Led Zeppelin
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Digging Deep

It’s safe to say that, during the period of 1971 to 1975, Led Zeppelin were the biggest band in the world. Masters of hard rock, they were also fantastically accomplished musicians. Jimmy Page’s background as a young session guitarist, and then mainstay of the later Yardbirds, gave them one instrumental focal point, though the rhythm section of John Bonham (drums) and John Paul Jones (bass) were equally important to developing the group’s sound. Even when Zeppelin were floating towards heavy metal, Bonham and Jones could inject a soul groove into the mix.

As a singer, Robert Plant – one of the most distinctive vocalists in rock – also brought along a folk and West Coast sensibility. The hybrid was so potent that they never did things by halves, and even if tales of their touring debauchery are often embroidered, there’s enough truth in them to maintain the legend.

Meanwhile, all their studio albums went platinum, with Led Zeppelin IV (aka Runes or ZoSo) achieving staggering sales – over 23 million in the US alone. The same goes for their live albums and box sets, even while maintaining a deliberate policy of not releasing singles in the UK. (Other territories were, however, immune to the credibility-saving gesture, allowing tracks such as ‘Whole Lotta Love’, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Immigrant Song’, ‘Rock And Roll’ and ‘Trampled Underfoot’ to spearhead the FM radio revolution).

Renowned for their imaginative stagecraft – and pyrotechnics to match the music – Led Zeppelin evolved rapidly from tight blues-rock to a looser beast altogether on Houses Of The Holy and Physical Graffiti. Led Zep maintained a powerful hold on their audience and have been honoured in various ways: Rock And Roll and Grammy Hall Of Famers, five diamond-certified albums, and personal gongs for Page (OBE) and Plant (CBE). They were also thrilled to be the 2012 recipients of Kennedy Center Honors, as bestowed by Barack Obama.

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Essential Albums

Led Zeppelin

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Led Zeppelin II

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Led Zeppelin III

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Led Zeppelin IV

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Houses of the Holy

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Physical Graffiti

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