Top 100 Classic Rock Groups
#1 Led Zeppelin
By James West, The-Rocker.com
The power of the world's greatest Hard Rock Band can be summed up with just two words- Light and Shade! Light represents how brightly the band shined when they turned the volume up to 11 and got into that hard-rocking groove that can only be described as relentless. The ability to bring in lighter melodies and sensibilities from other genres like folk, blues, country and even Arabic music to weave seamlessly into those tight Bonzo grooves and Rock format. By following this simple formula the mighty Zep set themselves apart from every other Rock band out there, and in the process, set the standard for the era of Classic Rock as we know it today.
My First Zeppelin Experience!
God I hated this band when I first heard them! Ha! When Zeppelin were hitting their stride, circa 1969 -1973, I was only around Ten at the time. So, It wasn't until '75 or '76 when I got into Rock that I heard of them. I was more into the heavier groups like Montrose and Kiss to fully appreciate the "light and shade" of ZOSO.
It didn't help that "The Song Remains The Same" was out at the time, which I thought (and still do) totally sucked. I used to have to ride the school bus for an hour and a half when I started High School, and the bus driver would play the 8-track to that and also to "In Through The Out Door". Talk about a miserable ride! It was bad enough I had motion sickness, but thanks to him I also had music sickness! So, not the best albums to start with and not the best time in life to appreciate Light and Shade. Just give me my Kiss, Aerosmith, and Ted Nugent please! My love for Led Zeppelin did not start until 1990.
The Story Of My Zep Awakening!
By the time 1990 rolled around, I had grown in my musical tastes and tolerances. I guess you could say I needed more diversity than just the regular "Go For The Jugular" type heavy rock, although there's absolutely nothing wrong with being stranded on a deserted island with nothing but AC/DC blaring through the palm trees!
I think the "Light and Shade" comes to all of us Rockers eventually, and I purchased the extensive Led Zeppelin Boxed Set, where most of their songs were spread across four individual CD's in a very nice package. I had also just upgraded my Stereo system with Bose 601's and a kick-ass Sansui equalizer, so I I think the "Light and Shade" comes to all of us Rockers eventually, and I purchased the extensive Led Zeppelin Boxed Set, where most of their songs were spread across four individual CD's in a very nice package.
A Sum Of All Powerful Parts
I had also just upgraded my Stereo system with Bose 601's and a kick-ass Sansui equalizer, so I was in Audio Heaven! Ha! Really for the first time I could hear what Light and Shade was all about with that boxed set. I couldn't wait to spend quality time becoming really immersed into Led Zeppelin's magical blend of Page's Virtuoso guitar riffs,
Plant's Golden God-like voice, Jonesy's Melodic Masterpieces, and Bonzo's Hammer of the Gods drumming. It had ALL finally come together for me. It's not so much if Led Zeppelin had come to me, but I had ARRIVED at Led Zeppelin! It was my AWAKENING!
Page wrote most of Led Zeppelin's music, particularly early in their career, while Plant generally supplied the lyrics. Jones' 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 surviving 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 Jason Bonham taking his late father's place behind the drums.
Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone!
I always figured the mighty Zep would reunite in some form or fashion over the years and bring us another album and full-on tour. The creative energy of Page, Plant, and Jones was a force to be reckoned with- How could it come to a complete halt the way it did? I'm still utterly dumbfounded. Sure, we got tons from Robert Plant in a solo format, and yes, there were some pretty good albums from him; but Jimmy Page? Some solo stuff, The Firm, and a descent album with David Coverdale were the extent of his output for the last 35 years. If only Page, Jones and Plant could have made some sort of effort for the fans I feel we would have had at least something to satisfy our Zeppelin craving. But then again, If only I would have appreciated and realized the power of ZOSO back in the 70's I would have had two more decades to worship at their throne.
Top 100 Classic Rock Albums
#1 Led Zeppelin IV
"Hey Hey Mama, say the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove..." thus begins the start of an album that has made hundreds of thousands sweat and groove since the mythical gods placed this offering in human hands back in November of 1971. Read my full review of Led Zeppelin IV here!