Led Zeppelin Unisex T-Shirt
Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.
Welcome to the Respect Due family Led Zeppelin! We salute you.
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Led Zeppelin – Closer To Heaven – The Full Movie
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. The band have been credited with significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-orientated rock (AOR) and stadium rock. Many critics consider Led Zeppelin one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in history.
After changing their name from the New Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin signed a deal with Atlantic Records that afforded them considerable artistic freedom. Although the group were initially unpopular with critics, they achieved significant commercial success with eight studio albums released over ten years, from Led Zeppelin (1969) to In Through the Out Door (1979). Their untitled fourth studio album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV (1971), became one of the best-selling albums in history. It featured the song “Stairway to Heaven“, which has come to be among the most popular and influential works in rock music, and helped to secure the group’s popularity.
Page wrote most of Led Zeppelin’s music, particularly early in their career, while Plant generally supplied the lyrics. Jones’s keyboard-based compositions later became central to the group’s catalogue, which featured increasing experimentation. The latter half of their career saw a series of record-breaking tours that earned the group a reputation for excess and debauchery. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, their output and touring schedule were limited during the late 1970s, and the group disbanded following Bonham’s death from alcohol-related asphyxia in 1980. In the decades that followed, the former members sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off Led Zeppelin reunions. The most successful of these was the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London, with Bonham’s son Jason Bonham on drums.
Led Zeppelin are one of the best-selling music artists of all time; various sources estimate the group’s record sales at 200 to 300 million units worldwide. With RIAA-certified sales of 111.5 million units, they are the third-best-selling band and fifth-best-selling act in the US. They achieved eight consecutive UK number-one albums, and each of their nine studio albums placed in the top 10 of the Billboard album chart and six reached the number-one spot. Rolling Stone magazine described them as “the heaviest band of all time”, “the biggest band of the Seventies”, 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” during the 1970s as the Beatles were during the 1960s.
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven Live
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.
The material on the first two albums was largely constructed out of extended jams of blues standards and folk songs. This method led to the mixing of musical and lyrical elements of different songs and versions, as well as improvised passages, to create new material, but would lead to later accusations of plagiarism and legal disputes over copyright. Usually the music was developed first, sometimes with improvised lyrics that might then be rewritten for the final version of the song. From the visit to Bron-Yr-Aur in 1970, the songwriting partnership between Page and Plant became predominant, with Page supplying the music, largely via his acoustic guitar, and Plant emerging as the band’s chief lyricist. Jones and Bonham then added to the material, in rehearsal or in the studio, as a song was developed. In the later stages of the band’s career, Page took a back seat in composition and Jones became increasingly important in producing music, often composed on the keyboard. Plant would then add lyrics before Page and Bonham developed their parts.
Early lyrics drew on the band’s blues and folk roots, often mixing lyrical fragments from different songs. Many of the band’s songs dealt with themes of romance, unrequited love and sexual conquest, which were common in rock, pop and blues music. Some of their lyrics, especially those derived from the blues, have been interpreted as misogynistic. Particularly on Led Zeppelin III, they incorporated elements of mythology and mysticism into their music, which largely grew out of Plant’s interest in legends and history. These elements were often taken to reflect Page’s interest in the occult, which resulted in accusations that the recordings contained subliminal satanic messages, some of which were said to be contained in backmasking; these claims were generally dismissed by the band and music critics. The pastoral fantasies in Plant’s songwriting were inspired by the landscape of the Black Country region and J. R. R. Tolkien high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. Susan Fast argues that as Plant emerged as the band’s main lyricist, the songs more obviously reflected his alignment with the West Coast counterculture of the 1960s. In the later part of the band’s career Plant’s lyrics became more autobiographical, and less optimistic, drawing on his own experiences and circumstances.
According to musicologist Robert Walser, “Led Zeppelin’s sound was marked by speed and power, unusual rhythmic patterns, contrasting terraced dynamics, singer Robert Plant’s wailing vocals, and guitarist Jimmy Page’s heavily distorted crunch”. These elements mean that they are often cited as one of the originators of hard rock and heavy metal and they have been described as the “definitive heavy metal band”, although the band members have often eschewed the label. Part of this reputation depends on the band’s use of distorted guitar riffs on songs like “Whole Lotta Love” and “The Wanton Song“. Often riffs were not doubled by guitar, bass and drums exactly, but instead there were melodic or rhythmic variations; as in “Black Dog“, where three different time signatures are used. Page’s guitar playing incorporated elements of the blues scale with those of eastern music. Plant’s use of high-pitched shrieks has been compared to Janis Joplin‘s vocal technique. Robert Christgau found him integral to the group’s heavy “power blues” aesthetic, functioning as a “mechanical effect” similarly to Page’s guitar parts. While noting Plant “hints at real feeling” on some of their acoustic songs, Christgau believed he abandoned traditional blues singing’s emphasis on emotional projection in favor of vocal precision and dynamics: “Whether he is mouthing sexist blues cliches or running through one of the band’s half-audible, half-comprehensible … lyrics about chivalry or the counter-culture, his voice is devoid of feeling. Like the tenors and baritones of yore, he wants his voice to be an instrument—specifically, an electric guitar.” Bonham’s drumming was noted for its power, his rapid rolls and his fast beats on a single bass drum; while Jones’ basslines have been described as melodic and his keyboard playing added a classical touch to the band’s sound.
—Robert Christgau, 1972
Led Zeppelin have been widely viewed as a hard rock band, although Christgau regarded them as art rock as well. According to popular music scholar Reebee Garofalo, “because hip critics could not find a constructive way of positioning themselves in relation to Led Zeppelin’s ultra-macho presentation, they were excluded from the art rock category despite their broad range of influences.” Christgau wrote in 1972, the band could be considered art rock because they “relate to rock and roll not organically but intellectually”, idealizing the “amplified beat” as “a kind of formal challenge”. Unlike their contemporaries in Jethro Tull and Yes, who use “the physical compulsion of beat and volume to involve the mind”, Led Zeppelin “make body music of an oddly cerebral cast, arousing aggression rather than sexuality.” As such, along with other second-generation English hard rock bands like Black Sabbath and Mott the Hoople, they can attract both intellectuals and working-class youths in “a strange potential double audience.” Years later, In Through the Out Door‘s “tuneful synthesizer pomp” further confirmed for Christgau they were an art rock band.
Page stated that he wanted Led Zeppelin to produce music that had “light and shade”. This began to be more clearly realised beginning with Led Zeppelin III, which made greater use of acoustic instruments. This approach has been seen as exemplified in the fourth album, particularly on “Stairway to Heaven“, which begins with acoustic guitar and recorder and ends with drums and heavy electric sounds. Towards the end of their recording career, they moved to a more mellow and progressive sound, dominated by Jones’ keyboard motifs. They also increasingly made use of various layering and production techniques, including multi-tracking and overdubbed guitar parts. Their emphasis on the sense of dynamics and ensemble arrangement has been seen as producing an individualistic style that transcends any single music genre. Ian Peddie argues that they were “… loud, powerful and often heavy, but their music was also humorous, self-reflective and extremely subtle”.
Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love (Official Music Video)
Led Zeppelin -The Song Remains The Same – 1976 – FHD
Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song (Live)
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