Led Zeppelin were formed in London in 1968.... guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham were basically the new yardbirds that Jimmy put together for a tour ...BUT...the boys knew brilliance when they heard it and commenced to think up a new name that distanced them from Jimmy sprevious super group....
Thus after changing their name from the New Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin, they signed a deal with Atlantic Records that afforded them considerable artistic freedom. Although the group was initially unpopular with critics ( but who gives a rats if a critic gets offended), they achieved significant commercial success with albums such as Led Zeppelin (1969), Led Zeppelin II (1969), Led Zeppelin III (1970), their untitled fourth album (1971), Houses of the Holy (1973), and Physical Graffiti (1975). Their fourth album, which features the track "Stairway to Heaven", is among the most popular and influential works in rock music, and it helped to cement the popularity of the group and is one of two classic pommy hard rock tunes that are banned in guitar shops WORLDWIDE
Page wrote most of the music early in Led Zeppelin's career, while Plant generally supplied the songs' lyrics. Jones' keyboard-based compositions later became central to the group's music, and their later albums featured greater experimentation. The latter half of the band's career saw a series of record-breaking tours that earned them a reputation for excess and debauchery. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, their output and touring schedule were limited in the late 1970s, and the group disbanded following Bonham's death from alcohol-related asphyxia in 1980. In the decades since, the surviving members have sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off Led Zeppelin reunions. The most successful of these was at the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London, with Jason Bonham taking his late father's place behind the drums.
Each of their nine studio albums placed on the Billboard Top 10 and six reached the number-one spot. Rolling Stone magazine described them as "the heaviest band of all time", "the biggest band of the '70s" and "unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history". They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995; the museum's biography of the band states that they were "as influential in that decade [the 1970s] as the Beatles were in the prior one".
In the 1970s Led Zeppelin reached new heights of commercial and critical success that made them one of the most influential groups of the era, dwarfing their earlier achievements. The band's image also changed as the members began to wear elaborate, flamboyant clothing. Led Zeppelin began travelling in a private jet airliner (nicknamed the Starship), rented out entire sections of hotels (including the Continental Hyatt House in Los Angeles, known colloquially as the "Riot House"), and became the subject of frequently repeated stories of debauchery. One involved John Bonham riding a motorcycle through a rented floor of the Riot House, while another involved the destruction of a room in the Tokyo Hilton, leading to the group being banned from that establishment for life. Although Led Zeppelin developed a reputation for trashing their hotel suites and throwing television sets out of the windows, some suggest that these tales have been exaggerated. Music journalist Chris Welch argues that "[Led Zeppelin's] travels spawned many stories, but it was a myth that [they] were constantly engaged in acts of wanton destruction and lewd behaviour".
A North American tour, the band's first since 1977, was scheduled to commence on 17 October 1980. On 24 September, Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals at Bray Studios.During the journey, Bonham asked to stop for breakfast, where he downed four quadruple vodkas (450 ml/15 oz.), with a ham roll. After taking a bite of the ham roll he said to his assistant, "breakfast". He continued to drink heavily after arriving at the studio. The rehearsals were halted late that evening and the band retired to Page's house—the Old Mill House in Clewer, Windsor. After midnight, Bonham, who had fallen asleep, was taken to bed and placed on his side. At 1:45 pm the next day, Benji LeFevre (Led Zeppelin's new tour manager) and John Paul Jones found Bonham dead. The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit; an autopsy found no other drugs in his body.
Bonham was cremated on 10 October 1980, and his ashes were buried at Rushock Parish Church in Droitwich, Worcestershire. A verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest held on 27 October.....The planned North American tour was cancelled, and despite rumours that Cozy Powell, Carmine Appice, Barriemore Barlow, Simon Kirke or Bev Bevan would join the group as his replacement, the remaining members decided to disband. A 4 December 1980 press statement stated that, "We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were". The statement was signed simply "Led Zeppelin"
Following the dissolution of Led Zeppelin, the first significant project for the band members was the Honeydrippers, which Plant formed in 1981. The group featured Page on lead guitar, along with studio musicians and friends of Plant and Page, including Jeff Beck, Paul Shaffer, and Nile Rodgers. Plant focused the band in a different direction from Led Zeppelin, playing standards and in a more R&B style, highlighted by their cover of "Sea of Love", which peaked at number three on the Billboard charts in early 1985.
1982 saw the release of Coda, a collection of outtakes and unused tracks from the band's career. It included two tracks taken from the band's performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970, one each from the Led Zeppelin III and Houses of the Holy sessions, and three from the In Through the Out Door sessions. It also featured a 1976 Bonham drum instrumental with electronic effects added by Page, called "Bonzo's Montreux".
On 13 July 1985, Page, Plant and Jones reunited for the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, playing a short set featuring drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins and bassist Paul Martinez. Collins had contributed to Plant's first two solo albums while Martinez was a member of Plant's group Band of Joy. The performance was marred by the lack of rehearsal with the two drummers, Page's struggles with an out-of-tune guitar, poorly functioning monitors, and by Plant's hoarse voice. Jimmy described the performance as "pretty shambolic",while Plant characterised it as an "atrocity".
The three members reunited again on 14 May 1988, for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert, with Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, on drums. The result was another disjointed performance, after Plant and Page had argued immediately prior to coming on stage about whether to play "Stairway to Heaven", and with the complete loss of Jones' keyboards on the live television feed. Page described the performance as "one big disappointment", and Plant said that "the gig was foul".
On 10 December 2007 Led Zeppelin reunited for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London, with Jason Bonham again taking his late father's place on drums. According to Guinness World Records 2009, Led Zeppelin set the world record for the "Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert" as 20 million requests for the reunion show were rendered online. Music critics praised the band's performance and there was widespread speculation about a full reunion. Page, Jones and Jason Bonham were reported to be willing to tour, and to be working on material for a new Led Zeppelin project.
Plant continued his touring commitments with Alison Krauss, stating in September 2008 that he would not be recording or touring with the band. Jones, Page and Bonham reportedly looked for a replacement for Plant, considering singers including Steven Tyler, and Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, but in January 2009 it was confirmed that the project had been abandoned.
A film of the O2 performance, Celebration Day, premiered on 17 October 2012 and was released on home video on 19 November. The film grossed $2 million in one night, and the live album peaked at number 4 and 9 in the UK and US, respectively.Following the film's premiere, Page revealed that he has been remastering the band's discography with a release set for 2013.
Led Zeppelin's music was rooted in the blues. The influence of American blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Skip James was particularly apparent on their first two albums, as was the distinct country blues style of Howlin' Wolf. Tracks were structured around the twelve-bar blues on every studio album except for one, and the blues directly and indirectly influenced other songs both musically and lyrically. The band were also strongly influenced by the music of the British, Celtic and American folk revivals. Scottish folk guitarist Bert Jansch helped inspire Page, and from him he adapted open tunings and aggressive strokes into his playing. The band also drew on a wide variety of genres, including world music,and elements of early rock and roll, jazz, country, funk, soul and reggae, particularly on Houses of the Holy and the albums that followed.
Led Zeppelin (1969)
Led Zeppelin II (1969)
Led Zeppelin III (1970)
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
Houses of the Holy (1973)
Physical Graffiti (1975)
In Through the Out Door (1979)