Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, formed in 1968, consisting of Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica), John Bonham (drums, percussion) and John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin). Hailed as one of the pioneers of heavy metal and hard rock, Led Zeppelin are also credited for instilling folk, blues and alternative rock into popular music for decades to come. Their heavy, guitar-driven blues-rock sound could oscillate between delicate acoustic ballads to thunderous rapture, as Plants wicked screech surpassed any rock vocalist before him. To date Led Zeppelin have sold over 200 million albums worldwide, are one of three bands to ever have had 4 albums go diamond, and have been hailed as the 3rd greatest band of all time by spin magazine.
They released their debut I in 1969, which was an immediate success across the UK and the US. They followed this with II, which was recorded on the road, came it at number 1 on the album charts, andis often cited as the blueprint for heavy metal and hard rock. Following the release of a more folk oriented, rock record in III, the band were subject to some criticism(which has since been overlooked), with some magazines suggesting Led Zeppelin were riding on the hype and coat tails of their previous work. In response, 1971 saw Led Zeppelin choose to release their next album with no artwork, or album or band name, claiming that the music was good enough to sell itself. And sell it did. With over 24 million copies sold and with tracks such as Stairway to Heaven, IV remains one of the most successful albums in history. Despite the success of these initial releases however, it was the momentum generated from this period that saw Led zeppelin really take over the world in the early to late 70’s. After the release of their first double album in 1975, Physical Graffiti, everyone one of the bands previous releases re-entered the billboard top 200. Throughout the 70’s Led zeppelin were the premier rock act outselling other top selling bands such as the Rolling Stones and The Who, and were hailed to the 70’s as what the Beatles were to the 60’s.
Tragically, on the 24 September 1980, Bonham, after ingesting large amounts of alcohol, died of asphyxiation of his own vomit. On the 4th of December 1980, the band decided that they could continue no longer. Despite several reconciliation performances with Bonhams son standing in on drums, the band has no intention of a fulltime reunion. With nine albums released, hundreds of millions of copies sold, and an army of fans across the world, Led Zeppelin remain one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time.