January 12, 1969 - 2019: 50 years of: Led Zeppelin.
Granted, the delta blues and then rhythm-n-blues came from the bayous of the Mississippi in the 1930-to-50s from such luminaries as: Albert King, Muddy Waters and the mythological Robert Johnson. But back in the UK's mid-60s social revolution, came another revolution: the rocknroll revolution !
The British Invasion, lead by the THE BEATLES, THE KINKS and THE STONES shook the establishment to it's very foundation along it's sterile post-war status-quo off it's rails. And eventually another set of rebel-teens united into the divine-forces of Jimmy Page (ex-YARDBIRDS), John Paul Jones, John Bonham and Robert Plant as the first and only incarnation of LED ZEPPELIN
Heavy-rock in 1966-69: In sunny California, the acid-rock power of the mighty IRON BUTTERLFY and BLUE CHEER had already left a mark ...and England responded with: CREAM, DEEP PURPLE and eventually BLACK SABBATH ...what an amazing time to be alive !
The artwork: the 1937 Hindenburg, the origins of the "Lead" Zeppelin. One of mankind's fierce tragedies, the death of 40+ peoples caught live on camera, now immortalized on the multi-Platinum selling record-jacket. Foreshadowing their fate of what would be: a titanic entity, hovering over the world and then in a flash, a sudden end, relating to Bonham's instant death in 1980
From the first punches of the opening cut "Good Times Bad Times" we knew that this would be a monstrous ride. The melodramatic reprise of Joan Baez's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", to the cathedral-intro of "Your Time Is Gonna Come", to the ethereal heavy-rock goes space-rock medley "How Many More Times" and on to the fast paced "Communication Breakdown" credited as the "first heavymetal song". Where THE BEATLES's Helter Skelter set the bar high (and heavy) ...ZEP ran with it, going all 175bpm into a full blown palm-muting guitar-riff driven rocknroll crash-course !
Building up to the album's climax, the grandiose "Dazed And Confused". A slow-paced doom-groove, courtesy of Jones, that surrounds you with four thick walls of heaviness and sorrow and doesn't let go. The wah-guitar tip-toes around and the feeling slowly suffocates you, all the way to the heavymetallesque explosive lead work of Page. The first lead-guitar shred ever put on tape !
Dazed in 1969: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC6SwzXvyzw
Tracks after tracks, the bass grooves, the sharp-edge guitar cuts, the loud anthemic drums pounds away and the voice, that gigantic Robert Plant voice, commands and dictates to a tee ...rock-music was never to be the same !
The rocknroll lifestyles stepped-up with the band's growing imminent popularity. Fame, money, limos, hotels, women, jets and other bloody-excesses where part of the ZEP entourage from day-one. The Fab-Four did it first, but it was ZEPPed into the stratosphere with the global world-tours that followed. Note that both Page and Plant where eventually knighted as OBE and CBE respectively, talk about rock royalty !
From the occult to hard-blues, arena-rock to prototype-heavymetal, LED ZEP played it all and influenced millions of musicians and acts, to follow and explore from their indelible foot-steps. And the very best was yet to come: with the ZEPPELIN II (1969), ZEPPELIN III (1970) and the monolithic ZEPPELIN IV (1971) record, all within a 30month span ...talk about an impressive legacy !
The genesis for rock-music: no album in history is as important as LED ZEPPELIN I !!!
November 8, 1971 - 2021: 50 years of: Led Zeppelin IV.
Monstrous, magnificent and monolithic.
The almighty unstoppable gargantuous hovering zeppelin, lurks sky high over rocknroll. The mystic Fourth installment of mega-proportions is no stranger to epicness, yet this time, is fully expected.
The "Black Dog" barks, bites and chews you alive. The gigantic start-stop guitar riff wipes the floor with any contenders, while the simply titled "Rock And Roll" burst the door off it's hinges for John Bonham and crew to push the boundaries, once again, to the boiling point.
Some folk makes an eerie apparition on "The Battle Of Evermore" and the tribal-primal "Four Sticks" shows more grooves and hip-shaking, with a steamy southern-vibe. The roominess and dark-heaviness of "When The Levee Breaks" still remains unmatched today. Wide drums, flangy guitars, groovy bass and Robert Plant preaching in a commanding manner.
The Mother of all powerballads, the cornerstone of now classicrock, the 8:03sec heavenly magic of "Stairway To Heaven" is all-stars aligned. Beautiful flute-supported intro, the built-up and the power-chord progressions into oblivion. A rock trek that transcends the galaxy which explodes into a metal-meltdown at the 5:35sec with master Jimmy Page at the helm.
I, II, III and now the IVth record ...in hard rocknroll, LED ZEPPELIN's numerology is the be all - end all in rock-royalty. Currently RIAA-certified 23x Platinum, that's 23 million units sold in the USA alone, it now very comfortably stands as one of heavyrock's heaviest monument in hardmusic's impressive catalog.
A British signature,
A British sound,
The British ZEPPELIN is the voice of a generation !
It led the way to numerous acts to forge the heavyrock genre, the foundations of heavymetal and IV is the ultimate key to this 50+ year rocknroll-supernova.
RIP John Bonham (1948-1980)
Led Zeppelin IV = full LP
Interview in 1972
Live in Los Angeles in 1972
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