Led Zeppelin Album

Greatly Appreciated

Led Zeppelin  is the debut studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin.  Featuring integral contributions from each of the group’s four members, the album established their fusion of blues and rock.  It also attracted a large and devoted following to the band; Zeppelin’s take on the emerging heavy metal sound endeared them to parts of the counterculture on both sides of the Atlantic.  In 2003, the album was ranked No. 29 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, keeping that position when the list was updated in 2012.  In 2004, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  (More from Wikipedia)

The very earliest power chords are credited to 1950’s bluesmen.  Music historian Robert Palmer (not the same man as the 1980’s singer named Robert Palmer by the way) cites Willie Johnson (on Howlin’ Wolfs “How Many More Years” that was recorded in 1951) and Pat Hare (on James Cotton’s “Cotton Crop Blues” that was recorded in 1954).  If the name of the former song rings a bell, you are likely remembering “How Many More Times”, the last and longest track on Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut album, Led Zeppelin.  Under his real name, Chester BurnettHowlin’ Wolf got a songwriting credit on later editions of the album.  Anyway, the Brits liked what they heard and launched the British Invasion, and the rest is history. 


Whether or not Link Wray heard these records and got the idea has not been established as far as I know. 


(February 2013)


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Back in college, I would sometimes hear incredible music being played in the adjoining apartment; since I always seemed to be taking a nap or otherwise nodding off, I wondered if I was dreaming:  Could there really be music that wonderful?  I could tell that the artist was Led Zeppelin, and I was a freshman when I first heard their debut album, Led Zeppelin – in fact, they played a concert in Raleigh, and one of my suitemates came back raving about how great they were. 


I was often in the bar near our apartment called the Player’s Retreat – a Raleigh institution that has been around since the year of my birth (1951) – and had noticed that their jukebox had a few multiple-song disks.  I played both sides of the one by Led Zeppelin; and sure enough, “Stairway to Heaven” was the entire second side, and the mystery was solved. 


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The Jewish Business News post mentioned above also notes that Led Zeppelin’s case regarding Spiritclaim that the opening chords for Stairway to Heaven were lifted from their 1968 instrumental song Taurus”, is harmed by past copyright troubles:  “[Led Zeppelin was] forced to emend credits for ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’ as well as settling a suit over ‘Dazed and Confused’.”  Not only that, I have written in the past about How Many More Times on Led Zeppelinwhere the band had to show a writing credit for Howlin’ Wolf, who had written How Many More Years previously. 


(November 2014)


Last edited: March 22, 2021