Personalities | Led Zeppelin | Seventies | Jazz & Blues

(Vocal/instrumental group, 1968–80)

In 1968, after all the original members had left the Yardbirds, guitarist Jimmy Page had custody of the band’s name and contracts. John Paul Jones, who had produced some of Page’s side work, joined on bass, and Page hired singer Robert Plant away from Hobbstweedle. Drummer John Bonham, a friend of Plant’s, rounded out the New Yardbirds to fulfil standing contractual obligations. After Keith Moon, drummer with The Who, quipped that their audacious, harder blues sound would ‘go over like a lead zeppelin’, the quartet took on a new name.

The group’s love of the blues was explicit in its altered cover versions (generally left uncredited), which led to plagiarism charges. Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album in 1969 was heavy on blues tunes with a psychedelic energy. As Led Zeppelin rose to superstardom it moved further away from the blues but never abandoned it completely. Bonham’s death in 1980 effectively brought the premier heavy metal band to an end.

Styles & Forms | Seventies | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Louisiana Red | Seventies | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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