Formed in 1968, Led Zeppelin is a British rock band who rose to fame in the 1970s. While the band’s music style varied, they are renowned for how they influenced heavy metal’s development. With their prominence in the music industry, they have inspired generations for more than 40 years.
The members of Led Zeppelin include Jimmy Page (guitar, vocals), Robert Plant (harmonica, vocals), John Paul Jones (bassist), and John Bonham (drums).
They were influenced by diverse kinds of music such as early rock and roll, blues, folk, psychedelic rock, Indian, Celtic, and Arabic Music. And while folk and acoustic were part of their initial range, the loud, raw, bottom-heavy, and strong electric sound is what attracted patrons and have formed their reputation ever since. It was also their first two songs that Led Zeppelin was established as a heavy metal forerunner.
The voice of Robert Plant was one of the strong elements of the band’s sound. With his bold vocal style and demonstrative influence of blues singers such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, Plant has innovated a sound that has come to define what hard rock and heavy metal singing is, with Whole Lotta Love as a classic example. Meanwhile, Plant’s versatility in stylistic range are evidenced by soft ballads such as The Rain Song and songs that have expressed a vocal style with Indian and Arabic influences such as “Kashmir”
The most well-known song of Led Zeppelin is Stairway to Heaven, starting off with a soft acousting sound that builds up to a bottom-heavy climax that features a prolonged guitar solo. It’s interesting to note that Stairway, along with other songs, were distinguishably lengthy by rock standards, and they often extend to triple the length of the studio versions during their concerts.
There is no doubt how Led Zeppelin has influenced hard rock and heavy metal, having influenced bands such as Nirvana and Black Sabbath to name a few. They were also among the pioneers in fusing Indian and Arabic influences in their music and have inspired hard rock bands to inject acoustic elements in their music.
Their biggest album was Led Zeppelin IV which has sold over 37 million copies. In 2015, the Recording Academy honored Led Zeppelin with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2014, they received their first Grammy Award for Celebration Day, which was a live album which evolved from their 2007 reunion show. The band was also named a Kennedy Center honoree in 2012.
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