Led Zeppelin – A tribute

Lucifer’s Cobbler returns, with an ode to the unquestionable heroes of classic rock… Enjoy

Mainstream music has undergone a significant change in the recent times. Today we have thousands and thousands of bands and singers crooning all over. These artists may have plenty to offer , but none of them have managed to emerge as superstars. We no longer have music icons, who capture our imagination,ones who are idolized by youth, or leave a legion of fan following .The musicians fail to create any long standing impact on listeners. If you happen to be a rock lover, then you might just agree with me without a second thought. Where are the heroes of yesteryears ?The long haired, skinny and aggressive rock superstars in their extravagant outfits, who preached occult , mocked the system and society, and provoked the rebel within us. The late 60’s to the early 90’s. The new radical form of music, known as rock had taken centrestage.Rock legends ranging from Jim Morrison to Kurt Cobain, all were a part of this golden era of rock. Here I present, an account on Led Zeppelin , a band which inspired and laid the foundation for modern rock. Led zeppelin along with Deep purple, and Black Sabbath are considered the pioneers Heavy metal, the most commercially successful genre of rock music.

Led Zeppelin is a British rock band that was extremely popular in the 1970s. Although their musical style was diverse, they came to be well known for their influence on the development of heavy metal.
The members were
Jimmy Page (b. Jan. 9, 1944Heston, Middlesex, Eng.),
Robert Plant (b. Aug. 20, 1948West Bromwich, West Midlands),
John Paul Jones (original name John Baldwin; b. Jan. 3, 1946Sidcup, Kent), and John Bonham (b. May 31, 1948Redditch, Hereford and Worcester–d. Sept. 25, 1980Windsor, Berkshire).

Initially called the New Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin was formed in 1968 by Jimmy Page, the final lead guitarist for the legendary British blues band the Yardbirds. Bassist and keyboard player Jones, like Page, was a veteran studio musician; vocalist Plant and drummer Bonham came from little-known provincial bands. The group was influenced by various kinds of music, including early rock and roll, psychedelic rock, blues, folk, Celtic, Indian, and Arabic music. Led Zeppelin’s eponymous debut album was released on 12 January 1969, during their first US tour. The album’s blend of blues, folk and eastern influences with distorted amplification made it one of the pivotal records in the creation of heavy metal music. Although acoustic and folk-based music was part of the band’s repertoire from its inception, it was the bottom-heavy, loud, raw, and powerful electric style that gained them their following and notoriety early on; their first two albums included many of the songs that prompted Led Zeppelin’s categorization as a precursor of heavy metal. The heaviness of songs such as “Dazed and Confused” and “Whole Lotta Love”(both from “Led zeppelin II”,1969) was created by Bonham’s enormous drum sound and through Page’s production techniques, in which he emphasized drums and bass, resulting in a sonic spaciousness that has kept the records sounding fresh years after they were made. Page and Jones also wrote most of the band’s music, while Plant contributed lyrics and some musical ideas.

During the five-year period (1971-1976) the band released their best selling albums and ascended to the pinnacle of musical success in the 1970s. The band’s image also changed as members began to wear elaborate, flamboyant clothing and they developed a reputation for off-stage excess Although Page was responsible for the majority of their signature riffs (the short, repeated musical ideas that often structure a song), Jones wrote the riff for the celebrated “Black Dog”(From “Zoso”) and several other songs. Jones also contributed much to the arrangement of songs. Page’s guitar solos were based primarily on melodic ideas derived from the blues scale (“Heartbreaker” from the album Led Zeppelin II, is a good example), and he is especially known for creating multiple, simultaneous guitar parts–a kind of guitar orchestra–in such songs as “Achilles Last Stand” (“Presence”,1976) and “The Song Remains the Same.” Page is considered one of rock’s guitar heroes, but, because he was more interested in creating a distinctive mood and sound on a recording than in displaying his virtuosity, he frequently chose not to include a guitar solo in Zeppelin songs.

Plant’s voice rounded out Led Zeppelin’s sound. Exaggerating the vocal style and expressive palette of blues singers such as Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, Plant created the sound that has defined much hard rock and heavy metal singing: a high range, an abundance of distortion, loud volume, and emotional excess (“Whole Lotta Love” is a classic example). Plant was, however, capable of a broader stylistic range, including tender ballads (“The Rain Song”) and songs showing the influence of Indian and Arabic vocal styles (“Kashmir”, from “Physical Graffiti”, 1975).
Led Zeppelin’s best-known song is “Stairway to Heaven”; its gentle acoustic beginning eventually builds to an exhilarating climax featuring a lengthy electric guitar solo. This combination of acoustic and electric sections was typical for Page, who from the band’s beginning was interested in juxtaposing what he called “light and shade.” and there are unsubstantiated but repeated claims of “satanic” back masked messages within the song The song appeared on the band’s fourth and most famous album (1971), released untitled, which showed only four runic symbols (intended to represent the band members) on the cover and had the mystical, mythological lyrics to “Stairway” printed on the inner sleeve. The sense of mystery and ritual that this created became an important part of the band’s image. They kept their distance from the press and were uninterested in catering to the singles market. Not only did they not release singles, but “Stairway” and several other songs were of epic length by rock standards.The subsequent albums were all massive hits .They include “Houses of the holy” (1973), “physical graffiti”(1975), “the song remains the same” (theatrical release,1976) and “Presence”(1976). All of them featured experimentation, with longer tracks and expanded use of synthesizers and mellotron orchestration.
Thanks in part to their manager, Peter Grant, the band enjoyed phenomenal commercial success throughout the 1970s. While Led Zeppelin never received the kind of critical acclaim or mainstream acceptance accorded the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, their influence on rock music has been prodigious. They are regularly cited as the progenitors of both hard rock and heavy metal. Their sound has been imitated by bands from Black Sabbath to Nirvana. They also inspired hard rock bands to include acoustic elements in their music and were among the first to experiment with Indian and North African music. Page’s style–both his solos and riffs–has served as an important model for most rock guitarists, and Bonham is often cited as the model for metal or hard rock drumming.
From 1977 the band was challenged with problems such as the death of Robert Plant’s son in 1977, Jimmy Page’s heroin use.The group disbanded in 1980 after Bonham’s accidental death. The alcoholism that had plagued the drummer since his earliest days with the band ultimately led to his death. In 1982, the surviving members of the group released a collection of out-takes from various sessions during Led Zeppelin’s career, entitled Coda. The surviving members of the band later reunited on several occasions for concerts. Close to 30 years after disbanding, the band continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and broad influence.Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2005, Led Zeppelin received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Led Zeppelin ranked #14 on Rolling Stone’s 2004 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and are ranked No. 1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock
A quick overview of Led Zeppelin’s works.
Studio albums
Led Zeppelin (1969)
Led Zeppelin II (1969)
Led Zeppelin III (1970)
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
Houses of the Holy (1973)
Physical Graffiti (1975)
Presence (1976)
In Through the Out Door (1979)
Coda (1982)[95]
The Song Remains the Same (1976)
Led Zeppelin (DVD) (2003)

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1 Response to Led Zeppelin – A tribute

  1. very well written piece… enjoyed reading this…

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