Led Zeppelin has gone down in history as one of the biggest bands of all time. I'm here to convince you that they are, in fact, the greatest of them all.
Remembered as the biggest band of the 1970's, Led Zeppelin gained iconic status through their electrifying live shows. Over time, their popularity hasn't waned, and they are still one of the most popular bands today. Only reuniting a handful of times, they have remained true to their legacy and will be forever remembered as their classic line-up: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham.
Here are five reasons why Led Zeppelin is the greatest band of all time.
Who can forget such classic lines as “Mean old levee, taught me to weep and moan”, or “I don't know, but I been told, that big-legged women ain't got no soul”.
Led Zeppelin's lyrics have much of Lord Byron about them: grandiosity, majesty, and more than a handful of irreverence. The lyrics cover everything from love, to The Lord of the Rings, to sex in its sexiest form, to childhood friendship. Whether influenced by blues, folk or good old rock ‘n roll, Led Zeppelin's lyrics encompass a wide range of experiences.
Listen to Black Dog
FATTEST BASS LINES
John Paul Jones will forever be the unsung hero of the group. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, he contributed keyboard parts to such classics as Stairway to Heaven and Kashmir. He will, however, forever be remembered as bass player extraordinaire, whose simultaneously improvisatory and pocket style was the perfect counterpoint to John Bonham's drumming. John Paul Jones' effortless finger style bass can be heard on numerous sessions from the 60's, and can be heard on the frankly excellent album Them Crooked Vultures, proof that old age has not yet caught up with this god among men.
Listen to The Lemon Song
MOST THUNDEROUS DRUMS
One only needs to listen to Moby Dick to recognise that John Bonham was an extraordinary drummer of seemingly limitless ability. His thunder can be heard on songs ranging from cock-rock classics such as Black Dog, to the beautiful ballads Over the Hills and Far Away and The Rain Song, to the folksy Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. A man who knows his stuff, Dave Grohl, among many others, has described Bonham as the greatest drummer the world has ever seen. His legacy is such that Ludwig Drums to this day sells not one, but two authentic “Zep kits”, based on Bonham's one-up two-down set-up.
Listen to When The Levee Breaks
MOST FACE-SHREDDING GUITAR SOLOS
The guitar solo is a hallmark of rock ‘n roll and many artists are credited as being masters of the craft: from Jimi Hendrix to Slash. However, few solos carry as much emotion as Jimmy Page's, whether we be listening to Since I've Been Loving You, Rock and Roll, or Stairway to Heaven. Page's perfect mix of fast and slow passages, highs and lows, all set against Plant's voice define the Led Zeppelin sound, and you'd be hard-pressed to find another artist who delivers the goods so succinctly.
Listen to Since I've Been Loving You
MOST BEAUTIFUL MELODIES
Led Zeppelin will mostly forever be remembered as a rock band, whose classics such as Whole Lotta Love, Trampled Underfoot and Kashmir shook the foundations of the genre to its core. But there was another side to the Led Zeppelin coin, a side characterised by sensitivity, contemplation and beauty. Led Zeppelin authored some of the most beautiful ballads ever written, from the tribute to Plant's deceased son All My Love, to the love song Thank You, to the hauntingly indescribable The Rain Song.
Listen to The Rain Song
What do you think?
Fun piece & I certainly agree that Led Zep is one of the greatest ever. However, I think Plant’s singing definitely takes precedence over the lyrics, which were often a hodgepodge of “re-purposed” words. When The Levee Breaks, for example, is pretty much word for word from Memphis Minnie’s original. Plant was certainly great at painting an atmospheric picture in songs like No Quarter, Achilles Last Stand, Kashmir, Immigrant Song, etc., but it was really his voice that sold the songs. Cheers, rock on.
Thanks Jeremy! Hard to argue any of those points. Nice breakdown!
They are starting to grow on me. It’s taken years, but…what can I say. Some of their more unique tracks, many that are mentioned in this post (Kashmir, D’yer Maker) were just as influential in the spread of “world music” as George Harrison was. So yeah, you can’t argue with such a wide ranging influence.
Agreed! Greatest of all time!