Posts about super bands such as Led Zeppelin are difficult simply because virtually any rock fan who comes to this site know more about the band than I. I am horizontal in my interests, not vertical: I know a bit about a lot of things, but a lot about few. Fans also likely have seen the videos that are featured here. But they are a vital part of the tapestry, so here they are.
The band emerged from the incredibly productive and creative 1960s scene in England. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has good background in its profile:
The group formed in 1968 from the ashes of the Yardbirds, for which guitarist Jimmy Page had served as lead guitarist after Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Page’s stint in the Yardbirds (1966-1968) followed a period of years as one of Britain’s most in-demand session guitarists. As a generally anonymous hired gun, Page performed on mid-Sixties British Invasion records by the likes of Donovan (“Hurdy Gurdy Man”), Them (“Gloria”), the Who (“I Can’t Explain”) and hundreds of others. Page assembled a “New Yardbirds” in order to fulfill contractual obligations that, once served, allowed him to move on to his blues-based dream band, Led Zeppelin. (Continue Reading…)
MusicBrainz, which is a great resource, has good insight into the band:
Page wrote most of the music early in Led Zeppelin’s career, while Plant generally supplied the songs’ lyrics. Jones’ keyboard-based compositions later became central to the group’s music, and their later albums featured greater experimentation. The latter half of the band’s career saw a series of record-breaking tours that earned them a reputation for excess and debauchery. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, their output and touring schedule were limited in the late 1970s, and the group disbanded following Bonham’s death from alcohol-related asphyxia in 1980. In the decades since, the surviving members have sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off Led Zeppelin reunions. The most successful of these was at the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London, with Jason Bonham taking his late father’s place behind the drums. (Continue Reading…)
Above is a very early appearance on Danish television in which Robert Plant introduces the band before a performance of “How Many More Times.” Below is “Kashmir.”
Here is Led Zeppelin on Amazon.