Rock and roll really started to take off in the 1960’s, with bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Artists like Jimi Hendrix were radically changing the way a guitar was played. There seemed to be no limit to the genre itself, spanning from artists like James Brown to Pink Floyd to The Beach Boys.
One band came along in the late 1960’s that changed rock music forever. This band consisted of four members: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. Few people have never heard of this legendary band: Led Zeppelin.
They hail from London, England, and began playing in 1968. By 1969, their debut album Led Zeppelin reached the top ten on American billboards, and number six in the UK. It was a bluesy album, as this is where most of their inspiration stemmed. Throughout their North American tour, they recorded their second album Led Zeppelin II at various studios. This album peaked at number one in both the US and UK.
From there, the band entered into an era known as “The Biggest Band in the World.” This lasted from 1971-1975, until they took their hiatus. They avoided TV appearances, trashed hotels, and released an album with no name in efforts to avoid labels by the media. And people loved them. Their fourth album sold 37 million copies. Songs such as “Stairway To Heaven,” “Black Dog,” and “Rock and Roll” cemented their success and fame.
Seven of their nine studio albums reached number one in the UK (six of nine in the US). All of their albums went platinum.
Their touring style became the model for future bands, as they introduced large stadium shows. The band set attendance records and made history, selling out Earl Court Arena in 1975, five times. They also sold out Tampa Stadium, and Madison Square Garden to beat out The Beatles in attendance records.
Led Zeppelin’s legacy lies in their ability to match experimentation with tradition. They set the standard for recording music, putting on concerts, and album-oriented rock. In 1980, after John Bonham’s death, the remaining members decided to disband. Led Zeppelin was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
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