Led Zeppelin

One of the most popular rock bands of all time. Their Blues based Hard Rock has kept them as popular today as they were in the 1970s and 1980s! With Led Zeppelin it's easire to name what I dont' like, because I like almsot all their releases (In Through the Out door is the only album that left me rather flat). So it should be no suprise that we have a LONG list of favorite albums here.

Scroll down past the album listings for a history of the band.


 

Here are the original monsters of rock in all their epic, bombastic glory. The Who may have had more decibels (a dubious distinction), but no band took hard rock higher into the stratosphere than the Zep did with their cosmic mixture of deep blues, gothic melodrama, and the supernatural chops of Page, Plant, Bonham, and Jones. For listeners new to the Zep canon, there's no better primer of the band's range and power than this 4 CD box set, compiled and remixed in 1990 by Page himself. All the obvious song choices are here. But even if you've already heard "Black Dog" once too often on the car radio, this set wisely spotlights several overlooked gems, including their ultimate blues lament "I'm Gonna Crawl." It's a blueprint that later generations of head-bangers tragically failed to follow. --Steve Appleford

 

 

 

 

As Basil Bunting wrote about Ezra Pound's Cantos, "There are the Alps... you will have to go a long way round/if you want to avoid them." Led Zeppelin's work is the central fact of 1970s rock & roll; in its loving homage to and shameless piracy from the blues, its glorious and wretched excess, its transformation of hippie and folk-rock graces into a foundation-shaking kaboom, and its offhanded myth-making, the band turned everything caught in its wake into a reaction to it--or against it. The three non-album tracks the box includes are grace notes rather than lost jewels, but the point of the set is to be a Rosetta stone of album rock, the stairway to a gaudy paradise that they constructed. --Douglas Wolk

 

 

 

  For a band with such an overarching legacy, the official record of Led Zeppelin's legendary--and unpredictable--live act has heretofore been poorly represented by the disappointing, scattershot soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same. But this triple-disc live set (culled from 1972 Long Beach/LA shows in advance of Houses of the Holy) addresses history with a vengeance, if a few decades late. These shows have rightfully assumed cult status in the bootleg market, showcasing a band at the peak of its creative and performing powers. Zep faithful will welcome the belated release as evidence for enduring loyalty, but younger fans may find its diversity and dynamics even more enlightening--indeed, whole careers have since been built on the musical ideas Jimmy Page and company toss off here as decorative filler. Crucially rooted in the amped-and-hammered American blues of the guitarist's former band, the Yardbirds, the marathon workouts of "Dazed and Confused" and "Whole Lotta Love" (which consume nearly an hour all by themselves) somehow encompass Ricky Nelson, Morocco, James Brown, Holst, Elvis Presley, and Muddy Waters amidst their trademark sturm und drang, while the acoustic set that closes out disc one showcases the band's--and particularly Robert Plant's--good-natured, crypto-Celtic folk appeal with energetic aplomb. Bigger and brasher than just about any rock act that followed in its historic wake, yet ever fan-loyal to its myriad influences, Led Zeppelin's live juggernaut finally gets the monument it deserves. --Jerry McCulley
 

Frequently bootlegged and now digitally remastered by Jimmy Page, these tapes capture a 25-month (1969 to 1971) arc in which Zep's sound grew to encompass the speed rush and jazz/blues festival stuff of their 1969 debut, the fully developed folkie musings of "Going to California" (in which Plant vowed to make a hejira right up to Joni Mitchell's front door), and the band's modestly popular multilayered epic "Stairway to Heaven." The Sessions also give a glimpse of nearly off-the-cuff invention in an intense take on Robert Johnson's "Traveling Riverside Blues." Most other white blues musicians would've rushed to get this on vinyl; Page and Plant instead used it for parts, most notably taking its profound acoustic freneticism for Led Zeppelin III. --Rickey Wright

 

 

As it turned out, Led Zeppelin's infamous 1969 debut album was indicative of the decade to come--one that, fittingly, this band helped define with its decadently exaggerated, bowdlerized blues-rock. In shrieker Robert Plant, ex-Yardbird Jimmy Page found a vocalist who could match his guitar pyrotechnics, and the band pounded out its music with swaggering ferocity and Richter-scale-worthy volume. Pumping up blues classics such as Otis Rush's "I Can't Quit You Baby" and Howlin' Wolf's "How Many More Times" into near-cartoon parodies, the band also hinted at things to come with the manic "Communication Breakdown" and the lumbering set stopper "Dazed and Confused." --Billy Altman

 

 

 

 

Riff rock had been what Jimmy Page's former band, the Yardbirds, were all about, and on Led Zeppelin's second album, released, like its predecessor, in 1969, the inventive guitarist demonstrated that he'd indeed learned his lessons well. Witness "Whole Lotta Love," a woozy epic based on one simple, head-banging-friendly guitar riff. Or the mock-dramatic "Heartbreaker," propelled by far more intricate but similarly effective note squashing. Between Page's sonic wizardry, John Bonham beating his drums into submission ("Moby Dick"), and the juice running down Robert Plant's leg ("The Lemon Song"), Led Zeppelin here just about succeeded in raising rock & roll excess to an art form. --Billy Altman


Led Zeppelin II is an album of Jimmy Page riffs so huge, and John Paul Jones/John Bonham rhythms so deep, that the heavy metal genre this classic helped create has tried for decades to catch up, mostly without success. And no wonder: since II catches the band before they'd headed too far into their ridiculous medieval fancies, this might be as good as Zep would ever be. Regardless, the thunderous "Whole Lotta Love," a Top 5 hit, and "Bring It on Home" are very nearly as fierce and twisted as British white blues would ever get. --David Cantwell

 

After plundering the Yardbirds' legacy and Willie Dixon (among others) for their blues-riff-heavy first two albums, Jimmy Page and company surprised many listeners with the strong acoustic/folk sensibility displayed on III. Page aficionados shouldn't have been caught off guard; the guitarist had toyed with similar sensibilities and modalities during his brief tenure with the Yardbirds (most notably "White Summer" from the Little Games album). Ever the creative thieves, Zep kick off the album by nicking the riff from "Bali Ha'i" no less, with Robert Plant wailing it to punctuate the thundering FM warhorse "Immigrant Song." Even other electric rockers like "Celebration Day" and "Out on the Tiles" have an inventive, offbeat musicality to them that suggest the band was already wary of stereotyping. But it's the decidedly mellower acoustic groove of the album's latter half that's the news here, from the graceful beauty of "That's the Way" and "Tangerine" to the raw, folksy charm of "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp," "Hats Off (to Roy Harper)," and the traditional "Gallows Pole." --Jerry McCulley

 

Also known as the "rune" album or Zoso because of the medieval symbols adorning the inner sleeve, Led Zeppelin's fourth album, released in 1971, turned them from mere superstars into giant behemoths of the rock world. On tracks like "Black Dog," "Misty Mountain Hop," and "Rock and Roll," the combination of Robert Plant's banshee wails and Jimmy Page's frenetic guitar playing forever altered the stylistic bent of hard rock music. And the foreboding "When the Levee Breaks" demonstrated that Zeppelin could indeed play the blues fairly straight if they so desired. Still, everything here ultimately took a back seat to the album's (and, ultimately, the band's) magnum opus--the expertly constructed and deftly executed classic, "Stairway to Heaven." --Billy Altman


Jimmy Page was a top London studio guitarist before he got rich and famous as the musical leader of Led Zeppelin. The group's fourth--and arguably their finest--album is as much a tribute to his technique as a monument to his versatility. Page produced the album, co-wrote all eight songs, and played mandolin as well as all the guitars. Musically, this 1971 disc ranges from acoustic English folke ("Goin' to California" and "The Battle of Evermore," the latter featuring the late Fairport Convention frontwoman Sandy Denny) to bone-crushing, bluesy riff-slinging. On the album's centerpiece, "Stairway to Heaven," these light and dark strains are dramatically intertwined. The chiming "Four Sticks" aside, it's the Little Richard-inspired "Rock and Roll" and the tricky time changes--a Zeppelin trademark--of the fast-and-furious "Black Dog" that elevate this album into more than just a bustle in aspiring guitarists' hedgerows. --Don Waller

 

Buoyed by the runaway commercial success of Led Zeppelin IV, Jimmy Page used this 1973 follow-up to hone his already impressive production skills, and the result was a collection sporting an impressively expansive sound. Benefiting--especially on tracks such as "Dancing Days Are Here Again," "The Crunge," and "Over the Hills and Far Away"--was Zeppelin's always underrated rhythm section: thunder-fisted drummer John Bonham and rock-solid bassist John Paul Jones. Jones also emerged here as a secret weapon on keyboards with his subtle work on more pensive fare such as "No Quarter" and "The Ocean." And the goofy "D'yer Ma'ker" showed that Zeppelin had more of a sense of humor than most people ever gave them credit for. --Billy Altman


Robert Plant once said that a chunk of the Zep catalog was "music for hippie bookstores." While much of Houses of the Holy thumps hard enough to knock the incense holders off the speakers, the generally upbeat vibe makes this a great choice for playing on the first (dancing) day of spring, windows flung wide open as Jimmy Page's lead lines soar out over the neighbors' rosebushes. Plant is at his most lovey-dovey here, whether updating Chuck Berry on "The Ocean," extolling the virtues of his Page 3 girl on "The Crunge," or writing greeting cards for that patchouli-scented side-street shop on "The Rain Song." In a word: grand. --Rickey Wright

  This 1975 release came smack in the middle of a long and nearly mythic career. Physical Graffiti is the last great Led Zeppelin title, recorded before the influences of the day (synthesizers, disco) ended Zeppelin's reign as the kings of loud and sexy blues-metal. Playfully experimenting with new sounds, the band blended Middle Eastern rhythms, folk-stylings, heavy blues, and deeply impassioned rock riffs into a two-disc set that sounded as if they were still enjoying their place in the rock pantheon. As sprawling and adventurous as this collection is, there are some tracks so tightly focused--so ultra-Zeppelinesque--that it's tempting to name this as a number one or number two must-have. "Trampled Underfoot" and "Custard Pie" alone are almost worth the double-disc price tag. --Lorry Fleming
 

Presence is one of Led Zeppelin's more overlooked albums, languishing in the monstrous shadow of its predecessor, Physical Graffiti. It's more noted in Zeppelin mythology for the circumstances in which it was recorded, in double-quick time with vocalist Robert Plant's leg in plaster after a car accident. The lack of time does show--much of the album feels like generic heavy rock, bigger on volume than variety. It's worth the price of the album, however, for the 10-minute-plus "Achilles Last Stand" (a crashing, galloping epic with John Bonham sounding like he's replaced his drumsticks with tree trunks) and "Nobody's Fault but Mine," a Blind Willie Johnson blues regenerated with a 3,000-watt boost by Jimmy Page. --David Stubbs

 

 

 

Long acknowledged as one of the most formidable concert acts on the rock & roll arena circuit, Led Zeppelin finally bit the grenade and in 1976 released this, the only live album of their career. The companion to a same-named full-length feature film combing concert footage and oblique "personal" visual statements by each member, this collection still stands up as a souvenir of Zeppelin's winning stage combination of fire and fury. A sort of live greatest-hits disc, the album features good versions of "Rock and Roll," "Dazed and Confused" (complete with violin-bowed guitar, of course), "Whole Lotta Love," and the inevitably climactic "Stairway to Heaven." --Billy Altman

 

 

Some later Releases

     
     

Yeah, it's kind of silly,
but it's just fun stuph.

(No, Led Zeppelin didn't
play this, it's a tribute)

 


Led Zeppelin was a British rock band that became one of the most popular and influential musical ensembles ever.


The four-member group debuted in 1968 with a raucous and revolutionary take on British blues-rock, and later developed their music in other ways that would contribute to the birth of hard rock and eventually to the rise of heavy metal.


They proved to be consistent innovators while remaining popular and accessible, fusing disparate elements from an eclectic spectrum of popular music, including rockabilly, soul, funk, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, and even Latin. More than two-and-a-half decades after the band retired in 1980, their music continues to sell well, garner widespread radio play, and prove a seminal influence on modern rock. Their epic "Stairway to Heaven" is considered by many to be the greatest classic rock song ever recorded. To date, the group is reported to have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including over 100 million albums in the United States alone (the US sales figure ranks third, behind only The Beatles and Elvis Presley, according to the Recording Industry Association of America).


Besides "Stairway To Heaven", some of their most famous songs are: "Rock and Roll", "Black Dog", "Heartbreaker", "Immigrant Song", "Kashmir", "Dazed and Confused", "Misty Mountain Hop", "Whole Lotta Love", "Communication Breakdown", "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)", "Achilles Last Stand", "Fool in the Rain", "Moby Dick", "When the Levee Breaks", "No Quarter", "Good Times, Bad Times" and "The Song Remains The Same."

The Early Days (1968-1970)

The band was originally formed in 1968 by guitarist Jimmy Page under the name The New Yardbirds, based on the Yardbirds (Page's previous band), to fulfill some performance commitments booked in Scandinavia before the original band's break-up. The New Yardbirds consisted of Page, vocalist Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham and former Yardbirds bassist Chris Dreja, but Dreja left early in the project to become a photographer (and would later take the photograph that appeared on the back of the group's debut album). Dreja was replaced by Page's long-time friend and fellow London recording session player John Paul Jones. Page's first choice as singer, Terry Reid, declined the opportunity but unselfishly recommended Plant, who accepted and then brought in his old friend Bonham from the defunct Band of Joy.


After some concerts with this line-up billed variously as the New Yardbirds or sometimes simply The Yardbirds, the band's name was changed to Led Zeppelin, after The Who's drummer Keith Moon quipped that the band would go down faster than a "lead zeppelin" (the comment is also frequently attributed to Who bassist John Entwistle.) The group adopted the name, deliberately misspelling the first part to prevent people from pronouncing it as "leed."


Shortly after their first tour, the group's eponymous first album was released on January 12, 1969. Its blend of blues and rock influences with distorted amplification made it one of the pivotal records in the evolution of heavy metal music. Although several of Zeppelin's earliest songs were based on or were cover versions of blues standards, others such as "Communication Breakdown" had a unique and distinctively heavy sound. Led Zeppelin also featured delicate acoustic guitar on "Black Mountain Side", and a combination of acoustic and electric approaches on the reworked folk song "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You." The immediate success of the first album kick-started the band's career, especially in the United States, where they would frequently tour. The second record, simply titled Led Zeppelin II, followed in similar style later that year: the album begins with the bludgeoning riff of "Whole Lotta Love," which, driven by the rhythm section of Bonham on drums and Jones on bass, defined their sound at the time. Led Zeppelin II—often referred to by fans as the "Brown Bomber"—was an even greater success for the group, reaching the Number 1 chart position in both the US and the UK.


Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were blues fanatics; two of Led Zeppelin's early hits, "Whole Lotta Love" and "You Shook Me", were very similar to earlier songs by Willie Dixon. (The band were subsequently accused of using his lyrics without crediting Dixon, and it was not until Chess Records brought suit 15 years later, that proper credit—and a monetary settlement—was given.) Page was once quoted in an interview with the hypothesis: "I've often thought that in the way the Stones tried to be the sons of Chuck Berry, we tried to be the sons of Howlin' Wolf 1" (a version of whose song "Killing Floor" featured prominently in Zeppelin's early live performances). The band also loved American rock and roll: the exuberant styles of Fats Domino and Little Richard were inspirations, and Led Zeppelin would perform rockabilly songs originally made famous by Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran. Onstage, Led Zeppelin concerts could last more than three hours; expanded, improvised live versions of their song repertoire often incorporated tight workouts of James Brown, Stax, and Motown-influenced soul music and funk (favorites of bassist Jones and drummer Bonham).
For the writing of the music on their third album, Led Zeppelin III, the band retired to Bron-Yr-Aur, a remote cottage in Wales. This would result in a more acoustic sound (and a song "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp", misspelled as "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" on the album cover) strongly influenced by Celtic and folk music, and it also revealed a different side of guitarist Page's prodigious talent. Led Zeppelin III also ushered in an era of unique album jackets, this one featuring a wheel that displayed various images through cutouts in the main jacket sleeve when rotated. In November of 1970, Led Zeppelin's record label, Atlantic Records, released "Immigrant Song" as a single against the band's wishes (Atlantic had earlier released an edited version of "Whole Lotta Love" which cut the 5:34 song to 3:10). It included their only b-side, "Hey Hey What Can I Do". Even though the band saw their albums as indivisible, whole listening experiences — and their manager, Peter Grant, maintained an aggressive pro-album stance — nine other singles were released without their consent. The group also resisted television appearances, which reduced their ability to control their presentation and sound quality (with often disappointing or embarrassing results). Lack of Zeppelin TV exposure also enforced the band's preference that their fans hear and see them in person.


“The Biggest Band in the World” (1971–1975)
The band’s diverse musical tendencies were fused on its untitled fourth album, whose actual title was given as four unpronounceable symbols (); it is thus variously referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, Zoso, Runes, or Four Symbols. (Not only is the album itself without a conventional title - on the original packaging, there is no indication of the name of the band.) Released on November 8, 1971, this record included hard rock such as "Black Dog", Tolkienesque fantasy on "The Battle of Evermore", and a combination of both genres in the lengthy, suite-like "Stairway to Heaven", a massive album-oriented rock FM radio hit which, despite its success, has never been released as a single. The album concludes with one of their best blues songs, a Memphis Minnie cover titled "When the Levee Breaks".


Their next studio record, 1973's Houses of the Holy, featured further experimentation: powerful melodies, longer tracks and expanded use of synthesizers and Mellotron orchestration. With "The Song Remains the Same", "No Quarter" and "D'yer Mak'er" (A play on words based on an old joke), Led Zeppelin was again pushing the limits defining rock music. Their 1973 tour of the U.S. again broke records for attendance: at Tampa Stadium, Florida they played to 56,800 fans (more than the Beatles' 1965 concert at Shea Stadium). Three sold-out New York shows at Madison Square Garden were filmed for a concert motion picture, but this project would be delayed for several years.


In 1974, Led Zeppelin launched their own record label called Swan Song, named after one of only five songs that the band never recorded for commercial release (the track was re-tooled as "Midnight Moonlight" by Page's post-Zeppelin band The Firm on their first album). The record label's logo, based on Evening, Fall of Day (1869) by painter William Rimmer, features a picture of the Greek mythology figure Apollo, although often it is misinterpreted as Icarus or Lucifer. This logo can be found on much Led Zeppelin memorabilia. In addition to using it as a vehicle to promote their own albums, the band expanded the label's roster, signing artists such as Bad Company, Pretty Things, Maggie Bell, Detective, Dave Edmunds, Midnight Flyer, Sad Café and Wildlife.


1975 saw the release of Physical Graffiti, their first double-album, on the Swan Song label. Led Zeppelin again showed their impressive range with songs like the lush and complex "Ten Years Gone", the acoustic "Black Country Woman", the driving "Trampled Underfoot" and the thundering, Indian-Arabic-tinged "Kashmir".


Shortly after the release of Physical Graffiti, the entire Led Zeppelin catalogue of six albums simultaneously re-entered the top-200 album chart. The band embarked on another U.S. tour, again playing to record-breaking crowds. To top off the year, they played five sold-out nights at the UK's Earls Court (these shows were recorded, since they were originally broadcast on huge video screens behind the band on stage, live, so patrons in the back could also get a great view of the band. Portions of which would be released on DVD some 28 years later). At this peak of their career, Led Zeppelin was the biggest rock band in the world.


If the band's popularity on stage and record was impressive, so too was its reputation for excess and off-stage wildness. Zeppelin traveled in a private jet (nicknamed "The Starship"), rented out entire sections of hotels, and became the subjects of many of rock's most famous stories of debauchery: trashed hotel rooms (TVs out the window, motorcycling in the halls), kinky sex and heavy use of drugs and alcohol. Several people associated with the band would later write books about the wild escapades of the group, while band members themselves have disavowed many of the tales.

The Later Days (1976-1982)
In 1976 the band took a break from the road and began filming "fantasy" segments for the concert film entitled "The Song Remains The Same". During this break, Robert Plant and his wife were in a car crash while on holiday in Greece. Plant suffered a broken ankle; Maureen Plant was very seriously injured, and only a flight back to London and a timely blood transfusion saved her life. Unable to tour, the band returned to the studio and, with Plant sitting on a stool during the sessions, they recorded their seventh studio album, Presence. The album was a platinum seller, but marked a change in the Zeppelin sound, as straightforward, guitar-based jams such as "Nobody's Fault But Mine" had replaced the intricate arrangements of previous albums. A highlight of the album was the epic-length Achilles Last Stand featuring a driving bassline and thundering drums, melodic Page riffs and a memorable guitar solo. Overall, the album received mixed responses from critics and fans, with some appreciating the looser style and others dismissing it as sloppy; some critics speculated that the band's legendary excesses may have caught up with them at last. The year 1976 marked the beginning of Page's heroin use, a habit which would often interfere with their live shows and studio recordings in their later years.


Late 1976 finally saw the release of the concert film The Song Remains the Same and its soundtrack double LP. Despite the release date, the concert footage was actually from 1973; it would be the only filmed document of the group available for the next 20 years. The soundtrack album of the film had some songs missing and some added compared to the film, and some songs are different cuts from the three nights the band performed at Madison Square Garden. The soundtrack is not generally considered a great live album, but it would remain the only official live document of the band until the eventual release of the BBC Sessions in 1997.


In 1977, Led Zeppelin embarked on another massive U.S. tour, again selling out up to five nights in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. (Seattle and Cleveland shows from this tour were the sources of bootleg recordings prized by fans. The name of the bootleg from the Cleveland show is "Led Zeppelin Destroyer") Following a show at the "Day on the Green" festival in Oakland, the news came that Robert Plant's son, Karac, had died from a respiratory infection. Other problems during this time included an arrest of several members of the band's support staff (including Manager Peter Grant) after almost beating a member of the Bill Graham's Oakland concert staff to death during the concert (which resulted in the rest of the tour being canceled), and malicious critics and superstitious fans whispering of a "curse" said to be related to Page's interest in the occult. Such charges were scoffed at by the band.


The summer of 1978 saw the group recording again, this time at Swedish Polar Studio, owned by the pop group ABBA; this album would be titled In Through the Out Door and would highlight the talents of John Paul Jones and of drummer John Bonham on the epic "Carouselambra" and the tropical "Fool In The Rain". The album also featured rockers like "In The Evening", and the balladic tribute to Plant's son, "All My Love". After a decade of recording and touring, the band was now considered a dinosaur in some quarters, as mainstream musical tastes had moved in favor of disco and critical focus had turned to punk rock. Nevertheless, the band still commanded legions of loyal fans, and the album easily reached #1 in the US and UK.


In the summer of 1979, after two warm-up shows in Copenhagen, Led Zeppelin was booked as headliner at England's Knebworth Festival in August. Close to 150,000 fans witnessed the return of Led Zeppelin and, with the release of In Through the Out Door in August, they were ready to tour again, planning a short European tour followed by another American tour.


The 1980 American tour was not to be, however. On September 25, 1980, shortly before embarking on the U.S. leg of the tour, drummer John Bonham died of accidental asphyxiation after a day long alcohol binge. For two months the remaining band members considered whether to continue with a replacement, but decided that because of Bonham's death, they could not continue as Led Zeppelin, and so in December 1980, they announced that the group had disbanded. For many years after, there would be rumours of a reunion and plans for various collaborative projects.


Two years after Bonham's death, the band released Coda, a collection of out-takes from previous recording sessions. In the years to follow, a steady stream of boxed sets and greatest-hits collections would keep the band on the charts, as Led Zeppelin continued to garner heavy airplay on rock radio.

Reunions and ongoing success (1982-present)
After embarking on a successful solo career in 1982, Plant teamed with Page in 1984 for the commercially successful EP The Honeydrippers: Volume 1 , which also featured another former-Yardbird's guitarist Jeff Beck.


On 13 July 1985 Led Zeppelin reunited at the Live Aid concert for a short set featuring Page, Plant and Jones, with drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins standing in for the late John Bonham. The performance included three songs ("Rock and Roll", "Whole Lotta Love" and "Stairway to Heaven") and myriad difficulties. Consequently, many fans' impression of the event was marred--Plant's shot voice and Page's seeming inebriation and untuned Les Paul guitar stood out in particular (the Gibson EDS-1275 was in-tune). When Live Aid was released on a four-set DVD in late 2004, the group unanimously disallowed usage of footage from their performance. However, Page and Plant donated all proceedings from their Unledded DVD to the Live Aid charity, and Jones donated a portion of the profits from his US tour with the Mutual Admiration Society toward the charity as well.


In 1986, Page, Plant and Jones gathered at Bath, England for rehearsals with Thompson with a view to play again as a group, but a serious car accident involving Thompson put an end to that plan.


However, Zeppelin did reunite again in 1988 for Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary concert, their second public performance after Bonham's death, with Jason Bonham (sitting in for his father, John) joining the remaining three. They also played with Jason at Carmen Plant's (Robert's daughter) 21st birthday party, and at Jason's wedding.


In 1990, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page played a brief set together at the Knebworth music festival, which included a rarity from Coda, "Wearing and Tearing". Page and Plant, without Jones, reunited in 1994 for an MTV Unplugged performance (dubbed Unledded) which eventually led to a world tour with a Middle Eastern orchestra, and an album entitled No Quarter. Many point to this as the beginning of an increasing rift between Jones and Plant/Page, as Jones was upset with Page and Plant touring without asking him first. Tensions were further increased when Plant was asked at a press conference where Jones was, he jokingly replied that Jones was indeed touring with them, but was parking cars instead of playing.


In 1995, the band was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Evidence of the band's inner-rift became extraordinarily apparent when Jones joked upon accepting his award, "Thank you, my friends, for remembering my phone number," causing consternation and awkward looks from Page and, in particular, Plant. This would mark the band's third and final post-Bonham public performance together (as of 2005), as they jammed with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on "Bring It On Home" and Neil Young on "When the Levee Breaks."


1997 saw the release of the first Led Zeppelin album in more than 15 years— BBC Sessions. This two-disc set included almost all of the band's recordings for the BBC, though fans noticed the absence of one session from 1969 that included the unreleased "Sugar Mama". At this time Atlantic also released a single edit of "Whole Lotta Love" making it the only Led Zeppelin CD single. In 1998, Page and Plant continued their collaboration after the Unledded project with Walking into Clarksdale, the pair's first album-length collaboration on all-new material since Led Zeppelin.


The British press reported in 2002 that Plant and Jones had reconciled after a 20-year feud that had kept Led Zeppelin apart, and rumours surfaced of a reunion tour in 2003. Drummer Dave Grohl (drummer of Nirvana and former drummer for Queens of the Stone Age, as well as frontman for the Foo Fighters) was named as a potential replacement for Bonham, a claim later denied by Page (though Page and Plant have often hinted at the possibility of a tour with Jason Bonham on drums).


2003 saw yet another resurgence of the band's popularity with the release of live album and video collections featuring material from the band's heyday (see How the West was Won album and Led Zeppelin DVD). At year's end, the DVD had sold more than 520,000 copies, easily making the list of the most popular DVDs of the year.


In 2005 Led Zeppelin received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which was the first (and to date only) Grammy the band had received. They were ranked #1 in US cable channel VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" special.


In early 2005, a census done by British radio determined that "Stairway to Heaven" was the overall most requested song.
In November 2005, it was announced that the band has been awarded the 2006 Polar Music Prize.


In Rolling Stone magazine's tabulation of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, Jimmy Page was ranked #9.

Samples, covers, and tributes
Led Zeppelin songs have been the subject of cover versions on occasion; American band Dread Zeppelin have made a career out of covering and parodying Zeppelin tunes. However, other serious and authentic-sounding tribute bands have also recently finally emerged, striving to keep the true essence of a Led Zeppelin live show experience alive - in particular a noteworthy Chicago-based Led Zeppelin tribute band In The Light, as well as, the British band Fred Zeppelin, who are based in the Black Country homeland of Plant and Bonham and have been seen by Robert Plant several times.


Beginning in the 1980s, the iconic nature of many Zeppelin riffs made them a popular target for sampling, initially unauthorised but later sanctioned by the surviving band members, to mixed reactions from fans. Hip-hop group the Beastie Boys sampled Bonham's crushing beat from "When the Levee Breaks", and also borrowed parts of "The Ocean" for "She's Crafty". For the movie Godzilla (1998), guitarist Jimmy Page collaborated with P. Diddy, reworking the famous riff from "Kashmir" in the song "Come With Me"—Page also has a brief vocal part in this song. Tool has covered "No Quarter" and a riff from the song can be found in Sublime's "Smoke Two Joints". Another band featuring Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan, A Perfect Circle, cut When the Levee Breaks for their eMOTIVe album in 2004. The rock/comedy duo Tenacious D strategically used pieces of "Stairway to Heaven" in the original version of their song "Tribute". In 2005 Coheed & Cambria released an album titled "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol 1: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness" which utilized the riffs from "Kashmir" in "Welcome Home."


A cover version of "Whole Lotta Love", by Alexis Korner, was, for many years, used as the theme music for the BBC's chart show Top of the Pops. Tina Turner covered Led Zeppelin II 's "Whole Lotta Love" (as did the a capella group The Bobs) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra released an orchestral tribute to Led Zeppelin that includes versions of "Stairway to Heaven", "When The Levee Breaks", and "Kashmir". Rolf Harris recorded a cover version of Stairway to Heaven in 1993 which reached No.7 in the UK charts. Not long after, an album "Stairways To Heaven" was released, featuring Australian artists' interpretations of the classic song. In 1995 a tribute album entitled Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin was released featuring covers performed by modern rock acts, notably a hit version of "Dancing Days" performed by Stone Temple Pilots. Robert Plant actually sang on this album, duetting with Tori Amos on "Down by the Seaside," because she wanted to sing a descant to it.


In 1978, a band from Davis, California called Little Roger and the Goosebumps put out a single called "Stairway To Gilligan's Island" (by putting the words to the theme of the 1960s US television show Gilligan's Island to an adapted and condensed "Stairway to Heaven"). This song became popular especially through heavy play (and many listener requests) on the Dr. Demento Radio Show. Legal action by representatives of Led Zeppelin soon followed and the single was withdrawn from sale.


Unlike many of their contemporaries, the band has been very protective of its catalogue of songs and has seldom allowed them to be licensed for other uses -- for example, as of early 2006, the band remains one of a select handful who have refused to license their songs to any online music stores. In recent years this position has softened somewhat and Led Zeppelin songs can be heard in movies such as One Day in September, Almost Famous and School of Rock, On the DVD release of the latter movie, a special feature shows star Jack Black and an auditorium full of extras videotaping a plea to Led Zeppelin for permission to use Immigrant Song in the film. In a singular concession for commercial use, the Led Zeppelin song Rock and Roll is currently heard in Cadillac television and radio ads.


On November 7th 2003, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) put together a one-off cover band to perform at the 2003 Montreal Drum Festival. The one-time cover line-up titled "Hammer of the Gods" included Portnoy (drums), Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big) on guitar, Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs) on bass and Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation, The Flower Kings) on Vocals. All members dressed in proper attire to imitate the original members. This performance is scheduled for release on both CD and DVD in 2006 through Portnoy's website.


A tribute to Led Zeppelin can also be heard in Dream Theater's album A Change of Seasons. In this live performance, "The Rover", "Achilles Last Stand" and "The Song Remains The Same" are put together in a medley. These tracks were performed and recorded in the "Uncovered" Show at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London, England in January 31st, 1995.


The British Heavy Metal Band Iron Maiden recorded a cover of the song "Communication Breakdown" on their single Bring Your Daughter... To the Slaughter


Frank Zappa has covered "Stairway To Heaven" during live performances. One version can be found on the 1991 live album The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life. This remarkable cover features a note-for-note copy of Page's guitar solo played by the horn section.


The Minnesota Orchestra performed with a cover band by the name of "The Music of Led Zeppelin" on January 21, 2006 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN. This performance combined electric guitar, singing, and drums with a full-blown orchestra and rock concert-style lighting for the entire duration of the show. The Minnesota Public Radio website features an article with more details. The Target Center website also features an article.

Members

Jimmy Page: guitar
Robert Plant: lead vocals, harmonica
John Bonham: drums
John Paul Jones: bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin

Discography

Studio Releases

Led Zeppelin (January 12, 1969) - #6 UK, #10 US, US Sales: 11 million
Side 1: Good Times, Bad Times; Babe I'm Gonna Leave You; You Shook Me; Dazed and Confused. Side 2: Your Time Is Gonna Come, Black Mountain Side, Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, How Many More Times.

Led Zeppelin II (October 22, 1969) - #1 UK, #1 US, US Sales: 12 million
Side 1: Whole Lotta Love, What Is and What Should Never Be, The Lemon Song, Thank You. Side 2: Heartbreaker, Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman), Ramble On, Moby Dick, Bring It On Home.

Led Zeppelin III (October 5, 1970) - #1 UK, #1 US, US Sales: 6 million
Side 1: Immigrant Song, Friends, Celebration Day, Since I've Been Loving You, Out On the Tiles. Side 2: Gallows Pole, Tangerine, That's the Way, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Hats Off to (Roy) Harper

Led Zeppelin IV (November 8, 1971) - #1 UK, #2 US, US Sales: 22 million
Side 1: Black Dog, Rock and Roll, The Battle of Evermore, Stairway to Heaven. Side 2: Misty Mountain Hop, Four Sticks, Going to California, When the Levee Breaks.

Houses of the Holy (March 28, 1973) - #1 UK, #1 US, US Sales: 11 million -
Side 1: The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Over the Hills and Far Away, The Crunge. Side 2: Dancing Days, D'yer Mak'er, No Quarter, The Ocean.

Physical Graffiti (February 24, 1975) - #1 UK, #1 US, US Sales: 15 million -
Disc 1, Side 1: Custard Pie, The Rover, In My Time of Dying. Disc 1, Side 2: Houses of the Holy, Trampled Under Foot, Kashmir. Disc 2, Side 1: In the Light, Bron-Yr-Aur, Down by the Seaside, Ten Years Gone. Disc 2, Side 2: Night Flight, The Wanton Song, Boogie with Stu, Black Country Woman, Sick Again.

Presence (March 31, 1976) - #1 UK, #1 US, US Sales: 3 million
Side 1: Achilles Last Stand, For Your Life, Royal Orleans. Side 2: Nobody's Fault But Mine, Candy Store Rock, Hots On For Nowhere, Tea For One.

In Through the Out Door (August 15, 1979) - #1 UK, #1 US, US Sales: 7 million
Side 1: In the Evening, South Bound Saurez, Fool In the Rain, Hot Dog. Side 2: Carouselambra, All My Love, I'm Gonna Crawl.

Coda (November 19, 1982) - #4 UK, #6 US, US Sales: 1 million -We're Gonna Groove, Poor Tom, I Can't Quit You Baby, Walter's Walk, Ozone Baby, Darlene, Bonzo's Montreux, Wearing and Tearing

Remasters, compilations and lives

The Song Remains the Same (September 21, 1976) - #1 UK, #2 US, US Sales: 4 million - Disc 1: Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, The Song Remains The Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused - Disc 2: No Quarter, Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love

Remasters (September 09, 1990) - #10 UK, #47 US, US Sales: 2 million - Disc 1: Communication Breakdown, Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, Good Times Bad Times, Dazed and Confused, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Ramble On, Immigrant Song, Celebration Day, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Rock and Roll, Battle of Evermore, Misty Mountain Hop, Stairway to Heaven - Disc 2: The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, D'yer M'aker, No Quarter, Houses of the Holy, Kashmir, Trampled Underfoot, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Achilles' Last Stand, All My Love, In The Evening - Disc 3: 1) Led Zeppelin Profile, 2-8) Jimmy Page Station Liners, 9-16) Jimmy page interview, 21-32) Robert Plant interview, 33-43) John Paul Jones interview

Profiled (October 1990) - interviews - 1. Led Zeppelin Profile, 2-8. Station Liners, 9-20. Interview: Jimmy Page, 21-32. Interview: Robert Plant, 33-43. Interview: John Paul Jones

Boxed Set (October 1990) - #18 US, US Sales: 10 million
Disc 1: Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Communication Breakdown, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Thank You, I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, Your Time Is Gonna Come, Ramble On, Travelling Riverside Blues (previously unreleased), Friends, Celebration Day, Hey Hey What Can I Do (previously unavailable on album), White Summer/Black Mountain Side (previously unreleased)
Disc 2: Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Immigrant Song, The Battle of Evermore, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Tangerine, Going To California, Since I've Been Loving You, D'yer Mak'er, Gallows Pole, Custard Pie, Misty Mountain Hop, Rock and Roll, The Rain Song, Stairway To Heaven
Disc 3: Kashmir, Trampled Under Foot, For Your Life, No Quarter, Dancing Days, When the Levee Breaks, Achilles Last Stand, The Song Remains the Same, Ten Years Gone, In My Time of Dying
Disc 4: In the Evening, Candy Store Rock, The Ocean, Ozone Baby, Houses of the Holy, Wearing and Tearing, Poor Tom, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Fool in the Rain, In the Light, The Wanton Song, Moby Dick/Bonzo's Montreux (previously unreleased in this form), I'm Gonna Crawl, All My Love

Boxed Set 2 (September 21, 1993) - UK #56, #87 US, US Sales: 500,000 - Disc 1: Good Times Bad Times, We're Gonna Groove, Night Flight, That's The Way, Baby Come On Home (Previously unreleased), The Lemon Song, You Shook Me, Boogie With Stu, Bron-Yr-Aur, Down By The Seaside, Out On The Tiles, Black Mountain Side, Moby Dick, Sick Again, Hot Dog, Carouselambra - Disc 2: South Bound Saurez, Walter's Walk, Darlene, Black Country Woman, How Many More Times, The Rover, Four Sticks, Hats Off To (Roy) Harper, I Can't Quit You Baby, Hots On For Nowhere, Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman), Royal Orleans, Bonzo's Montreux, The Crunge, Bring It On Home, Tea For One

The Complete Studio Recordings (September 21, 1993) - US Sales: 2 million
Essential recordings: Led Zeppelin
Number of Discs: 10
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Boxset list:
01. Led Zeppelin I
02. Led Zeppelin II
03. Led Zeppelin III
04.
05. Houses of the Holy
06. Presence
07. Physical Graffiti
08. Physical Graffiti - Disc 2
09. In Through the Out Door
10. Coda*
There are 4 additional tracks included at the end of Coda - Baby Come on Home, Travelling Riverside Blues (Live on the BBC), White Summer/Black Mountainside (Live on the BBC), and Hey Hey What Can I Do. (It does not include Jimmy Page's interpolation of Moby Dick and Bonzo's Montreaux from the first box set.)

BBC Sessions (November 1997) - #23 UK, #12 US, US sales: 2 million - 2-CD set of recordings for the BBC, from 1969 and 1971 - Disc 1: You Shook Me, I Can't Quit You Baby, Communication Breakdown, Dazed and Confused, The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair, What Is and What Should Never Be, Communication Breakdown, Travelling Riverside Blues, Whole Lotta Love, Somethin' Else, Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, You Shook Me, How Many More Times - Disc 2: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Whole Lotta Love, Thank You

Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One (November 23, 1999) - #55 UK, #71 US, US Sales: 1 million - Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Dazed and Confused, Communication Breakdown, Whole Lotta Love, What Is and What Should Never Be, Immigrant Song, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Rock & Roll, Battle of Evermore, When the Levee Breaks, Stairway to Heaven

Latter Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume Two (March 20, 2000) - #40 UK, #81 US - Song Remains the Same, No Quarter, Houses of the Holy, Trampled Under Foot, Kashmir, Ten Years Gone, Achilles Last Stand, Nobody's Fault But Mine, All My Love, In the Evening

How the West Was Won (May 27, 2003) - #5 UK, #1 US, US Sales: 1 million - 3-CD live compilation of summer 1972 concerts recorded just days apart, in Los Angeles (June 25th) and Long Beach (June 27th) - Disc 1: LA Drone, Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California, That's The Way, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp - Disc 2: Dazed And Confused, What Is And What Should Never Be, Dancing Days, Moby Dick - Disc 3: Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll, The Ocean, Bring It On Home

Hit singles
o 1969 "Communication Breakdown/ Good Times Bad Times" US
o 1969 "Whole Lotta Love/ Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)" US
o 1970 "Immigrant Song/ Hey Hey What Can I Do" US
o 1971 "Black Dog/ Misty Mountain Hop" US
o 1972 "Rock and Roll/ Four Sticks" US
o 1973 "Over The Hills And Far Away/ Dancing Days" US
o 1973 "D'yer Mak'er/ The Crunge" US
o 1975 "Trampled Under Foot/ Black Country Woman" US
o 1976 "Candy Store Rock/ Royal Orleans" US
o 1979 "Fool In The Rain/ Hot Dog" US

 

---Wikipedia


 

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