Robert Plant - vocals
Jimmy Page - guitar
John Paul Jones - keyboards, bass
John Bonham - drums
complete boxed set
|Led Zeppelin were the definitive heavy metal band. It wasn't just their crushingly loud interpretation of the blues -- it was how they incorporated mythology, mysticism, and a variety of other genres (most notably world music and British folk) -- into their sound. Led Zeppelin had mystique. They rarely gave interviews, since the music press detested the band. Consequently, the only connection the audience had with the band was through the records and the concerts. More than any other band, Led Zeppelin established the concept of album-oriented rock, refusing to release popular songs from their albums as singles. In doing so, they established the dominant format for heavy metal, as well as the genre's actual sound.||In August of 1979, Led Zeppelin played two large concerts at Knebworth; the shows would be their last English performances. In Through the Out Door, the band's much-delayed eighth studio album, was finally released in September of 1979. The album entered the charts at number one in both America and England. In May of 1980, Led Zeppelin embarked on their final European tour. In September, Led Zeppelin began rehearsing at Jimmy Page's house in preparation for an American tour. On September 25, John Bonham was found dead in his bed -- following an all-day drinking binge, he had passed out and choked on his own vomit. In December of 1980, Led Zeppelin announced they were disbanding, since they could not continue without Bonham.|
1969 Led Zeppelin Rising from the ashes of his old band the Yardbirds, session guitarist Jimmy Page formed Led Zeppelin, one of the most powerful, influential and enduring of the great rock bands to emerge from Britain in the '60s. So enduring that to this day their 1969 maiden voyage remains a classic. Yet despite the presence of such classic thrashoramas as "Good Times Bad Times" and "Communication Breakdown", what sets Led Zeppelin apart from their rock offspring is the depth and range of their music. Like their power trio forebearers, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin's music is bathed in the blues.
Few bands before or since possessed Page's sense of pacing and dynamics, as exemplified by the traditional acoustic folk elements which frame the big arenagestures on "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," and the raga-flavored acoustic mystery of "Black Mountain Side". This element of their presentation would continue to evolve on subsequent albums, and lead to some of Led Zeppelin's greatest moments.
|1969 Led Zeppelin 2 From the first grinding notes of that famous vamp which introduces "Whole Lotta Love," LED ZEPPELIN II announces for all to hear that they are the definitive hard rock band of their generation. But before the listener can even settle into the groove, Led Zeppelin takes a hard left turn into a spacey new rhythm, exotically flavored by Page's droning feedback and innovative use of a violin bow. Note gospelish moods of "Thank You," the rocking vamps and funk rhythm changes of "Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid," and the country music echoes of "Ramble On." And in their appropriations of source materials from Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson, Page and company continued to mine the rich vein of the blues.|
|1970 Led Zeppelin 3 On LED ZEPPELIN III, the band retreated to the Welsh countryside, influenced by the folkier side of Joni Mitchell and The Byrds. . LED ZEPPELIN III was something of a transitional recording for the band, marking an evolution from their early blues-based origins to the elaborately structured rock suites which would follow. Page's love for country and cajun music, delta blues and traditional folk elements distinguishes "Gallows Pole" and underrated songs like "Tangerine", "That's The Way" and "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" where Robert Plant's vocals begin to take on a heretofore unheard-of tenderness, while the rhythm work of Jones and Bonham reflects many non-rock elements, and Page makes telling use of acoustic string instruments like mandolin, banjo and 12-string guitar (anticipating 1971's triumphant "Stairway To Heaven").|
|1971 Led Zeppelin 4 Here the band's sound and concept, Plant's vocals, and Page's arranging skills finally crystallized into something completely distinct and original. Their interest in traditional folk music (and a more tender form of sentiment) found fresh expression on "Going To California" and "The Battle Of Evermore" (with Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention). And "When The Levee Breaks" was yet another powerhouse blues. LED ZEPPELIN IV was also the recording which produced Led Zeppelin's most celebrated composition, "Stairway To Heaven" - the epic that defined the band in many people's eyes. From its familiar opening chord progression, the song steadily grows in intensity, reflecting Led Zeppelin's growing interest in metaphysical imagery, gradually transforming itself from a folkish ballad into a rocking anthem. When played live, Page used a Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck guitar so he would not have to pause when switching from a six to a twelve string guitar. A Fender Tele was used in the studio.|
|1973 Houses Of The Holy found the band delving into funk and reggae. HOUSES OF THE HOLY was the nickname Led Zeppelin concocted for the huge sports arenas they were then playing, because by the time HOUSES OF THE HOLY was released on March 28, 1973, Led Zeppelin was among the biggest touring bands in all of rock. And in producer-composer-guitarist Jimmy Page, they had one of its most gifted arrangers. On the whole there is more of an emphasis on the rhythmic interplay between Page, Jones and Bonham, from the James Brown-derived funk of "The Crunge" and the reggaeish dance breaks of "D'yer Mak'er," to the menacing eastern modalities of "Dancing Days" and the rocking raveups of "The Song Remains The Same" and "The Ocean."|
1975 Physical Graffiti contains "Kashmir" - quintessential Zeppelin! Inspired by a trip to Morocco, the song's hypnotic pace and Middle Eastern flavor exposed millions to that culture long before the term "world music" was coined.
|1976 Presence Led Zeppelin's seventh album, PRESENCE, is a straight-ahead rocker, that has much more of a "live" feel than some of their previous recordings. Gone are most of the big production flourishes, and in their place the big power trio + vocals sound that made Led Zeppelin such a popular concert band. The opening "Achilles Last Stand" is a driving, up-tempo rocker, while the closing "Tea For One" is a slow, Chicago-style blues, featuring Plant's moaning vocals and Page's alternatingly sweet, and frenetic solos. Elsewhere, "Royal Orleans" mixes delta blues with Indian music, "Hots On For Nowhere" is a stop-time boogie, and "Candy Store Rock" is heavy metal rockabilly.|
|1976 Song Remains The Same Movie Soundtrack, 100 minutes: Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Song Remains The Same, Rain Song, Dazed And Confused, No Quarter, Stairway To Heaven, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love.|
|1979 In Through The Out Door By the time IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR came out in 1979, the band was updating their sound by experimenting with synthesizers. In the midst of preparation for a massive North American tour, John Bonham died. The dates were cancelled and the band quickly broke up.|
1982 Coda Released two years after Led Zeppelin's demise, CODA is a collection culled from the Zep archives, but omitting anything recorded between 1973 and 1978. Willie Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby" is given a reverential treatment at a 1970 sound rehearsal and "Poor Tom" shows off some of John Bonham's more regimented playing alongside Jimmy Page's chiming acoustic guitar. |
The remainder of CODA is comprised of outtakes from the IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR sessions. "Ozone Baby" bobs and weaves with punky (for Zep) vigor and "Darlene" grooves along as John Paul Jones' impressive piano playing serves as the rudder. The instrumental "Bonzo's Montreaux" is the most interesting inclusion. This rare glimpse into Bonham's underrated percussive range points to his irreplaceable position in Zeppelin and clearly demonstrates why the band broke up after his death.
|1988 Story Of The Film|
|1990 Led Zeppelin 289 minutes, 4 CD Box Set. This 4-disc career retrospective contains two thirds of their songs, including a few rarities ("Hey Hey What Can I Do," "Traveling Riverside Blues" and "White Summer/Black Mountain Side") for a total of 54 tracks. Digital remastering was done by Jimmy Page and George Marino. All the tracks were personally selected and sequenced by Page along with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. The box set also contains a deluxe 36-page booklet with essays by Cameron Crowe, Kurt Loder and Robert Palmer, a discography and many color photos. Most of the tracks are remastered from the original master tapes.|
|1992 Remasters This set consists of 2 compilation discs and an additional disc which features an interview with the band: "Led Zeppelin Profiled"|
|1993 Led Zeppelin Contains 31 tracks from Led Zeppelin's nine studio albums not included on the original Zeppelin box set. Includes one previously unreleased track and a 48-page booklet featuring photographs, and complete credits. Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica), Jimmy Page (acoustic & electric 6 & 12-string guitars, mandolin, background vocals), John Paul Jones (Fender bass, Mellotron, keyboards, background vocals), John Bonham (drums, percussion).|
1993 Complete Studio Recordings 10 CD Box Set. 9 studio albums as well as 3 bonus tracks. The 10 CDs come in a deluxe box and include all original album art and a book with rare photos and liner notes by Cameron Crowe. All tracks have been digitally remastered by Jimmy Page.
1997 BBC Sessions 2 CD Set. "...captures Led Zeppelin in their early, hungry prime, a white blues-rock band with big ideas and the instrumental might and cocksure nerve to pull them off...the mettle of the mighty Zep comes through loud and raw....the band at their rawest, bluesiest best. These oft-bootlegged live shows from '69 and '71 (remastered by Page himself) are sloppy, gravy thick, and rife with inspired Page-Plant interplay..."
The material on the BBC SESSIONS is drawn from the band's performances for the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1969 and 1971. There is no question that Led Zeppelin was one of the greatest studio bands ever. Every rock album made since 1969 owes a huge debt to the techniques Jimmy Page developed, especially his groundbreaking "guitar-as-orchestra" style of layering track upon track. But what is often forgotten is that for all of their studio tinkering, they could deliver a live performance as powerful and full of spontaneity as any "jam" band.
|1998 Walking into Clarksdale Eighteen years after the death of John Bonham broke up Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, the man who launched a thousand David Coverdales, and guitar wizard Jimmy Page have reunited for their first studio album together since 1979's In Through the Outdoor. Page's trademark axe work and loud-soft-loud dynamics are all over this CD. But even though all the old Zeppelin elements are there, the duo aren't just reliving old glories. Plant still sounds as fresh as ever on the rockin' Sons Of Freedom the bluesy "Walking Into Clarksdale" and atmospheric "Heart In Your Hand."|
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