Personalities | Led Zeppelin | Seventies | Jazz & Blues
(Vocal/instrumental group, 1968â€“80)
In 1968, after all the original members had left the Yardbirds, guitarist Jimmy Page had custody of the bandâ€™s name and contracts. John Paul Jones, who had produced some of Pageâ€™s side work, joined on bass, and Page hired singer Robert Plant away from Hobbstweedle. Drummer John Bonham, a friend of Plantâ€™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 â€˜go over like a lead zeppelinâ€™, the quartet took on a new name.
The groupâ€™s love of the blues was explicit in its altered cover versions (generally left uncredited), which led to plagiarism charges. Led Zeppelinâ€™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. Bonhamâ€™s death in 1980 effectively brought the premier heavy metal band to an end.
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