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Led Zeppelin Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Nicknames Zep
Led Zep

Mini Bio (1)

Led Zeppelin are a popular British band best known for their hit 'Stairway to Heaven' as well as for co-creating the music genre of heavy metal. Since their nine albums were recorded between 1968 and 1979, Led Zeppelin has been one of the most popular bands of all time, having sold more than 300 million records and millions of concert tickets worldwide.

The quartet was conceived at the end of the Hippie love era, in a group marriage of blues, rock and roll, soul, rockabilly, folk ballad, jazz, classical and Oriental music, and something else scattered over some woozy sounds of their songs. It was their mutual artistic stimulation, their group interplay and imagination that incorporated mythology and mysticism, and concocted their inimitable style, and established the concept of album-oriented rock career.

Jimmy Page was already an experienced lead guitarist who worked with multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones in 1967, and they agreed to work on the next project. In August 1968 Page invited Robert Plant and John Bonham to join his band, the New Yardbirds, for a September tour in Scandinavia. In October 1968 they took the name Led Zeppelin, which stemmed from a humorous conversation among several musicians about their chances of going down like a lead balloon. However, British bands were highly anticipated in the USA, and the Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun signed the new band without even seeing them.

Their debut album, 'Led Zeppelin', recorded and mixed in just about 36 hours in October 1968, at Olympic Studios in London, kicked open the door for all extremes and experiments. The phallic image of the blown up Hindenburg airship on the cover, designed by George Hardie, announced the hardening of rock and coming of the new super-group. While ascending to musical success as a powerhouse band, Led Zeppelin explored a variety of styles, from English folk ballads to blues and rock, and created their own inimitable style.

Prior to the release of their first album, Led Zeppelin made live appearances at the University of Surrey and in London in October 1968, then went on their first American tour in December 1968. In their first year, Led Zeppelin made four concert tours in the USA, and another four tours in the UK. Their second album was recorded entirely on the road at several American recording studios, and was an even greater success than the first one. 'Whole Lotta Love', 'Heartbraker', 'Living, Loving Maid', and 'Ramble On' became big international hits.

Each member of the quartet contributed to their compositions, thus setting a fine example of group creativity. Their songs and albums rambled on with the highly versatile voice-guitar interplay. Plant's incredible vocal range and Page's enchanting guitar solos were as responsible for the band's singularity as its musical wanderlust. Plant's and Page's musicianship was supported by the tight playing by John Paul Jones on bass, and John Bonham on drums. The intense interaction of all four players on stage gave their live performances a visual counterpoint to well intertwined harmonic and rhythmic structures of their compositions.

Their third album, Led Zeppelin III, influenced by folk and Celtic music, offered more inventiveness with acoustic/electric sound-work, and revealed more of the band's versatility with such compositions as the 'Immigrant Song' and 'Since I've Been Loving You'. With the release of their 4th, and most popular album, Led Zeppelin achieved a reputation of the biggest band in the world. 'Stairway to Heaven' became the most played radio hit, several other songs became rock classics, and nobody knows how many more times their lines would help other musicians (like the opening riff from 'How Many More Times' was later used by Pink Floyd in their hit 'Money').

Capitalizing on the success of their first four albums, the band toured extensively in the 1970s. At that time they chartered a private jet, nicknamed The Starship, that carried the band's name and later added the famous 'Swan Song' winged Apollo image on the tail. Going to California turned into a ritual of wildness and excess, most notably at the Hyatt House hotel on the Sunset strip in Los Angeles, known colloquially as the "Riot House" for a series of some most exciting off-stage events, such as riding a motorcycle inside the hotel and throwing TV set out of the window. Another scandal known as the 'shark episode', down by the seaside, in a Seattle hotel, had contributed to their enormous popularity. One of their concerts under a heavy thunderstorm in Florida ended with police using tear gas, and led to a temporary pause in their concert tours.

During the 70s their career was interrupted several times by accidents, deaths and other unfortunate events. In 1980 John Bonham was getting sick again and again, until he shook many by his death, leaving others dazed and confused. It was nobody's fault but his. In December 1980, Led Zeppelin disbanded, albeit the public could still feel their presence. In 1982 a collection of out-takes from various sessions from the 70s was released as their last album, Coda. During the 80s the remaining three members experienced a serious communication breakdown, until they briefly united for a short set in 1985, and once again, in 1988, to play with Bonham's son, Jason, for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary show.

In 1994 Page and Plant showed their softer side when they performed live together on 'MTV Unplugged', which was released the same year as album titled 'No quarter'. Then they made an international tour with an orchestra. In 1995 Page and Plant were joined by Jones when the band was indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, albeit the three former band-mates did not perform together. By that time Jimmy Page as well as Robert Plant had pursued individual careers touring and recording with their own bands.

Another ten years gone. Page's and Plant's call-and-response interplay took them through good times and bad times. Their sonic originality had sparked imagination and creativity in millions of open minds. Singers, songwriters, armies of music fans and a rainbow of dedicated 'led heads', as well as guitarists and guitar collectors worldwide remained united through the acquired experience and conditioning to the Led Zep sounds.

Hats off to Led Zeppelin, who opened the new extremes of musical expression, and are now back in the light confirming their presence. Their long anticipated reunion in December 2007 was a true celebration day. Their live performance was as tight as a rock band can be, and their living, loving song remains the same since we've been loving them. That's the way!

Thank you, Friends.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Trivia (41)

Reunited on December 10, 2007, and gave a sold-out two-hour performance before 22 thousand fans at the O2 arena in London, England. A possibility of a follow-up concert tour in 2008 is in discussion.
The name Led Zeppelin stemmed from a humorous conversation among several musicians about the new band's chances of going down like a lead balloon.
Won the 2006 Polar Music Prize. Won the 2005 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Led Zeppelin's music: "Misty Mountain Hop" is named after Tolkien's Misty Mountains; "Ramble On" refers to Gollum and Mordor and "The Battle of Evermore" is an allegory from the "Battle of the Pelennor Fields" from The Return of the King.
VH1 named the group the #1 Greatest Artist of Hard Rock.
On 12 January 1995, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Jimmy Page had also been previously inducted as a member of the Yardbirds.
Jimmy Page's first choice as singer was Terry Reid but he declined and recommended Robert Plant instead who accepted and brought in John Bonham to be the drummer.
Led Zeppelin traveled in a jet nicknamed "The Starship".
On the week ending 3 November 1979, Led Zeppelin set a new Billboard record for the most number of albums (nine) by a single-artist in the Billboard 200 album chart, in any charting week. The band had surpassed the previous record, held by them in March 1975. During 1975, three other albums by Swan Song recording artists; Bad Company, The Pretty Things and Maggie Bell, were also in the Top 200.
The band was formed under the name "The New Yardbirds". They were based on the original The Yardbirds rock band which was the last band that Jimmy Page played in before joining Led Zeppelin. They were formed to finish performance commitments that the Yardbirds had booked in Scandinavia before the break-up of the original band.
Robert Plant was given the nickname of Percy while he was a member of Led Zeppelin.
Dazed and Confused, In the Light, In the Evening, and How Many More Times are the only Led Zeppelin songs where lead guitarist Jimmy Page bows the guitar with a violin bow.
"In My Time of Dying" is the longest song that Led Zeppelin ever recorded on a studio album. The song clocks at 11 minutes and 4 seconds. It is found on the Physical Graffiti album which they released in 1975.
Led Zeppelin's concert in Uniondale, New York at the Nassau County Coliseum on June 14, 1972 is the longest concert the band has ever performed in. The concert lasted four and a half hours.
The tune "Stairway to Heaven" is reputed to be the most played song of all-time on radio, even though it was never officially released as a single.
Jimmy Page's guitar, the 1959 Gibson Les Paul is known for its powerful and distinctive sound that defined the music of Led Zeppelin. The guitar is considered one of the most valuable musical instruments ever. Jimmy Page authorized a limited reissue edition of signature guitars to be made by the original maker.
Presence is the only Led Zeppelin album that does not have any pianos, organs, or any keyboard-type instruments being used on any of the songs.
The ex-Yardbird Chris Dreja took the picture that appears on the back of the self-titled first Led Zeppelin album.
In Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All-time, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page was ranked at Number 3.
Robert Plant re-united with Jimmy Page in 1993 for a tour and album "No Quarter.".
"Dazed and Confused" was originally 6 minutes and 26 seconds on the first Led Zeppelin album. In concert, they would improvise and stretch the song from its original time to 7, 10, 20, and by 1975 it was stretched to 40 minutes. Sometmes, the band would include parts of other Led Zeppelin songs like "Walter's Walk", "The Crunge", and Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco".
After John Bonham's death, there were media rumours that Cozy Powell, Carmine Appice, Simon Kirke, or Bev Bevan might replace Bonham for the drummer's spot with the band, however there was never any real consideration for this.
Jason Bonham the son of John Bonham is widely considered as good a drummer as his father was. He successfully played his father's classic drums solos at the Led Zeppelin reunion concert in 2007.
Jack Black videotaped a plea to Led Zeppelin to use "Immigrant Song" in his movie School of Rock (2003) After receiving the message, the band gave him permission to use the song for his movie.
Steve Winwood Steve Marriott and Donovan were considered for the job of lead singer for Led Zeppelin before Robert Plant was hired to be the lead singer for the band.
Sandy Denny is the only guest vocalist ever to be included in a Led Zeppelin song. She sang "The Battle of Evermore" with Led Zeppelin on their untitled fourth album.
The untitled fourth Led Zeppelin album has been referred to as Untitled, Zoso, Runes, Sticks, Man With Sticks, or as simply Led Zeppelin IV.
The largest concert in the history of the band took place on August of 1979 at the Knebworth Festival where 420,000 people witnessed Led Zeppelin perform.
Led Zeppelin's last official concert before John Bonham's death was in Berlin, Germany on July 7, 1980 at the Eissporthalle. They made several unofficial reunion performances during the 1980s and 1990s at various parties and anniversaries. Finally the official reunion concert was performed on December 10, 2007, in London.
When Zeppelin first played in Denmark, the Countess Zeppelin (relative of the designer of the famous dirigibles) angrily protested about their use of her family name. To defuse the situation, the band played the Danish shows under the name "The Knobs".
They are the only rock band to have all of their albums, including re-releases and compilation albums, reach the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Before their one-off reunion in 2007, they had never played "Ramble On" live.
After the group broke up, Jimmy Page would perform "Stairway to Heaven" as an instrumental. He felt no one could do the song justice except Robert Plant.
The group was well-known for their reluctance to license their music. Two notable exceptions are the Cadillac television commercials featuring "Rock and Roll" and the appearance of "Immigrant Song" in School of Rock (2003).
Recipient of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. Other recipient that year were Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, and Natalia Makarova.
Led Zeppelin's debut album 'Led Zeppelin' was recorded within thirty hours studio time for a budget less than £1750 (including artwork).
Led Zeppelin has sold almost 300 million units worldwide with 111.5 million album sales in the United States alone.
The first time all four musicians of Led Zeppelin recorded together was for P.J. Proby's 'Three Week Hero' sessions in 1968.
'Led Zeppelin IV' as of July 2012 has shifted more than 40 million units worldwide, with 23 million sales in the United States alone, making it the third highest selling album in US history.
The band's recordings are among the most bootlegged in the history of rock music.
Were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for their outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture. (12 September 2006).

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