Dave Grohl Queen Led Zeppelin

They were forced to cancel their two Wembley enormo-gigs as well as their headline Glastonbury performance after Dave Grohl broke his leg earlier this summer, but Foo Fighters made their triumphant return to the UK with the first of three shows at the Milton Keynes Bowl – and they brought along some pretty big names to help them celebrate.

Performing the entire two-and-a-half-hour gig from a huge motorised throne, embossed with the Foo Fighters logo, Grohl announced to the crowd on Saturday night (September 5th): “We came back for you! We waited a long time to be here.”

Dave GrohlDave Grohl performing at Milton Keynes Bowl on Saturday (September 5th)

Continue reading: Foo Fighters Joined By Queen And Led Zeppelin Members During Rearranged British Dates

Jimmy Page Admits He Can't Foresee Another Led Zeppelin Reunion Happening

Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page Robert Plant

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has admitted he can’t see the band holding any future reunion shows. The last time the legendary band took to the stage together was in 2007 for a one-off gig at London’s O2 Arena, where Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined by Jason Bonham, who filled in for his late father John Bonham on drums.

Jimmy PageJimmy Page doesn't think Led Zeppelin will reunite again.

“Led Zeppelin was a creative force that you can’t just snap your fingers and create,” Jimmy Page told The Daily Beast when asked about why they didn't continue following the death of John Bonham in 1980. “It was a blend of these four master musicians, and each of us were important to the sum total of what the band was. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn't there, the others would have made the same decision not to carry on.”

Continue reading: Jimmy Page Admits He Can't Foresee Another Led Zeppelin Reunion Happening

Led Zeppelin Sort Of Lose First Round In 'Stairway To Heaven' Lawsuit

Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page

Maybe this lawsuit won't be as easy to win as Led Zeppelin probably assumed. Back in May, we reported how relations of the Spirit frontman Randy Craig Wolfe filed a suit against Zeppelin seeking monetary damages and a writing credit for the band's monster hit 'Stairway to Heaven'.

Jimmy PageJimmy Page is accused of stealing his famous chords for 'Stairway to Heaven' from the U.S rock band 'Spirit'

Wolfe's family claimed Zep guitarist Jimmy Page ripped his famous chords for the song from Sprit's 1968 tune 'Taurus'. Interestingly, the two bands once toured together and became familiar with each other's tunes.

Continue reading: Led Zeppelin Sort Of Lose First Round In 'Stairway To Heaven' Lawsuit

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

Led Zeppelin Robert Plant Jimmy Page

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, Nirvana and Metallica. The riff is also recognised by many as the soundtrack of Top of the Pops throughout the 1970s.

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin in 1973 [Getty/Hulton Archive]

Page said of the honor: "I'm knocked out by this, because I didn't expect that to happen. I wanted a riff that really moved, that people would really get, and would bring a smile to their faces. But when I played it with the band, it really went into overdrive. There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing."

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

Wait, Did Led Zeppelin Really Steal The ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Riff?

Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page Robert Plant

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 on behalf of the late guitarist Randy California, who, perhaps crucially, played on the same bill as Led Zeppelin in the 1960s.

Robert PlantRobert Plant Has No Plans to Reunite with Led Zeppelin

California’s lawyers argue he should be given a writing credit on the 1971 track, perhaps the most lucrative in Zeppelin’s back catalogue. Bloomberg estimate that the eight-minute track had earned £334 million as of 2008. That figure is largely down to the fact that the band did not release it as a single, leaving fans with no option but to buy the entire album, Led Zeppelin IV, at the time.

Continue reading: Wait, Did Led Zeppelin Really Steal The ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Riff?

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

Led Zeppelin Robert Plant Jimmy Page John Paul Jones

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
Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant.

Led Zeppelin are in legal hot water as a US lawyer is preparing paperwork which claims they ripped off the opening of their 1971 classic ballad ‘Stairway to Heaven’. The lawyer is filing an injunction against the reissue of their album Led Zeppelin IV on behalf of the later guitarist Randy California, who was a member of the band Spirit. If the injunction is filed, Led Zeppelin may end up in court having to defend their creative rights and ownership of the song.

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

Jimmy Page Receives Honorary Doctorate At Berklee Music College

Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page

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 was held at the Agganis Arena.

The 70-year-old musician prepared a short five minute speech in which he thanked the college and congratulated the graduating musicians, as the Boston Globe reports. Page discussed the concert he had attended the previous evening in which the students had honoured his 60 year career. Amongst the songs the students performed were Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock and Roll’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’.

Of the students’ performance, Page said “The quality of musicianship that was shown last night was really moving.” He continued by thanking the college for his honorary doctorate, stating “This is absolutely so amazing, and it’s such a privilege to be a part of this and feel all the energy coming from you graduates, congratulations.”

Continue reading: Jimmy Page Receives Honorary Doctorate At Berklee Music College

Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin - Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin Friday 12th October 2012 UK film premiere of Led Zeppelin's 'Celebration Day' held at the Hammersmith Apollo - Arrivals

Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin at O2 Arena

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin

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