If you haven’t at least heard of Led Zeppelin, then you’re probably living under a rock. Their hit songs from the 1970s are still played on classic rock radio stations in Australia and all around the world. You hear them constantly in movies (remember “The Immigrant Song” in Thor: Ragnarok?).
Even Gen Z knows who they are: stores still sell graphic t-shirts with their logo on it in the teen girls and guys sections, over fifty years after the rock band first rose to fame.
It’s clear that Led Zeppelin made a huge impact on rock music for all time. But how did they accomplish this? What makes them so great that people listen to their songs and wear their merch in 2021 without even knowing who the band is?
The Progenitors Of Heavy Metal
Back in the late 60s and early 70s, heavy metal was just beginning to take off. It was barely even on anyone’s radar, much less at the top of music charts. Several music industry experts, however, including Steve Waksman of Smith College and music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, consider Led Zeppelin to be “the musical starting point for heavy metal.”
Led Zeppelin was edgy. It was new. More importantly, the band had their own unique sound. They drew from several different types of music, especially the blues, and crafted songs that people could scream, cry, and bang their heads to.
Their lyrics were just as thoughtful and different. The songs ranged in topic from romance to sex to conquering a new country. They drew from unconventional influences, like Celtic and folk music, for some of their most popular arrangements.
Yes, they screamed and wailed. And everybody went for it.
The Pioneers Of Stadium Rock
Yes, everybody loved them. Led Zeppelin regularly played sold out shows in stadiums, something that was unheard of in their era. They paved the way for the emergence of stadium rock, which is a type of music composed and played specifically to entertain a large group of people in an enormous space.
The Influencers Of Legends
If anyone could have been called “influencers” in the rock music industry in the 1970s, it was Led Zeppelin. Legends such as Queen, Aerosmith, and Black Sabbath were all inspired by the earlier band. Even modern artists like Lady Gaga, Shakira, and Kesha name Led Zeppelin as among their influences.
Chart Toppers Even In The 21st Century
Led Zeppelin is also still a top favourite among classic rock listeners everywhere, not just famous musicians. Their song “Stairway to Heaven” which was released on their 4th album in 1971, is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. It’s constantly at the top of great classic rock songs lists, including Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” from 2004 where it sits at number 31.
You’ll certainly hear plenty of Led Zeppelin on Retro Radio Australia. You can pick your favourite hits, from “Stairway to Heaven” and “Immigrant Song” to “Dazed and Confused” and “Whole Lotta Love,” and more, here at our extensive music library.